With thousands of examples of decorative art, coins, manuscripts, and ancient books, Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery is a very popular attraction within Lancashire.
It opened in 1874, as one of the first purpose-built free museums to open outside of London. To this day it has no admission fee, making it a cheap yet fascinating day out.
Its exhibits include an award-winning South Asian gallery, a detailed history of Blackburn, and the Bowdler collection of world beetles.
Here’s everything you need to know to plan your visit to the museum.
Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery is open all year except on Mondays, Tuesdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays.
Wednesday: 12pm - 16:45
Thursday: 12pm - 16:45
Friday: 12pm - 16:45
Saturday: 12pm - 16:45
How much does it cost?
Admission is totally free.
Getting there by car and where to park
The museum is located on the corner of Richmond Terrace and Museum Street.
If you’re travelling by car, the centre of Blackburn is served by junctions 4 to 6 of the M65. Alternatively, it can be reached by the A677 from Preston, the A666 from Bolton, or the A674 from Chorley.
There are a number of pay and display parking bays around the town centre, including short stay (1 hour) bays on the streets around the museum.
It's right next to The Mall shopping centre as well, if you'd prefer to park at the multi-storey there and do a spot of shopping alongside your visit.
Getting there by public transport
If you’re going there by train, the museum is a ten-minute walk from Blackburn Station.
Blackburn bus station is only a few minutes' walk away, meaning it's very accessible for those travelling from Bolton, Chorley, Accrington, Preston, Burnley and any other bus service terminating at the bus station.
Can I go as a group?
Yes, the museum accommodates group visits - for a fee, staff can give a guided tour, which last an hour and include tea and coffee. School groups are welcome as well. Tours have to be organised in advance by getting in touch with their team.
Where can I get something to eat?
The museum is right next to Blackburn's town centre and The Mall shopping centre, so there are plenty of places to grab some refreshments on your day out.
Is the museum and art gallery wheelchair accessible?
Yes, there is full disabled access to all the exhibitions.
What’s on at the moment?
From 8th September 2018 to the 20th April 2019, visitors can enjoy the ‘Structures in Ceramic’ exhibition, showcasing locally produced ceramic production from the mid 20th century to the present day.
It portrays the way in which historic processes have been combined with modern technology, and how pottery has changed over time.
Artist Lee Smillie is currently the gallery's artist in residence, who "uses the medium of photography to capture the starting points to his poems and performances". Until the 29th January 2019, visitors can see a mixture of his poems and photography, which react to the museum's archives.
For more information about Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery, you can visit their website, blackburnmuseum.org.uk