Book your Young People's session

Our tips to enjoy your visit to the National Portrait Gallery

Book in advance

All of our events are free and available to anyone aged 14-21, whatever your experience and ability. We are unable to accept under-14s on the Young People’s Programme, but we do offer family activities instead. For over-21s, please take a look at our Late Shift Programme or find out more about talks and events at the Gallery.

For each young people's session we state whether you need to book in advance, or if there is no need to book (sessions marked as ‘drop-in’). Most young people's sessions need booking in advance as space is limited and these often book up fast. 

How to book and what information we need

To make a booking, or reserve a place on the waiting list, please provide the following information. Your session will not be booked until we have all of this information:

  • Name of session
  • Number of places you would like to book (2 maximum)
  • Name and age of participant(s)
  • Full postal address (for both participants)
  • Home and mobile telephone numbers (for both participants)
  • Emergency contact name and contact number (for both participants)
  • How you found out about this session
  • Any additional needs - educational, dietary, mobility, health (for both participants)

To book a place please email youthbookings@npg.org.uk or call 020 7312 2483 

If it’s the first time you are booking take a look at our frequently asked questions:

When do you take bookings for future sessions?
Can I book a session for my friends?
What happens if the session I want to book is full?
What happens if I cannot attend a session I have booked in for?
Is there a charge for the session?
Do I need to bring anything?
Will I receive a confirmation letter?
Where do I meet at the start of the session?
Do we ever leave the Gallery building during a session?
For an all day session do we get a lunch break?
For a three-day workshop can I do only one or two days?
Do you provide BSL interpretation for your sessions?
Are you from a group of young people?

Frequently asked questions:

When do you take bookings for future sessions?
We open bookings four times a year to cover the following periods:

  • September to November
  • December to February
  • March to May
  • June to August

Bookings are taken on a first-come, first-served basis. Information for each season of events is released in our What’s On Gallery Guide, online on our Young People’s webpages and in our young people's e-bulletin 

Can I book a session for my friends?
You can book a place for yourself and one friend or sibling. If you have more friends who want to book they must book themselves in by contacting us directly.

What happens if the session I want to book for is full?
We can add your name to the waiting list. We will then let you know if a space becomes available nearer the time. 

What happens if I cannot attend a session I have booked in for?
Let us know so that we can offer your place to someone else (we often have waiting lists).

Is there a charge for the session?
No, all sessions for young people are free, and may include entry to an exhibition for which you would have to pay outside of the session. 

Do I need to bring anything?
All the materials and equipment for the sessions are provided. As messy materials may be used it is advisable to bring an apron, or wear old clothes. We may also ask you, in the confirmation letter, to bring in something as inspiration for the session.

Will I receive a confirmation letter?
Once you are booked in, you will receive a letter a few weeks before your session, with a photographic consent and medical authorisation form which we ask you to fill out and bring to the session. If you are under 18 this needs countersigning by a parent/guardian. 

Where do I meet at the start of the session?
We always meet in the Gallery's main hall at the time stated on your confirmation letter.

Do we ever leave the Gallery building during a session?
Yes, occasionally we may go offsite, for example an outdoor photoshoot for a photography session. You and your parent/guardian will be informed in the confirmation letter if this is the case. You will be accompanied at all times. 

For an all day session do we get a lunch break?
Yes but lunch is not provided and we advise you to bring a packed lunch. Participants may leave the Gallery unaccompanied at lunchtime. We take mobile numbers so we can contact you if we are unsure of your whereabouts.

For a three-day workshop can I do only one or two days?
No, we ask that you stay for the duration of the session, so for a three-day workshop you need to attend on all three days and the final showcase.

Do you provide BSL interpretation for your sessions?
Yes, please do ask when making a booking. For some sessions we already provide a BSL Interpreter – take a look here and for others we are able to provide BSL interpretation on request

Are you from a group of young people?
Please take a look at our schools and colleges pages here and Access and Community pages here

If your question has not been answered by any of the above please email youthbookings@npg.org.uk or call 020 7312 2483