Visiting the Collection
You are welcome to visit the Gallery as a self-directed group. All self-directed visits must be booked in advance and we recommend that you visit the Gallery ahead of bringing your class. We can support your visit to the National Portrait Gallery Collection through a number of ways.
Schools and colleges
Schools and colleges
Plan your visit
Everything you need to know ahead of bringing your school group to the Gallery.
Group Size and Availability
The maximum size of a visiting school group is 90 students. Large groups need to be split into smaller groups of up to 10 people when in the gallery.
We recommend the following adult: child ratios
Early Years Foundation Stage (3-5 years old) 1:6
Key Stages 1-2 (5-11 years old) 1:10
Key Stages 3-5 (11-18 years old) 1:15
Please be aware that during busy stages in the school term we may need to suggest an alternative time or date for your self-directed group to visit.
Booking Gallery Rooms for Your Visit
Did you know you can book the rooms you would like to visit? Please follow booking instructions to reserve Gallery rooms you need. Please be aware if you book a ‘General’ self-directed visit - that does not state any specific areas of the Gallery - at particularly busy times your group may be asked to move on from certain areas of the Gallery to ease crowding or allow Gallery guided teaching to take place.
If you are coming to visit specific artworks during your visit, you can check if they are on display by using the room by room guide.
The Tudor Galleries
The Tudor Galleries are extremely popular, please state at the point of booking if you wish to visit the Tudor Galleries. Please read the guidelines for self-guided groups visiting the Tudor Galleries here
Visiting our Temporary Exhibitions and Displays
Bring your schools groups to the National Portrait Gallery for a self-guided visit of our exhibitions and either benefit from our free exhibitions programme or concessionary rates for pre-booked schools groups for charged exhibitions. For more information on bringing your school or college group to upcoming exhibitions and displays click here
It is essential to book in advance
Support your Self-directed visit
Susan Greenfield, Baroness Greenfield
by Tom Phillips
Teacher-led picture discussions
We have a series of picture discussions suitable for both Primary and Secondary groups. These can also be used in the classroom. Please see the introductory information on each resource for how to use the questions and content.
Print off and bring the relevant discussions with you. Please be aware that not every portrait in these discussions will always be on display - please see here for more details.
We produce downloadable resources for selected exhibitions and displays to support your teaching in the Galleries and in the classroom.
For further details on current and upcoming exhibitions and displays please see here.