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Pepys Library Visiting and Opening Hours

The Pepys Library is operating a limited opening schedule to visitors due to COVID-19.  

Visiting the Pepys Library

Information for individuals, groups and educational leaders wishing to visit the Pepys Library.

Images © Sara Rawlinson. To reuse any of these images, please enquire with the Pepys Library.

Individual Visitors

The Pepys Library runs small group tours for individual visitors aged 12+, booking a ticket in advance is required.  

Pepys Library's Tour Booking

Due to the historic nature of the building, access to the library is only available via a flight of stairs.

Group Visits and Tours

We regret to inform you that due to COVID-19 restrictions the Pepys Library is closed to large groups at present.

Non-commercial groups of up to 10 people can visit during public opening hours without needing to book, though if the Library is busy it might be necessary to wait a few minutes.

Groups larger than 10, or commercial tour groups of any size, are required to book in advance for a tour of the Library, to take place in the morning or late afternoon on dates the library is open to the public. Tours are arranged subject to availability and at a charge. A group tour consists of a 45-minute talk about Samuel Pepys and his library, with a further 15 minutes to look at the displays.

The maximum group size is limited to 25 people, larger groups may be able to be accommodated by the running of two tours ‘back to back’.

If you wish to book a tour, please contact the Library, including the group leader’s name, contact email and address. Please let us know in advance if you’re interested in a particular aspect of the Collection as it might be possible to take account of this in the tour.

Educational groups

We regret to inform you that due to COVID-19 restrictions the Pepys Library is closed to educational groups at present.

The College welcomes schools visits, arranged outside of public opening hours, usually from October to March (though other times may be available). Teachers are advised to contact the Library at an early stage with details of student ages and any particular interests and the relevance of the visit to work for the National Curriculum, for example, the Great Fire of London or Scientific Writing.

School groups are limited to 15 in the Library at a time. Larger groups will be asked to split into smaller groups. There is a supervision level requirement for an educational group; you will be informed of the minimum number of accompanying staff when your booking is confirmed. Children under 6 years old are not allowed in the Library. A Key Stage 1 Education Pack is available for follow-up work.

The charge for educational groups including a Key Stage 1 Education Pack is £3.50 per child, teachers and accompanying adults are free. Free tours for school groups ages 6-18 are available as part of the Magdalene Outreach programme, please contact the Library for further details.