Statistical data set

Museums and galleries monthly visits

We publish the number of visits to museums and galleries sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport here every month.

Museums and galleries monthly visits

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  • Last updated: 4 February 2016
  • Next update: 3 March 2016
  • Geographic coverage: England
  • Frequency of release: Monthly


  • In December 2015 there were a total of 3 million visits to the sponsored museums and galleries.
  • Visits to the sponsored museums were 10.3 per cent lower in December 2015 compared to December 2014 (a reduction of 344,830 visits).
  • The lower visitor figures were partly driven by:
    • The removal of Tyne and Wear museums from the figures. Tyne and Wear museums are no longer sponsored by DCMS. There were 93,771 visits to Tyne and Wear museums in December 2014

This release provides information about visits to sponsored museums and galleries in England. The visit figures are updated on the first Thursday of each month, and will be one month in arrears to allow time for the museums and galleries to collect the data. The release is a time series including previously published data.

The total visit figure refers to all visits to the sponsored museums and galleries, excluding corporate events.

Data collection methods vary between institutions, and each uses a method appropriate to its situation. All data is collected according to the guidelines issued in 2013 (PDF, 263KB, 11 pages) .

All museums and galleries are subject to seasonal fluctuations in the numbers of visits they receive. The general trend is for the visit numbers to be higher during school holidays. Some temporary exhibitions attract large numbers of visits and this will also have an impact on the monthly figures. There may also be occasions when all or part of a museum or gallery is closed for refurbishment, affecting the monthly total.

Figures may be subject to revision. Any amendments will be published on this website in accordance with the Department’s revision statement, available in our compliance statement.

The UK Statistics Authority

This release is published in accordance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics (2009) produced by the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA). The UKSA has the overall objective of promoting and safeguarding the production and publication of official statistics that serve the public good. It monitors and reports on all official statistics, and promotes good practice in this area.

Pre-release access

The Pre-release Access List (MS Word Document, 11.9KB) contains a list of ministers and officials who have received privileged early access to this release of Museum and Gallery monthly visit figures. In line with best practice, the list has been kept to a minimum and those given access for briefing purposes had a maximum of 24 hours.


Responsible statistician: Becky Woods

For any queries please contact 020 7211 6134 or