Summerlee FAQs

When are you reopening?

Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life reopened on Monday 26 April 2021.


What are the opening hours?

We are open 7 days, 10am – 4pm.


Do I need to book in advance?

Yes please! Visiting the museum remains free, but timed entry slots must be pre-booked in advance. Visitors must select a session when booking and are not permitted to attend more than one session per day. Visitors will need to leave the site at the end of their session.


How do I book?

You can book by clicking here. There is no charge for visiting the museum. When you book online, you will receive an e-ticket via email to print at home or present on a mobile device. You’ll need to bring your booking confirmation with you on the day.

Alternatively, you can book over the phone by calling 01236 638460, 10am – 4pm, Monday to Sunday. Please be aware we have very limited resource to answer calls, so online booking is recommended.


Can I come in a family group? Is there a maximum number allowed?

You can book a maximum of six tickets per transaction. We are unable to offer larger group bookings at this time. For your own safety and that of others, please only visit with members of your household or those in your social bubble. If you see friends at the museum, please maintain clear social distance at all times and follow the latest government guidelines.


Why do I need to provide personal details when I book?

In line with government guidance, the personal details you provide as part of booking may be used to support the NHS Trace and Protect process to control the spread of coronavirus.

This data will be only be made available to NHS to help contain the spread of the virus if an outbreak is identified within our museum. This is in line with other organisations in the sector as well as businesses such as pubs, restaurants and hotels. For more information, please see our Privacy Notice.


I have pre-booked a ticket and I’m now unable to visit. What shall I do?

If you’ve pre-booked tickets and aren’t able to make it, we’d really appreciate you letting us know, so we can release the tickets for someone else to enjoy. Please contact with your name, date and time of visit.


How long can I stay at the museum?

You can choose a two hour entry session: 10am -12 noon, 11am – 1pm, 12 noon – 2pm , 1pm – 3pm, 2pm – 4pm. You must leave the museum at the end of your session to allow us to manage visitor numbers.


Will there be a maximum number allowed on site?

The number of visitors coming through our gate each day will be limited to ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable day with us, while fully adhering to the government’s social distancing and safety guidelines. To do this, our team will be carefully monitoring the number of people moving around the museum and may temporarily restrict access to, or the movement of, visitors around buildings and exhibitions to ensure everyone’s safety. Please follow staff instructions during your visit.


Will you be checking people’s temperature before they enter the site?

No, based on the current government guidance and advice, we won’t be checking people’s temperature.


Will all of the museum facilities be open?

You’ll be able to enjoy all parts of the museum, indoors and outdoors. We’ll keep our mine tours closed for now though as it doesn’t accommodate social distancing restrictions. We hope to find a way to reopen the mine at a later date.


Will I be able to enjoy a ride on the tram?

It wouldn’t be a day out at Summerlee without a trip down the tramway!

Our tram will be operating with restricted numbers and you’ll need to end your journey after a one-way trip. This allows the driver to clean between journeys and ensure everyone’s safety. Visitors will be required to wear a face covering when on the tram.


Will toilet facilities be available?

Our toilet facilities will be open, with limited capacity to enable social distancing. Our team will be carefully managing these areas so there may be a short wait to use the facilities. All our washrooms will be cleaned thoroughly and regularly throughout the day for your safety.


Do I need to wear a face covering?

Face coverings are mandatory in museums and galleries in Scotland, as well as cafés when buying food and drink to take away. Visitors will therefore have to wear a face covering in our museum, shops and café. We request that you also wear a face covering in all enclosed places within the museum, including the tram and exhibition areas.

We are unable to provide face coverings to visitors. Everyone over five years old who is able to, must wear a face covering.


Will staff be wearing PPE?

Staff will be behind Perspex screens in the shops and café, however those staff with health conditions will not be required to wear face coverings.


Will the gift shop and sweet shop be open?

Yes, but we will be limiting the number of visitors to adhere to social distancing. We prefer payments by card when making a purchase. Based on the current government guidance and advice, all visitors will be required to wear face coverings when in the museum, café and shops. We are unable to provide face coverings to visitors.


Will the café be open?

The café reopened on Friday 30 April 2021.

The café is open 7 days, 10am – 4pm (last hot food order 3pm)

In line with government guidelines, we have implemented social distancing markers and there will be a limited number of staff working on each shift. For your safety our café will serving a reduced menu and all food items should be consumed in the café at our socially distanced tables or outside at the picnic tables.

Visitors will also be required to wear a face covering in line with the latest government guidance. Summerlee Café staff behind the Perspex screens will not be required to wear face coverings.

We are unable to provide face coverings to visitors.


Can I still use cash in the museum?

The café and shops will be operating on a cashless basisaccepting card payments, including contactless payments, which would be our preference for everyone’s safety.


Will the picnic areas be open for us to bring our own food?

Our outdoor picnic areas will be open.


Will I be able to take a rest / break as I move around the museum?

Our outdoor seating areas will still be available to use as rest stops while you move around the museum, however we have removed indoor seating in order to free up space for social distancing.

We still have three wheelchairs available which will be cleaned before and after each use. They are available on a first come basis.


Will I be able to use the lift?

We will be managing the use of our lift. A maximum of two people, from the same group, can use the lift at any one time.


Will there be special hours for visitors with Autism, learning difficulties, anxiety, disabilities or additional needs and those who consider themselves to be vulnerable to COVID-19?

As we are operating at a reduced capacity, our site will be much quieter than usual so visitors with Autism, learning difficulties and additional needs may find the museum more suitable. However, the exhibition hall remains a noisy environment. If there is a demand for a quieter session, we will introduce this once we are operating longer hours. Let us know once you have visited if there is anything else we could do.


I don’t feel comfortable returning yet. How can I engage with the museums, so I don’t miss out?

We will be continuing our digital offer including online information about some of our museums, galleries and exhibitions. You can also read stories from our museums and galleries and view highlights from our digitised collections online.

You can also explore our Exhibition Hall (360 view by Mallard Productions).


If you have any questions when planning a visit, which are not answered by our website or FAQs, please call or email in advance and we will help support you as best we can.