The Postal Museum

Explore five centuries of communication at this fascinating museum.

The London Pass London Pass Benefits: Access to The Postal Museum Normally £17.05 - Included with London Pass

From its beginnings 500 years ago to the Mail Rail and Great Train Robbery, explore the surprising story of communication at The Postal Museum.

Think you know about the post? Think again. Step inside and learn about the iconic British postal service at the award-winning The Postal Museum. From five-wheeled cycles to flintlock pistols, there are plenty of unexpected stories to discover here. The museum opened in 2017 and documents the development of a service that dates back to the time of Henry VIII, changing the way we all communicate. 

Enjoy access to The Postal Museum with The London Pass® 

- Pay nothing at the door – simply show your pass.
- Explore the extraordinary stories behind Mail Rail – from conception to resurrection – and the people who made it all possible. 
- Make the most out of your visit with an audio guide that allows you to explore the galleries in five languages.

 Skip to

- The Postal Museum history
- The Postal Museum highlights
- The Postal Museum facts
- What’s on
- Know before you go
- Make the most of your London Pass®
- How to get there

The Postal Museum history 

Up until 1635, the post system was reserved for the use of the King and his Court. When Charles I introduced the public mail system to the UK. The understanding at the time was that you could post a letter for free, however the person receiving it then had to pay for it. The cost of postage depended on how far the letter had to travel on horseback. And If the recipient didn’t pay, they didn’t get the letter. It was the inefficiencies of the postal system that led to efficiencies in the UK’s infrastructure as six “Great Roads” were built to make delivery times faster. But wasn’t until the 19th century that senders would pay for postage before the recipient, with the first adhesive stamp being introduced in 1840: the Penny Black. This longstanding history of communication is what the Postal Museum strives to showcase, revealing the UK’s first social network. 

Back to top

The Postal Museum highlights

  • See a mail coach that thundered across 1800s Britain. 
  • Get up close to the only existing sheets of the world’s first stamp. 
  • Explore one of London’s hidden gems with a ride through Mail Rail’s 100-year-old miniature underground tunnels. 
  • Try your hand at sorting the mail on a train carriage, complete with a wobbly floor, and send messages across the museum galleries using pneumatic tubes.
  • Enjoy year-round temporary exhibitions, gallery talks and events for all ages.
  • After you’ve explored the museum, head into the cafe for a light bite, or the gift shop to pick up a souvenir of your visit. 
  • The Postal Museum and Mail Rail ensures that disabled visitors are entitled to a free companion ticket to support with their visit.


Back to top

The Postal Museum facts

  • The Mail Rail ran for 22-hours per day for more than 75 years, carrying up to 4 million letters every day.
  • The Postal Museum is the only place in the world where you can see sheets of Penny Blacks, the world’s first stamp that sparked a writing revolution.
  • There are over 60,000 objects in the museum.
  • Cats were once officially employed by the Post Office. First appointed to catch rodents in 1868, they were given six-months probation and had an allowance of one shilling per week.
  • On 8 August 1963, just under £2.6 million was stolen from the Travelling Post Office (TPO) on route from Glasgow Central Station to London Euston Station. This event has now become famously known as The Great Train Robbery.

 
Back to top

What’s on

Mail Rail

Hop aboard Mail Rail and take a ride through the miniature tunnels of the 100-year old postal railway. This unique system was one of the first driverless, electric railways in the world and ran for 6.5 miles, 25 metres under London’s congested streets. Squeeze into a carriage to experience just how small the trains were, see original station platforms brought to life and find out how this extraordinary railway kept everyone connected in Britain, and across the globe. 

The Postal Museum Exhibition

See a sheet of world-famous Penny Black’s, find out why a lioness attacked the post, explore stories of piracy on the high seas and send secret messages to friends and strangers using pneumatic tubes.

Post Early 

The Postal Museum is proud of its work with Ambitious about Autism and has created resources and events to support and welcome its autistic and neurodiverse visitors. Post Early is one such event where the museum is open exclusively before the busy public opening hours from 08:00 until 10:00. Read more about this event here. 

For the latest events and exhibits, please visit the attraction’s official website


Back to top

Know before you go

 The last Mail Rail train of the day departs at 16.15 and exhibits start to close down at 16:45. During busy periods, admission to the museum is subject to availability. A downloadable audio guide is available for an additional fee on arrival. Available in English, German, French, Spanish and Italian. Your own smart device and headphones are required.

Back to top

Getting in info

Present your London Pass at the main entrance.

Back to top

Make the most of your London Pass

The Postal Museum is a walk away from the The Foundling Museum, which is just a short walk away from the Charles Dickens Museum. Tour the Victorian family home of one of the world’s greatest storytellers. Both of these museums are also included in The London Pass®.


Back to top

How to get there

By tube

The nearest Tube stations are Farringdon, Russell Square, King’s Cross and Chancery Lane.

By rail

King’s Cross St Pancras and Farringdon stations are both less than a mile away.

By bus

Routes 17, 19, 38, 45, 46, 55, 63, 341 stop near The Postal Museum.

By foot

The Museum is a short walk from Farringdon Station, Russell Square Station, Chancery Lane Station, and King’s Cross St Pancras Station. 

For more things to do in London, visit the London Pass blog.

See the full list of attractions included.


Learn more

Getting to The Postal Museum

Getting to The Postal Museum

  • The Postal Museum 15-20 Phoenix Place London WC1X 0DA
  • Closest Underground Station Chancery Lane, Farringdon, Kings Cross St Pancras, Russell Square
  • Closest Bus Stop Routes 17, 19, 38, 45, 46, 55, 63, 341

Opening Times

Monday 10.00 - 17.00
Tuesday 10.00 - 17.00
Wednesday 10.00 - 17.00
Thursday 10.00 - 17.00
Friday 10.00 - 17.00
Saturday 10.00 - 17.00
Sunday 10.00 - 17.00

Closed:

Please note: The Postal Museum is closed on the 24, 25 and 26 December. 

Attractions Nearby

Trusted by over 3 million customers, here's what they have to say