Self-guided visit

Monday to Friday, 11:00 - 12:00 or 13:30 - 14:30 FREE
A small group of children seated in the Entrance Hall, one raising his hand
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Self-guided visits to the Library are available throughout the year. This flexible option enables teachers to lead a group themselves, taking in different parts of the Library’s public spaces and the permanent exhibition in our Treasures Gallery along with changing displays in our Second Floor Gallery.

Visit slots last for one hour, must be booked in advance and are offered subject to availability of our spaces. Your group will be met on arrival by one of our Learning Facilitators who will give a brief welcome and introduction to the Library, distribute our self-guided resources to your group and point you in the right direction to start your self-guided visit. 

What you can expect to see during a self-guided visit

The British Library is a thriving hub of activity every day, with visitors coming for a huge range of purposes such as to research new ideas, revise for exams, meet with friends or find inspiration in our exhibitions and from the building itself. We believe that seeing this busy space in action is a valuable part of any visit for a group of learners.

Your learners will gain an appreciation of the Library’s building and architecture, both inside and out. They can see the seven-story King’s Library Tower that runs through the centre of the building, wonder where all the books are kept and view a myriad of art and sculpture dotted around the public spaces. 

During your visit, take time to see some of the Library’s most precious items on display in the Treasures Gallery. The gallery houses a wealth of beautiful illuminated manuscripts, maps and music; an abundance of sacred texts; important historical documents such as the Magna Carta with rare and ornate books and objects such as Jane Austen’s writing desk, as well as sound recordings and much more. There are also two temporary displays in the Treasures Gallery for your learners to see.

What's on? 


Paddington's Marmalade trail, until 31 October 2021.

Go on an adventure with one of the world’s most beloved bears, Paddington.

Follow the sticky marmalade trail Paddington has left on our Piazza outside Library. There are nine stops on the trail and you can do them in whatever order you choose. But can you find them all?

To join Paddington’s adventure pick up a printed activity sheet from the Information Desk in the Library’s Entrance Hall and begin your journey. And at the end of the sheet you’ll find a postcard to send someone you love, telling them all about your exciting adventure.


Age group: All Primary year groups
When: Monday to Friday, 11:00 - 12:00 or 13:30 - 14:30
Length: One hour
Group size:

Maximum group size: 35 (including accompanying adults)

Key skills: Cross-curricular
Price: Admission: Free entry
Where: British Library St Pancras
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