Planning your visit

We are excited to welcome you back

We are happy to tell you that we’re reopening on Monday 17 May 2021 (subject to change if government guidance changes). We are excited to welcome you back and we want to make your visit as safe and enjoyable as possible. This means there will be some changes to the way you visit.

Our opening hours remain unchanged:

Monday*10am - 4.30pm
Tuesday10am - 4.30pm
Wednesday10am - 4.30pm
Thursday10am - 4.30pm
Friday10am - 4.30pm
Saturday10am - 4.30pm
Bank holidaysClosed (*Excluding bank holidays)

Please be aware that our under 5's area (Playspace) will remain closed until it is safe to re-open.

We are admitting fewer people into the gallery so we can provide enough space for social distancing. If you are visiting our Challenging Convention exhibition, we would like you to book your visit in advance (see below) so we can manage visitor numbers and maintain social distancing. However there are also tickets available at the Gallery each day from our ticket desk. Please note, you may have to wait until numbers in the Gallery have reduced to a safe level for entry (this may also apply if you have a ticket.)

No ticket is needed if you are only visiting the free displays, shop or café. Although a donation is welcome, our free displays include:

Book your tickets to Challenging Convention

To ensure we can maintain social distancing and to help us make your visit safe and enjoyable, we recommend that you pre-book your tickets for Challenging Convention in advance.

Ticket release dates

Noon, Tuesday 11 May: Priority booking opens for must-see members, donors, volunteers, friends, staff. Not a must-see member? Sign up here. 

9am, Wednesday 12 May: Booking opens for general public 

  • You can book your tickets for Challenging Convention here.
  • Walk-ins are welcome. There will be tickets available for people who walk up on the day, for those who are not able to book tickets online. Just purchase from one of our ticket desks.
  • Please note having a pre-booked ticket does not allow priority access to the gallery. If the Gallery is at full capacity you will be asked to wait until visitors have reduced to a safe level for entry (this will apply to walk-ins also.) 
  • Your ticket is valid on the date that you have selected during our opening hours. Tickets are not time-slotted. The Gallery closes at 4.30pm therefore we recommend last admission by 3pm.
  • Every week we will release new bookings for visits the following week. You can book up to midnight the day before you’d like to visit. 

When you arrive

  • You may need to queue for a short time if you are visiting, even if you have a pre-booked ticket for Challenging Convention. Entry will be at the discretion of our staff based on the number of people already in the building.
  • If you are visiting our Challenging Convention exhibition, please have your ticket ready to show our staff either on your phone or a printed copy.  
  • To maintain social distancing, please do not pass your phone or printed tickets to our staff. You may be asked for your name and booking number.  
  • In order to help reduce the risk of a local outbreak of coronavirus we are legally required to take contact details of all visitors over 16 who do not book in advance or use the NHS test and trace app, as well as recording the time of entering our venue. In line with guidance issued by the government, we will keep your details for 21 days. We will only share them with NHS Test and Trace, if asked, in the event of a fellow visitor testing positive for coronavirus. We will also be displaying NHS QR code posters to make it easier for you to check-in. You will need to download the NHS app onto your mobile phone before you can scan the QR code. The app is available on Andriod's Google Play or Apple's App Store - search for NHS Covid-19. If you check-in using the QR code then you do not need to share your details with us. Your cooperation in helping us to keep our visitors, staff and the wider community safe is greatly appreciated.

During your visit

  • Please following government advice around social distancing when you visit and follow the one-way route around the venue. Any children in your group must be supervised at all times. 
  • Please read the signs providing guidance and our staff and volunteers will also be happy to help you adjust to the new way of visiting.
  • Our staff will greet you at a distance. Some may be wearing facemasks or visors (this is their choice and not compulsory under government guidance) and we have new screens at our till points. 
  • Unfortunately, we aren’t able to open all facilities yet. Some spaces in our venues are closed, until it is safe to open them including the Under 5's PlaySpace area.
  • Unfortunately, you can’t bring food and drink to the gallery
  • If possible, please use contactless payment when visiting. 
  • We encourage you to use the hand sanitisers around the venue.  
  • We have increased cleaning in all public areas of the building and especially in areas of high contact. 
  • If you have any of the symptoms of coronavirus, or if you have been in contact with anyone that has the virus in the last 14 days, please don’t visit.  

Your support

Help us ensure art, culture & heritage continue to make a positive impact in our region. 

Donate £5 today to keep culture at the heart of the North East. 

Thank you

School Groups

If you are looking to make a school or college group booking please contact the learning team who will be able to discuss your visit requirements directly with you.