Planning a visit

How to make a booking

There are some pictures at the bottom of this page showing what it now looks like inside the BRO if you'd like to take a look before you book.  

Visitors will be required to book their visit and order documents in advance via ourContact Us page.

Please do bear with us as we may be slower to respond due reduced staff access.

Bookings must be made at least two working days in advance and sessions will only be made available two weeks in advance.

Demand for bookings is likely to be high which means that we will not always be able to accommodate your request. Please be prepared to consider alternative dates/sessions as a result. Thank you.

Daily bookings are available Tuesday to Friday for two sessions per day for up to four people per session:   

  • The morning session is 10:00 to 12:30.   

  • The afternoon session is 13:30 to 16:00.  

There is also one place available for the use of a pc (for searching Ancestry and Find My Past for example), but you cannot book to use original documents as well as the pc.

Please do not travel without making a booking.

Each booking is for one person only.

Please note that although a session is 2.5 hours, it is necessary to use part of this time for arrival and departure activities (for example to put your things away, use the facilities, make a payment etc) . So a session may only last 2 hours. Please bear this in mind as we have to close promptly at the end of each session in order to clean.

We recognise that visiting the socially-distanced Record Office will place many more restrictions on visitors than usual. We are sorry about this and hope you will be patient with us at this time.  

Please see our 'When you arrive' page for more details on what to expect when you get here.  

You may book up to two sessions per week, either separately or as one whole day. If booking a whole day, please note that you will need to leave the building between sessions while we clean. 

You will not be able to bring anyone with you unless they also book a session.

You will need to pre-order documents as much as possible. We cannot guarantee to accept orders on the day. 

You can order up to six documents in advance. Please take a moment to use our online catalogue before you make a booking in order to find the references of documents you wish to look at. 

Please bring a face-covering to wear while you are in the Record Office. 

Please be aware that we will quarantine all documents after use. This may mean that a document is unavailable on the day of your visit.  If so, we will aim to tell you before you travel. 

Please allow time before your session ends to pay for anything, use the facilities and collect your things. This has to be done one person at a time which takes time to complete. 

Leaving before the session completely ends, will enable us to close promptly at 12:30 and 16:00 in order to quarantine documents and clean everything down ready for the next session.

Please let us know as soon as possible if you wish to cancel a booking, as this will open it for someone else to take.

If you show symptoms of coronavirus, or are unable to maintain appropriate social distancing, then you will be asked to leave the Record Office. 

If you, or anyone at home, has COVID-19 coronavirus symptoms or is self-isolating, please do not visit us.