Explore the Nelson, Navy, Nation gallery

Christmas

Christmas opening times: Our venues are open throughout the Christmas holidays except 24-26 December. Find out more about our great festive events

Essential information

Opening times: 
10.00–17.00 daily
Admission: 
Free
Location: 
National Maritime Museum, Second floor, Nelson Navy Nation gallery

Visit the free Nelson, Navy, Nation gallery at the National Maritime Museum to explore the life and times of great British hero Horatio Nelson and the history of the Royal Navy and British people from 1688–1815.

The gallery tells the story of the Royal Navy and the British people, from the Glorious Revolution of 1688 to the defeat of Napoleon in 1815. From bustling dockyards to ferocious sea battles, it brings to life the tumultuous 18th century, exploring how the Royal Navy shaped everyday lives as it became a central part of society and turned sea-faring heroes into national celebrities.

Discover what made men join up, how they lived and what kept them in line, and how the Navy loomed large in all areas of the popular imagination, from caricatures to keepsakes and collectables.

Nelson's Trafalgar coat, which he was wearing when he was fatally wounded, is currently on display in the National Maritime Museum’s major new exhibition Emma Hamilton: Seduction and Celebrity (open until 17 April 2017). In its place in Nelson, Navy, Nation for the duration of the exhibition is the uniform Nelson wore in 1798 at his decisive and momentous naval victory, the Battle of the Nile. The Trafalgar uniform will return to the gallery in May 2017. 

Visit the Emma Hamilton exhibition

In Nelson, Navy, Nation you can also see personal items belonging to Nelson and weird and wonderful Nelson memorabilia, along with 250 other star objects from the Museum’s collections, from a sailor’s shoes, worn to impress on shore leave, to an amputation knife and bullet forceps.

Find out more

We hold several thousand items in our collections relating to Horatio Nelson and his life, relationships, battles and legacy.

Read more about Nelson's life and legacy

View the Museum's Nelson collection online

Emma Hamilton: Seduction and Celebrity 

National Maritime Museum | 3 November 2016 - 17 April 2017

A dazzling exhibition about an extraordinary woman in a man's world. Emma Hamilton was one of the most famous international celebrities of her time and her life is the ultimate costume drama. Now largely remembered as the woman who captured the heart of the nation’s hero, Admiral Horatio Nelson, Emma was a remarkable woman in her own right. 

Find out more and book tickets