Nelson, Navy, Nation - now open

Visitor information

Hours: Open daily, 10.00–17.00 (last entry 16.30)

Location: National Maritime Museum, floor two

Admission: FREE

Nelson, Navy, Nation

Nelson, Navy, Nation gallery

From bustling dockyards to ferocious sea battles, the gallery 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.

Showcasing Admiral Lord Nelson’s iconic uniform and personal items as well as weird and wonderful Nelson memorabilia, the gallery considers the legendary national hero within the context of his day, making sense of his achievements and dazzling celebrity while telling a wider story about British society... Read more

Buy the book

Nelson, Navy and NationTo accompany the gallery, the Museum is proud to present a brand-new book Nelson, Navy & Nation: The Royal Navy & the British people 1688–1815, edited by Quintin Colville and James Davey and with a foreword by N.A.M. Rodger. Buy the book

UK Nelson collections

Map of UK Nelson collections

Many places around Britain hold items relating to Nelson. Our map shows where to find some of them. View map

Trafalgar tweets

Nelson, Navy, Nation opened on Trafalgar Day 2013. To mark the occasion we tweeted ‘live’ news of the action from the Battle of Trafalgar – around 50 tweets between 9.30 a.m. and 4.30 p.m. Read them all here.

Know your Nelson

Join Alfie in exploring the life of Horatio Nelson, and see how you fare with our nine quiz questions.


Ships of the 18th-century Royal Navy could fire several kinds of shot, each with different devastating effects. 

Events programme

Music of the Sea

Music of the Sea – a season of rousing, traditional maritime music events co-curated with the English Folk Dance and Song Society.