Essential Information

National Maritime Museum
Price Free

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.

Inside the gallery

From bustling dockyards to ferocious sea battles, Nelson, Navy, Nation 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 seafarers into national celebrities.

An 18th century surgical saw, said to be the one used to amputate Nelson's arm

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.

The gallery also includes personal items belonging to Nelson, including the uniform he was wearing when he was fatally wounded at the Battle of Trafalgar.

Triumph and loss, fear and bravery, fame and pain - discover the history of life at sea at the Nelson, Navy, Nation gallery.

Behind the scenes

Nelson's jacket is just one of a number of personal items in the gallery, from shoes worn by a sailor hoping to impress while on shore leave, to surgical tools used during moments of extreme crisis.

Discover more about how Nelson was perceived at the time, and how together these objects seek to tell us more about the history of Britain at sea.

Choose your tickets

National Maritime Museum

  • Guaranteed entry time
  • Access to all free galleries and activities
  • Paid exhibitions not included
Free entry
Book online

Member tickets

  • Unlimited free entry
  • Priority booking and exclusive events
  • Access using your membership card
Membership card number required
A father and son look through a porthole on the main deck of historic ship Cutty Sark

Become a Member

  • Unlimited entry all year
  • Royal Observatory
  • Cutty Sark
  • Planetarium Shows
  • Special exhibitions
Direct Debit One-off
Individual: £50 Individual: £60
Family: from £60 Family: from £70