A to Z of Venue Hire

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Venue Hire

Here you will find a listing of as many topics as we have thought of, and additional topics are added as and when questions arise. Feel free to suggest additional topics. We do get asked sometimes about the very unusual, so please get in touch if your requirements are something different.


Access Time is the start time stated on your terms and conditions and the quotation. If you want to arrive earlier please ask for a quotation for earlier access, subject to availability. The museum galleries are available before 1630 on Mondays only (except for breakfast meetings)

Access the night before. Preparation time on the previous evening may be possible at an extra charge. Very limited decorations can be in place during museum opening hours.

Address is 12-13 New Wharf Rd N1 9RT

Air Conditioning. There is an air cooling and heating system on both floors powered by an air-sourced heat pump, to keep the museum at a comfortable temperature in winter and summer.

Anniversary Parties

Audio-visual equipment

Availability Guide A summary of what we offer as regards dates and spaces

Awaydays Awaydays take various forms. See Meeting room for awaydays of up to 14 people, Gallery meetings for slightly bigger events, and Conferences for larger scale awaydays. See also Team Building.


Baby Changing facilities are available in the toilet on the ground floor.

Bar Mitzvah, Bat Mitzvah celebrations. See Parties. As family occasions these are also similar to weddings!

Bar. The bar is set up using tables. You can choose who is going to run the bar. If you ask us to staff it we can if provide staff, table covers, ice, and glassware. You provide the drinks. We can serve canned or bottled drinks and we can make simple cocktails (cocktail-trained bar staff cost more). If you provide beer in barrels we can serve this but please note that we won't set up pressurised gas systems. Beer from barrels must be dispensed by gravity. See also Cash Bar

Bar Staff We can provide staff to serve drinks at a bar or at dining tables. We don't provide staff to handle or serve food.

Bathrooms We have no bathing or showering facilities. Showers are available at the nearby swimming pool on Caledonian Road. See also Toilets.

Beams. There are five timber beams on the first floor. The bottom on the beam is 260cm from the floor. The beam height is 30cm and width 15cm. Decorations can be hung from the beams using string. We do not allow staples, nails, screws or pins to be used on the beams and the lighting track cannot be used for supporting decorations.

Birthday Parties See Parties with Music and Drinks Parties

Blind and Visually Impaired Guests are well catererd for. See Visually Impaired Visitors page in the Visit section

Boat Charter - boats for arriving or departing afloat

Boat Disco - Unfortunately there is no company currently offering this facility on the Regent's Canal.

Breakfast Meetings

Breast feeding. You are welcome to feed your child wherever you feel comfortable in the museum.

Building plan - see downloads

Bus Services See Location. Also see Travel Information on the Visit section of the site

Bus hire - see boat and bus charter


Canal Trips - see boat charter

Cancellations. If your event has to be cancelled because it would be illegal to go ahead, e.g. because of public health regulations, we will refund your deposit. If you decide to cancel when you could legally go ahead we will exercise discretion and do not promise a refund of deposit or a penalty-free postponement, but we will consider requests to postpone without penalty. Guidance issued by the government or other body isn't the same as regulations and doesn't give you a right to a refund. Our deposits are small compared to many venues. If you cancel less than 48 hours before the start of an event we expect full payment unless this is due to a legal restriction.

Candles are allowed on dining tables if stable, and elsewhere subject to our approval on safety grounds.

Cash Bar Services


Catering equipment hire


Christmas Parties

Civil Partnerships See Weddings



Coat Rails - see Cloakroom

Cocktail Reception - See Business Reception or Drinks Party

Coffee Service. A coffee/tea service is offered for meetings and conferences or at evening events. For small meetings it is generally self-service and included in the charges. For conferences your quotation will include an offer of this service. We can provide tea/coffee at any event.

Commission. We pay 5% to intermediaries who have introduced the client to us. This is not paid if the client has introduced the museum to the agency.

Concerts. We don't host rock or pop concerts. Chamber music or choral music events can be hosted, the acoustics of the first floor are good for this. See also Noise Control Policy.

Conferences - see Monday Conferences and Gallery Meetings. We do not host large conferences on Tuesdays to Sundays during the daytime, but we do host small meetings every day.

Corkage. There is no corkage charge

Corporate Events. Try also looking for the type of event you are planning.

Credit and Debit Cards - we accept Mastercard, Visa, Maestro. Diners Club and American Express are not accepted.


Decoration. There are minimal restrictions on decorating. You cannot use nails, screws, pins or staples to fix things, or attach anything to the lighting tracks. There are always other ways to fix things using string or adhesive putty etc. Decorating must be generally done during the hire period but we may sometimes allow limited decoration earlier, provided that normal museum visiting is not affected.

Deliveries must take place during the times that you have hired the venue or storage facilities, unless otherise agreed. Delivery personnel will be required to take supplies, equipment etc to the first floor for storage - if they are not willing to do so the delivery will be refused. Nothing can be stored in the exhibition galleries during opening hours.

Deposit. The deposit is payable on booking. Usually it is £30 for small meetings and £150 for parties etc or some other convenient sum £75 - £125 for smaller functions


Disabled guests or delegates. The museum is fully accessible. See our access pages for detailed information. In the small meeting room, if there is a wheelchair-using delegate, capacity may be reduced due to space limitations.

Disco on a boat See Boat Charter

Disco party - see parties

Disk Jockey. You can use any DJ, or see DJ List. DJs are only permitted at music parties, unless you book a silent disco. (See silent disco)



Electricity. Single phase 13A power points are located convenient to most parts of the building and there are plenty of them. The building does have a three-phase supply but if this was required for an event we would need to make special arrangements at significant extra cost.


Exhibitions. We can host commercial or artistic exhibitions but unless related to canals or industrial history, only outside our normal public opening hours.


Fireworks. Sorry these are not allowed (safe indoor fireworks may be considered).

Floodlight. We have various lights available if for example you want a speaker brightly lit for filming.

Floor plan - see downloads

Food - see Caterers. You can use any caterer of your choice. The museum does not offer food.

Food Hygiene

Fortune Teller. You can have a fortune teller inside the narrowboat Coronis.


Frequently asked Questions

Funerals. We only host daytime events other than small meetings on Mondays. We can do short-notice daytime events on Mondays if the museum is not already booked. Short receptions 1630 to 1830 may be possible at short notice. Any event ending later than 1830 must be booked 6 days in advance, at least. See also Memorial Receptions


Ghost hunting - see Paranormal Investigation


Heating. There is a full heating and cooling system powered by an air-sourced heat pump. This includes the meeting room and both the main spaces.

Hotels nearby

History of the Building - see downloads

Hurricane Lamps. We don't allow hurricane or other parafin lamps to be used (if lit) on dining tables as they tend to create smoke and require constant adjustment.


Ice. We can arrange a delivery of ice in 12kg bags. Alternatively you or your caterer can order ice for chilling drinks. Three tubs to use as ice baths are provided free.

Ice cream. We sell ice cream in the museum shop and would be pleased to discuss your special order.

Internet Access is available in almost all parts of the building. Hard-wired Internet connections for special events may be possible, please discuss the detailed requirement.

Invitations We stock cards in the museum shop that are suitable for use as invitation cards



Karaoke. Sorry, this is prohibited.



Late nights The latest finishing time is 2300.


Lifts. There are lifts for the use of disabled and elderly guests and these can be used to a limited extent for equipment ensuring that overloading does not occur. Ascending to the first floor is a two-stage process via two lifts. The lift to the mezzanine floor is 4' x 2' 6" with no height limit but a maximum weight of 250kg. The lift from the mezzanine floor to the first floor is 4' x 3'.

Lavatories See Toilets


Live Music. Permitted subject to controls. See Noise Control


Lost Property. We keep lost property for a reasonable time and it may be collected during opening hours.

Lunches. We can host formal and informal lunches on Mondays only, where there are more than 20 delegates. Small lunches can be hosted any day in the meeting room.


Manager see staffing

Map to include in invitation - see downloads.

Meeting Room

Memorial Receptions

Minicab - see Taxis

Mooring. Private boats may be moored free of charge at private events by prior arrangement. Maximum two narrowboats

Music - see Noise Control Policy

Musicians List


Naturist Events. Privacy can be arranged, please get in touch to discuss requirements.

Noise Control


Outside space. The wharf is available within the curtilege of the museum but not after 2200. Furniture must remain inside the building.


Paranormal investigations. We make no claim that the museum is haunted but a psychic workshop has been held in the museum before. If they go on into the night they are limited to a maximum of 20 people including the leaders.


Parties. These range from a sherry reception to a dinner dance and disco. See drinks parties and music parties

Payment - We accept major credit cards, bankers drafts, and cheques, provided there is time for the latter to clear. Cash payments of more than £50 are not encouraged but may be accepted by prior arrangement.

Payment Terms. Private clients must pay in full before the date, but not a long time in advance. Established organisations are usually allowed credit terms.

Phone - see Telephone

Pictures - Go to our large picture gallery

Plan of the building - see downloads

Postcode. It is N1 9RT


Projector - see audio-visual equipment

Psychic workshop - see Paranormal Investigation

Public address - see audio-visual equipment



Refridgerators. Two 'fridges are available in the kitchen. Their interior dimensions are: 'Fridge 1: Front to back 13" Width 16" Height 21", 'Fridge 2: Front to back 11" Width 14" Height 19"

Refuse. We deal with a reasonable amount of refuse after the event. Please keep recycling separate.

Recycling. We recycle glass and plastic bottles, clean cardboard and paper, and aliminuum cans. Please don't put these things in the rubbish. They will be collected at intervals during larger events.

Refreshments. See coffee service. We can also supply fruit juices, (notice may be required)

Restaurants nearby. There are many nearby of various types. We can help you find the one that suits you.


Screen - see audio-visual equipment

Silent disco. A silent disco (where dancers wear an audio headset) can take place on any day of the week

Smoke Generators must be agreed with us in advance and permission to start using one obtained from the duty manager on the night.


Staff. There is always a duty manager at events outside public opening hours. Other staff can be arranged for you at extra cost if required, e.g. cloakroom attendant, receptionist, barperson, porter, but we do not arrange or provide staff to serve or handle food.

Stairs The number of stairs from the ground floor to the first floor is 24. Note that a lift is available.

Sound system. We have a disco sound system available for hire. It includes a pair of powered speakers, a small mixer, and a wired microphone, and all cables. We also have a small public address system suitable for background music and speeches. Our wireless microphone can be used with either system. See also audio-visual equipment

Supermarket nearby. The nearest is Tesco, Caledonian Road, about 3 minutes' walk. There is also a Waitrose just off York Way. A larger store is Sainsbury's, Islington, about 15 minutes' walk. There are several convenience stores close by including Sainsbury's and Co-Op Food. The Co-Op on Caledonian Road just north of the canal is open 24 hours.


Table Cloths. Either your caterer can supply these (usually linen on hire) or we can supply good quality disposable covers if required, at extra cost.


Tea Service. See Coffee service

Team-building days. We may be able to help with the planning as well as the venue, and suggest activities with a waterways theme.

Telephone Number. Wait! It is better to use the online enquiry form than to telephone and we can usually give a faster response that way. If you telephone there may not be someone available to help you, and you will be asked to give TWO ways of contacting you. If you must telephone the number is 020 7713 0836.

Terms and Conditions - see downloads

Toilets On the first floor there is a ladies toilet with two cubicles, and a gents toilet with one cubicle and a urinal. On the ground floor there is a gender-neutral toilet available to all but designed for use by disabled persons. All toilets have hand basins and mirrors.

Tours of the museum - available on request during private functions free of charge.

Trains. See Location. Also see Travel Information on the Visit section of the site

Tube - See Location. Also see Travel Information on the Visit section of the site


Underground - See Location. Also see Travel Information on the Visit section of the site


Value Added Tax. We charge VAT on all venue hire fees. Our VAT number is 577741009.

Venue plan - see downloads

Video Diary. The cargo hold of the narrowboat Coronis is sometimes used for recording a video diary.

Viewing. It is best to make an appointment. Use the Enquiry Form

Visually Impaired Guests are well catererd for. See Visually Impaired Visitors page in the Visit section

Vehicle access. You can park or unload outside the door subject to parking restrictions.


Wedding Ceremonies - we are a licenced venue for wedding ceremonies conducted by the Islington Council registrars. Ceremonies on Tuesdays to Sundays must take place at 1700 or later. Small ceremonies can take place on either floor, larger ceremonies for up to 140 people take place on the first floor. Ceremonies with no legal status can take place during any event.

Wedding Receptions

Wharf - see Mooring

Wheelchair access. See Wheelchair Users page on the Visit section

Whiteboard - an interactive whiteboard is available in a fixed position on the first floor. This can be booked for use at extra cost during private events that take place outside of our opening hours.

Wi-Fi - see Internet access

Windows. There are opening windows on the first floor and a door on the ground floor. Windows have to remain closed when loud music is playing and when the air cooling and heating system is in use.

Wine. Clients make their own arrangements to supply wine from wherever they wish to purchase it.