I'm referring to what I read on the Natural History Museum website:

Walk-up entry is not permitted during half-term 12-20 February. At 17.00 each day throughout half-term, a limited number of tickets will be released for visits the following day.

  • 8
    @Lambie You shouldn't post answers in the comments. Feb 15, 2022 at 2:38
  • @Acccumulation We shouldn't post full answers with explanations and examples in the comments, but if Lambie doesn't feel like writing a full answer, leaving a one-liner like this in the comments is fine. Such a bare answer, if posted as an answer, would get deleted for low quality.
    – gotube
    Feb 16, 2022 at 0:23
  • 1
    I remember education videos in middle school reading class that emphasized context clues -- looking at other words/sentences to try to guess the meaning. That said, I'm not very good at that skill as I learn Spanish at all, so I think that's something that only even starts to come after the 5+ of speaking the language comfortably and learning more about it regularly, which such a school grade level would reflect. Feb 16, 2022 at 5:24

4 Answers 4


If a service is walk-up (or a walk-up), it doesn't require an appointment. You can enter the place without a prior arrangement, or you can buy a ticket at the entrance (after you have walked up to it). Similarly, and probably more commonly, we use walk-in.

  • 4
    Agreed, walk-n is much more common... in fact, today is the first time I've ever heard of walk-uo, and I've been speaking British English for 55 years. Feb 16, 2022 at 4:11

Most dictionaries only list the (mainly US) meaning of simply 'walk-up' as 'related to apartments in buildings with no elevator' but the meaning in the question is often used in the UK in relation to the price of tickets for travel by train, admission to events, museums, etc, and usually means 'the standard price without any advance discount'. In the UK, many rail tickets are cheaper if they are bought in advance, and the price charged if an intending passenger comes to the booking window ('walks up to it') and wants to travel immediately is called the 'walk-up fare'. So here a 'walk-up ticket' to the Natural History Museum is one obtained by arriving when one wishes to enter.

Although entry to the Natural History Museum in London is free, the number of visitors present at any time is regulated by the use of tickets.

walk-up price

noun [ C ]

the price you pay for something such as a ticket if you buy it just before using it, rather than buying it some time earlier:
Example: tickets booked online for the same day will be charged at the full walk-up price.

Walk-up price (Lexico)

  • 6
    The use of walk-up or walk-in in this context is very common in America too. We just use context to differentiate between a walk-up service and a walk-up apartment.
    – KRyan
    Feb 15, 2022 at 15:41

"Walk-up entry" means what it seems to means. It means you walk up to the door without pre-arrangement, buy a ticket, and get in.

This seems to be because it is half-term. That is a short holiday in the middle of the school term. This phrase is very specific to the UK. There are similar holidays in some other countries. For example the US has spring break, which is mostly for university students.

So during half-term holidays, there may be lack of staff because the staff are home with their children. Or there may be too many students since they need something to do in the winter when school is not in session. So during this holiday, the museum must make these arrangements limiting access to the museum to a small number of tickets released the previous evening.

  • 2
    Or in the case of the NHM, you would normally walk up and walk in without buying a ticket (as entry is free)
    – James K
    Feb 14, 2022 at 21:08
  • I seem to recall there was a suggested donation but nobody checked. I recall getting a ticket at the suggested amount because I wanted to support the museum, and I wanted the ticket as a souvenir. Heh. Then I found out how much it cost to eat in their cafeteria.
    – Dan
    Feb 15, 2022 at 0:39

"Walk Up" has a definite American flavour to the phrase. A more "English" way to express that would be

No door sales

which is a brief version of

There are no tickets sold at the door, you need to have purchased a ticket already.

  • The problem with this is that the Natural History Museum is free!
    – TonyK
    Feb 15, 2022 at 18:25
  • 2
    @TonyK You can have things which are free but have tickets to limit capacity. Feb 16, 2022 at 0:15
  • @LorenPechtel: yes, but they are not door sales, sold at the door. You have to pay for those.
    – TonyK
    Feb 16, 2022 at 0:21
  • @TonyK ahhh okay that's a subtly different concept. The real underlying point here is "limited number of tickets" so they're not selling tickets, instead its a "limited entry" arrangement, perhaps to facilitate C19 social distancing protocols by only having a small number of daily visitors. The word "sales" has distracted.
    – Criggie
    Feb 16, 2022 at 1:52

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .