The Visitors' Centre at Belmarsh Prison is now run by Spurgeons, the children’s charity. Our aim is to provide a supportive, friendly and welcoming environment for everybody who is visiting a prisoner, including those with children.
6 Belmarsh Road, London, SE28 0HE
020 8317 3888
Yes. The entrance to the visitors' centre is at ground level; there are automatic doors and no steps. There is also a disabled toilet available.
Booking information: Pre book by telephone at least 48 hours in advance on 020 8331 4768. The line is open as follows:
Tuesday - Friday: 08:30-11:30 & 12:30-16:30
Saturday and Sunday: 09:00-11:30 & 12:30-16:00
Social visits can also be booked by e-mail to BelmarshV@hmps.gsi.gov.uk.
The e-mail must include the prisoners name and date of birth in the "Subject" line, the day you want to visit (with two alternative dates), full name, full address, date of birth and relation to the prisoner for every visitor that wishes to visit.
You should receive a reply within 24 hours. When booking by e-mail you must book a minimum of 48 hours in advance and up to two weeks ahead. Incomplete applications will not be booked.
There is a maximum of 3 visitors aged 10 years and over and 3 under 10 years.Please note: You cannot visit a prisoner on a day that they attend court. There are no visits on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Day or Good Friday
For security reasons, people wishing to visit a Category A prisoner must be security cleared before any visits can take place. For full information about security clearance, please contact the prison's security department. Insert link
If it is the first time a prisoner has come into prison, they are entitled to a 'reception visit' within the first week of entering the prison. Like all other visits, you must arrange this through the booking clerks by ringing the Booking Line on 0208 331 4768. If you are visiting a convicted prisoner, you will need a Visiting Order, but this will be available for you to pick up when you arrive.
Give yourself plenty of time to get to HMP Belmarsh; please aim to arrive at least 30 minutes before the visit time. You must book in no more than 20 minutes after the start of the visits session, or you will not be allowed entry to the prison.
You will need to bring identification with you - please see the list of appropriate ID below. You will also need to bring a £1 to use in the locker where your belongings will be kept while you are on the visit. (The £1 is refunded.)
All adult visitors must bring two pieces of identification everytime they visit. They must bring one piece of photographic ID and one proof of address which is less than three months old. Acceptable photographic ID:
If the visitor does not have any of the documents on the list above, then they may be allowed entry with two of the following:
Acceptable forms of identification (two to be provided) for children aged between 10 years and 17 years are as follows:
Inside the visits hall is a children's play area, which provides toys, games and playworkers for the children.
To visit a prisoner at HMP Belmarsh you must have:
At the enrolment centre, the above items will be checked to confirm your visit.
You will then have to complete biometrics and have an ultra-violet stamp on your hand to validate your entry to the visits hall.
Biometric is a system that records a 3-D image of your finger and stores it on a computer against an image of your face for recognition purposes. It is checked as you go in and out of the visit. All visitors and Category ‘A’ visitors must complete this process. Also all visitors will have a non-harmful ultra-violet stamp upon their hand, again for recognition purposes.
Once you have enrolled, almost all your personal possessions must be left in a locker in the visitors' centre. A £1 coin is needed for the locker.
However, you are allowed to take some items into the visits hall with you:
All visitors to HMP Belmarsh will be searched on their way to the visits hall. A prison officer will carry out a rub down and metal detection search. Coats, jackets and shoes will be x-rayed.
If you are on a low income or you receive benefits, you might be entitled to get help from the government with the cost of visiting your relative in prison. Help is provided by the Assisted Prison Visits Unit (APVU). You can claim for two visits a month.
For more information about the APVU:
Freepost BM2257, PO Box 2152, Birmingham, B15 1BR
Phone: 03000 362 100 Monday to Friday (except Bank Holidays) 09:00 - 17:00
Textphone: 0845 304 0800 (times as above)
Fax: 0121 626 3474 (24 hrs)
Prisoners are allowed the following items:
Clothes for court appearances are in addition to the clothing allowance above and are not subject to the 56 day rule. Prisoners are allowed:
The only items that may be posted in (with letters) are photographs. Here are the rules:
You are not allowed to post anything else to the prisoner. Prisoners are able to order items from catalogues within the prison, and they can also order newspapers and magazines.
You cannot hand in cash, postal orders or cheques on a visit; you must send money in the post.
Prisoners are allowed to have certain religious articles. The prisoner must apply to the Chaplaincy for these items.
If after the visit you have any fears or worries about the prisoner you are visiting there is a confidential ‘Care and Keep Safe’ form you can fill in, available at our information desk. Please drop it in the box provided. We collect these forms at the end of each week day and on the Monday following a weekend visit. We will contact the safer custody team who will deal with your concern. If you believe the concern is more urgent, you can call the Safer Custody team directly on 0208 3314712 Monday to Friday 8am - 4pm, or the orderly office at evenings and weekends on 02083314400.
Tuesday: Friday - 8.15am - 5pm
Saturday: 8.30am – 5.00pm
Sunday: 12.30pm - 5.00pm
Please note that the prison visiting times are different to the Visitors' Centre opening hours. To find out the visiting times, please see below.
Monday: NO VISITS
Tuesday: 2 - 3pm and 3.30pm - 4.30pm
Wednesday: 9.15am - 10.15am, 2 - 3pm and 3.30pm - 4.30pm
Thursday: 9.15am - 10.15am, 2 - 3pm and 3.30pm - 4.30pm
Friday: 9.15am - 10.15am, 2 - 3pm and 3.30pm - 4.30pm
Saturday: 9.30am - 10.30am, 2 – 3pm and 3.30pm - 4.30pm
Sunday: 2 – 3pm and 3.30pm - 4.30pm
*Please note that Tuesday 3.30pm visits, Wednesday morning visits and Saturday morning visits are reserved for vulnerable prisoners only.
For information about High Security Unit visits, please ask a member of staff at the visitors' centre.
Please note that all visits must be booked 48 hours in advance.