Accessibility

Arriving at the museum

Depending on the type of group you are and your planned arrival time, you'll be asked to use either the main entrance or the schools and groups entrance. If you need to use a specific entrance, please let us know when you book.

Access to the main entrance

  • From the blue badge parking or the drop-off area in front of the main entrance, there are three options:
    • The accessible ramp on the left side of the building. This route provides level access to the front entrance with power assisted doors. Here you will also find the Reception Desk and shop area where you can sign your group in.
    • The external platform lift on the right side of the entrance. This provides level access through power assisted doors to the entrance of the museum. 
    • The third route is the stepped route up the stairs to the doors.
  • From Claremont Road:
    • There is an accessible path from Claremont Road to the main entrance. This route provides level access to the front entrance with power assisted doors. Follow the signs along Claremont Road (almost to the Daysh building which spans Claremont Road) then turn right to join the level, accessible path, bringing you back to the front of the museum.

Access to the schools and groups entrance

  • From the front of the building:
    • Take the accessible ramp on the left side of the building. Follow this around the side of the building to the schools and groups entrance. There will either be a member of the learning team there to open the doors and let you in, or you can use the wall-mounted buzzer to let us know you've arrived. 
  • From Claremont Road and the coach layby:
    • There is an accessible path from Claremont Road to the schools and groups entrance. There is also a path with steps. There will either be a member of the learning team there to open the doors and let you in, or you can use the wall-mounted buzzer to let us know you've arrived. 

Map of entrances and routes

During your visit

Our detailed information on accessibility in the museum is available here.

Accessible toilets and our nearest Changing Places toilet

You'll find accessible toilets on the ground, first and second floors of the museum.

The accessible toilet at the rear of the museum on the ground floor has a shower with a seat and an adult changing table.  

The nearest Changing Places toilet is across the road on the Newcastle University campus. It can be accessed using a radar key. Find more details on the Changing Places website.

Pre-visit support materials

In advance of your visit, you may wish to use one of our pre-visit materials:

  • Our visual story - to help visualise the space and know more about what to expect or look forward to.
  • Coming soon - our introductory film - showcasing the different galleries, including what to see and light and sound levels in different spaces.
  • Our what's on page, outlining the temporary exhibitions on show, alongside more details about our permanent galleries. This includes Instagram guides for Ancient Egypt, Living Planet, Ancient Greeks and Hadrian's Wall galleries, plus a virtual tour for the Ice Age to Iron Age gallery.

Additional pre-visit information is coming soon. If you require anything in advance of your visit please call us on (0191) 208 6765 or email info@greatnorthmuseum.org.uk. 

Bookable resources

We encourage you to bring any support items with you (for example ear defenders) but we also have some relevant bookable resources:

  • Museum Adventurers kit - a bookable resource containing now/then timetables and a range of activities to support exploration in the museum.
  • A story bag themed around wellbeing and managing anxiety: Gretel the wonder mammoth
  • Sensory bags - each contains a pair of ear defenders, a fiddle toy, a weighted blanket, a soft toy, and a textured cushion.
  • A4 magnifying sheets (magnification X3) 
  • Torches 
  • Wheelchair lap trays 

You can also choose any of our other bookable resources, including gallery explorer kits linked to a particular topic, or story bags. 

Book these resources when you make your booking. If you already have a confirmed booking, please email learning@greatnorthmuseum.org.uk to add something to your booking.


Workshops

We are committed to making our workshops accessible to your group, in collaboration with you.  We are happy to adapt any of our existing workshops, or to develop a bespoke experience. In practice, this could be changing our workshop content or delivery to match the needs of your group, or developing a personalised and differentiated multi-sensory experience from scratch. Please get in touch with us so that we can discuss the needs of your group – or individuals within your group – and how we can support you best. 

Planetarium showings

You can request a showing with higher light levels and/or lower sound levels. We have 3 spaces where people in a wheelchair can view the show. We also offer a show designed to be accessible to people with all levels of sight - Audio Universe. Created by Newcastle University astronomers, this show turns the sights of space into sounds. It is free for blind and partially sighted visitors and their carers/support workers.