Access information

Find out more about accessibility at the museum

Entrances

The approach to the main front entrance from Claremont Road is tarmac, paving and resin bonded gravel on paths. Visitors can access the front entrance doorways in three ways:

  • The accessible ramp on the Claremont road side of the building (which has 2 accessible routes, one from Claremont Road and one at the front corner of the museum. These routes provide level access to the front entrance with power assisted doors. Here you will also find the Reception Desk and shop area.
  • There is also an external platform lift on the other side of the entrance (nearest to the Central Motorway). This also 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 central door which is not power assisted.

The Reception Desk for the museum can be found at the main (front) entrance.

There is also a fourth entrance to the museum which can be found at the rear, leading directly to the Street Café and to the rear area of the museum. This is level access with a power assisted door.

Parking

There are four accessible parking bays at the front of the museum for Blue Badge Holders. If these are occupied please ask at the front Reception Desk (call 0191 208 6765) as we will try to find you a space in the private area of the museum.

You can also drop off at the front entrance plaza at the bottom of the main external stairs, or at the lay-by on Claremont Road. There is no other public parking at the museum. There are bicycle racks at the front entrance near the rhinoceros sculpture. The nearest public car parking is approx 300m away up Claremont Road. Go past the museum towards Exhibition Park (north), over the roundabout and parking can be found on the right. There are also numerous parking spaces in the city centre car parks.

Getting around

Inside the museum there are lifts and stairs providing access to all floors. All lifts have voice announcers and Braille indicators. The museum is spread out across the ground floor and first floor. The Great North Museum library can be found on the 2nd floor in the rear part of the building. This also has lift access.

All floors have level access. Stairs have raised tactile indicators on the underside of the handrails. Stairs also have contrasting nosings.

Large print orientations maps for the museum are available on request at the Reception Desk. These can also be requested in advance of your visit.

Seating

Bench seating can be found in the main entrance, and within a number of galleries around the museum (Living Planet, Greeks, Fossil Stories, Ice Age to Iron Age, Egypt, Mouse House). Café seating has a combination of chairs with and without arms. There are some external benches in the gardens and spaces for people who use wheelchairs. The museum also has portable folding seats which visitors can carry with them during their visit.

Borrowing a wheelchair

One wheelchair is available for visitor use. It can be found at the main entrance. Please ask at the Reception Desk.

Public telephone

The shop telephone can be used on request for emergencies or to book taxis for disabled people.

Gallery plans

Standard and large print plans are available from the Reception Desk.

Pre-visit information

Pre-visit information is currently being developed. If you require anything in advance of your visit please call us on (0191) 208 6765.

Dogs

We welcome assistance dogs. The Reception Desk can provide a bowl of water.

Induction loops

Induction points are fitted throughout the museum. They can be found at the Reception Desk, cafés, and interactive points in the galleries.

Displays

There are a number of audio points in the museum. Video which has spoken narrative is subtitled and has accompanying BSL. Audio points in the Hadrian’s Wall gallery have text versions on the panels. All interactives are accessible for people who use wheelchairs.

Guided tours

Tours are available on request, but must be booked in advance.

Fire alarms

The fire alarms have voice evacuation sounders, visual flashing lights. Both lifts are designated as fire evacuation lifts and staff will assist in the event of an emergency. In the event that the lift is out of action, there are evac chairs available. People unable to exit the building should wait at the fire refuge points at the top of each stairwell (in the four corners of the museum) to await evacuation. If you will need assistance to exit the building in the event of a fire alarm please tell a member of staff.