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.
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
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 GNM 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.
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 Information Desk.
The shop telephone can be used on request for emergencies or to book taxis for disabled people.
Standard and large print plans are available from the Information Desk.
Pre-visit information is currently being developed. If you require anything in advance of your visit please call us on (0191) 208 6765.
We welcome assistance dogs. The Information Desk can provide a bowl of water.
Induction points are fitted throughout the Museum. They can be found at the Reception Desk, cafés, and interactive points in the galleries.
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.
Tours are available on request, but must be booked in advance.
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.
Toilets and baby changing
There are separate male, female, accessible and family toilets on the ground floor. There are separate male, female and accessible toilets on the first floor. There is an accessible toilet on the second floor. The accessible toilet on the ground floor at the rear of the Museum also has a shower with a seat. There is baby changing in the male and female toilets on both the ground and first floors and in the family toilet on the ground floor at the front of the Museum.
Eating at the Great North Museum: Hancock
The Museum has two cafés. The Street Café is located on the ground floor at the rear of the Museum. Hot and cold drinks are available as well as sandwiches, cakes and snacks. The large Hancock Café is located on the first floor at the front of the Museum. A full licensed restaurant service is available here.
Please do not eat food inside the museum except for in the cafés. Observing this request helps us to manage pests and preserve our collections. If you are unsure about where you can eat food in the Museum, please speak to a member of staff.
We are not currently able to offer a permanent packed lunch area. We try our best to provide a temporary eating area during school holidays, but sometimes this is not possible. Please telephone the museum before visiting to check whether we can provide a space for you to eat your packed lunch – (0191) 208 6765.