Update:

During December we are open Tuesday to Sunday, 10am–3pm, with last entry to the Museum at 2pm. At 3.30pm, the Colorado Lodge opens and at 4pm the grounds re-open for The Enchanted Garden of Light trail.

Accessibility

Family + garden

We are constantly striving to be a fully accessible and inclusive destination for all visitors. We have worked with a number of other organizations, partners and friends to ensure our team members have the understanding and knowledge they need to ensure they provide the very best welcome. We continually strive to improve our spaces so that they’re as accessible as they can be.

Our Access Guide will help you plan your visit. We are continuously reviewing our Accessibility Guide in line with current government and best practice guidance. We have also highlighted some key information below to help you plan your visit.

If you have any other questions about access to the Museum & Gardens, please contact us and we’ll do our very best to help you.

Parking
Blue badge disabled parking is available in the main car park. It is then a 150-metre step-free walk to the Ticket Office along a gently sloping gravel path. Drivers are welcome to follow signage for coaches to drop off passengers at the Ticket Office and then return to park in the main car park. We have seating available at the Ticket Office and our staff will be happy to assist visitors while waiting for other members of their party to join them.

We also have a golf buggy which our Visitor Experience Team can drive around the site to help those with walking difficulties. If you would like to arrange a lift in the golf buggy from the car park to the museum itself, please call us in advance on 01225 460503 or email [email protected] to let us know the day and time of your arrival.

Tramper
We have teamed up with Countryside Mobility and are pleased to provide an outdoor mobility scooter, known as a Tramper, to make our gardens and outdoor spaces even more accessible.

Only one is available so you must book this in advance by calling 01225 460503 or emailing [email protected]. It may be possible to use the Tramper without pre-booking but we cannot guarantee this. There is no hire charge but you do have to sign up for Countryside Mobility membership at £2.50 for 2 weeks or £10.00 for a year. You can then use your membership at all other Countryside Mobility Tramper destinations.

We recommend reading the Tramper hire information in advance as this will save you time when registering for membership. Here is a short film that explains how to use it.

We perform safety checks on the Tramper everyday and clean it before and after each use, so you can be sure it will provide a safe and enjoyable visit.

Emergency Evacuation
Should there be an emergency, two of our buildings have special evacuation procedures. These are the Manor House and the Stables.

In the event of a fire, our lifts will not operate. In this scenario, visitors would need to make their way down or up a set of stairs from the lower, first or second floor in the Manor House or in the Stables towards the emergency exits. Visitors will be guided by our staff or volunteers who are present.

In order to ensure health and safety of all staff and visitors, anyone that requires assistance to evacuate will not be able to access areas requiring use of a lift (upper and lower floors of the Manor House and the Stables) unless they are accompanied by someone who could assist them in the case of an emergency. In addition, visitors with mobility impairments will be able to access floors that require lift access at a maximum of 2 visitors at any one time.

We are in the process of reviewing this internally so we can look to offer access to all areas of the Museum to all visitors either in person and/or through a digital experience in the future. We welcome any feedback while planning, during and after your visit and can be reached via email.

Autism
We offer a range of support to our visitors including noise cancelling headphones in both child and adult sizes that can be borrowed from the Ticket Office free of charge. We also offer free entry for Rainbow Resource members.

Silent Space
On Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am to midday, a very special area in our gardens is a Silent Space for our visitors to take time to be peaceful in a beautiful, biodiverse environment, surrounded by the healing power of nature. We have partnered with our friends at silentspace.org.uk to provide a space and time for visitors to feel some tranquility. Our Silent Space is located in The Dell, a quiet area of our gardens. You can find this marked on our site map available from the Ticket Office.

Breast feeding
We welcome breast feeding throughout our site. If you have any concerns, please talk to a member of staff.

Safeguarding of children
Children under the age of 16 years must be accompanied by an adult. In the interests of health and safety, please do not leave any children in your care unattended. If you have any concerns, please talk to a member of staff.

Toilets
A wheelchair-accessible toilet is located in the Gallery Shop, and a second is located in the Coach House. Baby changing facilities are also located in the Gallery Shop and the Coach House.

Dogs
Dogs on leads are welcome in our gardens & grounds and dog drinking bowls are available. Assistance dogs are welcome everywhere on site, including inside the Museum, Exhibition, Café and Gallery Shop.

Hearing
We have temporary ‘T’ loops which can be used in the Ticket Office, Museum reception desk, Café counter and Gallery Shop counter. If you have any problems, please let us know and we can make sure these are turned on. For school visits or anyone attending events in our indoor auditorium in the Stables, we also have a permanent fixed ‘T’ loop which is used in conjunction with our microphones and PA system. If you are booking a school visit or venue hire use of the Stables, please let us know if you will need this facility available.

Audio-Descriptive Tours
We also welcome groups who are blind or partially sighted. Specialized tours are arranged which last approximately 1 ½ hours. These include a dedicated guide and a selection of handling objects which enhance the descriptive tour. Wheelchairs can be accommodated. Maximum group size is 6 people, usually 3 blind or partially-sighted people and their helpers. For more information and to book a group visit with an Audio-Descriptive Tour, please go to our Group visits page and complete the booking enquiry form, or contact us by phone on 01225 460503 or email [email protected]

Website
You can read our website accessibility statement here.

If you need any more information about planning a visit please email [email protected] or call 01225 460503.