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Exploris Aquarium

The Rope Walk, Castle Street, Portaferry, Co. Down, BT22 1NZ

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About this venue

Located in Portaferry, you will enjoy a diver’s view of marine life from around the world. Your journey will begin in Strangford Lough and our own native fish. Then continue to the colourful coral reefs of the Tropical Oceans before entering the dark depths of the Amazon Rainforest, where you will see some of its reptilian inhabitants including our very own snappy crocodile. You will return to our shores to see our playful Sea-Otters and witness our conservation in action in the nursery seal pens where the noisy pups are rehabilitated and eventually released back to the wild.

Access Guide

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Introduction

Opening Times

  • The venue has seasonal opening times and please contact the venue for details of opening times.

Location

  • There is a bus stop within 150m (164yds) of the venue.
  • The nearest National Rail station is Bangor.

Parking

  • The venue does have its own car park.
  • Venue Car Park View
    • Parking is free for all users.
    • The car park is located in front of the venue on Rope Walk, off Castle Street.
    • The car park type is open air/surface.
    • Parking spaces for Blue Badge holders do not need to be booked in advance.
    • There is/are 3 Blue Badge parking bay(s) within the car park.
    • The dimensions of the Blue Badge parking bay(s) are 510cm x 603cm (16ft 9in x 19ft 9in).
    • The nearest Blue Badge bay is 40m (43yd 2ft) from the Main Entrance.
    • The furthest Blue Badge bay is 45m (49yd 8in) from the Main Entrance.
    • The route from the car park to the entrance is accessible to a wheelchair user with assistance.
    • Assistance may be required because there is / are dropped kerbs.
    • The car park surface is tarmac and block paving.
    • There is a dropped kerb between the car park and the venue.
    • The dropped kerb does not have tactile paving.
    • There is not a road to cross between the car park and the entrance.
    • The car park does not have a height restriction barrier.
  • Drop off Point View
    • There is not a designated drop off point.

Outside Access (Outside Entrance)

  • This information is for the entrance located at the front of the building.
  • There is level access into the venue.
  • The main door(s) open(s) away from you (push).
  • The door(s) is / are single.
  • The door(s) is / are permanently held open.
  • The width of the door opening is 163cm (5ft 4in).

Outside Access (Main Entrance)

  • This information is for the entrance located at the front of the building.
  • There is level access into the venue.
  • The main door(s) open(s) automatically (towards you).
  • The door(s) is / are single.
  • The width of the door opening is 98cm (3ft 3in).

Outside Access (Exit)

  • This information is for the entrance located to the rear of the gift shop.
  • There is not level access into the venue.
  • The main door(s) open(s) automatically.
  • The door(s) is / are single.
  • The width of the door opening is 110cm (3ft 7in).

Level Change (Exit)

  • There is a ramp/slope to access this area/service.
  • The ramp or slope is located in front of the entrance.
  • The ramp/slope is easy.
  • The ramp/slope is permanent.
  • There is a level landing at the top of the ramp/slope.
  • The ramp does not have handrails.

Reception

  • The desk/counter is 3m (3yd 10in) from the Main Entrance.
  • There is level access to the desk/counter from the entrance.
  • The desk/counter is high (110cm+).
  • The desk/counter has a low (76cm or lower) section.
  • The lighting levels are bright.
  • There is a hearing assistance system.
  • The type of system is a fixed loop.
  • Staff are trained to use the system.

Inside Access

  • There is not level access to the service(s).
  • There is not a hearing assistance system.
  • This venue does play background music.
  • Music is played throughout the venue.
  • Motorised scooters are allowed in public parts of the venue.
  • The lighting levels are varied.

Exhibits

  • Throughout the venue, although the tanks vary in height, all are accessible for wheelchair users. The lighting in the exhibits vary from dark to bright. The pirates cave flooring is slabbed which may be uneven in places as shown in photograph 3 and 4.

Level Change (Exhibit - Inside the Lough)

  • There is a ramp/slope to access this area/service.
  • The ramp/slope is located with the exhibit, inside the lough, sloping down.
  • The ramp/slope is easy.
  • The ramp/slope is permanent.
  • There is a level landing at the top of the ramp/slope.
  • The ramp does not have handrails.
  • The width of the ramp/slope is 106cm (3ft 6in).

Level Change (Exhibit - Pirates Cave)

  • There is a ramp/slope to access this area/service.
  • The ramp/slope is located within the Pirates Cave exhibit.
  • The ramp/slope is easy.
  • The ramp/slope is permanent.
  • There is a level landing at the top of the ramp/slope.
  • The ramp does not have handrails.
  • The width of the ramp/slope is 100cm (3ft 3in).

Level Change (Seal Sanctuary)

  • There is a/are step(s) to access this area/service.
  • The step(s) is/are located in front of the seal sanctuary pool.
  • There is/are 4 step(s) to the area/service.
  • There is not tactile paving at the top and bottom of the steps.
  • The step(s) is/are not clearly marked.
  • The step(s) is/are medium height (11cm - 17cm).
  • There is a/are handrail(s) at the step(s).
  • The handrail(s) is/are on the left going up.

Level Change (Secondary Seal Pool)

  • There is a ramp/slope to access this area/service.
  • The ramp/slope is located to the right of the Otter Enclosure.
  • The ramp/slope is easy.
  • The ramp/slope is permanent.
  • There is a level landing at the top of the ramp/slope.
  • The ramp does have handrails.
  • The handrails are on the right going up.
  • The width of the ramp/slope is 120cm (3ft 11in).
  • There is a/are step(s) to access this area/service.
  • The step(s) is/are located through the Kids Zone, to the left of the Otter Enclosure.
  • There is/are 5 step(s) to the area/service.
  • There is not tactile paving at the top and bottom of the steps.
  • The step(s) is/are not clearly marked.
  • The step(s) is/are deep (18cm+).
  • There is a/are handrail(s) at the step(s).
  • The handrail(s) is/are on the right going up.
  • The ramp/slope does not bypass the step(s).

Eating and Drinking

  • The following information is for the cafe.
  • The cafe is located on the first floor.
  • Full table service is not available.
  • Food or drinks are ordered from the service counter.
  • Food or drinks can be brought to the table.
  • There is not a lowered section at the counter.
  • No tables are permanently fixed.
  • No chairs are permanently fixed.
  • No chairs have armrests.
  • The nearest table is approximately 3m (3yd 10in) from the lift.
  • The standard height for tables is 74cm.
  • There is ample room for a wheelchair user to manoeuvre.
  • Plastic / takeaway cups are available.
  • Plastic / takeaway cutlery is available.
  • Drinking straws are available.
  • Menus are hand held and wall.
  • Menus are not available in Braille.
  • Menus are not available in large print.
  • Picture menus are not available.
  • Menus are clearly written.
  • Menus are not presented in contrasting colours.
  • The type of food served here is hot and cold meals and snacks.

Other Floors (Rear)

  • Steps View
    • The floors which are accessible by stairs are G-1.
    • There are 15+ steps between floors.
    • The steps are clearly marked.
    • The steps are deep (18cm+).
    • The steps do have handrails.
    • The steps have a handrail on both sides.
    • There is a landing.
    • The lighting levels are bright.
  • Comments View
    • The photographs show the two flights of stairs from the ground to the first floor. These are located on the ground floor at the rear.

Lift (Ground Floor Rear)

  • There is a lift for public use.
  • The lift is located at the rear of the ground floor.
  • The lift is a standard lift.
  • The floors which are accessible by this lift are G-1.
  • The lift is approximately 85m (92yd 2ft) from the Main Entrance.
  • Staff do not need to be notified for use of the lift.
  • The clear door width is 80cm (2ft 7in).
  • The dimensions of the lift are 150cm x 108cm (4ft 11in x 3ft 7in).
  • There are not separate entry and exit doors in the lift.
  • There is not a mirror to aid reversing out of the lift.
  • The lift does not have a visual floor indicator.
  • The lift does have an audible announcer.
  • The controls for the lift are within 90cm - 120cm from the floor.
  • The lift does have Braille markings.
  • The lift does have tactile markings.
  • The lighting level in the lift is medium.

Other Floors (Exit)

  • Steps View
    • The floors which are accessible by stairs are G-1.
    • There are 15+ steps between floors.
    • The steps are clearly marked.
    • The steps are deep (18cm+).
    • The steps do have handrails.
    • The steps have a handrail on both sides.
    • There is a landing.
    • The lighting levels are bright.

Lift (Exit)

  • There is a lift for public use.
  • The lift is located on the first floor at the rear of the cafe.
  • The lift is a standard lift.
  • The floors which are accessible by this lift are G-1.
  • The lift is approximately 15m (16yd 1ft) from the outside exit.
  • Staff do not need to be notified for use of the lift.
  • The clear door width is 78cm (2ft 7in).
  • The dimensions of the lift are 133cm x 90cm (4ft 4in x 2ft 11in).
  • There are not separate entry and exit doors in the lift.
  • There is a mirror to aid reversing out of the lift.
  • The lift does not have a visual floor indicator.
  • The lift does have an audible announcer.
  • The controls for the lift are within 90cm - 120cm from the floor.
  • The lift does have Braille markings.
  • The lift does have tactile markings.
  • The lighting level in the lift is medium.

Accessible Toilet (Ground Floor Rear)

  • There are accessible toilet facilities within this venue.
  • Location and Access View
    • The toilet is not for the sole use of disabled people.
    • There is pictorial signage on or near the toilet door.
    • This accessible toilet is approximately 82m (89yd 2ft) from the Main Entrance.
    • This accessible toilet is located within the Kids Zone to the rear of the ground floor.
    • There is level access to this accessible toilet.
  • Features and Dimensions View
    • This is a unisex toilet.
    • A key is not required for the accessible toilet.
    • The door opens outwards.
    • The door is locked by a twist lock.
    • The width of the accessible toilet door is 85cm (2ft 9in).
    • The door is light.
    • The dimensions of the accessible toilet are 161cm x 202cm (5ft 3in x 6ft 8in).
    • There is not sufficient turning space in the cubicle for a wheelchair user.
    • There is a lateral transfer space.
    • As you face the toilet pan the transfer space is on the left.
    • The lateral transfer space is 102cm (3ft 4in).
    • There is a dropdown rail on the transfer side.
    • There is a flush on the transfer side.
    • The tap type is lever.
    • There is a mixer tap.
    • There is an emergency alarm.
    • The emergency pull cord alarm is not fully functional.
    • The alarm was out of reach (higher than 10cm (4") from floor) when surveyed.
    • Disposal facilities are available in the cubicle.
    • There is a/are female sanitary and clinical waste disposal units.
    • There is not a/are not coat hook(s).
  • Position of Fixtures View
    • Wall-mounted grab rails are available.
    • As you face the toilet the wall-mounted grab rails are on both sides.
    • There is not a shelf within the accessible toilet.
    • There is a mirror.
    • Mirrors are placed at a lower level or at an angle for ease of use.
    • The height of the toilet seat above floor level is 48cm (1ft 7in).
    • There is a hand dryer.
    • The hand dryer cannot be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The hand dryer is not placed higher than 100cm (3ft 3in).
    • There is not a towel dispenser.
    • There is a toilet roll holder.
    • The toilet roll holder can be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The toilet roll holder is not placed higher than 100cm (3ft 3in).
    • There is a wash basin.
    • The wash basin can be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The wash basin is not placed higher than 74cm (2ft 5in).
  • Colour Contrast and Lighting View
    • The contrast between the external door and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the internal door and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the wall-mounted grab rail(s) and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the dropdown rail(s) and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the walls and floor is good.
    • The lighting levels are bright.

Accessible Toilet (Exit)

  • There are accessible toilet facilities within this venue.
  • Location and Access View
    • The toilet is for the sole use of disabled people.
    • There is Braille, tactile, pictorial and written text signage on or near the toilet door.
    • This accessible toilet is approximately 10m (10yd 2ft) from the exit lift.
    • This accessible toilet is located to the left of the exit lift on the ground floor.
    • There is level access to this accessible toilet.
    • This is by lift.
  • Features and Dimensions View
    • This is a unisex toilet.
    • A key is not required for the accessible toilet.
    • The door opens outwards.
    • The door is locked by a twist lock.
    • The width of the accessible toilet door is 77cm (2ft 6in).
    • The door is light.
    • The dimensions of the accessible toilet are 193cm x 287cm (6ft 4in x 9ft 5in).
    • There is sufficient turning space in the cubicle for a wheelchair user.
    • There is a lateral transfer space.
    • As you face the toilet pan the transfer space is on the right.
    • The lateral transfer space is 120cm (3ft 11in).
    • There is a dropdown rail on the transfer side.
    • There is a flush on the transfer side.
    • The tap type is sensor.
    • There is a mixer tap.
    • There is an emergency alarm.
    • The emergency pull cord alarm is not fully functional.
    • The alarm was out of reach (higher than 10cm (4") from floor) when surveyed.
    • Disposal facilities are available in the cubicle.
    • There is a/are female sanitary and clinical waste disposal units.
    • There is not a/are not coat hook(s).
  • Position of Fixtures View
    • Wall-mounted grab rails are available.
    • As you face the toilet the wall-mounted grab rails are on both sides.
    • There is not a shelf within the accessible toilet.
    • There is a mirror.
    • Mirrors are placed at a lower level or at an angle for ease of use.
    • The height of the toilet seat above floor level is 48cm (1ft 7in).
    • There is a hand dryer.
    • The hand dryer cannot be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The hand dryer is not placed higher than 100cm (3ft 3in).
    • There is not a towel dispenser.
    • There is a toilet roll holder.
    • The toilet roll holder can be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The toilet roll holder is not placed higher than 100cm (3ft 3in).
    • There is a wash basin.
    • The wash basin can be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The wash basin is not placed higher than 74cm (2ft 5in).
  • Colour Contrast and Lighting View
    • The contrast between the external door and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the internal door and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the wall-mounted grab rail(s) and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the dropdown rail(s) and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the walls and floor is good.
    • The lighting levels are bright.
  • Baby Change Facilities View
    • Baby change facilities are located within the venue.
    • Baby change facilities are located in the accessible toilet.
    • The height of the baby change table once extended is 100cm (3ft 3in).

Standard Toilet(s) (Ground Floor Rear)

Standard Toilet(s) (Exit)

  • Access to Standard Female and Male Toilet(s) View
    • The female and male toilet facilities that were surveyed are located to the left of the exit lift on the ground floor.
    • The female and male toilets are approximately 11m (12yd 1in) from the exit lift.
    • Inside the venue, there is level access to the female and male toilets.
    • Lighting levels are bright.

Baby Change

  • There is a baby change room situated 10m from the exit lift on the ground floor. The baby change is 98cm in height, and the sink is 73cm in height.

Additional Info

  • Staff do receive disability awareness / equality training.
  • Documents are not available in Braille.
  • Documents are not available in large print.
  • A bowl of water can be provided for an assistance dog.
  • An assistance dog toilet area can be provided onsite.
  • The assistance dog toilet area is located in the park.
  • Home visits / services are not available.