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Eltham Palace

Court Yard, Eltham, London, SE9 5QE

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Access Guide

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Introduction

  • Services / facilities within the building include furnished rooms in a large 1930's house added to a medieval palace, exhibition rooms.
  • Services / facilities within the grounds include visitor centre, shop, tea room, play area, formal and informal gardens with ponds and a moat.
  • Comments View
    • The main car park and visitor centre, including the ticket office and tea room, are accessed from Court Road.
    • From here there is a footpath of about 140m to reach the main gate of the house at the end of Court Yard.
    • It is also possible for Blue Badge holders to park in the forecourt of the house, or for visitors to be dropped off at the house gate. However, this is only suitable for those who are English Heritage members or who have pre-purchased tickets.
    • It is not possible to purchase tickets at the gate on Court Yard.
    • Please note also that the facilities such as the accessible toilet and tea rooms are at the visitor centre, not the house.
    • The toilet signed as accessible within the house is likely to be too small for many wheelchair users.

Opening Times

  • The venue has seasonal opening times.
  • Comments View
    • Please check the website or contact the venue for detailed opening times.
    • The venue is generally open Sunday to Friday but closed on Saturdays for private events.

Location

  • There is not a bus stop within 150m (164yds) of the venue.
  • The nearest National Rail station is Mottingham.
  • Comments View
    • On foot, the shortest route is to travel to Mottingham station and to enter the site using the vehicle driveway from Court Road to the visitor centre.
    • Eltham station is also close by and there is a bus station at the train station with routes towards Court Road.

Parking (Main Visitor Centre Car Park)

  • The venue does have its own car park.
  • Venue Car Park View
    • Parking is free for all users.
    • The car park is located off A208 Court Road, using postcode SE9 5NP for SatNav directions.
    • 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 360cm x 600cm (11ft 10in x 19ft 8in).
    • The nearest Blue Badge bay is 10m (10yd 2ft) from the visitor centre entrance.
    • The furthest Blue Badge bay is 15m (16yd 1ft) from the visitor centre 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.
    • 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.
  • On Street Parking and Drop-off Details View
    • There is not a designated drop off point.

Parking (Blue Badge Car Park at the House)

  • The venue does have its own car park.
  • Venue Car Park View
    • Parking is not free for all users.
    • Parking is free for Blue Badge holders.
    • The car park is located using the bridge across the moat at the end of Court Yard.
    • The car park type is open air/surface.
    • Parking spaces for Blue Badge holders do need to be booked in advance.
    • The nearest Blue Badge bay is 30m (32yd 2ft) from the house entrance.
    • The furthest Blue Badge bay is 170m (185yd 2ft) from the visitor centre.
    • 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 uneven surfaces.
    • The car park surface is block 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.
  • On Street Parking and Drop-off Details View
    • There is not a designated drop off point.
  • Comments View
    • For SatNav directions to this car park use postcode SE9 5QE.
    • Although not essential, pre-booking is advised for this car park as space is limited.
    • There is always a member of staff at the gate to move the sign for any vehicles and to check tickets or membership cards.

Outside Access (Visitor Centre Entrance)

  • This information is for the entrance located at the right side of the visitor centre, facing the main car park.
  • There is not level access into the venue.
  • The main door(s) open(s) towards you (pull).
  • The door(s) is / are double (with one leaf locked).
  • The door(s) is / are heavy.
  • The width of the door opening is 88cm (2ft 11in).

Level Change (Visitor Centre Entrance)

  • 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 have handrails.
  • The handrails are on both sides.
  • The width of the ramp/slope is 100cm (3ft 3in).
  • There is a/are step(s) to access this area/service.
  • The step(s) is/are located in front of and to the right of the entrance.
  • There is/are 2 step(s) to the area/service.
  • There is tactile paving at the top and bottom of the steps.
  • The step(s) is/are 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 both sides.
  • The ramp/slope does bypass the step(s).
  • Comments View
    • There are two steps when facing the entrance, but three steps down when approaching from the right.

Reception (Ticket Desk and Shop)

  • The desk/counter is 3m (3yd 10in) from the visitor centre entrance.
  • There is level access to the desk/counter from the entrance.
  • The desk/counter is medium height (77cm - 109cm).
  • The desk/counter does not have a low (76cm or lower) section.
  • The lighting levels are bright.
  • There is not a hearing assistance system.
  • Comments View
    • Visitors pass through the shop into the courtyard beyond to access the route to the house.

Eating and Drinking (Tea Room)

  • The following information is for the café.
  • The café is located within the visitor centre, entered through the reception area and shop.
  • 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 10m (10yd 2ft) from the visitor centre entrance.
  • The distance between the floor and the lowest table is 70cm (2ft 4in).
  • The distance between the floor and the highest table is 76cm (2ft 6in).
  • 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 wall only.
  • Menus are not available in Braille.
  • Menus are not available in large print.
  • Picture menus are not available.
  • Menus are clearly written.
  • Menus are presented in contrasting colours.
  • The type of food served here is hot and cold meals and snacks.
  • Comments View
    • There is a small amount of seating at the same level as the shop and tea room counter.
    • Most of the seating is within the converted glasshouses attached to the visitor centre.
    • There is further seating on an outside terrace which can be reached by steps from the main visitor route or with level access from within the lower level of the glasshouse.
    • There are additional picnic-style tables on the grassed area next to the playground.

Level Change (Tea Room)

  • There is a ramp/slope to access this area/service.
  • The ramp/slope is located after the tea room counter down to the main seating areas in the glasshouses.
  • 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 both sides.
  • The width of the ramp/slope is 120cm (3ft 11in).

Accessible Toilet (Visitor Centre)

  • Accessible toilet facilities are available.
  • 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 8m (8yd 2ft) from the visitor centre entrance.
    • This accessible toilet is located on the left as you approach the visitor centre entrance, facing the car park.
    • 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 inwards.
    • The door is locked by a lever twist.
    • The width of the accessible toilet door is 102cm (3ft 4in).
    • The door is heavy.
    • The dimensions of the accessible toilet are 195cm x 280cm (6ft 5in x 9ft 2in).
    • 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 110cm (3ft 7in).
    • There is a dropdown rail on the transfer side.
    • There is a flush, however it is not 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 non-infectious 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 not placed at a lower level or at an angle for ease of use.
    • The height of the toilet seat above floor level is 45cm (1ft 6in).
    • 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 fair.
    • The contrast between the internal door and wall is fair.
    • The contrast between the wall-mounted grab rail(s) and wall is fair.
    • The contrast between the dropdown rail(s) and wall is fair.
    • 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 85cm (2ft 9in).

Standard Toilet(s) (Visitor Centre)

  • Availability and Location of Standard Toilets View
    • Standard toilet facilities are available.
  • Access to Standard Female and Male Toilet(s) View
    • The female and male toilet facilities that were surveyed are located with their own external entrances facing the car park, to the left as you approach the visitor centre entrance.
    • The female and male toilets are approximately 10m (10yd 2ft) from the visitor centre entrance.
    • Inside the venue, there is level access to the female and male toilets.
    • Lighting levels are bright.

Route to Eltham Palace from the Visitor Centre

  • From the visitor centre, there is level access on a wide paved path alongside the grassed play area and picnic area (shown in photograph 1).
  • From the path there are 4 medium height unmarked steps down towards the play area (shown in photograph 2).
  • The steps can be bypassed using the grassed slope between the gaps in the hedge, although the slope may be muddy (shown in photograph 3).
  • There are a range of fixed wooden climbing structures, surrounded by bark chippings set into the grassed area(shown in photograph 4).
  • After the courtyard, the path becomes bound gravel, with a thin layer of loose gravel on the top (6). The path is level or with easy slopes for around 60m until reaching the gate where the path meets Court Yard (shown in photograph 7).
  • After the gate, follow the roadway next to the wall on the left as it curves round towards the Palace entrance gate (shown in photographs 8 and 9).
  • There will be a member of staff stationed here to check tickets and direct visitors across the bridge over the moat to the house entrance (shown in photograph 10).
  • The pavements are very narrow and most people walk in the driveway which has a surface of stone pavers, slightly uneven in some areas.

Outside Access (House Entrance)

  • This information is for the entrance located from the forecourt after the bridge over the moat.
  • There is level access into the venue.
  • The main door(s) open(s) away from you (push).
  • The door(s) is / are double (with one leaf locked).
  • The door(s) is / are permanently held open.
  • The width of the door opening is 77cm (2ft 6in).
  • Comments View
    • There will be a member of staff at this entrance to offer audio visual guides or other information.

Museum (Palace Interior)

  • Exhibits can be audio described.
  • Tactile signage for exhibits is not available.
  • Braille signage for exhibits is not available.
  • Touch tours are available.
  • Video tours are available.
  • There is a wheelchair to borrow.
  • To borrow the wheelchair, speak to a member of staff at the visitor centre or house.
  • Comments View
    • A printed transcript is available of the audio guide.
    • The audio guide includes footage of areas which are not accessible by lift such as the basement exhibition (shown in photographs 1 and 2).
    • Lighting levels in some rooms may be low for effect or to protect furnishings.
    • There are items in most rooms which can be touched and staff available to offer assistance.
    • Visitors generally follow a set route around the palace which will be slightly different for people who need to use the lift to the first floor.
    • There is a room on the first floor showing an introductory film about the house (shown in photograph 4). There are bench seats in this room.
    • Some sections have subtitles and BSL interpretation on screen.

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 in parts of the exhibition such as the basement and sometimes in other areas such as the great hall.
  • Motorised scooters are allowed in public parts of the venue.
  • The lighting levels are varied.
  • Comments View
    • Photographs 1 - 4 show the central entrance hall and rooms within the 1930s house.
    • Photographs 5 and 6 show part of the medieval palace.

Other Floors (Stairs to First Floor)

  • Steps View
    • The floors which are accessible by stairs are G and 1.
    • There are 15+ steps between floors.
    • The steps are not clearly marked.
    • The steps are medium (11cm - 17cm).
    • The steps do have handrails.
    • There is a landing.
    • The lighting levels are medium.
  • Comments View
    • There are identical staircases on each side of the entrance hall.
    • Visitors following the walking route will go up on set of stairs and come down the other.
    • The stairs have handrails to one side, but this changes sides part way up.

Lift (Access to First Floor)

  • There is a lift for public use.
  • The lift is located within a staff area, to the left from the house entrance.
  • The lift is a platform lift.
  • The floors which are accessible by this lift are G and 1.
  • The lift is approximately 40m (43yd 2ft) from the house entrance.
  • Staff do need to be notified for use of the lift.
  • The clear door width is 75cm (2ft 6in).
  • The dimensions of the lift are 110cm x 100cm (3ft 7in x 3ft 3in).
  • 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 not have an audible announcer.
  • The controls for the lift are within 90cm - 120cm from the floor.
  • The lift does not have Braille markings.
  • The lift does not have tactile markings.
  • The lighting level in the lift is medium.

Level Change (Access to Basement Exhibition)

  • There is a/are step(s) to access this area/service.
  • The step(s) is/are located off the corridor to the left after the house entrance.
  • There is/are 15+ step(s) to the area/service.
  • The lighting levels at the step(s) are medium.
  • The step(s) is/are 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.
  • Comments View
    • The bottom section of the staircase has handrails to both sides.
    • Within the basement exhibition there are further level changes, such as a short slope in the corridor and a shallow step in one of the doorways.

Level Change (Ramp into Great Hall)

  • There is a ramp/slope to access this area/service.
  • The ramp/slope is located going down into the great hall from the ground floor corridor.
  • The ramp/slope is steep.
  • 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 both sides.
  • The width of the ramp/slope is 101cm (3ft 4in).

Level Change (Great Hall Raised Section)

  • There is a/are step(s) to access this area/service.
  • The step(s) is/are located at the south end of the great hall.
  • There is/are 1 step(s) to the area/service.
  • The lighting levels at the step(s) are medium.
  • The step(s) is/are clearly marked.
  • The step(s) is/are medium height (11cm - 17cm).
  • There is not a/are not handrail(s) at the step(s).

Level Change (The Orangery)

  • There is a/are step(s) to access this area/service.
  • The step(s) is/are located leading down into the orangery from the raised section of the great hall.
  • There is/are 4 step(s) to the area/service.
  • The lighting levels at the step(s) are medium.
  • The step(s) is/are not clearly marked.
  • The step(s) is/are deep (18cm+).
  • There is not a/are not handrail(s) at the step(s).
  • Comments View
    • The orangery may sometimes be used for activities such as crafts during special events.
    • It may also used as an additional refreshment point in the summer months with a kiosk selling drinks and cakes.
    • In both cases there will be direct level access through the french doors from the garden.
    • There may be additional tables and seating on the lawn outside.

Level Change (Great Hall Gallery)

  • There is a/are step(s) to access this area/service.
  • The step(s) is/are located from the first floor corridor down to the gallery overlooking the great hall.
  • There is/are 2 step(s) to the area/service.
  • The lighting levels at the step(s) are medium.
  • The step(s) is/are not clearly marked.
  • The step(s) is/are medium height (11cm - 17cm).
  • There is not a/are not handrail(s) at the step(s).

Accessible Toilet (House)

  • Accessible toilet facilities are available.
  • Location and Access View
    • The toilet is not for the sole use of disabled people.
    • There is written text signage on or near the toilet door.
    • This accessible toilet is approximately 20m (21yd 2ft) from the house entrance.
    • This accessible toilet is located on the right hand side in the corridor leading to the right of the entrance hall to the great hall.
    • 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 inwards.
    • The door is locked by a lever twist.
    • The width of the accessible toilet door is 87cm (2ft 10in).
    • The door is light.
    • The dimensions of the accessible toilet are 172cm x 230cm (5ft 8in x 7ft 7in).
    • 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 right.
    • The lateral transfer space is 80cm (2ft 7in).
    • 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 not an emergency alarm.
    • Disposal facilities are available in the cubicle.
    • There is a/are female sanitary, clinical waste and open waste paper bin 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 a shelf within the accessible toilet.
    • The shelf is not higher than 100cm (3ft 3in).
    • 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 53cm (1ft 9in).
    • There is not a hand dryer.
    • There is a towel dispenser.
    • The towel dispenser cannot be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The towel dispenser is placed higher than 100cm (3ft 3in).
    • The height of the towel dispenser is 127cm (4ft 2in).
    • 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 cannot 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 poor.
    • The contrast between the wall-mounted grab rail(s) and wall is poor.
    • The contrast between the dropdown rail(s) and wall is poor.
    • 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 90cm (2ft 11in).
  • Comments View
    • The toilet roll holder is on the dropdown rail.

Standard Toilet(s) (House)

Gardens

  • There are lawns and formal gardens surrounding the house, at the level of the house (shown in photographs 1 - 3).
  • There are also extensive formal and informal garden areas at lower levels and alongside the moat.
  • The step-free route to these levels is using the bridge across the moat (shown in photograph 4) which has short steep slopes at each end, then a long slope in the grassed bank on the far side.
  • This slope may become muddy after poor weather.
  • Alternatively there are several sets of deep, unmarked steps down to moat level.
  • The steps do not have handrails and may be uneven in places.

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 car park or informal garden areas.
  • A member of staff trained in BSL skills is not normally on duty.
  • This service cannot be requested.
  • Comments View
    • This venue is available to hire for weddings and other private events.