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The British Museum, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG

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Access Guide

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COVID-19 Information (British Museum)

  • The information in this section was taken in November 2020.
  • All entry is ticketed (both for free collection visit and paid for exhibitions).
  • Currently only selected galleries are open.
  • There are separate doors for entering and exiting.
  • Entry is via Great Russell Street and to exit is via Montague place.
  • Hand sanitisers are available inside the venue.
  • There is a new one way route in place.
  • The following areas are currently closed; the cloakroom, the Information desk, the Audio Guide and Multimedia Guide desk and the 'Hands On' desks.
  • No live events or tours are taking place at the Museum.
  • For more information about the measures in place for Covid-19 please click here (new tab) .


Getting Help and Assistance

  • There is a member of staff available for help and assistance.
  • There is a member of staff trained in British Sign Language.
  • The alternative formats documents can be provided in include; Braille on request, large print on request, different languages on request and audio on request.
  • There is an assistance dog toilet or toileting area at the venue/nearby.
  • The assistance dog toilet or toileting area is located in Russell Square Park.
  • Water bowls for assistance dogs are available.
  • There are mobility aids available.
  • The mobility aids available include wheelchairs.
  • To obtain mobility aids please contact the museum in advance by emailing [email protected] or speak to a member of staff at either entrance foyer.
  • There are portable resting stools available to use when going around the museum.
    They are located on the ground floor in Rooms 6, 17 and 24 and on Level 3 in the South Stairs/Lift Lobby and next to the East Stairs landing.
  • There is a BSL Handset Guide of the museum available, which can be collected from the Audio Guide Desk in the Great Court.
    There is a Large Print copy of the Audio Guide available.
    There are free maps of the museum available, please speak to a member of staff.
    There is a large print map of the museum available.
    There are ear defenders available for visitors.

Step(s) (Africa)

  • There is a/are step(s) located at the centre of room 24.
  • The step(s) is/are used to access The Africa Gallery.
  • There is/are 15+ step(s).
  • The step(s) is/are not clearly marked.
  • The height of the step(s) is/are between 15cm and 18cm.
  • The height of the step(s) is/are 16cm.
  • The going of the step(s) is/are between 30cm and 45cm.
  • There is a/are handrail(s) at the step(s).
  • The handrail(s) is/are on both sides.
  • Handrails are at the recommended height (90cm-100cm).
  • Handrails do cover the flight of stairs throughout its length.
  • Handrails are easy to grip.
  • Handrails do extend horizontally beyond the first and last steps.
  • The lighting levels at the step(s) are good.

Lift (Great Court East Lift)

  • There is a lift for public use.
  • The lift is located to the right of the central reading room as you enter the Great Court from the Great Russell Street entrance.
  • Signs indicating the location of the lift are not available from the entrance.
  • The lift is approximately 60m (65yd 1ft) from the Great Russell Street entrance.
  • The lift is a standard lift.
  • A member of staff does not need to be notified for use of the lift.
  • The floors which are accessible by this lift are -2, -1, 0, 1 and 3.
  • Clear signs indicating the facilities on each floor are provided on lift lobby landings.
  • There is a clear level manoeuvring space of 150cm × 150cm in front of the lift.
  • Lift doors do contrast visually with lift lobby walls.
  • The external controls for the lift are within 90cm - 110cm from the floor.
  • The colour contrast between the external lift controls and the control plate is poor.
  • The colour contrast between the external lift control plate and the wall is poor.
  • The clear door width is 90cm (2ft 11in).
  • The dimensions of the lift are 170cm x 130cm (5ft 7in x 4ft 3in).
  • There are separate entry and exit doors in the lift.
  • There is a mirror to aid reversing out of the lift.
  • There is a list of floor services available within the lift.
  • The lift does have a visual floor indicator.
  • The lift does have an audible announcer.
  • The controls for the lift are within 90cm - 120cm from the floor.
  • There is a hearing loop system.
  • The lift does not have Braille markings.
  • The lift does have tactile markings.
  • The lighting levels in the lift are low.
  • There is a/are similar lift(s) available.
  • Comments View
    • There is a separate exit from the lift on level 1.
    • There is a similar lift on the west side of the Great Court.
    • The lift gives direct between the Great Court and the Great Court Restaurant on level 3.

Accessible Toilet(s)

  • The nearest accessible toilet(s) is/are located in the Great Court.

Attraction / Exhibit (Level -2 : Room 25)

  • Entrance / Opening View
    • There is a lift with an opening door width of 75cm+ for access to this area/attraction.
    • The entrance/opening is clearly signed.
    • The entrance door(s) does/do contrast visually with its immediate surroundings.
    • There is step-free access at this entrance/opening, via lift.
  • Attraction / Exhibit View
    • There is level access throughout this area.
    • Clear directional signage is provided in this area.
    • The type of flooring in this area is wood.
    • There is flooring which is shiny and could cause issues with glare or look slippery to some people.
    • Explanations for the exhibit(s) is/are in information board format.
    • Some exhibits can be audio described.
    • Exhibits are audio described by using a headset.
    • Headsets can be obtained from the Audio Guide Desk in the Great Court, the audio guide is free of charge.
    • There are some exhibits which start from the floor level.
    • There is bench seating available.
  • Colour Contrast and Lighting View
    • There is a good colour contrast between some walls and the floor in this area.
    • The lighting levels in this area are low.
  • Exit View
    • Visitors exit via a lift.

Standard Toilet(s)

  • The nearest standard toilet(s) is/are located in the Great Court.