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

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Access Guide

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Getting Help and Assistance

  • For the British Museum accessibility information page please click here (new tab).
  • 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: different languages on request, large print on request, audio on request and Braille 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.
  • Manual wheelchairs are available to pre-book free of charge for your visit. These can be collected at the Great Russell Street entrance only and returned to either the Great Russell Street entrance or the Montague Place exit at the end of your visit.
    If you'd like to reserve a wheelchair, please either email [email protected] or phone 020 7323 8181.
    Please allow at least two working days' notice for reservations.
    Unfortunately, the Museum is unable to provide staff assistance around the Museum for wheelchair users.
    Wheelchairs may not be taken outside of the Museum site.
  • Quieter Times and Sensory Information
    The Museum can sometimes be crowded and noisy.
    The quietest times to visit the Museum are when the galleries first open between 10.00 and 11.00 and again in the afternoon after 16.00. Please remember that the Museum closes at 17:00, except Fridays when open until 20.30.
    The middle of the day is usually the busiest time in the Museum galleries, cafés and shops.
    Please note that some Friday late openings have additional activities that can be busy and noisy.
    The busiest times are at weekends, during UK school holidays, UK bank holidays, Christmas and the New Year.
    The permanent galleries can get especially busy during the first and final weekends of a special exhibition.
    The quietest time of the year tends to be November and early December.
    For more information about the specific information about the quieter areas and a sensory map of the museum, please visit the British Museum Accessibility Page.
  • If you need assistance during your visit, staff members will be able to help you, The Visitor Services team wear blue or black shirts and a red lanyard/name badge and you can also ask for assistance at the Ticket Desk in the Great Court.
    There are sensory support back packs are available from the Families Desk in the Great Court, which is open on weekends and school holidays from 10.00–16.30.
  • Service, assistant, and emotional support animals – including assistant dogs in training – are welcome at the Museum.
    Service, assistant, and emotional support animals must be kept with you at all times and be identifiable as working. This includes a harness or lead which indicates their status and a high standard of behaviour in keeping with the animal's task and training.
    If your service, assistant or emotional support animal is not a dog, please contact the accessibility team at [email protected] prior to your visit to avoid disappointment on the day.

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 depth 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 of the step(s).
  • 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 moderate to 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 low.
  • The colour contrast between the external lift control plate and the wall is low.
  • 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 internal 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 to moderate.
  • 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 access between the Great Court and the Great Court Restaurant on level 3.

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 step-free 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.
    • There are resting/seating areas within this area.
    • Explanations for the exhibit(s) is/are in information board format.
    • There are some exhibits which start from the floor level.
    • Some of the exhibits can be audio described via the British Museum app, there is a BSL guide available on the app too.
    • There is a high colour contrast between some walls and the floor in this area.
    • The lighting levels in this area are low to moderate.
  • Exit View
    • Visitors exit via a lift.

Accessible Toilet(s)

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

Standard Toilet(s)

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