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Imperial War Museum London

Lambeth Road, London, SE1 6HZ

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About this venue

IWM London’s world-class collections tell the everyday and exceptional stories of people whose lives have been forever impacted by war, with unique documents and objects, art, sound and film. Ground-breaking galleries reflect on war from the First World War onwards, to conflicts that continue to shape our world today. Discover our First World War Galleries as well as our permanent exhibitions including The Lord Ashcroft Gallery: Extraordinary Heroes and Secret War. Explore stories and key moments from the Second World War in A Family in Wartime and The Holocaust Exhibition.

Access Guide

Show Easy Read

Introduction

  • The services/facilities within the building include;.
  • Level 0 - West (accessible) entrance, information desk, café, First World War galleries and gift shop.
  • Level 1 - main entrance, book & gift shop and Second World War Gallery.
  • Level 2 - 1945 - 2014 galleries and conference centre.
  • Level 3 - special exhibitions and exit from Holocaust exhibition.
  • Level 4 - entrance to Holocaust exhibition.
  • Level 5 - Lord Ashcroft galleries.

Opening Times

  • Monday 10:00 - 18:00.
  • Tuesday 10:00 - 18:00.
  • Wednesday 10:00 - 18:00.
  • Thursday 10:00 - 18:00.
  • Friday 10:00 - 18:00.
  • Saturday 10:00 - 18:00.
  • Sunday 10:00 - 18:00.

Location

  • There is a bus stop within 150m (164yds) of the venue.
  • The nearest National Rail station is Elephant and Castle.
  • The nearest underground station is Lambeth North.

Parking (Blue Badge Parking)

  • 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 at the rear of the venue.
    • The car park type is open air/surface.
    • Parking spaces for Blue Badge holders do need to be booked in advance.
    • There is/are 2 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 32m (34yd 2ft) from the west entrance.
    • The furthest Blue Badge bay is 36m (39yd 1ft) from the west 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 slopes/ramps.
    • The car park surface is tarmac.
    • 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.
  • Comments View
    • To book a parking space please call 020 7416 5000.
    • Please book at least 2 working days in advance.

Outside Access (Main Entrance)

  • This information is for the entrance located at the front of the museum, facing Lambeth Road.
  • There is not level access into the venue.
  • The main door(s) open(s) away from you (push).
  • The door(s) is / are double.
  • The door(s) is / are heavy.
  • The width of the door opening is 120cm (3ft 11in).
  • Second set of doors View
    • There is a second set of doors.
    • The door(s) open(s) away from you (push).
    • The door(s) is / are double.
    • The door(s) is / are permanently held open.
    • The width of the door opening is 120cm (3ft 11in).
  • Comments View
    • This entrance gives access to level 1 using a level change with three steps.

Level Change (Main Entrance)

  • There is a ramp/slope to access this area/service.
  • The ramp/slope is located leading from Lambeth Road to the steps.
  • The ramp/slope is easy.
  • The ramp/slope is permanent.
  • There is a level landing at the top of the ramp/slope.
  • There is a/are step(s) to access this area/service.
  • The step(s) is/are located in front of the entrance.
  • There is/are 10 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 in the centre.
  • The ramp/slope does not bypass the step(s).
  • Comments View
    • The are three further steps ahead from the main entrance level up to the main level 1 exhibition area and book and gift shops. These steps have central handrails.
    • There are also similar steps up to the left and right which lead to lockers and buggy storage areas.
    • The steps to the right have a handrail to the right and the ones to the left have the handrail to the left.
    • There is level access to the exhibition areas and shops from the west entrance and lift.
    • There are further lockers at the west entrance.

Outside Access (West Entrance - Accessible Entrance)

  • This information is for the entrance located at the right hand side of the museum from the main entrance.
  • There is not level access into the venue.
  • The main door(s) open(s) away from you (push).
  • The door(s) is / are double.
  • The door(s) is / are permanently held open.
  • The width of the door opening is 112cm (3ft 8in).
  • Second set of doors View
    • There is a second set of doors.
    • The door(s) open(s) away from you (push).
    • The door(s) is / are single.
    • The door(s) is / are heavy.
    • The width of the door opening is 108cm (3ft 7in).
  • Comments View
    • This is the accessible entrance to the museum giving access to level 0.
    • There is always a member of staff at this entrance to give assistance if required.
    • There are storage lockers immediately after this entrance and accessible and standard toilets nearby.

Level Change (West Entrance - Accessible Entrance)

  • There is a ramp/slope to access this area/service.
  • The ramp or slope is located to the left as you face 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.
  • There is a/are step(s) to access this area/service.
  • The step(s) is/are located in front of the entrance.
  • There is/are 2 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 not a/are not handrail(s) at the step(s).
  • The ramp/slope does bypass the step(s).
  • Comments View
    • Once inside the building, there is a further easy ramp with handrails to both sides from the entrance level down to level 0.

Reception (Information Desk - Level 0)

  • The desk/counter is 40m (43yd 2ft) from the west entrance.
  • There is level access to the desk/counter from the entrance.
  • The desk/counter is medium height (77cm - 109cm).
  • The desk/counter has a low (76cm or lower) section.
  • The lighting levels are bright.
  • There is not a hearing assistance system.
  • Comments View
    • The information desk is the meeting and booking point for tours and for the collection of portable audio guides and printed guides.

Inside Access

  • There is not level access to the service(s).
  • There is a hearing assistance system.
  • The hearing assistance system is available only on request.
  • The system is a portable loop.
  • Staff are trained to use the system.
  • This venue does not play background music.
  • Motorised scooters are allowed in public parts of the venue.
  • The lighting levels are varied.
  • Comments View
    • The lighting levels in some exhibition areas are very low.
    • There may be soundtracks and background noises as part of some displays.

Museum

  • 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 not available.
  • There is a hearing assistance system.
  • The hearing system is a portable loop.
  • Staff are trained to use the hearing system.
  • A deposit is not required for the hearing system.
  • Concessions are available.
  • There is a wheelchair to borrow.
  • To borrow the wheelchair, please ask at the Information Desk or call 020 7416 5000.
  • Comments View
    • Large print texts for The Holocaust exhibition are available from the Information Desk on level 0.
    • Large print e-books for the First World War Galleries are available in a Word document, for Kindle and other devices.
    • Audio descriptive guides for the First World War Galleries, The Lord Ashcroft Gallery and The Holocaust Exhibition available from the Information Desk on level 0.
    • A free live audio described tour with expert guide of our First World War Galleries is available for visually impaired and blind people. The tours are for a maximum of two people (carers welcome). For larger groups, please enquire.
    • The tours last approximately 40 minutes and are available seven days a week during museum opening hours subject to staff availability. Please book in advance by calling 020 7091 3157 or by email.
    • A tactile map is available at the beginning of the First World War Galleries and there are objects available for handling by arrangement in the Holocaust Exhibition.
    • There are English subtitles on all films and interactive media throughout the museum.
    • There is a short introductory film in BSL with subtitles at the start of the First World War Galleries.

Other Floors

  • Steps View
    • The floors which are accessible by stairs are 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.
    • There are 15+ steps between floors.
    • The steps are clearly marked.
    • The steps are medium (11cm - 17cm).
    • The steps do have handrails.
    • The steps have a handrail on both sides.
    • There is a landing.
    • The lighting levels are medium.
  • Comments View
    • These stairs are located at the rear of the building, next to the main lifts (photographs 1 and 2).
    • There are also stairs at the front of the central atrium from level 0 - level 1 and the main entrance (photographs 3 and 4) and also at the rear of the atrium from 0, 1, 2 and 3 (photographs 5 and 6).

Lift (Main Lifts)

  • There is a lift for public use.
  • The lift is located at the rear of the building.
  • The lift is a standard lift.
  • The floors which are accessible by this lift are 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.
  • The lift is approximately 30m (32yd 2ft) from the west entrance.
  • Staff do not need to be notified for use of the lift.
  • The clear door width is 90cm (2ft 11in).
  • The dimensions of the lift are 150cm x 130cm (4ft 11in x 4ft 3in).
  • 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 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 have Braille markings.
  • The lift does have tactile markings.
  • The lighting level in the lift is medium.
  • Comments View
    • There are 4 lifts in this location. Most lifts serve all floors but one lift serves 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4 only.

Lift (West Entrance)

  • There is a lift for public use.
  • The lift is located to the right of the west entrance.
  • The lift is a standard lift.
  • The floors which are accessible by this lift are 0, 1 and 2.
  • The lift is approximately 10m (10yd 2ft) from the west 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 110cm x 200cm (3ft 7in x 6ft 7in).
  • 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 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 not have Braille markings.
  • The lift does have tactile markings.
  • The lighting level in the lift is medium.
  • Comments View
    • This lift gives access to the Conference Rooms, Teaching Rooms and Education Office.
    • All galleries on these floors can also be accessed via this lift although there is a heavy door between the lift lobby and the galleries.

Eating and Drinking (Café - Level 0)

  • The following information is for the café.
  • The café is located on level 0, to the left of the atrium from the west entrance.
  • 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.
  • Some tables are permanently fixed.
  • Some chairs are permanently fixed.
  • No chairs have armrests.
  • The nearest table is approximately 3m (3yd 10in) from the café entrance.
  • The standard height for tables is 72cm.
  • 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 presented in contrasting colours.
  • The type of food served here is light meals and snacks.
  • Comments View
    • There is a small area of seating on a raised level which is reached by an easy ramp with handrails to both sides or by 4 medium clearly marked steps with handrails to both sides.
  • Opening Times View
    • Monday 10:00 - 17:30.
    • Tuesday 10:00 - 17:30.
    • Wednesday 10:00 - 17:30.
    • Thursday 10:00 - 17:30.
    • Friday 10:00 - 17:30.
    • Saturday 10:00 - 17:30.
    • Sunday 10:00 - 17:30.

Level Change (First World War Galleries)

  • There is a ramp/slope to access this area/service.
  • The ramp/slope is located on level 0 to the left of the information desk.
  • 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.
  • There is a/are step(s) to access this area/service.
  • The step(s) is/are located to the right of the ramp.
  • There is/are 6 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 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
    • This ramp and steps are to enter the exhibition - there are similar ramp and steps on the opposite side of the atrium to exit the exhibition (shown in photographs 3 and 4).

Other Floors (Holocaust Exhibition)

  • Steps View
    • The floors which are accessible by stairs are 3 and 4.
    • 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 the left going up.
    • There is a landing.
    • The lighting levels are low.
  • Comments View
    • The exhibition is entered on level 4.

Lift (Holocaust Exhibition)

  • There is a lift for public use.
  • The lift is located in the centre of the exhibition.
  • The lift is a standard lift.
  • The floors which are accessible by this lift are 3 and 4.
  • The lift is approximately 46m (50yd 11in) from the main lift.
  • 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 110cm x 180cm (3ft 7in x 5ft 11in).
  • There are separate entry and exit doors in the lift.
  • The lift does 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 have Braille markings.
  • The lift does have tactile markings.
  • The lighting level in the lift is medium.

Accessible Toilet (Level 0 - West Entrance - Female)

  • 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 25m (27yd 1ft) from the west entrance.
    • This accessible toilet is located in the standard toilets next to the west entrance.
    • There is level access to this accessible toilet.
  • Features and Dimensions View
    • This is not a unisex toilet.
    • There are separate female and male accessible toilets in the standard toilets.
    • A key is not required for the accessible toilet.
    • The door opens outwards.
    • The door is locked by a sliding bolt.
    • The width of the accessible toilet door is 95cm (3ft 1in).
    • The door is light.
    • The dimensions of the accessible toilet are 150cm x 300cm (4ft 11in x 9ft 10in).
    • 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 left.
    • The lateral transfer space is 76cm (2ft 6in).
    • 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 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 a shelf within the accessible toilet.
    • The shelf is not higher than 100cm (3ft 3in).
    • There is not a mirror.
    • The height of the toilet seat above floor level is 46cm (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 good.
    • The contrast between the internal door and wall is good.
    • 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 medium.
  • Baby Change Facilities View
    • Baby change facilities are located within the venue.
    • Baby change facilities are located in the accessible toilet cubicle.
    • The height of the baby change table once extended is 93cm (3ft 1in).
  • Comments View
    • There are further accessible toilets on level 0, off the central atrium, behind the stairs up to the main entrance (photographs 3 and 4).
    • These are unisex toilets but are at the end of the separate corridors leading to the male and female standard toilets.
    • The toilets are 150 x 210cm and may not have adequate turning space for some wheelchairs.
    • The toilet doors are very heavy.

Accessible Toilet (Level 2)

  • 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 20m (21yd 2ft) from the main lifts.
    • This accessible toilet is located in the lobby off the rear right of the gallery area.
    • 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 lever twist.
    • The width of the accessible toilet door is 77cm (2ft 6in).
    • The door is heavy.
    • The dimensions of the accessible toilet are 195cm x 195cm (6ft 5in x 6ft 5in).
    • 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 130cm (4ft 3in).
    • 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 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 not 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 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 good.
    • The contrast between the walls and floor is good.
    • The lighting levels are bright.
  • Comments View
    • This toilet is signposted as having baby change facilities but none are present.
    • There is a similar toilet in the same location on level 1 (photographs 3 and 4) which does have a baby change table.

Standard Toilet(s)

  • 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 on level 0, to the right after the west entrance.
    • The female and male toilets are approximately 15m (16yd 1ft) from the west entrance.
    • Inside the venue, there is level access to the female and male toilets.
    • Lighting levels are medium.
  • Comments View
    • There are further standard toilets on level 0 beyond the front stairs (shown in photographs 3, 4 and 5).
    • There is an ambulant cubicle in these toilets and several cubicles with baby change benches.

Additional Info

  • Staff do receive disability awareness / equality training.
  • Documents are 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 parkland around the building.
  • A member of staff trained in BSL skills is not normally on duty.
  • This service can be requested.