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Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries

Westminster Abbey, 20 Deans Yard, London, SW1P 3PA

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Access Guide

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Introduction

  • Comments View
    • Entrance to the Galleries is by purchasing a timed ticket in conjunction with a ticket to visit the Abbey.
    • The Galleries' emergency evacuation plan allows for two wheelchair users or visitors who would be unable to use the stairs at any one time. Please mention any assistance needs to staff when collecting your timed gallery ticket. .
    • The start of your Gallery visit may have to be timed to allow for visitors with mobility difficulties who are already in the Galleries or have already collected tickets.

Opening Times

  • The Galleries are generally open:
  • Monday 10.00 - 16.00
  • Tuesday 10.00 - 16.00
  • Wednesday 10.00 - 16.00
  • Thursday 10.00 - 16.00
  • Friday 10.00 - 16.00
  • Saturday 09.30 - 15.30 (May - August) and 09:30 - 12:30 (September - April)
  • Sunday Closed
  • However, the Abbey is sometimes closed for all or part of the day for special events.
  • Please check the Abbey website before planning your visit.

Getting Here

  • By Road View
    • The Abbey is located in central London, close to the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. Access is from Broad Sanctuary/ Victoria Street.
    • There is no parking at the Abbey or in nearby streets. It is possible for private cars and taxis to drive into The Sanctuary, at the west end of the Abbey, to drop off passengers. There are generally taxis available in this location.
  • By Bus View
    • There is a bus stop within 150 metres of the venue.
    • Westminster Abbey is served by TFL services 11, 24, 88, 148 and 211 from all over London. The nearest bus stops are in Parliament Square, Victoria Street and Great Smith Street. Please see the TFL website to plan a bus journey to the Abbey. Every London bus route is wheelchair accessible, with automatic ramps and designated wheelchair spaces.
  • By Train View
    • The nearest Railway Station is Charing Cross, Waterloo or Victoria.
    • Staff are available to assist with portable ramps from train to platform at these stations. There is step-free access from platform to street at each station. There are bus services and taxi ranks at each station to complete the journey to the Abbey.
  • By Underground View
    • The nearest underground station is Westminster.
    • Westminster is on the Jubilee Line and District and Circle Lines. There is step-free access from tube to street at Westminster Underground station from the Jubilee Line. Portable access ramps are required from tube to platform on the District and Circle Line trains. Please see the link to the TFL Journey Planner for access details of connecting routes and stations. It is about 0.2 miles (5 minute walk) from Westminster Undergound to the Great North Door visitor entrance. There are pedestrian crossings at all road crossings on the route.
  • Useful Links View

Getting Help and Assistance

  • There is not a member of staff trained in British Sign Language.
  • Staff do not receive disability awareness/equality training.
  • Staff do not receive deaf awareness training.
  • There is not an assistance dog toilet or toileting area at the venue/nearby.
  • 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 Visitor Information Desk or a member of the Abbey staff.
  • There are members of staff and volunteers available for help and assistance. The alternative formats documents can be provided in include; large print, different languages, audio, BSL and subtitled multimedia tour.

Entrance (The Weston Tower for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries)

  • Entrance View
    • This information is for the entrance located within the Abbey, in Poet's Corner. This is about 3/4 of the way along the set tour route around the Abbey.
    • The entrance area/door is clearly signed.
    • There is step-free access at this entrance.
    • The entrance door(s) does/do contrast visually with its immediate surroundings.
    • The main door(s) open(s) away from you (push).
    • The door(s) is/are double width.
    • The door(s) is/are permanently held open.
    • The width of the door opening is 125cm.
  • Comments View
    • The doors are held open when the Galleries are open.
    • There will be Abbey staff in this area to check tickets and provide assistance.

Reception

  • Reception View
    • The reception point is located to the left after the entrance to the Weston Tower.
    • The reception point is approximately 3m (3yd 10in) from the Weston Tower entrance.
    • The reception area/desk is clearly visible from the entrance.
    • There is step-free access to the reception point.
    • There is a clear unobstructed route to the reception point.
    • There are no windows, TVs, glazed screens or mirrors behind the reception point which could adversely affect the ability of someone to lip read.
    • The reception counter is not placed in front of a background which is patterned.
    • The lighting levels at the reception point are varied.
    • The height of the reception counter is low (76cm or lower).
    • There is sufficient space to write or sign documents on the counter.
    • There is not a clear knee recess beneath the low/lowered section of the counter.
    • The counter is staffed.
    • There is a hearing assistance system at the reception point.
    • The type of system is a fixed loop.
    • The hearing assistance system is signed.
    • Staff are trained to use the hearing system.
    • Signs and universally accepted symbols or pictograms, indicating lifts, stairs, WCs, circulation routes and other parts of the building are not provided in the reception area.
    • The type of flooring in the reception area is stone.
  • Comments View
    • After the reception desk there is a foyer leading to the stairs and lifts.
    • Visitors may have to wait in this area until their allocated time.

Attraction / Exhibit

  • Entrance / Opening View
    • There is a single, permanently held open door with an opening width of 75cm+ for access to this area/attraction.
    • The entrance door(s) does not/do not contrast visually with its immediate surroundings.
    • There is step-free access at this entrance/opening.
    • The entrance to the Galleries is ahead as you exit the lift in the Weston Tower, or to the right from the top of the stairs. After the first doorway, there is a short passageway leading to a second door, which is also held open. This opens into the gallery space. Please turn to the right to avoid the structural beam ahead (photograph 3).
  • Attraction / Exhibit View
    • There is level access throughout this area.
    • Although the floor is level or has a very easy slope, there are a small number of areas where parts of the building structure are above the floor surface, which could be a trip hazard (as shown in photograph 4). There are several areas where the building structure creates an area of low head height or an obstruction which must be bypassed.
    • The type of flooring in this area is wood.
    • There is some flooring which is shiny and could cause issues with glare or look slippery to some people.
    • This area does not play background music/sound.
    • There are resting/seating areas within this area.
    • Explanations for the exhibit(s) is/are in pictorial, information board and television/screen format.
    • No exhibits can be audio described.
    • There are no exhibits which start from the floor level.
    • The distance between the lowest exhibit and the floor is 30cm.
    • The exhibition is in four themed areas but there is no set route around the displays. One side of the space has a balustrade giving a view down into the nave of the Abbey. There are some changing digital displays which have information captions. Where there are touchscreen panels, these are within reach of wheelchair users. There is bench seating, some with armrests, within the exhibition area. In very hot weather, blinds may be lowered to reduce temperatures to protect the exhibits. This may reduce the lighting levels in some areas.
  • Colour Contrast and Lighting View
    • There is a good colour contrast between the walls and the floor in this area.
    • The lighting levels in this area are varied.
  • Exit View
    • Visitors exit via the entrance/opening.

Other Floors

  • Stairs View
    • Stairs can be used to access other floors.
    • The stairs are located ahead as you enter the Weston Tower.
    • The stairs are approximately 10m from the Weston Tower entrance.
    • The stairs are clearly visible from the entrance.
    • The floors which are accessible by stairs are the Abbey floor level to the Galleries.
    • There are 15+ steps between floors.
    • The height of the step(s) is/are between the recommended 15cm and 18cm.
    • The going of the step(s) is/are between the recommended 30cm and 45cm.
    • The steps are clearly marked.
    • There is a/are handrail(s) at the step(s).
    • The steps have a handrail 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.
    • There is a landing.
    • The lighting levels at the steps are good.
  • Comments View
    • There are 108 steps to reach the Galleries from the Abbey floor level.
    • The steps are arranged in flights of 9 steps with level landings in between each flight to make the ascent as easy as possible.
    • The windows in the stairwell give views of the outside of the Abbey that have not previously been seen by the public.

Lift

  • There is a lift for public use.
  • The lift is located to the left after reception.
  • Signs indicating the location of the lift are not available from the entrance.
  • The lift is approximately 5m (5yd 1ft) from the Weston Tower 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 the Abbey floor level to the Galleries.
  • 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 good.
  • The colour contrast between the external lift control plate and the wall is good.
  • The clear door width is 86cm (2ft 10in).
  • The dimensions of the lift are 126cm x 157cm (4ft 2in x 5ft 2in).
  • There are no 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.
  • There is a hearing loop system.
  • The lift does have Braille markings.
  • The lift does have tactile markings.
  • The lighting levels in the lift are good.

Accessible Toilet(s)

  • There is an/are accessible toilet(s) for public use.
  • Location and Access View
    • This accessible toilet is located to the left of the Weston Tower foyer, after reception.
    • This accessible toilet is approximately 5m (5yd 1ft) from the Weston Tower entrance.
    • There is step-free access to the accessible toilet.
  • Features and Dimensions View
    • This is a shared toilet.
    • A key is required for the accessible toilet.
    • The key is not a radar key.
    • The key can be obtained from a member of staff at reception.
    • There is no signage on or near the toilet door.
    • The door opens outwards.
    • The door is heavy.
    • The door is locked by a lever twist.
    • The width of the accessible toilet door is 95cm (3ft 1in).
    • The door has a horizontal grab rail.
    • The dimensions of the accessible toilet are 152cm x 222cm (4ft 12in x 7ft 3in).
    • The accessible toilet does have an unobstructed minimum turning space of 150cm x 150cm.
    • The toilet has a non-slip floor.
    • There is a lateral transfer space.
    • As you face the toilet pan the transfer space is on the left.
    • The lateral transfer space is 82cm (2ft 8in).
    • There is a flush, however it is not on the transfer side.
    • There is not a spatula type lever flush.
    • There is a dropdown rail on the transfer side.
    • There is an emergency alarm.
    • The emergency pull cord alarm is fully functional.
    • There is not a flashing fire alarm beacon within the toilet.
    • There is not a/are not coat hook(s).
  • Position of Fixtures View
    • There is a/are wall-mounted grab rail(s) available.
    • As you face the toilet the wall-mounted grab rail(s) is/are on both sides.
    • There is a vertical wall-mounted grab rail on the transfer side.
    • There is a horizontal wall-mounted grab rail on the opposite side of the seat to the transfer space.
    • There is a mirror.
    • The mirror is placed at a lower level or at an angle for ease of use.
    • There is not a shelf next to the toilet.
    • The toilet has a backrest.
    • The height of the toilet seat above floor level is 46cm (1ft 6in).
    • 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).
    • There are vertical wall-mounted grab rails on both sides of the wash basin.
    • The wash basin tap type is lever.
    • There is a mixer tap.
    • Taps have clear markings to indicate hot and cold settings.
    • There is a soap dispenser.
    • The soap dispenser can be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The height of the soap dispenser is 85cm.
    • 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 114cm (3ft 9in).
    • There is not a hand dryer.
  • Colour Contrast and Lighting View
    • The contrast between the external door and wall is poor.
    • The contrast between the internal door and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the dropdown rail(s) and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the wall-mounted grab rail(s) and wall is good.
    • The toilet seat colour contrast is good.
    • The contrast between the walls and floor is fair.
    • The lighting levels are good.

Standard Toilet(s)

  • Standard toilet facilities are not available.
  • The nearest standard toilet(s) is/are located off the Cloisters.
  • Comments View
    • The nearest baby change facilities are located off the cloisters.
    • Please see the guide to the Cloisters for more details.