Access Information

If you have any access concerns ahead of your visit, please contact us on (0191) 277 2248 / and we'll be happy to advise you.


The approach to the main gate and courtyard of Discovery Museum from the car park and footpath is tarmac. At the main gate/archway there is a gentle slope to the main entrance which is concrete paving lined with cobbled stones and in-built up-lights. The main entrance is on the right, which is an automatic inwards-opening door which leads to another set of double automatic opening doors. This opening leads you into the welcome area which consists of the welcome desk and information point plus the shop. After walking past the welcome area you'll find yourself in the Turbinia Atrium where Turbinia, the first steam powered ship dominates the space.

Tyne & Wear Archives can be accessed on the ground floor.

Getting into the Archives

Discovery Museum has a public lift and ramped access that takes you from the lower ground to ground floor which is where you'll find Tyne & Wear Archives. The lift has voice announcers and Braille indicators.

Large static visual and touch orientation maps are available on the lower ground floor near the Welcome Desk to help you find your way around.

Coming from the ramp or lift onto the ground floor turn left and head through the automatic set of double doors into the Hub before turning immediately left through a set of double swing doors. The Archives search room is located at the bottom of the long corridor which is flat level access and carpet surface through another set of double swing doors. The Archives is signposted and there is Braille indicators leading towards the Archives.


There is a range of seating in the Archives search room and corridor:

Search room - chairs with backs, chairs with backs and arms and sofas

Archives corridor - sofas, arm chairs, chairs with arms and backs

Borrowing a wheelchair

Two wheelchairs are available for visitor use. Please ask a member of staff at the Discovery Museum Welcome Desk or Archives reception who will be able to assist.

Public telephone

The reception telephone can be used on request for emergencies. If you require a taxi to be booked for disabled people, please speak to a member of staff at the Discovery Museum Welcome Desk.

Pre-visit information

Pre-visit information packs are available to borrow for free for blind and partially sighted people to plan a visit. Please contact us[LINK] to arrange. The pack consists of:

  • Large print visitor guide
  • Braille visitor guide
  • Large print detailed guide of Discovery Museum, Tyne & Wear Archives and their facilities
  • Audio CD comprising of a detailed guide of Discovery Museum, Tyne & Wear Archives and their facilities
  • Large print floor plan
  • Braille and tactile (touch) floor plan
  • Information regarding dogs

We welcome assistance dogs. Please let us know if you require anything for the dog whilst here.

Induction Loops

There is an induction loop at the Archives reception desk and they'll shortly be fitted to the meeting rooms along the Archives corridor. A counter loop are fitted at the Discovery Museum Welcome Desk.

We have two microfilm readers with electric winding and extra space around them which can be pre-specified when booking in advance.

Fire Alarms

The fire alarms have voice evacuation sounders, visual flashing lights and there are rolling text messages around Discovery Museum. The lift cannot be used in the event of a fire. There are evac-chairs to assist people unable to exit the building and safe fire refuge point to await evacuation which are clearly signposted. If you will require assistance exiting the building in the event of a fire alarm please inform a member of staff on your arrival to the museum and also alert staff on entering the Archives search room.

Toilets and baby changing

There are male and female toilets on the ground, second and fourth floors of Discovery Museum. Separate accessible toilets are on the ground, first, second and fourth floor. The accessible toilet on the second floor also has a day bed and shower with a seat.
There is baby changing in the male and female toilets on the ground, second and fourth floors and in the accessible toilets on the ground, first, second and fourth floors.

If you require any assistance during your visit to the Archives, please contact us before your visit and we'll do our best to facilitate.