Access Information

A 360 Virtual Reality Accessibility Tour of Discovery Museum

Discovery Museum - 360 Virtual Reality Accessibility Tour film

If you have any access concerns or questions ahead of your visit, please contact us on (0191) 232 6789 / Textphone: 18001 0191 232 6789 / and we'll be happy to advise you.

The entrance

The approach to the main gate and courtyard 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 straight ahead, which is an automatic opening door which leads to another set of double automatic opening doors. 

This opening leads you into the welcome area which consists an Information Point straight ahead, with Gift Shop counter on the left hand side. After walking past the welcome area you'll find yourself in the Turbinia Atrium where Turbinia, the world's first steam-turbine powered vessel, dominates the space.

Getting around

The museum has three public lifts and stairs providing access to all floors. All lifts have voice announcers and Braille indicators. The museum is spread across lower ground, ground, first and second floors with access to the fourth floor when events are taking place in the Great Hall. The cafe is on the second floor.

All floors have level access with ramped access from lower ground to ground in the Turbinia Atrium. Stairs have raised tactile indicators on the handrails. Part of Newcastle Story gallery has a raised track floor to guide you around.


There is a range of seating available around the museum.

  • Turbinia Atrium
    • Padded bench seating, picnic seating and seats with backs
  • Newcastle Story
    • Benches, padded benches, padding seating with backs
  • Story of the Tyne
    • Benches with arms, padded benches, seats with back
  • Charge! The Story of England's Northern Cavalry
    • Benches and seats with backs
  • Working Lives
    • Benches, sofas and padded benches
  • Tyneside Challenge
    • Seats with backs and padded benches
  • First and second floor balconies
    • Benches, padded benches and picnic benches
  • Science Maze
    • Benches, padded benches and picnic benches
  • Destination Tyneside
    • Sofas, benches, padded stools, chairs with arms and backs
  • Turbinia Cafe
    • Seats with backs.

Public telephone

The Welcome Desk telephone can be used on request for emergencies or to book taxis for disabled people. Please speak to a member of staff who can assist.

Borrowing a wheelchair

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

Assistance Dogs

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


Most audio points also have text versions beside them. The audio visual displays in Story of the Tyne, Tyneside Challenge, Working Lives and Destination Tyneside are subtitled. There is BSL interpretation added to the North East Innovators video screen outside Tyneside Challenge and to some of the presentations in Destination Tyneside.


There are male and female toilets on the ground, second and fourth floors. Separate accessible toilets are on the ground, second and fourth floor. 

Changing Places toilet is on the ground floor. 

It features the following:

  • Bench - Height Adjustable, Adult Sized, Free Standing
  • Hoist - Ceiling , Loop
  • Peninsular Toilet
  • Non Slip Floor
  • Floor Space (sq. m) - 7
  • Paper Roll
  • Managed
  • Locked

The accessible toilet on the second floor also has a day bed and shower with a seat.

Fire Alarms

The fire alarms have voice evacuation sounders, visual flashing lights and there are rolling text messages around the 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.

Baby changing

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, second and fourth floors.

There is space for visitors to leave buggies on the ground floor - this is at visitors' own risk as the area is not supervised.   

Eating at Turbinia Cafe

The cafe is located on the second floor. Hot and cold drinks plus hot meals, sandwiches and cakes are available. 

If there is anything that we can do to make your visit more enjoyable please contact us and we will be happy to help.

Guided tours

Members of the curatorial team, customer services and learning team can lead tours of the museum, but these must be booked in advance of your visit. Tours tend to last between 45 minutes and an hour. 

Contact the museum on (0191) 232 6789 / Textphone: 18001 0191 232 6789 / and we'll be happy to help.