Your Accessibility guide

We have partnered with AccessAble to create an accessible guide to IWM North.

We are committed to ensuring IWM North is accessible to all visitors, and hope the facilities we have introduced enhance your visit.

If you have any queries or need any assistance on site, please ask. We will be more than happy to help you.

General information

  • There are designated parking bays for people with disabilities. 7 of these are located on the Tank side of the car park, near the parking machine. 7 of these are located near the back fence (near the Quayside). There are 2 parent and child bays near to these disabled parking bays. Please note that charges apply for all parking at IWM North. 
  • Disabled toilets and baby change facilities are on the ground floor and are signposted.
  • Seating is available throughout the building. Please be aware that seating in the Main Exhibition Space is in the centre of the space. 
  • The building is designed to encourage visitors to consider the confusion experienced during conflict. As a result, the floor of the Main Exhibition Space has a gentle slope and visitors with mobility impairments may wish to take extra care in this area.
  • There are different lighting levels over two floors. 
  • On the hour, every hour, the 360-degree Big Picture Show is projected onto the walls of the Main Exhibition Space. Please be aware that at this time the exhibition space will go dark and there will be loud noises and flashing images. The shows are varying lengths but all are under 10 minutes long. 

For wheelchair users and people with impaired mobility

  • IWM North is fully accessible by wheelchair. Three manual wheelchairs are available for loan on a first come first served basis. These are provided free of charge (subject to availability) and are located on the ground floor between the café and the toilets.
  • There are lifts to all floors. 
  • The flooring in the Main Exhibition Space has a gentle slope. Please take care in this space.

For blind and partially sighted visitors

  • There are Large Print Guides for the exhibition interpretation in the Main Exhibition Spaces. These are located in slots in the wall next to the display cases.
  • Please take care in the Main Exhibition Space, particularly during the Big Picture Show as the exhibition space will go dark. These are hourly shows. 

For deaf and hearing impaired visitors

  • Subtitles are shown on the Big Picture Shows, this is on the access screen in the centre of the exhibition space. Please ask a member of staff if you need more information on this, or look for ‘CAP’ on the map. 
  • BSL interpretation is available on all Big Picture Shows, this is on the access screen in the centre of the exhibition space. 
  • Induction loop systems are in place at the admissions desk, in the shop and in the café. There are portable headsets available in the shop at no charge for the audio of the Big Picture Show. To use these you must be facing the accessible screen (marked as ‘CAP’) on the map.

For autistic and/or neurodivergent visitors  

  • The museum can be a disorientating space for visitors due to its design, there may be experiences in the museum that visitors may be sensitive to.
  • The Big Picture Show is played on the hour, every hour. During this the Main Exhibition Space goes dark and a film between 5 minutes and 9 minutes is shown. As these shows are shown via projections on the walls in the Main Exhibition Space, the general audio is loud throughout the space and there are flashing images. Some of the films contain loud sound effects relevant to the subject matter. Ear defenders are available from the shop if you require them or you are welcome to leave the Main Exhibition Space during this time. There is an announcement about the Big Picture Show 5 minutes prior and there is an introduction before the film starts playing. 
  • Visitors can borrow backpacks containing items that may help your visit. They are free to use and contain:
    - Ear defenders
    - Sunflower lanyard.
    - 2x fidget toys.
    - A simple map.
    - Magnifying glass.
    - Cuddly toy.
    - Pencils and grips.
    - Emotions fan.
    - Reading overlays.
  • The backpacks are available from the admissions desk, please return after use. 
  • There is a quiet room located on the ground floor available for use. There are seats inside.

Assistance animals

We hope that everyone who visits IWM enjoys their experience and are committed to welcoming and embracing the diversity of our guests and ensuring accessibility for everyone. 

We understand that some visitors will require the support of an assistance dog and we are happy to admit trained assistance dogs. 

Where possible, we encourage assistance dog owners to bring identification from organisations such as:

  • Assistance Dogs International (ADI)
  • Assistance Dogs UK (ADUK)
  • The International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF)

We also ask that assistance dogs are wear the appropriate tabard or harness. Not carrying ID or wearing a jacket is not a condition of entry but can help visitors by enabling staff to identify those who may need additional assistance. In cases where your assistance dog is not registered with ADI, ADUK, or IGDF, please understand that if it demonstrates inappropriate behaviour, we reserve the right to deny entry to ensure the safety and comfort of our staff, volunteers, and visitors. 

If you plan to bring more than one assistance dog or have multiple assistance dogs within your group, we request that you contact us in advance. This will help us ensure there are no delays in gaining access and we can meet the needs of the entire party.

For those intending to visit us with an assistance animal other than a dog, please contact us in advance to discuss your request. This is so that we can ensure there are no delays to your admission and we are able to facilitate your visit.

Water bowls can be provided at the café.

Animal safety at our branches 

Our branches are unique and historical spaces. They are unusual environments which can confuse or distress animals. 

The accessibility pages for each of our branches contain more details on what you can expect and can help you in identifying any potential areas of concern prior to your visit. We also offer AccessAble guides for all our branches and our customer service centre can answer any questions you may have.

Contact customer services on: 0207 091 3067 or via our contact us form.