Access at South Kensington

A child sits in Hintze Hall doing an activity with a Visitor assistant

We aim to provide a friendly, accessible environment for all our visitors and the widest possible access to our buildings, exhibitions and collections.

Last updated 28 March

Visitors with access requirements and their accompanying family members and personal carers can skip the queues to enter the Museum. When you arrive please approach a member of staff at an entrance for assistance. 

For more information about accessing the Museum:

  • call us on +44 (0)20 7942 5000 
  • email us

Companion tickets

We offer free companion tickets to paid exhibitions. Find out what's on.

Getting here

Find out all the different ways to get to the Museum and where to enter.

Cromwell Road main entrance what3words: ///

Exhibition Road what3words: ///limit.take.admits

Security notice

Your bags may be searched when you arrive at the Museum. Please do not bring any sharp objects, including knives and scissors, as they may be confiscated.

Find out more about the security and safety measures we have in place.

Smoke free

Smoking (including the use of electronic cigarettes and vaping products) is not permitted on the Museum premises.

  • Luggage, cloakroom, parking and photography

    Luggage and cloakroom

    Both cloakrooms are open for the full range of services, including coats.

    The cloakroom at the main entrance on Cromwell Road is available for large bags and suitcases only.

    Large and wheeled suitcases that cannot be carried must be left in the cloakrooms (see prices below). This is subject to availability of space, so we recommend to avoid bringing such items if possible.

    Luggage is charged according to weight.

    Prices per item:

    Umbrellas: £2
    Coats: £3
    Folded pushchairs: £4
    Folded bike: £4
    Bags weighing less than 4kg: £4
    Bags weighing more than 4kg: £5

    Museum Members can use the cloakrooms free of charge. The same restrictions apply.  


    We do not have parking facilities on-site and parking around the Museum is limited. Find out other ways to get to the Museum.

    Disabled parking

    We have a very limited number of parking spaces on site for Blue Badge holders. Availability cannot be guaranteed. Book in advance by calling +44 (0)20 7942 5000 and asking to speak to the Security Reception team. You can access these spaces via Queen's Gate to the west of the Museum. 

    There are also 12 Blue Badge parking spaces on Exhibition Road, which are managed by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and cannot be booked in advance. You can park there for four hours between 8.30-18.30. More information on the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea's website.


    Photography for personal use is permitted in the Museum with hand-held cameras only.

    Find out more about our commercial filming and photography opportunities.

  • Toilets, lifts, wheelchair hire and assistance dogs


    All toilets are open. The restrooms are cleaned regularly.

    Accessible toilets

    Wheelchair-accessible toilets and baby-changing facilities are clearly marked on the Museum map.


    Lifts are marked on the Museum map.  Please use the stairs where possible to ensure lifts are available for those who need them.

    Wheelchair hire

    You can borrow wheelchairs for free from the cloakrooms just inside the main entrance on Cromwell Road and the Exhibition Road entrance.

    Assistance dogs

    Assistance dogs are welcome at the Museum. 

  • Gallery closures and maintenance works

  • Visually impaired visitors

    Large print gallery guides

    Tactile and Braille books and large-print gallery guides are available for some of our temporary exhibitions and can be collected in-gallery.

    If you need any other assistance during your visit to the Museum our staff will be happy to help you.

    Audio descriptions 

    Take an audio-described tour of Hintze Hall, narrated by Sir David Attenborough. There are 24 guides to choose from. 

    Audio-described guides are available for: Hintze Hall, Human Evolution and Volcanoes and Earthquakes.

    Hintze Hall ground floor

    Ground floor audio description and orientation. The information desk is no longer in the space.

    41:16, MP3 (37.8MB)

    Hintze Hall first floor

    First floor audio description and orientation. The information desk is no longer in the space.

    40:28, MP3 (37.1MB)

    Human Evolution

    Gallery audio description. Some changes have been made to the gallery, which aren't reflected in this guide.

    33:18, MP3 (72.6MB)

    Human Evolution - with orientation

    Gallery audio description and orientation. Some changes have been made to the orientation and displays, which aren't reflected in this guide.

    33:18, MP3 (72.6MB)

    Volcanoes and Earthquakes

    Gallery audio description and orientation. Some changes have been made to the orientation and displays, which aren't reflected in this guide.

    42:30, MP3 (43MB)

    Guide dogs

    We welcome guide dogs at the Museum, however, guide dogs are not allowed on our Spirit Collection Tours. If you need help with access talk to staff at the information desks or call us on +44 (0)207 942 5000.

  • D/deaf and hard of hearing

    Hearing loops

    Hearing loops are built in at our information desks, and at various points in the Darwin Centre and Images of Nature gallery.

    British Sign Language

    The Museum may be able to book British Sign Language interpreters on request, where reasonable and subject to resource, for free public programmes with two or more weeks' notice. To arrange an interpreter, please contact us.

    Deaf-led tours

    The Museum runs British Sign Language deaf-led tours around the fascinating spirit collection. 

    You'll see Archie, the 8.62-metre-long giant squid, view specimens collected by Charles Darwin and learn more about how the collections are used for our scientific research.

    Adult: £25, Members: £20

    Deaf Messaging Service (DMS)

    The Museum has Deaf Messaging Services (DMS) installed. The DMS are linked to the Museum’s fire alarm system and can notify DMS subscribers to a fire alarm activation via their mobile phone. Three DMS zones cover the Museum’s public buildings.

    How to sign up

    Smart phone users:

    1. Text NHMBLUEGREEN to 0748 048 6966.
    2. You will receive a text message from Fireco confirming you are registered to the NHMBLUEGREEN zone and containing a link to connect to your dashboard.
    3. Click on the link in the text message and from the dashboard, ensure the following three DMS zones are selected: NHMBLUEGREEN, NHMORANGE and NHMRED. Once selected click ‘Save my settings’
    4. To customise notifications, select how you would like to be notified from the dashboard - by text, voice, WhatsApp and/or email. Once selected click ‘Save my settings’.

    Please be aware that you will not receive DMS texts and calls if your phone has no signal. You will need internet connection to receive WhatsApp messages or emails.

    1. You will now be signed up to the DMS for each zone in the Museum.
    2. We recommend that you save the DMS number 0748 048 6966 in your contact list under DMS to assist with recognition of calls from the system.

    How to unsubscribe

    1. From your dashboard, deselect the DMS location(s) you want to unsubscribe from.
    2. Click ‘Save my settings’.

    For non-smart phone users:

    1. In three separate messages, text NHMBLUEGREEN and NHMORANGE and NHMRED to 0748 048 6966.
    2. You will be automatically registered to receive text messages from the each DMS.

    Please be aware you will not receive DMS texts if you have no phone signal.

    How to unsubscribe

    1. Text STOP to 07480 486 966. You will receive a text confirming you have been unsubscribed.
  • Neurodiversity

    We have resources and events to support children and families with neurodiverse conditions.

    Quiet spaces at the Museum

    These spaces usually have lower noise levels and fewer people than the rest of the Museum. They all provide seating and are marked on the Museum map

    • Lasting Impressions (Red Zone): an uncluttered space with specimens to touch
    • Minerals gallery (Green Zone): an airy space with natural light
    • Images of Nature (Blue Zone): a quiet space with low lighting
    • Contemplation Room (Blue Zone): a quiet, naturally lit room used for prayer and reflection
    • Cocoon (Orange Zone): a quiet, open space with a wide spiral bath leading down two levels
    • Zoology spirit building (Orange Zone): a quiet, tucked-away space for reflection. It's also home to a range of specimens stored in alcohol in the spirit collection.

    Read more about these spaces in our quiet spaces and galleries guide. Pick up a hard copy of the guide from the information desks when you arrive. 

    Dawnosaurs: Relaxed Morning Visit

    Enjoy an early morning visit to the Museum, free from the hustle and bustle of the general public. Visitors have access to a wide range of galleries and activities, supported by experienced, autism-aware facilitators.

    Free, ticket required

    Dawnosaurs Online

    If you can't make it to the Museum but still want to join in on the Dawnosaurs fun, take part in our online activities from home at a time that suits you.

    Free, no ticket required

Accessible Morning Visits to Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Experience breathtaking photography at one of our relaxed early morning sessions, designed specifically for our disabled and neurodiverse visitors.

10.00-11.00 every other Wednesday and Saturday

Disabled adult: £12.00 - £14.00
Disabled chid: £7.25 - £8.50
Companion ticket: Free

Contemplation room

This is a quiet, naturally lit room used for prayer and reflection. Please speak to our staff in Hintze Hall if you wish to use the room.

Explore the galleries

Discover what you can see and do in our free galleries, and where to eat, drink and shop. Find your way around with the Museum map. 

Visiting the Museum at Tring?

Find access information for the Museum at Tring, Hertfordshire and all you need to know for a great day out.