Access At The Natural History Museum

Everybody should have the opportunity to be inspired by our museums. We are committed to supporting that, which means listening to our visitors and continually finding ways to improve.

Simply scroll down for useful access information, such as when the museum is quieter, what to expect when you arrive and what facilities we have. If you cannot find the answers you are looking for, please contact our Access Champions on 01206 282931 or email museums@colchester.gov.uk and the team will be happy to help. 

Useful Information

Getting here

The Natural History Museum is situated in an church at the end of Colchester’s High Street. Outside the museum is a dropped pavement, but the road itself is a bus lane. Click here to see a map of Colchester.

If you are travelling by car, please use CO1 1UG for sat navs. There are spaces for disabled badge holders just outside the Castle Park gates in Museum Street (120m from the entrance), and places slightly further away on the High Street.

If you are travelling by taxi, you could be dropped off by the cenotaph, on Colchester High Street or by the park gates at the end of Museum Street. 

More information regarding accessible transport and parking options in Colchester can be found on the Visit Colchester website.

Please note, we are closed on Mondays.

When You Arrive

At present, the entrance to the Museum is via the rear to allow for a one way system. During visiting hours, the wooden back doors are held open.

You will be greeted by uniformed staff who can answer any questions you have about the museum.

You may have to wait a short while to be served. If you are accompanied by someone who finds queuing difficult, please let us know and we will do our best to prioritise you.

The museum is free to visit and you do not need to book.

Quieter times

The museum is typically quieter in the afternoons, particularly after 2.30pm on weekdays.

As the museum is in an old church, which has an open plan layout, the noise of other visitors may echo. Nature sounds such as bird calls are also played in the background.

Some spaces are quite small or narrow, such as the Climate Change Gallery or the crawl through tunnel, so if other visitors are already in those areas, the museum may seem busy. 

Getting around

The Natural History Museum is all on one floor, which has step free access throughout.

At present, the exit is via the glass doors that lead out onto Colchester High Street.

The displays can be viewed in any order.

Some of our displays are spot lit, while other areas, such as the crawl through tunnel might appear quite dark.

Toilets

The Natural History Museum has two unisex toilets and an accessible toilet, which are located to the left of the reception desk.

Baby changing facilities can be found in the accessible toilet.

The Natural History Museum does not have a Changing Places facility. The nearest can be found at the Castle Park cafe (0.1 miles/ 3 minute walk), Colchester Library (0.3 miles/ 6 minute walk) and at Leisure World (0.6 miles/ 13 minute walk). A full list of Changing Places Toilets is available on the Changing Places website.

Care

We welcome breastfeeding.

If you or a member of your group require a quiet space during your visit, please speak to our a member of our Visitor Services team. 

If you or a member of your group require medical attention whilst at the Natural History Museum, please alert staff and they will contact the emergency services.

The nearest defibrillator is at Colchester Castle.

Contact Us

We want all our visitors to have the best possible experience. If you’re planning to visit the Natural History Museum and have any questions or concerns, our team are more than happy to help. You can contact us on:

Tel: 01206 282941

e: museums@colchester.gov.uk

Welcoming Visitors With…

Mobility Impairment

  • The museum has level flooring apart from a slight slope at the entrance and at the far end of the gallery.
  • The reception desk has a lowered section so staff can better serve you.
  • Different types of seating are available.

Vision Impairment

  • Guide dogs are welcome.
  • Sheet magnifiers are available to borrow.
  • A microscope linked to a monitor is available to view selected objects close up.

Hearing Impairment

  • Many of our Visitor Services team are trained in basic BSL.
  • In the event of a fire, our alarm includes flashing lights.

Autism

  • Twiddlemuffs are available to borrow whilst in the museum.
  • There are interactive and sensory resources available.
  • We have tree stump cushions for visitors to use.
  • Please be aware the museum contains taxidermy dioramas and displays including animal skeletons, which some people may find distressing.

Dementia

  • Twiddlemuffs are available to borrow whilst in the museum.
  • Please be aware the museum contains taxidermy dioramas and displays including animal skeletons, which some people may find distressing.

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