Everyone is welcome at Dorset Museum.
Our teams are here to offer support and resources and help you make the most of your visit.
Enabling more people to enjoy our wonderful Museum has been at the heart of the recent transformation of our building. We are committed to making our events, learning, and outreach programmes as accessible as possible too.
For extra support, we offer free admission for a companion accompanying disabled visitors. And, we always welcome your feedback on what we could do better. If you need any extra help, please ask our Welcome Team.
Planning Your Visit
Here is some access information to help you plan. If you need other information or assistance at the Museum, please get in touch before you visit.
Assistance animals are welcome
If they need a water bowl, just ask our Welcome Team.
Mobility scooters are welcome
If you need to store or charge your scooter during your visit, please ask our Welcome Team. There is storage and recharging for up to two mobility scooters or other mobility equipment. Please be aware spaces are limited.
Visual story with pictures of the Museum and information about what to expect is available to downloadDownload
Find out how to get to the Museum by car, bicycle, bus or train. If you are visiting by car also information on accessible spaces at a number of Dorchester car parks.For more travel information
Friday 22 September 2023, The Victorian Hall will also be closed all day for a private function. The Fine Foundation Dorset Story Space, next the the Thomas Hardy's Dorset Gallery will also be closed for an hour around Midday.
Daily: 9.00am - 4.30pm
Sunday: 10.00am - 4.00pm
Bank Holidays: 10.00am - 4.00pm
10% discount for Adult and Young Person Unlimited Ticket booked online using discount code DM01BOOK ONLINE SAVE 10%
Dorset MuseumHigh West Street
Dorchester DT1 1XA
For more information
We're here to help
Do you need extra support on your visit?
Just let us know in advance
There is step-free access at the main entrance on High West Street.
Welcome area and Welcome Team
Just inside the entrance, turn [first] left to reach the Welcome area.
Our Welcome Team there will greet you. They are all trained to be aware of a range of access requirements. If you need extra help during your visit, please let them know.
The Welcome area includes the Welcome Desk, buggy and mobility vehicle parking, lockers, toilets, and our Shop. There is a fixed induction loop for sound enhancement at the Welcome Desk.
If you need help leaving the building in an emergency, please let the Welcome Team know when you arrive. Our staff are trained to provide assistance. There are fire refuge points and evacuation chairs on all floors.
Buggy, Locker and Mobility Scooter Park
Find these spaces behind the Welcome Desk. Some of the lockers are wheelchair accessible.
Our informative guidebook is available to buy in the Museum Shop.
Please ask to borrow these at our Welcome Desk:
- Braille guide to exploring the Museum through tactile plans and images
- Sensory backpacks to engage and calm young visitors
- Children’s trails to add extra fun, exploration and enjoyment for family visits
- Portable fold-up seats for those who need a rest along the way
- Manual wheelchair please book this in advance, by emailing [email protected]
- Hand-held magnifying glasses for a close-up look at exhibits
- Ear defenders for adults and children who like things peaceful
Getting Around the Museum
The Museum has a historic late 19th-century building and a new extension. There is clear signage throughout, and an orientation map in the Atrium.
• Step-free access to all areas apart from the mezzanine floor of the Victorian Hall.
• One 13 person passenger lift to all areas apart from the Library – internal dimensions 1100 x 2100mm.
• Platform lift to the Library, with space for one wheelchair 1100 x 1400mm.
• Stairs to all areas have handrails on both sides of the staircase.
• Seating in each gallery, some with armrests and backrests.
• Floor surfaces are firm and level.
• There are lower light levels in some galleries to protect light-sensitive objects.
Download a Museum map
Facilities, Resources and Services
|Gendered Toilets||Ground Floor|
|Changing Places Toilet ||Ground Floor|
|Baby Changing Facilities||Ground Floor|
|The Story Space||First Floor|
|Calm Space||Second Floor|
|Unisex Accessible Toilets||Ground, First and Second Floors|
Changing Places Toilet
Access to the Changing Places toilet does not require a radar key. You do not need to buy a Museum ticket to use the Changing Places toilet.
Baby Changing Facilities
There is a separate baby change facility on the Ground Floor. All of our accessible toilets also a baby change facility.
The café offers vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. There is a fixed induction loop at the café counter. The mixture of seating includes some with backrests and armrests. High chairs are available for babies.
Provided for those who may need some time out during their visit. Please ask our Welcome Team if you’d like to use our Calm Space.
The Story Space
This space is on the First Floor is a quieter space within the galleries.
Extra Help and Resources
Large Print Guides and Audio Transcripts
Fixed induction loops are at Welcome Desk, John White Learning Centre, Café and Library.
A hearing loop is integrated into the Museum’s PA system in the Victorian Hall for public and private events.
Subtitles and British Sign Language (BSL)
All films in the main galleries have subtitles – some include British Sign Language.
Find these in the Natural Dorset, Hardy’s Dorset and People’s Dorset galleries. Each has a braille caption.
Learning and Educational Facilities
If you are planning a school visit, please let our Learning Team know if any pupils have additional access requirements. The John White Learning Centre has an accessible toilet and induction loop.Find out more about school visits
Our events programme includes guided tours, object talks, lectures and art and craft activities. We work to make the whole programme as accessible and inclusive as possible.
Looking ahead, we’re planning a series of accessible events such as quiet mornings and evenings, BSL tours, touch tours and audio-described tours. Let us know if you are interested and we’ll keep up you updated.
If you have a particular request for a type of accessible tour or event please contact us in advance and we will be happy to discuss this with you.
After Your Visit
Do you have any feedback that could help us improve accessibility?Contact Us
Our Inclusion Consultative Group works with the Museum to keep improving accessibility for visitors. If you would like to express an interest in being involvedContact Us
Access and Equal Opportunities PolicyFor more information
Are you interested in volunteering opportunities?
Our volunteers help make great things happen at Dorset Museum every day. Why not become a part of it all by sharing your expertise and enthusiasm with us?