Entry is free to the gallery, shop and café but an admission charge applies to some exhibitions.
There are parking meters to the side of the Gallery, including two disabled parking bays for blue badge permit holders. There is also an NCP car park under the Premier Inn Hotel to the right of the building and one on Durant Road which has stepped access to the gallery.
Public Transport Access Routes and Drop Off Points
The nearest Metro Station to the Gallery is Monument, which is approximately 5 minutes walk away.
All buses stopping at the Haymarket are approximately 10 minutes walk away; buses stopping at Pilgrim Street are approximately 3 minutes walk away.
The nearest drop-off point by taxi, dial-a-ride, car or coach is on John Dobson Street alongside the gallery. There is another drop-off point on Oxford Street.
There is level access entry to the gallery on New Bridge Street from the Blue Carpet. Two sets of automatic doors lead to the reception desk and shop area. To access the gallery from the shop area, there are stairs and a lift. We have an alternative lift back of house if a motorised wheelchair is bigger than the lift there is an alternative lift back of house which gallery staff can assist with, this also has level access from Higham Place.
Update May 2021: Please note our main lift in our shop area is not working, please see a member of staff for assistance. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
We welcome all visitors and strive to make the gallery as accessible as possible, within the context of a grade 2 listed historical building. There are lifts and stairs providing access to the ground and first floors. The lift has voice announcer and tactile buttons. All floors have level access.
There are some things that may make access challenging including:
Throughout the gallery there are barriers to protect the artwork. These barriers are placed 1 metre away from the art works in order to protect and prevent damage.
The original gallery doors on the first floor are large and heavy, these doors have to remain closed to maintain the correct environmental conditions in the gallery to protect art works. Staff will be happy to help you with the doors if needed.
There are sofas, bench seating and chairs with and without arms in the galleries. There are lightweight portable stools available for use from the racks on the Ground and First Floor.
The gallery phone can be used in an emergency or to book taxis for disabled visitors
Large print and Braille plans are available from the information desk on the Ground Floor.
We welcome assistance dogs. The reception desk just inside the entrance on the Lower Ground Floor can provide a bowl of water.
There are induction loops at the reception desk in the shop area on the Lower Ground Floor, at the till point in the second shop on the Ground Floor and in the function room on the Mezzanine Level.
Talking audio Guides and Listening Point
There are listening points in the Northern Spirit gallery, two in each of the three sections of this gallery, Artists and Communities, Artist’s Stories and River & City. All have content relating to the artwork in that space controlled by interactive touch screen technology.
The newly refurbished space is open and accessible with audio, visual and tactile forms of interpretation.
Displays, Exhibitions and Attractions
Large print labels can be provided on request for all temporary exhibitions and most of the permanent displays.
The Laing has a number of tactile artworks:
- A tactile reinterpretation of the Gerrard Robinson woodcarving is available in the Northern Spirit gallery.
- A tactile interactive explaining the different textures within a portrait of Thomas Bewick.
- A tactile reproduction of the bust of the Gallery’s founder Alexander Laing.
- A bronze and marble tactile piece which explains the Frosterley Marble tiles in the Marble Hall.
- A tactile piece to help explain the stained glass window in the Rotunda.
- An oak seat with six carved tactile panels in the 18th & 19th Century Gallery. Currently unavailable due to additional displays in this space
- A bronze relief sculpture depicting John Martin’s painting ‘The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah’ in the 18th & 19th Century Gallery. Currently unavailable as Sodom and Gomorrah is on loan to Tate Britain.
Our exhibitions and displays are intended to be accessible for as wide a range of visitors as possible. Labels are written in clear print. Light levels are usually good, but some areas may have low light levels in order to avoid damage to the objects on display.
Films and Interactive Displays
There are films and interactive displays throughout the Northern Spirit exhibition. There is a painting which is brought to life in a sound and light display, and several films on the touch screen displays throughout the gallery. There is also a projection at the entrance to the gallery nearest the café.
Special Exhibitions, Events and Learning Family Activities
Throughout the year, the museum holds a wide variety of changing exhibitions, events and activities for all ages. For further information please contact the gallery.
Guided Tours for Groups
Guided tours are available on request.
Accessible Toilets/Baby Changing areas
There are accessible toilets on the Ground and First Floors. There is a unisex toilet on Lower Ground Floor in shop area and male and female toilets on the Ground Floor. All accessible toilets also contain baby changing facilities.
Breastfeeding is welcomed throughout the gallery.
Shops and Cafés
The café is on the Ground Floor. Hot and cold drinks and meals are available. Large print menus, large handled cutlery and open ended handled mugs are available on request.
The Laing Shop is situated over the Lower Ground and Ground Floor. The upper shop boasts a wide range of craft, jewellery, textiles, and ceramics by a variety of makers, many of whom have chosen the Laing shop as their exclusive outlet within the region. The lower shop offers a range of inexpensive but inspiring ideas to suit all tastes, including, postcards and prints from the collection, fun gifts and a wide range of books.
Pre-visit information packs are available to borrow for free for blind and partially sighted people to plan a visit. The packs include:
• Large print detailed guide to the gallery and its facilities.
• Braille detailed guide to the gallery and its facilities.
• Audio CD detailed guide to the gallery and its facilities.
• Audio tape detailed guide to the gallery and its facilities.
• Large print maps of the gallery floors.
• Braille and tactile (touch) maps of the gallery floors.
There is a wheelchair available for use. It can be found in the main entrance. It is recommended that you book in advance. There is no charge for this service.
The fire alarm will sound a siren and verbal and visual warning. The lifts cannot be used in the event of a fire. There are evac-chairs to assist disabled people to exit the building and safe fire refuge points to await evacuation. These are clearly signposted. If you need assistance to leave the building if a fire alarm sounds please inform the reception desk on your arrival.
All staff attend a programme of core training which includes customer care, diversity and disability awareness. They are here to help visitors enjoy the time they spend in our venues.
If there is anything that we can do to make your visit more enjoyable please contact us, we will be happy to assist you.
Laing Art Gallery
New Bridge Street