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Accessibility and Disability Resource Centre

Downing Street,
Cambridge, CB2 3EQ

Access Issues

Matthew Riley
01223 333 456
01223 333 450

General Information

The Museum is part of the University of Cambridge's Department of Earth Sciences and houses an internationally important collection of rocks, fossils and minerals. Its collections are used for teaching and research, both within its host department and the wider academic community. The Museum has a tradition of welcoming all visitors and regularly holds special events and family activities.

Opening hours

10am–1pm and 2–5pm Monday to Friday. 10am–4pm Saturday. Entry free.


Pedestrian access is from Downing Street; the Museum is signposted from the main pedestrian entrance for the Downing Site. See separate entry for Downing Site.

Look for the sweeping stone staircase above the main entrance to the Department of Earth Sciences.


The entrance for cars is on Tennis Court Road, but the car park itself is not open to the public so can only be used for dropping off. For visitors with impaired mobility parking can be arranged on-site given sufficient notice.

The nearest public car park is the Grand Arcade car park, accessible from Corn Exchange Street via Downing Street.

Physical Access

Number of floors

The Museum is located on the first floor.


Main Entrance

The Museum galleries are located on the 1st Floor, accessible via a narrow stone staircase which has awkward angles and is currently poorly lit.

If you need help negotiating the steps or prefer to use the lift please contact the Museum via the intercom located at the base of the staircase, near the Dept entrance door. The Museum has a wheelchair which visitors are welcome to use if they are using a mobility scooter or wheelchair which is too large to fit in the lift. 

Accessible Entrance

There is a ramp leading to the Department of Earth Sciences Entrance, located beneath Museum staircase. Use the intercom to request assistance.

Lifts and stairs

There is a small lift to the Museum level, not suitable for large buggies or large wheelchairs (lift floor measures 105cm wide by 80cm deep, but the door is only 69cm wide). Please ask for assistance via the intercom or request to borrow a wheelchair from the Museum.

Gallery Accessibility

Surfaces are smooth and spacious.

All areas are accessible once you are inside the Museum.

Platform lifts enable access between the split levels of the gallery. A key and instructions are available from a member of staff. Please ask for further assistance if required.

Ample seating is provided throughout the galleries.

Some of the historic display cases may be difficult to view from a wheelchair.


Small toilet and baby change in Museum gallery.

Disabled toilet and baby change on the ground floor; please ask a member of staff for access.

Emergency Evacuation

The Museum operates a system of assisted escape for disabled visitors. A member of staff will come to help you in the event of an emergency such as a fire alarm.

The type of evacuation chair that is provided by the Museum requires the individual being evacuated to be able to self transfer from their wheelchair to the evacuation chair.

Please inform staff if you are not able to self transfer before entering the Museum. We need to know this to ensure that we will be able to evacuate you safely in the event of an emergency without putting you or members of the fire service in danger.

If you are unable to self transfer you will need to be accompanied by someone who can assist you.

Visual Impairments

Due to the sensitivity of some of the Museum's objects, lighting is subdued in some areas.

The Museum is fairly open plan and has harsh furnishings.

Staff can guide you around, provide objects for handling and describe the exhibits if arranged in advance.

A handling trolley with touchable specimens is located in the Resources Area.

Hearing Impairments

The Museum is not generally noisy.

An induction loop system is installed in the Museum Shop/Information Point and in the Tilley Lecture Theatre (used for special events).

Other Useful Information

  • There is a small shop, open 10am-1pm and 2-5pm Monday to Friday, and 10-4 on Saturdays. The shop sells postcards, books, posters and models. Talks are sometimes held in the Tilley Lecture Theatre, which is partially accessible.
  • If you would like to visit the Museum, but are unable to gain access to the 1st floor galleries please contact us in advance and we would be happy to arrange access to the ground floor building stones collection (not normally open to the public). We can also bring the handling trolley down to the ground floor.
  • A gallery plan can be downloaded.

The information on this page is the responsibility of the Sedgewick Museum of Earth Sciences. The ADRC updates information as it is received from the museum. This page was last updated on 15 February 2016. To ensure the information contained here is current, please check with the Sedgewick Museum of Earth Sciences.