We are working to make Chelmsford Museum as accessible as possible for everyone. Our Visitor Hosts are always happy to help and are on hand to answer any questions.
Thank you to the year 13 students at Thriftwood College who have made this video to show you what to expect when you visit Chelmsford Museum.
If you are planning a group visit, we recommend you contact us before you come, so we can advise you if the museum is busy. We can also make sure our team are on hand to provide additional assistance if needed.
For a more interactive visit, our learning team can create a bespoke museum led object handling sessions for your group, which is tailored to your groups interests, age, and ability. Visit our SEND learning page for more information.
If it is helpful to know more about spaces in the museum before you visit, have a look at these resources and use them to help you plan your visit and decide what you may like to see.
Visual Story includes photographs and information about the different spaces in the museum.
Chelmsford Museum film created by students from Thriftwood School. This 5 minute film will give you an idea of what to expect when you visit.
Chelmsford Museum is located in Oaklands Park on Moulsham Street. For more information about travelling to the museum, see specific transport buttons under 'Find Chelmsford Museum' at the bottom of our visit Chelmsford Museum page.
There is car parking in Oaklands Park, including four designated accessible parking spaces for blue badge holders. You will find three bays in front of the public toilets across from the entrance to the large car park, and one in the car park next to the museum. These car park spaces are a short distance from the museum front entrance. The surface texture from the car park to the front entrance is gravel stones and then block paving as you approach the entrance.
There are bollards that prevent vehicles driving right up to the entrance. If you need to set down passengers by the front door, please ring before you visit so we can arrange to remove the bollards for you. Call us on 01245 605700.
Our main entrance doors are automatic glass doors which slide sideways to open as you approach. There is a small lobby and then a second set of sliding doors which take you into the reception area with the Welcome Desk and gift shop. There is always a Visitor Host on the Welcome Desk who will be aware if someone is struggling to come through the doors and will set them to ‘stay open’.
If you will find these doors challenging contact us before you visit so we can set them to ‘stay open’ when you come in.
Parking is free for 2 hours.
Entry to the museum is free. You are welcome to come and go throughout the duration of your visit.
We charge for some special events, but you can still look around the museum for free at this time. The museum can be busy and noisy on special event days, so check the events page on the website to see what is happening before you visit.
There is always a Visitor Host at the Welcome Desk and one around the museum who will be able help or to answer any questions. Our Visitor Hosts all wear dark grey shirts with a gold and white logo, so they are easy to identify.
Toilets are located on the ground floor near the Welcome Desk and in the Hive café.
In the accessible toilet near the Welcome Desk the lights and air conditioning are activated when you walk in. The toilet is large enough for a user to be accompanied if required. This toilet is right-hand transfer. Unlike the other toilets, it does not have hand dryers which makes it a quieter environment. The accessible toilet in the Hive café is smaller and only available via the Hive café entrance.
Baby changing is available in all toilets. There is a larger cubicle in the Ladies toilet with a small sink which is also accessible.
There is no Changing Places facility at the museum. A temporary Changing Places facility may be available at specific events and will be stated in the event information. The nearest Changing Places facility to the museum can be found in the city centre in Market Road. For more information and to apply for an access key, please visit the Chelmsford City Council website.
Chelmsford Museum is fully wheelchair accessible, with slopes, ramps, and a lift to all floors.
The lift has capacity for up to one wheelchair. It measures 1.4m by 1.1m and has a weight limit of 630kgs.
A wheelchair is available to borrow from the museum when you visit. Please ask a Visitor Host when you arrive if this is available or call us before you visit to reserve it.
Mobility aids and scooters can be parked outside the museum underneath the porch. There is no secure storage facility at the museum, so these are left at your discretion.
Seating is available around the museum if you need it. There is a mix of bench seating and grey chairs with a firm cushion and no arm rests.
Assistance and Guide dogs are welcome at Chelmsford Museum. There is a water bowl for dogs just outside the front entrance. The museum is in Oaklands Park which is ideal for dog walking and exercise.
During quieter days (excluding school holidays and some weekends) we may be able to look after your guide dog whilst you visit. Please ask a Visitor Host on arrival.
A large print version of our Museum Guide is available from the Welcome Desk and can be downloaded from this page. If you would like to borrow a magnifying glass during your visit, please ask a Visitor Host on the Welcome Desk.
The museum is in the process of creating audio described and braille resources. More information about these will be made available on this page.
There is an induction loop at the museum which can be accessed by setting your hearing aid to the T setting. This is available at the Welcome Desk.
Captioning is available on all videos placed throughout the museum that contain dialogue.
The museum is in the process of creating British Sign Language interpreted resources. More information about these will be made available on this page.
If it is helpful to know more about spaces in the museum before you visit have a look at these resources and use them to help you plan what you may like to see and do.
Chelmsford Museum film created by students from Thriftwood School.
Boris Bear Sensory sacks are free to borrow from the Welcome Desk when you visit the museum. They are full of resources to help make your visit more enjoyable and help keep you calm as you explore.
Our Boris Bear sensory sacks contain:
- Ear defenders
- Fiddle toys x3
- Magnifying glass
- Sensory rainbow trail
- Sensory map of the museum
- Photo list of contents
Younger visitors may like to pick up trail sheets and other resources from our Explorer Zone by the front door.
There are hands-on interactive exhibits throughout the galleries. They all have an orange base to make them easy to find. There are also touch screens in each gallery, which have games, films and more information.
Talk to our Visitor Hosts if you need any help or information during your visit.
The museum is very popular with families and is especially busy during the school holidays. The museum is usually quietest on Sundays and after school during the week. The ‘Our Chelmsford’ gallery provides a quieter and less distracting space with seating.
The museum can be very busy when we hold special events, so view the What’s On page on the before you visit.
You may not eat in the museum building as crumbs attract pests that can destroy the collections.
You are welcome to have your own picnic in the park surrounding the museum. There are picnic benches on the front lawn and in the quiet ‘walled garden’ at the side of the museum.
If your group has booked a museum led session, we can reserve a room where you can eat a picnic lunch if you do not wish to visit the Hive café.
The Hive café is on the ground floor of the museum. It is not possible to access the café through the inside of the museum. The entrance to the café is on the side of building near the car park, though there are 3 steps up to the entrance. A fully accessible route is to the right of the museum entrance, which will take you all the way round the back of the museum building where there is a ramp to the café entrance.
The café serves food from 8am to 5pm and has a varied menu catering for different appetites. It is popular and can be busy and noisy over lunchtime but on warmer days you can sit outside on the terrace over-looking the rose garden.
If you are bringing a group and planning to visit the café it is helpful to contact The Hive directly before your visit. It is not possible to book a table, but staff will rearrange tables to accommodate your group.
The Hive is accessible for wheelchair users, and assistance and guide dogs. Their seating is a variety of chairs with and without arms.
For more information you can contact them directly about their facilities on The Hive website.
The museum is in the process of creating more events that are suitable for a range of accessibility needs. More information about these will be made available on our What’s On page.
We are committed to finding ways to make access to the museum and our events easier. Your feedback is essential to help us continually develop and improve our service, so please talk to our Visitor Hosts when you visit and share your thoughts, ideas and experience or email us directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chelmsford City Council’s Access Policy Statement confirms its commitment to accessibility:
Our commitment is long term and of continuous improvement as our resources permit. Our aim is to achieve the optimum level of access to the Council’s services for all, and to enable the widest possible independent use of the Council’s facilities by all sections of our community.