The Old Royal Naval College aims to make the site and our collections accessible to as many visitors as possible.

Access to the site is at street level. Download the access map (pdf, 505KB) of the Old Royal Naval College to see access routes around the buildings and grounds.

Visitor Centre

The entrances to the Visitor Centre are at street level. A lift provides access to the temporary gallery space and Clore Learning Centre.

Painted Hall and Chapel

There are 11 steps to climb from College Way (which runs east to west through the site) to Upper Grand Square where the main entrances to the Painted Hall and Chapel are situated. There is also a step-free route to the Chapel and you can reach the main body of the Painted Hall avoiding steps via a lift from College Way. 

Once at the Chapel a Stairmate machine is used, by trained staff, to carry wheelchair users from the vestibule to the main body of the Chapel (which is 14 steps up). The maximum weight the Stairmate can hold is 200 kg. The maximum width of chair which will fit is 69.5cm (27”)- measured hand rim to hand rim. Please note that most electric wheelchairs will exceed this weight and therefore the Chapel may not be accessible for electric wheelchair users. If you are able to transfer to our manual wheelchair, we can facilitate your Chapel visit in this way -the wheelchair is not available to take out of the Chapel but a manual chair can be hired from the Tourist Information Centre if you would like a chair for the duration of your visit, please call 0870 608 2000 to reserve.

If you have any enquiries regarding access to the Painted Hall or Chapel, or would like to advise us of your visit to ensure a trained member of staff is on hand to welcome you, please call 020 8269 4799 or email [email protected].

British Sign Language introduction

This video has been created by a group of young people from DeafQuake as part of a project exploring the history of the Old Royal Naval College.

Word and PDF downloads of the English subtitles in the video are available below for web users with a visual impairment using screen reading software.

Signs of the Past subtitles (pdf) >

Autistic Visitors

The National Autistic Society Autism Friendly logo

The Old Royal Naval College is committed to being an accessible venue for autistic visitors and their family and friends. The pre-visit information sheet provides details that we hope you will find useful but should you have any specific queries please contact the learning team at [email protected] and we will be happy to assist you. Site maps can also be purchased from our Visitor Centre.

The hand dryers in our toilets are quite noisy. If this, and/or other noise is too much we do have a number of ear defenders available to borrow in our visitor centre. Please ask at the Welcome Desk.

Download information for autistic visitors (pdf)


There are accessible toilets in the Visitor Centre and the Old Brewery courtyard.

There are also accessible toilets in the King William Undercroft under the Painted Hall and the Queen Mary Undercroft under the Chapel. These can be accessed via the lift to the King William Undercroft, or, during the week via the ramp from College Way into the Queen Mary Undercroft.

Guide and assistance dogs

Your guide or assistance dog is welcome in all areas of the Old Royal Naval College, including the Visitor Centre, Painted Hall and Chapel.

Large print versions

Large print versions of exhibits in the Visitor Centre permanent exhibition are available in English from the welcome desk in the Visitor Centre as well.

Magnifying glasses

Magnifying glasses are available from the welcome desk in the Visitor Centre.


There is permanent seating throughout the site. Benches are located at various points around the grounds and visitors are welcome to sit on the benches, chairs and pews in the Visitor Centre, Painted Hall and Chapel.


We can arrange for dedicated wheelchair assistants to help visitors during their guided tours at no extra charge. The Jacobean Undercroft is inaccessible to wheelchair users.

If you or a member of your group requires access provision, please tell us of your visit in advance and we can have trained staff available to help you. Call us on 020 8269 4799 or email [email protected]

Find out more