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  • Access Information

Access Information

The Museum of Zoology is free of charge to all visitors, however donations are always appreciated and they help to keep the Museum free of charge, whilst also supporting our public engagement work.  The length of an average visit is around one hour. 

Our Visual Story

The visual story available via the link below will give you an idea of what to expect when visiting the Museum:

Dementia friendly resources

Printed starfish artwork by Portals to the World participant

Use our dementia friendly resources to explore a range of species with Museum staff and Department of Zoology researchers, then have a go at a different art activity inspired by the featured animals. Follow it up with a visit to the Museum (resources in hand) to see the specimens and species featured.

Click here for Portals to the World: resources for adults with dementia and their care partners

Explore Breaking Point with our dementia friendly resources, created with cognitive impairment in mind:

Download and print our dementia-friendly exhibition guide here

These videos and resources have been created in partnership with Dementia Compass, for adults with dementia and their care partners in mind. While they were initially created for participants of our Portals to the World course, we hope that they may be used by you at home and in the Museum too.

Access into and around the Museum

The main Museum entrance is fully accessible from street level. Please enter the New Museums Site via the Pembroke Arch (located on Downing Street, almost opposite the end of Tennis Court Road). The Museum entrance is located through the Whale Hall, the large glass building to your right.

Access to the entrance level is via a ramp or 11 paved steps. The steps and ramp have handrails on both sides. Once on this level visitors should turn right, past two stone benches, and enter through automatic glass doors.

The Whale Hall is a large space with high ceilings. This space is shared with the café on the next level and so can become loud if busy. An ‘Ocean Song’ audio installation plays every 30 minutes, and runs for 15 minutes.

Visitors enter beneath our 21m Fin whale skeleton, which hangs from the ceiling. A suspended walkway gives visitors a close-up view of the whale, and is accessed by a spiral staircase of 11 and 10 steps, separated by a small landing tread (with open backed steps and handrails on both sides) or by the lift, arriving at the walkway through the café (open 10am-3pm). 

The reception desk, museum gallery entrance, shop and toilets are located at one end of the Whale Hall.

Visitors can access the upper gallery via the automatic glass doors at the end of the Whale Hall. There is a small slope just before the doors, with a handrail on the right. Please be aware that there are 2 steps at the end of the reception desk going down, parallel to the slope. 

The lower gallery is accessed either via a mezzanine level; 10 steps down from the upper gallery, passing approximately 15 metres of display cases on the mezzanine, then a further 11 steps down to the lower gallery; or via the lift which is located inside the upper gallery, to the right of the entrance doors. Once in the lower gallery all areas are step-free.

An Access Point providing further information for visitors who are unable to reach the mezzanine is located at the far end of the upper gallery.


The lift to all floors is located to the right once you enter the upper gallery and provides access down to the lower galleries and up to the café. There is no lift access to the mezzanine level between the upper and lower galleries. Information on the mezzanine displays can be found at a viewing point in the upper gallery.

Parking at the Museum

There is no general visitor parking at the Museum. However, the Museum does have one accessible parking bay, located on the New Museums Site. To access this parking bay, please enter the site through the Pembroke Arch and speak to security via the intercom. We regret that this space is not bookable in advance. Limited blue badge parking is located in the Grand Arcade car park and on Trumpington Street, a quarter of a mile away.


The Museum has a wheelchair available for visitors to use. Please ask at reception or call 01223 336650 during opening hours to reserve a wheelchair for your visit.


Other accessibility information


Small foldaway stools are available to borrow if you are unable to walk around the Museum without a periodic rest and as long as social distancing rules are observed.

Assistance dogs

Guide dogs, hearing dogs and dogs for the disabled are welcome at the Museum.

Toilets and baby-changing facilities

Located past the reception desk on the right, including accessible toilets and baby-changing facilities.

A Changing Places Toilet can be found in the Grand Arcade shopping centre on the Level -1 of the South (Lower) car park. This is located next to the Car Park Customer Service office and Shopmobility with disabled parking. Provided by Cambridge City Council. See website for details:

Cloakroom facilities 

The Museum has a pushchair storage area in the Whale Hall, to the right of the gallery entrance.

To ensure the safety of our exhibits, visitors are not permitted to bring any large items, such as suitcases, scooters, fold-up bicycles and musical instruments into the galleries. Lockers are available, but items are left at your own risk.

Audio description and touch tours

The Museum of Zoology education team lead audio descriptive and touch tours as part of the University of Cambridge Museums ‘Making Sense’ tours programme. This service is also available to blind and partially sighted groups, if requested when booking.

Induction Loops

Induction Loops are available in our Demonstration Room and Discovery Space. We have a portable loop available for tours. Please call in advance to enquire.

Other: Our venue is breast feeding friendly.