Access facilities, resources and programme

Access facilities, resources and programme

Access facilities, resources and programme

The National Portrait Gallery hopes everyone enjoys their experience. If you require assistance please ask a member of staff who will be happy to help.

Access facilities

The Gallery provides a range of accessible facilities at the Gallery.

Watch the Access facilities video

wheelchair symbolWheelchairs and seating

Accessible entrances to the Gallery are in Orange Street and on St Martin’s Place through the shop entrance.

Additional wheelchairs and seating can be provided. To book a wheelchair in advance of your visit please contact 020 7306 0055, or ask at the Information Desk.

accessible lifts symbolLifts

Our lifts provide access to all floors within the Gallery. If you require assistance please ask a member of staff who will be happy to help.

  • The lifts near Orange Street entrance provide access to the galleries on Floors 1 and 2 and the Portrait Restaurant.
  • The lift located inside the shop entrance provides access to the Shop, Bookshop Gallery and Portrait Cafe.
  • Inside St Martin’s Place entrance, a lift provides access to the Ondaatje Wing Theatre and ground floor.
  • Access to our brand new Bookshop in the Main Hall is via the lift situated in the Lerner galleries on ground floor.

accessible toilets symbolAccessible toilets

There are four accessible unisex toilets:

  • Ground floor, Orange Street entrance
  • Floor –2 next to the Ondaatje Wing Theatre
  • Floor –3 Bookshop Gallery via the Gallery Shop
  • Floor 3 next to the Portrait Restaurant via the Orange Street lifts

guide dog symbolGuide dogs

Guide, hearing and assistance dogs are welcome in all areas of the Gallery. Water bowls are available from the Information Desk in the Main Hall.

induction loop symbolInduction loops

The Gallery’s permanent and portable induction loops are available in the Main Hall, Ondaatje Wing Theatre, Portrait Café, Shop, Bookshop, Heinz Archive and Library and Portrait Restaurant. Please turn your hearing aid to the T symbol. Or ask a member of staff for further assistance.

picture descriptions symbolNeck loops

Neck loops are available for hard of hearing visitors to access the Sound Guide. These are available free of charge at the Information Desk.

Floor plans

Ground floor First floor Second floor Other levels

Emergency evacuation

If you have particular needs in the event of emergency evacuation, please inform the Information Desk on arrival.

Access resources

The Gallery provides a wide range of accessible resources to help you explore the Gallery and its Collection.

Watch the Access resources video

British Sign Language symbolBritish Sign Language (BSL) interpreted talks

Tours for adults are available each month. Please see our website, BSL Facebook page or events leaflet for more details

See all BSL events

hand touch symbolDescriptive folder and tactile images

Descriptive folders with tactile images are available from the Information Desk in the Main Hall.

eye symbolGuided tours

Guided tours are available for partially sighted visitors. Maximum group size 10.

Find out more on our Group Visits page

large print symbolLarge print

Large print versions of captions for a number of the portraits are available at the Information Desk. Large print captions are also available for the temporary exhibitions. Please ask at the Information Desk.

Download the large print What's On Guide

neck loop symbolMaps and Braille

Gallery maps, Braille and tactile drawings are available from the Information Desk.

sign language symbolPicture descriptions

Visualising Portraits session are held monthly for partially sighted and blind visitors.

Find out more about Picture Description

Audio guides

Audio guides are available from the Information Desk free of charge for disabled visitors. They contain recordings about portraits in the Gallery's collections, including a selection of portraits with descriptive recordings.

Find out more about audio guides

For ticketed exhibitions disabled visitors are entitled to a concessionary rate with free entry for one carer. This can be booked online, via the phone or in person. Please see What’s On for further information about specific exhibitions.


Entry to the Gallery is free. For charged exhibitions disabled visitors pay concessionary rates and carers are free. Ticket prices vary.


The Gallery is committed to providing an accessible website and endeavours to do so by supporting the use of web accessibility standards and working with advisory groups for feedback and user testing.

To configure your browser and enhance your experience, please see the BBC's My Web My Way, a resource specifically designed to help users on a variety of platforms.

Digital Content

The Gallery has developed a wide range of online digital content including curator and artist interviews that is subtitled.

Explore now

Access programme

The Gallery offers a wide range of accessible events for adults, young people and children

Watch the public programme video

British Sign Language (BSL)


BSL talks, activities and events for adults, families and young people.

The Gallery offers a programme of quarterly events interpreted with British Sign Language on the last Thursday of each month at 19.30. BSL Gallery tours take place on the last Thursday of the month at 19.30. Events are interpreted with British Sign Language (BSL) or led in BSL.

See all BSL events

Visualising Portraits


The Gallery offers a free programme of monthly visual description talks for blind and partially sighted audiences called Visualising Portraits. These talks take place on the last Thursday of each month at 14.00.

The talks are led by trained artists and historians and take place in the Gallery, seated in-front of the selected portrait. Each month a different portrait is selected and large-scale images are available.

No booking is required just meet in the Main Hall. Guide dogs are welcome. To discuss any additional access requirements email [email protected] or call 020 7306 0055.

See all Visualising Portrait events


Family events take place on the third Saturday of the month and during school holidays.

Find out more

Young People

The Young People's Programme works with 14-21-year-olds outside of school. Sessions take place during school holidays and on the first Sunday of the month. We also have an active Youth Forum so you can get involved with the Gallery on a regular basis and contribute to the Gallery's work.

Find out more

Supported by the Lord Leonard and Lady Estelle Wolfson Foundation.

Download the access leaflet

disabled go logo
For detailed access information, go to Disabled Go.