Access events, facilities & resources

Access events, facilities & resources

Access events, facilities & resources

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.

British Sign Language (BSL)

BSL

Free BSL Gallery tours on the second Friday of every month at 19.30.

Tours are in BSL. Interpretation into English when indicated. Meet in Main Hall.

Join our  BSL Facebook page

See all BSL events

Visualising Portraits

BSLBSL

Free picture description Gallery talks for blind and partially sighted audiences on the last Thursday of every month at 14.00.

Seats and large-scale images available. No booking required. Meet in 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

Supported by the Lord Leonard and Lady Estelle Wolfson Foundation

Access facilities

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

Watch the video

Getting to the Gallery

A film explaining how to reach the Gallery is here

rail symbolRail

Charing Cross station is 320 metres from St Martin’s Place entrance.

tube symbolTube

Charing Cross underground is 230 metres from the Gallery. Leicester Square is 195 metres away and Embankment is 490 metres away. Please note these stations do not have a lift.

bus symbolBus

To Trafalgar Square, approximately 100 metres from the Gallery.

For public transport information visit tfl.gov.uk or call 0843 222 1234.

taxi symbolTaxi, Dial-a-Ride

Set down and pick up by the main Gallery entrance on St Martin’s Place.

taxi symbolCar

A public carpark is 195 metres from the Orange Street entrance on the corner of Whitcomb Street and Orange Street. To discuss parking arrangements please contact the car park directly on 0207 839 5858.

There are 5 Blue Badge parking bays next to the Gallery in St Martin’s Street.

Check availability

bus symbolCoach

Set down and pick up by the main Gallery entrance on St Martin’s Place.

wheelchair symbolAccessing the Gallery

The main entrance at St Martin’s Place has one step. Step-free access is via the Shop entrance on St Martin’s Place and the Orange Street ramp entrance.

admissionsymbolAdmission

The Gallery is free to everyone. There is a charge for some exhibitions. Ticket prices vary so do ask a member of staff. Tickets can be booked in person, online or by phone.

Concessionary rates apply to young people aged 12-18, disabled visitors, senior citizens, ES40 cardholders and students in full-time education. Carers are entitled to free admission. Children under 12 are free.

opening hours symbolOpening Hours

 Daily 10.00-18.00 (Fridays until 21.00) Exiting commences 10 minutes before the closing time.

Ticket Desk closes, and last admission to ticketed exhibitions, one hour before the Gallery closes.

Due to staff training on some Monday mornings, galleries on Floors 1 and 2 and the Main Shop will open at 11.00.

Free WiFi is available throughout the Gallery.

Find out more

Getting around the Gallery

The Gallery’s Collection is displayed chronologically starting with the Tudors on Floor 2 and ending with contemporary portraits and exhibitions on Floor 0. The Gallery is fully accessible. Pick up a map in the Gallery to help you locate the galleries, lifts, stairs, café, restaurant, shops and toilets or see our maps online here. A large-print map is available at the Information Desk

cloakroom symbolCloakroom

Floor -2 This includes a lockable buggy park.

accessible toilets symbolToilets

Toilets can be found on Floors 0, -2, -3, 3. The Gallery has four accessible, unisex toilets located on Floors 0, -2, -3, 3. Baby-changing facilities are located on Floor -2 and -3. The toilets on Floor 0 are located within the exhibition space and are not available to non-ticket holders during some exhibitions.

water fountain symbolWater Fountain

Floor 0 next to the toilets. The water fountain is located within the exhibition space.

wheelchair symbolWheelchairs

 Manual wheelchairs are available from the Information Desk or to book a wheelchair in advance contact us on 020 7306 0055.

seating symbolSeating

There are benches in some galleries and portable stools are available. Please ask a member of staff for a stool.

guide dog symbolDogs

Guide, hearing and assistance dogs are welcome at the Gallery. A water bowl is available at the Information Desk.

Heinz Archive & Library symbolHeinz Archive & Library

The Gallery’s Library and Archive is located on Orange Street in the Gallery’s administrative offices and is accessible. Visit by appointment only.

Find out more

eat symbolWhere to Eat

Portrait Café, Floor -3 Open daily 10.00-17.00. Friday until 20.00 Portrait Restaurant, Floor 3 Open daily 10.00-16.30. Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings for dinner 18:30-22:00 Booking recommended.

Find out more

evacuation symbolEmergency Evacuation

Visitor Services staff and Security staff are fully trained to support visitors who require step-free access during an emergency. Fire refuge points are available on all floors along with evac chairs.

Access resources

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

Watch the video

large print symbolLarge Print

Large-print maps and the What’s On guide are available at the Information Desk and online. Exhibition large-print guides are available at the entrance to exhibitions.

Large print What's on guide Download our large print map

magnifying glassesMagnifying Glasses

Magnifying glasses are available to borrow from the Information Desk.

enhanced sound symbolEnhanced Sound

There are induction loops at the Information Desk in the Main Hall and in the Ondaatje Wing Theatre. Portable induction loops are in the Shops, Café, Restaurant, Education Studio, Orange Street reception and the Heinz Archive and Library.

audio guide symbolAudio Guides

Audio guides feature commentary on over 300 portraits in the collection as well as films of curators. They are available from the Information Desk and are free to disabled visitors.

Audio guides interpreted with British Sign Language are available free of charge from the Information Desk and as a free download. Neck loops are available for visitors to use with the audio guide.

They are available in six languages English, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish.

 Audio guides are sometimes developed for exhibitions. Please ask a member of staff.

Explore the audio guide Download the BSL audio guide from the App Store

audio description symbolAudio Descriptions

140 audio descriptions of portraits in the Collection are available on raised-button audio players and can be downloaded. Associated tactile images with Braille are available from the Information Desk.

Download audio descriptions

Digital

The Gallery has a lot of films and interviews that are subtitled

Visit our YouTube channel

App IconNational Portrait Gallery BSL tour iPhone app

Free

Developed using both subtitles and British Sign Language, the National Portrait Gallery BSL app enables people who are hearing impaired or deaf to explore the Gallery's Collection and discover amazing life stories of the people who have shaped British history and culture in video interviews with BSL interpretation and commentaries. Enjoy highlights of the Collection by theme, such as Kings and Queens, Science and Discovery, Fame and Celebrity and Writers. The app also includes a map of the Gallery to help you plan for your visit.

Download from the App Store

Download the access leaflet