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Accessibility

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At York Minster we want to make sure we deliver a welcoming and enjoyable environment for all our visitors. The majority of the building is accessible by wheelchair and mobility scooter users alike. Please see below for full information about resources and facilities in various areas for visitors with disabilities or additional access needs, or you can download our full statement here.

 

For further information about your visit, please contact the Minster team on t: 01904 557200, e: info@yorkminster.org

To book a free carers ticket, please contact our bookings team on: 01904 557200

Getting to the Minster

York is well served by the road network and public transport. The main railway station, which has barrier free access, is about 1 kilometre from the Minster. There are safe crossing places along the way. Bus services run to Museum Street close to the Minster and there are on-street accessible parking bays close to the Minster.

Blue Badge parking locations in the city can be found here.

Entrance to the Minster

There is a choice of ramped or stepped access with handrails from Precentor’s Court, which leads through an outer doorway and glass porch to the admission desk. The Minster is open Monday-Saturday from 9am until 4.30pm (last admission) and from 12:45pm until 3pm on Sundays. There is a charge to enter the Minster, although accompanying carers are not charged for entry. Guided tours are free to visitors afterwards (Monday to Saturday).

Minster Interior

York Minster is a very large gothic building with high ceilings, magnificent stained glass windows and mostly stone floors. Although it is a place of reverence it can also be quite busy and noisy when visitors are present or, for example, when the organ is playing. Light levels vary in different parts of the Minster, particularly where sunlight impacts on the stained glass windows or in the Undercroft, which is the lowest part of the Minster and a darker area. The main features of the Minster, except the Tower, have level, ramped or lift access to them.

The Tower

The Tower does not have wheelchair access and visitors need to climb the 275 stone steps of a spiral staircase, which does have a handrail on the left going up, to reach the top. There is an additional charge to visit the Tower. Please see the full health and safety details here.

Main Minster Floor

On entering at the West End the Minster is set out in the form of a cross, with the Nave in front and the North Transept to the left and South Transept to the right, with the East End beyond. The raised Quire occupies a central space with walkways on either side leading to the East End. The West End, Nave and North Transept and South Transept and the East End of the Minster are on one level, with paved stone floors throughout.

Organ and Quire

There is stepped and ramped access to the Quire from the Nave next to the Kings Screen. The Quire area where the organ is positioned is mainly single level. About halfway down the Quire there are three sets of shallow steps which lead up to the high altar. For this reason, only the first section of the Quire is accessible for wheelchair users.

Chapter House

There is convenient sloped access from the North Transept leading to the Chapter House.

Undercroft, Treasury and Crypt

There is stepped and lift access from the South Transept to the Undercroft, which tells the story of the Minster and has historic books and artefacts on display.  It has level or ramped access throughout.

The Treasury and Crypt contain an exhibition on Pilgrimage and the tomb of St William.  Currently they are accessed via a set of seven steps from the Undercroft; we are taking measures to improve this and platform lift access to these two areas is due to be in place by the end of summer 2019.

Toilet Facilities

There are male and female toilet facilities, baby changing and an accessible toilet facility located after the North Transept towards the East End of the Minster. There are ambulant toilet cubicles available in the main male and female toilet areas.

Minster Shop

There is flat-level access to the Minster shop from the South side of the Nave towards the South Transept, and stepped or ramp access from the shop through the South Transept and out the South Door into the Minster Piazza. Any visitors who require ramp access to the shop, please ask at the North West door of the Minster and a member of staff will show you the way through. There is no ramp access directly into the shop from street level.

Tactile Model of York Minster

A range of services are provided at the Minster for people who are blind or partially sighted.

A tactile model of York Minster is offered to enable visitors to get an idea and orientation of the Minster. PENfriend™ audio description and Braille text is also provided to help interpret the design.

Tactile Plan and Adaptive Information about the Minster

A tactile site plan, with PENfriend™ audio description and Braille information is provided to assist blind and visually impaired visitors to learn about and navigate the Minster. The tactile plan and PENfriend may be borrowed in advance of visiting to enable blind and partially sighted visitors to learn something of the Minster before visiting. If you would like to request the plan to be sent to you, please email reception@yorkminster.org, or call 01904 557200.

Self-Guided Route

The tactile plan enables blind and visually impaired visitors to find, and learn about, a series of interesting and informative tactile features around the Minster, on a self-guided journey.

Assistive items

There are sensory materials such as embroidery samples and stained glass examples available to help people with sensory impairments and learning disabilities learn about the Minster. These are kept securely at the main entrance and a member of staff will be able to help on request.

Hearing aid users

Audio induction loops to assist hearing aid users are provided in parts of the interior of the Minster. Minster staff and volunteers have also been trained in welcoming and communicating with deaf and hearing impaired visitors.

Assisted guided tours

We understand that some of our visitors might require extra help, or wish to take part in a guided tour and be able to plan this in advance. Our bookings team can arrange for specially trained guides to be available to meet you when you visit, but require 6 weeks’ notice to try and secure a guide (subject to availability). There is no additional charge for this service. If you would like to take advantage of this service please phone our bookings team on 01904 557275 or email bookings@yorkminster.org with details of the assistance required.

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