Accessible to everyone

The Sill has been designed with accessibility in mind. The building and immediate landscape is accessible for all. The approach to the site and building for visitors provides easier and safer access routes for pedestrians, with increased separation between pedestrian and vehicle routes.

The building’s external design provides ease of access from parking and drop-off facilities with easy access routes linking the majority of external facilities, including enhanced facilities for disabled persons to park Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles.

The building layout therefore encourages the accessible passage of visitors across its roof space to enjoy the Whin Sill  roof and take advantage of the elevated views across the landscape.

The Sill’s fully accessible Whin Sill roof sweeps gently upwards, giving visitors a bird’s eye vantage point across one of the UK’s most magnificent landscapes and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hadrian’s Wall. The roof  has been designed to provide level resting points, while the gradients of all sloped paths are set at 1:21.

Inside, The Sill allows all visitors to explore the exhibition spaces, retail areas, café and corridors; and for those who wish to stay longer, the YHA facilities provide comfort and security for all would be guests with fully accessible communal areas and 2 fully wheelchair accessible en-suite bathrooms.

You can read our Access Statement below to find out more detailed information about the building.

Find out more about accessibility in The Sill

Further access information

Toilets and Changing Facilities

There are separate male, female, and an accessible toilet on the ground floor. In addition, there is a Changing Places toilet on the ground floor which includes a shower, adult changing table and hoist. There is one accessible toilet for visitors on the first floor.

Baby changing facilities are available the female ground floor toilets, in addition, there is a dedicated baby change room close to the toilets on the ground floor.

Assistance Dogs

We welcome assistance dogs. The information team can provide a bowl of water, please ask at reception or at the shop.

Induction Loops

Induction loops are fitted throughout The Sill.

Guided Tours

Tours are available on request, but must be booked in advance, a charge applies.

Fire Alarms

The fire alarms have visual flashing lights. Level access emergency egress routes are available on both floors of the National Landscape Discovery Centre. People unable to exit the building should wait at the fire refuge point at the top of stairs outside of the cafe. If you will need assistance to exit the building in the event of a fire alarm please tell a member of staff.

Eating at The Sill

The Sill has an accessible, fully licenced café on the first floor providing a range of hot and cold meals and drinks as well as sandwiches, cakes and snacks.

Access Statement

Explore on access statement for The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre.

Parking

There are 5 accessible parking bays at the front of The Sill for Blue Badge Holders. You can also drop off at the bus stop at the front entrance.

In addition to the accessible parking bays there are a further 172  parking bays in the main visitor car park and space for up to 100 vehicles in the overflow visitor car park at the southern end of the site. There are also 7 spaces for motor homes and three coach bays.

There are bicycle racks at the front entrance near the Gift Shop kiosk and secure bicycle/ pushchair stores in this location which can be hired at reception.

The seasonal AD122 bus service stops outside the main visitor entrance. Bus times are displayed on an information screen in the reception area.

Entrances

The approach to the main entrance from the visitor car park has several hard landscaping finishes. The main visitor car park has both tarmac and compacted stone chipping surfaces with compacted stone chipping and resin bonded gravel paths providing level access to the main visitor entrance which has automatic doors. This entrance provides level access to reception, the exhibition, The Stell, The Vallum Room, toilets (including accessible WCs and a Changing Places toilet), learning rooms (The Alan Reece Room and The Gillian Dickinson Room), YHA The Sill and the gift shop.

There are two additional visitor entrances both providing level access. Approaching The Sill from the northern gate at the boundary with the Military Road (B6318) access is provided via compacted stone chippings path which runs beside an outdoor turfed event space. This path changes to a resin bonded gravel path in the last few metres before the building is reached. Access is through a manually operated door. This entrance leads directly to the exhibition and to visitor toilets which include accessible toilets and a Changing Places toilet it also provides level access to reception, the exhibition, The Stell, The Vallum Room, learning rooms (The Alan Reece Room and The Gillian Dickinson Room), YHA The Sill and the gift shop.

The final visitor entrance is reached from the Whin Grassland Roof Walk. Approaching The Sill from the northern gate at the boundary with the Military Road (B6318) visitors are able to access the Whin Grassland roof via a compacted stone chippings path on to the roof walk way. The surface of the roof walk way is a slip resistant plastic grid suitable for wheelchair users and pushchairs. Once on the roof walk visitors can enter the building via the cafe terrace which is made of sandstone flags.  Access is through a manually operated door.

Getting around

Inside The Sill there is a passenger lift and stairs providing access to all floors. All lifts have voice announcers and Braille indicators. The Sill is spread out across two floors. The Sill cafe can be found on the first floor and has direct lift access.

All floors have level access. Stairs have adult and junior handrails. Stairs also have contrasting nosings.

Large print orientation maps for The Sill are available on request at the Reception Desk.

Seating

Bench seating can be found in the main entrance. There are also bench seats incorporated into the exhibition structures. The Café has a range of seating options including a combination of chairs with and without arms, bench seats and sofas with wooden arms. There are some external picnic tables and benches in the grounds and on the Whin Grassland Roof (level access is available to the roof walk). Picnic tables have spaces for people who use wheelchairs.

Borrowing a wheelchair

There are two wheelchairs available for visitor use. To borrow a wheelchair please ask a member of staff at reception.

Public telephone

The reception telephone can be used on request for emergencies or to book taxis for disabled people.

Map / Plan of the The Sill

Standard and large print plans are available from reception.

Pre-visit information

Pre-visit information is currently being developed. If you require anything in advance of your visit please call us on (01434) 341200, alternatively you can email us at

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