Open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am until 5pm. Last entry 4pm. Open on August Bank Holiday Monday.

Access Statement

This statement tells you how Torre Abbey caters for people with additional needs.

Welcome

Come and enjoy your visit exploring our stunning buildings and impressive displays, world-class collections and exhibitions complemented by modern amenities and special accessibility features.

Should you have any other requests, requirements, or suggestions for how we can make Torre Abbey Museum even more accessible, please do not hesitate to get in touch via email on torre.abbey@torbay.gov.uk or phone 01803 293593.

Venue Accessibility

Arrival and Parking Facilities

From Torquay seafront, both Rathmore Road and Belgrave Road take you to Chestnut Avenue for Torre Abbey parking. To find our carpark, drive into the Riviera International Conference Centre car park and follow signs around to the back (by the tennis courts).

Cars can drop off passengers and blue badge-holders, during opening hours, close to the house main entrance via the Swan Gates entrance - 10am to 5pm, 6 days a week.  We have four blue badge parking spaces close to the entrance outside the Spanish Barn. There are also two disabled parking spaces in the main car park in the Riviera International Conference Centre, the house is then accessed via a short level foot path from the carpark, across the front of the building to the entrance on the left of the building. Wheelchair users and people with mobility scooters, pushchairs and buggies can access the house via the main entrance.

Visitor Reception and Retail

The visitor reception and shop are located by the gravel driveway on the left hand side of the building (when viewed from the seafront). The access into these areas is via level ground or gentle slopes and can be accessed by Wheelchair users, people with mobility scooters, pushchairs and buggies through the main entrance.

The main entrance has one glass door which requires manual opening.

There are two tills in the visitor reception and shop. One of these is at a lower height to enable visitors who are sitting to interact with the staff.

There are two wheelchairs available for free loan within the reception area. There is space to park up to two buggies should you not wish to take this around with you.

There is a circulation space of one metre between display stands in the shop.

The price list for entrance is printed in large print and staff are happy to assist with telling visitors prices for shop items.

A free map of the site, including the gardens is offered to all visitors on arrival.

Main house

96% of the main building is accessible via wheelchair, mobility scooters and buggies. Lifts operate to all floors and stairlifts are in place in areas of the building where short flights of stairs exist. These can be operated by trained staff on request. All doors in wheelchair accessible areas are of an appropriate width, all doors are either power assisted or kept open (except in the case of fire).

Because the main building has been built on, extended and changed many times during its 800 year history it can be confusing to navigate. We provide all visitors with a map on arrival and signs are in place to direct you around. We normally recommend taking the lift or the stairs to the top (third) floor and working your way down as this aids in not missing areas or getting too lost.

There are a lot of chairs and benches throughout the main build and garden to allow visitors to rest should they wish.

The Undercroft rooms have some paths mixed with gravel areas, all other floor is wood, metal or concrete.

There are no restrictions for powered wheelchairs or powered mobility vehicles inside the Museum, Shop and Tea-room.

Many of the displays within Torre Abbey are interactive and offer a mix of visual, written and audio interpretation. All videos are subtitled in English.

The Learning Lab, our education suite, has level concrete access and an interactive white board which allows videos and audio to be played.

Torre Abbey is lit with electric light, but with no fluorescent bulbs. There is space to turn a wheelchair easily in all rooms.

Assistance dogs are welcome in all areas and water for them can be provided on request.

Toilets

Accessible toilets are available in the Main House, Learning Lab and Tea Rooms. Other toilets are also available in the Main House and Learning Lab.

Tea Room

The tearoom is not directly managed by Torbay Council.

The tearoom is accessed via level access to the front of Torre Abbey, to the left of the Georgian Steps (as viewed from the seafront) through an assisted opening door. The tea room cannot be accessed from inside Torre Abbey.

The tea room contains an accessible toilet.

There are some tables with a circulation space between of around 1200mm. Staff are happy to assist visitors as required. There is no induction loop, no large print menu and no Braille menu, but staff are happy to assist with talking about what is on the menu and telling visitors the price of items. Please also note there are no large handled cutlery, double handled mugs or straws available.

Various specialist diets are catered for, staff should be informed of any allergies. Please note that nuts and other allergens are on occasion prepared in the kitchen.

Assistance dogs are welcome in all areas and water for them can be provided on request.

Garden

A free map of the site, including the gardens is offered to all visitors on arrival.

The garden is largely accessible via wheelchair, mobility scooters and buggies. Where wheelchair access is required, visitors will need to use two separate entrances for various parts of the garden. One entrance is from the visitor reception and shop which gives access to the cloister and garth. A separate garden gate can be opened on request which gives access to the higher parts of the garden and the tropical Palm House. There is level access into Palm House at one end. The Arid House is accessed via 3 steps only. These do not have a hand rail.

There is one steep slope within the garden in the area by the rock garden.

Although there is access to most areas of the garden some of the areas, particularly around the ruins are not level, have grass paths and occasional small obstructions.

Paths within the garden are made of concrete or gravel. Some areas are grass. The community garden has a bark mulch surface.

There are steps within the garden which can, in the main, be navigated around.  Some of these steps have hand rails. There are numerous seats within the garden, many of which have arm rests. There are no toilets within the garden.

There is one pond in the Palm House.

Assistance dogs are welcome in all areas and water for them can be provided on request.

Spanish Barn

Access into the Spanish Barn is level, however, there are no other facilities. There are no toilets in the barn. There is no heating so it can be cold, especially in winter months. The Spanish barn is only used for special events and exhibitions. Assistance dogs are welcome in all areas and water for them can be provided on request.

Tours

Tours of the building can be provided on request and normally for an additional fee. These are provided in English or British Sign Language. These normally focus on the history, art or the gardens depending on your requirements. Specialist tours can be developed on request.

Concessions

Torre Abbey offers a concessionary rate for any disabled visitors as well as free entry for their personal assistant. Carer’s card maybe required as proof for the personal assistant.

In addition, Torre Abbey offers a Carers’ week special whereby during National Carers’ week (normally in June) free access is given to all carers with a carer’s card without the need for them to bring the person they support.

Environmental conditions

Torre Abbey can become busy especially during school holidays. If visitors wish to come when it is quieter then Fridays are normally the quietest day to come. However please look at what’s on for special events and exhibitions which will give an indication of busier periods.

Torre Abbey is normally a fairly quiet environment however noise levels from visitors are not restricted and it can become noisy during busy periods.

The main building, Learning Lab and Cafe is maintained at a temperature of between 19 and 21⁰C. There is no heating in the Spanish Barn.

Torre Abbey is lit with electric light, but with no fluorescent bulbs. There is space to turn a wheelchair easily in all rooms.

Accessible Events

On occasion, special events and activities happen which are designed specifically for their accessibility. For example, a weekly memory café is held and during National Carers’ week (normally in June) free access is given to all carers with a carer’s card without the need for them to bring the person they support.

All other events, activities and exhibitions are designed to be as accessible as possible. Please see what’s on for more information and please contact us on torre.abbey@torbay.gov.uk or phone 01803 293593 if you have any questions about specific events.

Staff Training

Torre Abbey is part of Torbay Council. Torbay Council is an equal opportunities employer and seeks to encourage and support staff to achieve equality of opportunity in recruitment, employment, training and promotion. Torbay Council is part of the Two Ticks Disability scheme, and aims to meet their commitments regarding the employment, retention, training and career development of disabled employees. Torbay Council is committed to the Mindful Employer Charter for Employers who are positive about Mental Health.

Torre Abbey is committed to ensuring that all its staff are trained in disability awareness and that key members of staff also have various specific training such as British Sign Language, autism awareness, deaf awareness etc.

Website

We hope you'll find this website easy to use. We are committed to making our website as accessible as possible. 

We are continually working to ensure that all designs and web content published conforms to W3C/WAI's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and the requirements set out in the Equalities Act.

We aim to meet all priority 1 and 2 checkpoints within the recommendations on all our pages (on occasion this is not possible where external third party applications do not pass all accessibility checks).

Readability

We have made every effort to ensure that all of the content on this website is easy to read and uses 'plain English'.