Hello - we've missed you!

We are pleased to be able to welcome you back to Torre Abbey from Tuesday 28 July (1196 Club and FOTA Members from Tuesday 14 July).

With the safety of visitors and staff at the forefront of our reopening, things will look and feel a little different on your visit. Find out more>

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.  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.

Please note, at the current time we are only accepting card payments.

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.

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. However, following new COVID-19 guidelines, there is a temporary one-way system around the building and gardens and this will be fully signposted and explained to you up on arrival.

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 or Shop.

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.

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.

Garden

The garden is largely accessible via wheelchair, mobility scooters and buggies. Where wheelchair access is required, visitors will need to use a separate entrance to join the route that is in place following COVID-19.

Although the temporary garden route is accessible, 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 numerous seats within the garden, many of which have arm rests. There are no toilets within the garden.

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

Environmental conditions

Our new policy requires bookings to be made in advance and visitors will be admitted at fixed time slots allowing us to leave space between groups. Additionally, Tuesdays will be reserved purely for our more vulnerable visitors. If there are 4 or more people in your visiting group who require use of the lift/accessible route please note that we may split your party so that some of you visit the house first and others then garden first. Our lift is slow and this will reduce delays in your visit and enable us to better support our accessible route. If you book a house and gardens ticket you will all be able to visit both the house and gardens however the order in which you do so may change.

Torre Abbey is normally a fairly quiet environment however noise levels from visitors are not restricted.

The main building is maintained at a temperature of between 19 and 21⁰C.

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

Our events programme is currently on hold and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.

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.