A concessionary admission charge is offered to visitors with a disability.
Access for all
Imperial War Museum Duxford is committed to ensuring it is as accessible as possible to all visitors. Our Front of House staff receive training in disability awareness. If you have any queries, or need assistance, please ask. They will be happy to help you.
Travelling to the Museum
Please follow the link below for details:
Free on-site car and coach parking is available. The main car park has an even surface and no height restriction. There are nineteen designated parking bays for blue badge holders, and more are provided on air show days. On busy days additional parking for other visitors may be on less even ground. There is a drop-off zone.
A concessionary admission charge is offered to visitors with a disability, and free admission for one assisting companion. You may be asked for proof of disability allowance. Please follow the link below for details:
Most visitors enter the site through the Visitor Centre, although on busy days you may be directed to a kiosk. The Visitor Centre has level entry and exit through glazed automatic sliding doors. The Admissions desk is low and is fitted with an induction loop. The area is well lit and has a shop, toilets and a public telephone. Staff have received disability awareness training and will be pleased to assist you or answer questions.
Duxford is a working museum on a historic site with an operational airfield. You may encounter historic aircraft flying or conservation work in progress. Exhibits are displayed in a variety of buildings including original hangars and purpose-built exhibition spaces. The site is approximately a mile long.
Moving around the site
The site is approximately a mile long. A free ‘road train’ circuits the site continuously, stopping at all the important buildings and hangars. Two wheelchairs can be accommodated in the rear carriage. There is an induction loop in each carriage. Please note that site-transport is dependent on serviceability and, for safety reasons, does not run on air show days or busy special event days.
Your own transport
On days when there are no special events or attractions and if the free site transport is not suitable, visitors with restricted mobility may be permitted to drive around the back of the site in their own vehicle in order to get closer to the required area. Please ask the staff in the Visitor Centre for further details.
Wheelchairs, including two electric wheelchairs, are available for loan from the Visitor Centre. There is no charge but visitors are asked to leave a contact address and telephone number. Wheelchairs can be reserved, subject to availability, by telephoning the Admissions desk on 01223 499314.
There is a mix of concrete and grass between the buildings at Duxford. The route between the buildings has a fairly even surface.
AirSpace tells the story of British and Commonwealth aviation. There is an interactive exhibition and a display of over 30 aircraft, some suspended as if in flight. The Department for Learning, schools picnic room and Marshall Auditorium are in this building. From 2009 it will also be home to the Airborne Forces Museum. There is a gentle slope from the Visitor Centre to the entrance. Entry is either through an automatic revolving door or an outward swinging door which can be opened by pressing the button at waist height on the post to left of it. There are maps of the building, designated for sight and touch, in the entrance foyer and the foyer and one in the far diagonal corner of the aircraft hall. Both have voice announcement and Braille indicators. Exit from the lift is through the door opposite the one you came in by. There are toilets, including accessible toilets, on both floors.
The exhibition has many hands-on activities, and includes audio-visual presentations and opportunities to listen to oral history. For details of specific provision for visitors who are deaf or hard of hearing, and for those who are blind or partially sighted, please see relevant sections below.
Some of the aircraft based in this hangar are airworthy and may be flying. Others may have mechanics working on them. There is level entry but wheelchair users may need assistance to open the door.
This hangar contains maritime exhibits, including a midget submarine and naval helicopter. There is a slight ramp at the entrance and wheelchair users may need assistance to open the door. A set of five steps with handrails leads to a walkway alongside the lifeboat at deck level.
This hangar features the Battle of Britain exhibition. There is level entry and an automatic swing door. In the entrance hall, an audio-visual presentation tells the story of Duxford. It has subtitles and an audio transcript. A pair of automatic glass swing doors lead to the main exhibition, where aircraft and vehicles are displayed behind rope barriers. There are further audio-visual displays with subtitles, and audio points.
You may see museum staff and volunteers carrying out conservation work here. Please be aware that it could be noisy. There is a gentle slope to the entrance door and wheelchair users may need assistance to open this and the internal doors which follow.
The Operations Room is a reconstruction of the room from which Duxford’s fighter aircraft were controlled during the Battle of Britain. There is a soundtrack simulating activities in the Operations room during an air raid on Duxford. A flight of 6 steps leads up to the room. Alternatively visitors may follow the signed wheelchair route to the rear of the building and use the wheelchair lift. A key for the lift is available from the Visitor Centre on arrival.
There is a gentle slope leading to the prefabricated bungalow. It is not open to the public but its furnished rooms can be viewed through the windows.
American Air Museum
This building houses the collection of American combat aircraft. There is a steep incline leading to the entrance but most of this can be avoided by using the site transport, which stops near the top. Entry is through two pairs of automatic sliding glazed doors at the upper level, where the café and shop are located. A steep ramp with a handrail leads to the ground floor. Staff will open the fire door to allow visitors to leave at ground floor level, on request.
Visitors can move freely between the aircraft but should take care to avoid overhanging wings. There are some interactive exhibits and handling opportunities. Audio visual presentations have subtitles and induction loops. There is some sound overlap between exhibits which visitors with certain hearing impairments may find difficult.
Land Warfare Hall
The Land Warfare Hall houses the Museum’s collection of tanks, military vehicles and artillery. The Royal Anglian Regiment Museum and Cambridgeshire Regiment exhibition are also in this building. A steep slope leads to the main entrance which has glazed double doors that push to open. Entry is at the upper level. There are stairs with handrails on both sides, and a lift to the lower level. The lift has audible and Braille indicators, and a mirror to aid reversing.
Alternatively visitors can enter at the lower level, following the moderately sloping path to the right of the building and using the door at the side. Wheelchair users may need assistance as the door is heavy and opens outwards.
Inside exhibits are set in scenes from the First World War to the present. Light levels are low. There are audio visual presentations with subtitles, touch screens, audio points and a handling bench. The cinema presentation has subtitles and an induction loop.
There is a very gentle slope leading to the Normandy Experience. Six steps with handrails lead to the Montgomery Gallery. Alternatively, please ask a member of staff to operate the lift.
Concorde is located in the AirSpace and is usually open to the public. It can only be accessed by climbing steps but visitors can watch a film showing the interior on the audio-visual screen by its left wheel.
There is usually one other civil airliner open to the public. This can only be accessed by climbing steps.
Toilets, including wheelchair accessible facilities, are available throughout the site with additional facilities provided for special events and air shows. Toilets in the Visitor Centre and Air Space are identified by tactile signs.
Eating and Drinking
There are three areas providing refreshments:
The Mess Restaurant by the main entrance (level access)
Wing Co Joe’s Café between Hangars 3 & 4 (level access)
Station 357 inside the American Air Museum (ramped access)
All are well lit and have ample room for a wheelchair to manoeuvre. Tables and chairs are not permanently fixed and staff are willing to move them to suit your needs. Refreshments are chosen at the counter but staff will bring them to the table on request. There are drinking straws available.
For those who wish to have a picnic, there are benches available throughout the site, or just bring a rug.
Seating is provided throughout the site.
Staff in the Guardroom are qualified to give First Aid assistance. Visitors may go directly to the Guardroom or ask any member of staff to call a first aider to the scene. On air show days first aid is also available from tents manned by members of St John’s Ambulance.
Public telephones can be found in the Visitor Centre, between Hangars 3 and 4, and next the Guardroom.
Staff are trained for emergency situations and will provide assistance. In AirSpace there are audible and visible fire alarms. Please do not use the lifts. There are refuge points with intercoms at each fire exit. All other buildings have audible fire alarms.
Guide dogs, hearing dogs and other recognized assistance dogs are welcome. There is a poop and scoop facility in the car park. Please follow signs to ‘Shaded are for dogs’. Staff will assist in making drinking water available, and in directing to designated spend areas once on site.
At air shows a wheelchair- user viewing enclosure with courtesy seating for one assisting companion is provided.
Visitors who are deaf or hard of hearing
The majority of audio-visual presentations in AirSpace are supported with British Sign Language.
The majority of audio-visual presentations at Duxford are supported with subtitles.
Induction loops are fitted at the Visitor Centre admission desk and shop, Reception, the Guardroom and the Marshall Auditorium (selected seating). In addition, most exhibits with audio, including all those in AirSpace, have the support induction loops. The site transport has an induction loop in each carriage.
Audio points featuring oral history clips in AirSpace are supported with written transcript booklets.
Visitors with a visual impairment
The museum seeks to make the collection and exhibitions accessible to all visitors through the use of a wide range of multi-sensory media. However, we recommend that visitors who are blind or partially sighted are accompanied by a sighted companion to gain the most from their visit. Staff are trained to give assisted visits but these should be pre-booked by telephoning the Front-of-House Manager on 01223 499309.
An audio guide specifically designed for blind and partically sighted visitors to AirSpace is available free of charge from the Visitor Centre. This can be used with or without headphones, or with a loop. Audio guides can be reserved, subject to availability, by telephoning the Admissions desk on 01223 499314.
AirSpace has been designed to include many hands-on touch opportunities. You will be guided to these by the audio-guide. There is also equipment to handle in the American Air Museum and in the Land Warfare Hall.
There are opportunities in AirSpace, Hangars 3 and 4, the American Air Museum and the Land Warfare Hall to listen to oral history, and most visual presentations are accompanied by audio. In the Operations Room there is a soundtrack simulating activities during an air raid.
In AirSpace, where possible, instructions for hands-on exhibits are accompanied by Braille. The lifts have Braille indicators.
A large print map of the site is available from the Visitor Centre and Reception. In AirSpace there are RNIB-designed maps for sight and touch located in the entrance foyer and the foyer before the exhibition gallery on the first floor.
The Department for Learning
The Department for Learning runs formal and informal educational activities throughout the year for schools, other formal education groups, adult learners, general visitor and families. Many of the talks, workshops and family activities can be adapted to ensure that they are accessible to all of our visitors. Please contact the Department directly to make a booking and to discuss your particular access needs, by telephoning 01223 499341.
The Museum is committed to improving access to its services. If you would like to find out more about our equality strategy, please follow the link below:
We welcome suggestions and feedback. Please send any comments to
Or telephone 01223 835000
This information is available in large print.
It can also be supplied in Braille, or recorded on to audio cassette or CD. To request a copy in one of these formats, please contact Kay Cooper on:
Telephone: 01223 499 363
Fax: 01223 835 120