Access Statement

This access statement does not contain personal options as to our suitability for those with access needs, but aims to accurately describe the facilities and services we offer all our guests/visitors.


Situated in the centre of Kendal, Abbot Hall Art Gallery offers a rich mix of art, culture and history. The gallery is set back from the main road with a tarmac courtyard to the front and to the rear, a bowling green, overlooking the River Kent.

Abbot Hall is based on three floors – first, ground and lower ground - with lift access to all three. The ground floor houses our permanent collection and gallery shop whilst the first floor is used to exhibit temporary exhibitions and the modern collection. The lower ground floor is home to the Coffee House, serving a menu of locally produced and freshly prepared sandwiches, quiches and snacks. You should allow yourself at least 1.5 hours to go around the gallery using our free gallery guide leaflet.

Our Visitor Experience team is on hand throughout the gallery should you require any assistance.

We look forward to welcoming you. If you have any queries or require any assistance please phone 01539 722464 or e-mail


For details and maps of how to reach us, please use the directions section of our website. Alternatively, you can plan your journey by car or public transport using; simply enter your postcode and ours, which is LA9 5AL to get directions.

Oxenholme is the nearest main-line railway station and a connecting train will bring you into Kendal (less than 1 mile away from Abbot Hall) with a level walk along the river. There is also a taxi rank at the station.

Car parking and arrival

There are pay and display car parks located in front of the Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry and between the Gallery and the Museum, disabled parking bays are free. The onsite car park surface is tarmac and there are paved areas around the gallery. There is also a drop off point by the main entrance.

Stair free access to Abbot Hall is through the Coffee House entrance by means of a stair lift (due to weight restrictions we cannot accommodate motorised wheelchairs or wheelchairs over the maximum weight of 225kg / 35 stone. There is a manual wheelchair for visitor use on site) or via a passenger lift – one of our visitor experience staff will be happy to assist. All door frames are at least 900mm wide. The stair lifts throughout the gallery are able to allocate manual wheelchairs only. A manual wheelchair is available for loan, free of charge, on request.

Main Entrance, Reception and Ticketing Area

The main entrance, reception and shop are situated on the ground floor – direct access from the car park is up 11 stone steps with handrail. Stair free access is through the Coffee House entrance, via the stair lift (due to weight restrictions we cannot accommodate motorised wheelchairs or wheelchairs over the maximum weight of 225kg / 35 stone. There is a manual wheelchair for visitor use on site) or passenger lift. The floor surface is tiled and the area is evenly and well lit. There is a hearing loop system installed at the ticket desk. Wheelchair loan is available, free of charge, on request. The shop has some tall display racks but also lower displays which are accessible from a seated position. There is a lowered section of the counter. Staff will also offer assistance if required.

A magnifying glass, pen and pad of paper are available at the counter.

The Galleries

Ground floor

There is step free, level access throughout the ground floor. The floors are a mixture of wood and tiles. One of the room's floors is partially covered with a rug. The majority of the ground floor is well lit with natural light and ceiling lights. The Green Room and Watercolour gallery are more dimly lit to aid preservation of the exhibits. There is a bench in the Green Room and further gallery stools available if needed. There are Interpretation boards in each room, in large text.

First floor

In two of our galleries there are two small flights of stairs - 4 steps with a handrail to one side. There is a stair lift at both (due to weight restrictions we cannot accommodate motorised wheelchairs or wheelchairs over the maximum weight of 225kg / 35 stone. There is a manual wheelchair for visitor use on site) that one of our visitor experience staff will be happy to assist you with. The floor surface is mainly short pile carpet or vinyl tiles. Lighting in the galleries is generally bright and evenly lit. There is a bench in the main gallery space, along with window seats in the far room. Further small stools are available for guest use when visiting Abbot Hall. We also now have a learning space in the lower split-level gallery that has additional seating.

Public Toilets

Public toilets are located on the lower ground floor, next to the Coffee House with level access from the car park. These toilets have a unisex accessible toilet with a light, easy open door (900mm, 35.5ins wide). There is 980mm/ 38.5ins transfer space to the left of the toilet, when facing the toilet. There are vertical rails either side of both the basin and toilet. The flooring is no-slip laminate. There are Handy No Touch taps.


The Coffee House is located on the lower ground with direct, step free access from the car park. The entrance door to the Coffee House is 900mm, 35.5ins wide. Tables in the Coffee House are well spaced apart, with a clear height from the floor of 730mm. The seating comprises of upright chairs without arms. Lighting is predominantly from overhead spotlights with some natural daylight. There is extra seating in an annex section at the rear of the Coffee House, accessible via three steps with handrails – during summer, weather permitting, seating is available outside by the lawn, overlooking the River Kent.

The flooring in the Coffee House is wooden laminate, alongside short pile carpeted flooring in the Annex. Where possible all our food is locally sourced. We do our best to cater for any dietary requirements: please contact us in advance to check any specific requests you may have. The Coffee house is self-service, however, staff will be happy to assist on request.

Gallery Shop

The gallery shop stocks a diverse and specialised range of art books and exhibition catalogues as well as greeting cards, postcards and prints from selected exhibitions.

The shop can be accessed directly from the main entrance/ ticketing area and is level throughout. A low level counter is provided and a hearing loop system installed. Staff will be happy to offer assistance if required.


There is a lawned area at the rear of Abbot hall, overlooking the River Kent, surrounded by a concrete path. In summer, seating for the Coffee House may be available.

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