Access Information

Getting around the museum

Exterior image of South Shields Museum
South Shields Museum

What is South Shields Museum & Art Gallery 

South Shields Museum celebrates the rich heritage of South Tyneside and the people who shaped it. South Shields Museum is located in South Shields town centre on the pedestrianised part of Ocean Road. The museum is spread over two floors. On the ground floor we have exhibition displays, a shop and café. On the first floor is our art gallery which holds regular exhibitions and bookable meeting/learning rooms.  

Entrance to the museum is free.

Getting here and parking 

South Shields Museum is located in South Shields town centre on the pedestrianised part of Ocean Road. Visit our getting here web page for more information.

Group visits and tours  

Our staff can lead tours on request providing there is staff availability. The tours last between forty-five minutes and an hour and are in spoken English. You will need to book in advance by calling (0191) 211 5599 or email 

Please ask a member of staff if you would like more information regarding the layout of the museum.   


There is no public telephone available. Please approach staff at reception to order taxis or if you need to make an urgent phone call and they will assist you.  

Pre-visit information 

Our pre-visit information is currently under revision. If you were seeking this information, please contact the Museum.  You can call the museum on (0191) 211 5599 or email  

Fire alarm 

If there is a fire alarm it will give an audible bell warning and visual flashing lights. The lifts cannot be used in the event of a fire. If you will need assistance to exit the building in the event of a fire alarm please tell a member of staff. 

Toilets and baby changing 

There are male and female toilets on the first floor as well as accessible toilets on the ground floor to the left of the staircase and on the first floor beside the lift. Both accessible toilets have baby changing facilities, there is also a pull chord alarm. You can find your nearest Changing Place facility here. 


Breastfeeding is welcomed throughout the museum. Download Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums Breastfeeding Commitment document for more information.


Our Cafe, The Victorian Pantry serves both hot and cold food and drinks and can be found on the ground floor of the museum. 


We have a gift shop in the reception area selling books, souvenirs, small toys and South Shields merchandise. 


All information panels and signs are in written English with a font size of no less than 14 points. 

Getting around 

The museum is spread over two floors. On the ground floor there are exhibition displays, a shop and café. On the first floor is our art gallery which holds regular exhibitions and bookable meeting/learning rooms.  Lifts and stairs provide access to the ground and first floors. The lift has a voice announcer. All floors have level access and are predominately a carpet surface. 

Please ask a member of staff if you would like more information regarding the layout of the museum.   

Entrance and exit

Visitors enter and exit the museum via the museum shop. To access and to exit the museum there is a small flight of stairs or a lift. 


Padded benches and chairs with backs and arms are situated throughout the museum. 

Borrowing a wheelchair 

A wheelchair is available for visitor use. Please ask a member of staff at the Welcome Desk who will be able to assist. 

Resources for visually or hearing-impaired visitors

Induction loops  

Induction points are fitted in the Tales of South Tyneside and Changing Faces galleries and induction loops fitted in the exhibition gallery, meeting room and learning room. A counter loop is fitted in the shop. 

Assistance dogs  

We welcome assistance dogs. Please let us know if you require anything for the dog whilst in the museum. 


The audio visual displays in Tales of South Tyneside and Changing Faces are subtitled with some also having BSL interpretation added.


The lift provides access to the ground and first floors. The lift has a voice announcer. 

To access the museum shop there is a small lift. Please ask a member of staff about this.

Resources for families

Sensory Backpacks  

The South Tyneside SEND It Youth Forum have designed, created and distributed Sensory Backpacks to cultural venues across South Tyneside. The backpack contains resources that can calm, entertain, and soothe visitors who may find coming to the museum a little overwhelming. Contents of the backpack include: Noise cancelling headphones, a sea animal toy, a light up fan, pop it, Lego, a stress ball and theraputty.

We have 2 Sensory Backpacks available to lend from the museum reception desk.. A form of ID must be used as a deposit to loan a backpack. 

We are here to help

All staff attend training including customer care, diversity and disability awareness. They are here to help you enjoy the time you spend in our venues. 

If there is anything that we can do to make your visit more enjoyable please contact us, we will be happy to assist you.