Accessibility at Tolethorpe
We want everyone to enjoy every aspect of their visit to Tolethorpe. Due to the historic buildings and the natural geography of the site, patrons should be aware of the uneven, sometimes steep nature of our grounds.
The site does present some access limitations, including the auditorium, which is built around a natural slope in the land and therefore has many steps inside.
Parking for blue badge holders is situated in the lower car park. This is a level, hard standing area and the picnic slope can be accessed directly from one end. There is a tarmac slope from this end of the car park down to the Hall for wheelchair access, though patrons assisting wheelchair users should be aware that there are some steeper sections. At the other end of the car park, stone steps with a central handrail lead to the Hall for access to the bar, shop, restaurant and toilets. Please inform car park staff of your blue badge status on arrival, and they will direct you to the appropriate car park.
The main car park, the Orchard car park, is on naturally undulating grass. Stone steps with a central handrail lead you to the lower car park where another set of stone steps leads to the level pathway outside the Hall.
By its nature, the picnic slope is a grassed, natural space with some flat areas nearer to the Hall and some larger slopes towards the field boundary. Picnic tables are available on a first come first served basis.
Wheelchair users around the site
There is level access to the Hall, where all public areas are on the ground floor. Wider doorways to the bar and the Orangery open onto the main pathway, and wide doors connect the two internally. Outside thresholds are not all level.
The slope from the lower car park to the Hall does contain some steeper sections for those assisting wheelchair users to be aware of.
There is a concrete wheelchair path which runs from the car park slope, along the edge of the formal garden, and down to the auditorium. This path has a steeper section closer to the auditorium and assistance is advised.
During the season, both the main path outside the Hall and the wheelchair path will be lit on performance evenings.
There is an accessible toilet cubicle located in the Orangery and another on the lower level immediately outside the auditorium.
In the auditorium
There are two wheelchair positions in the auditorium, located on row ‘O’ and each adjacent to a central aisle (O19 and O44). Please request wheelchair access when booking.
Row P is the back row of the theatre and has a step (28cm high) up to the seats.
Row O is level access. This row also has the two wheelchair spaces.
All other rows are accessed via four stepped aisles. Handrails are on the outer sides of the two side blocks. There are no handrails on the two inner aisles.
Row A is nearest the stage, on a level with the apron, but has the greatest number of steps to access it.
- Deaf and hearing impaired
There is a hearing induction loop fitted in the theatre.
Assistance dogs are welcome during performances. Please book seats adjacent to the wheelchair spaces, so the dogs can be situated in the wheelchair space itself, or on the front row, so the dogs can be situated in front of you. Please telephone the box office to arrange this. Please note some productions may include bright lighting and loud sound effects.
Entrances to the Hall, including for the bar, shop, restaurant and Orangery have level access.
The main path outside the Hall is level, leading onto the garden which is a mixture of grass, gravel and paving and therefore can be uneven.
Access with steps
From the car park There are steps from the Orchard car park and lower car park to the Hall.
To the auditorium The main access to the auditorium is also by steps from the Orangery.
Steps around the site are stone, which can become slippery when wet, and have a central handrail. Steps are lit on performance nights.
In the auditorium The auditorium has steps throughout, with only row O being level access. Row P has one step up (28cm high) to the seats. All other rows are accessed via four stepped aisles. Handrails are on the outer sides of the two side blocks. There are no handrails on the two inner aisles.
Row A is nearest the stage but has the greatest number of steps to access it.
First Aid cover is provided in the auditorium during the season from one hour before the performance.
There is an accessible toilet cubicle located in the Orangery (ground floor level of the Hall).
A second accessible toilet is located on the lower level immediately outside the auditorium, accessed either by the steps or the wheelchair path.