Accessibility

We aspire to be welcome to all but due to the historic nature of Blackwell, some aspects are the building are inaccessible. In this access statement we aim to describe the facilities and services you will find when you visit.

Blackwell the Arts & Crafts House is situated about 1 ½ miles out of Bowness-on-Windermere. The house overlooks Lake Windermere with a series of terraces and lawn areas.

Blackwell is based on two floors with lift access to galleries on the first floor. As a Grade I listed building with a unique architectural design by MH Baillie Scott, unfortunately four rooms on the first floor are not accessible. Further details on access can be found below. You should allow at least 1.5 hours to go around the house and terraces using our free house guide leaflet.

Our Visitor Experience team are on hand throughout the house should you require any assistance. If you have any queries or require any assistance ahead of your visit, please contact us.

Pre-arrival

For details and maps of how to get to Blackwell please see plan your visit.

Car parking and arrival

There is free parking on-site and 2 clearly marked Blue Badge parking spaces. The onsite car park surface is tarmac and there are paved areas around the house. There is also a drop-off point by the main entrance. There is a paved ramp leading up to the main entrance with handrails on both sides. The main entrance has two single doors, each will fit a standard size wheelchair.

Main entrance, reception & Shop area

The main entrance, reception and shop area is situated on the ground floor with step free, level access, throughout. The floor surface is wood. The area is evenly and well-lit with overhead lighting from spotlights. There is a lowered section of the ticketing desk and a hearing loop system is also available.

There is ample room within the shop for a standard wheelchair to manoeuvre and turn. The shop has some tall display racks but also lower displays which are accessible from a seated position. Staff will also offer assistance if required. Wheelchair loan is available, free of charge, on request.

Ground floor (displays)

The Main Hall, Dining Room and White Drawing Room are all situated on the ground floor and can be accessed from the reception area. Visitors are free to use the alcove and window seats throughout the ground floor. The floor surface is wood which is covered by rugs in some areas. Lighting in the Main Hall and White Drawing Room is generally bright and evenly lit, however some areas are more dimly lit. Signage throughout the house is clear and generally black text on white background. The house does not currently have any Braille signage.

First floor (displays and exhibitions)

The first floor at Blackwell has been designed with many different levels and has several short flights of stairs. This means that some visitors with additional access requirements, and wheelchair users, may find these rooms difficult to access. The main areas of the first floor, i.e. exhibition galleries can be accessed with the lift from the lobby area in the reception. A visual guide containing photographs of all the spaces accessed by stairs is available from the reception. The guide also includes large print interpretation information of the text panels and object labels in those rooms.

The floor surface on the first floor is wood, with the exception of the school exhibition room which is carpeted. The flights of stairs are fitted with non-slip tape. There are wooden window seats located at various points around the exhibition galleries.

Tea Room

The Tea Room is situated on the ground floor and has step free level access from the reception area and from the outside. The lighting in the Tea Room is natural daylight from the large windows with additional overhead lighting. Tables in the Tea Room can be well spaced apart if needed, with a clear height from the floor of 710mm/27.95ins.

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 request you might have. The Tea Room offers table service and all staff can assist by running through menus with you. Large print menus are available, and specials of the day are shown on a blackboard.

The nearest toilet with an accessible WC is located in the outside toilet block approximately 4 meters from the Tea Room entrance.

Toilets facilities

The unisex accessible toilet within the house is located on the ground floor with level access from the house corridor. There are two further unisex toilets situated in the porch area on the left-hand side from the house corridor. There is a small step down to the two toilets.

The toilets in the outside toilet block by the main car park are all located on the ground floor with level access.

Grounds and terraces

The grounds at Blackwell consist of three terraces on different levels. The upper terrace facing south is easily accessible; the paved area will take visitors around to the lawn and view point overlooking lake Windermere.

The lower terrace can be accessed from a set of stone steps leading down from the courtyard. The steps have handrails on both sides. Visitors with additional access requirements and wheelchair users can access the lower terrace via the sloping path at the bottom of the main car park. The pathways on the lower terraces are covered with loose gravel. To the side of the pathways there is a grassed area, which is uneven underfoot.

In spring and summertime, outside garden furniture is available for visitors to use on all the terraces. We ask that only food purchased from the Tea Room is consumed on the grounds.

Dogs

Dogs are welcome in the grounds, but please make sure that they remain on the lead but off the grass. Assistance dogs are allowed on the grounds and in the house.

Accessibility guides

To download Blackwell’s accessibility guide please go to www.accessibilityguides.org/content/blackwell-arts-crafts-house