Access at Sizergh
- 01 October 2023
We want to make sure that Sizergh is accessible for all visitors. The historic house, gardens and estate we care for present challenges in creating access for all, but we are taking steps to ensure that as many people as possible are able to experience Sizergh’s history and beauty. Here you’ll find information about access across the different areas of Sizergh and how to make the most of your visit.
Arrival and parking facilities
Arriving by car
There are brown signs from the M6, A591 and A590 giving directions to Sizergh. The main entrance is also signed. There are two speed humps on the drive leading to the carpark. Each speed hump is about 2.5 inches high.
The car park is at the end of the main driveway, to the left of the House. It has a tarmac surface, with slate-chipped parking bays. It contains a grassed central area, which has picnic benches.
There are 12 designated parking bays for disabled visitors in the main car park. These are on a firm, tarmac surface close to the Visitor Centre.
An overflow car park is available for use on busy days in dry weather. This has a grass surface and is reasonably flat.
It is possible to drop visitors off outside the Visitor Centre if all designated parking bays are full.
Visitor Centre and Visitor Reception
Visitor Reception is in the Visitor Centre, which can be found in the main car park. This building is open plan.
Entrance to the Visitor Centre is by three steps, or by a 12 metre long ramp to the left of the steps. The ramp has a gradient of 1:30. All entry and exit doors are non-powered opening, 151cm in width, opening outwards to 90 degrees. Staff and volunteers can assist with opening doors if required.
Wood flooring runs throughout the building and the area is lit by both natural and artificial lighting.
The Reception desk is 76cm in height. Chairs are available for visitors who may find queueing difficult. An Induction Loop is available at the Reception desk.
Toilets and accessible toilet facilities
The café toilets are situated at the entrance to the Visitor Centre and include an accessible toilet. The accessible toilet is 1.5m x 2.2m, has left hand transfer and is lit by fluorescent bulbs. It contains paper towels for hand drying and baby changing facilities.
A main toilet block is located in the Old Forge building, to the right of the House. All non-accessible toilets contain automatic hand dryers.
There are no visitor toilet facilities in the House – the nearest toilet facilities for people visiting the House are in the Old Forge.
Tramper and wheelchair hire
One powered mobility vehicle and three manual wheelchairs are available for hire at Visitor Reception.
The powered mobility vehicle is pre-booked online through www.outdoormobility.org/sizergh in advance of visiting.
Accessibility in the House
Entry to the house is via the graveled courtyard. The courtyard is 180m from the Visitor Centre.
It’s used by pedestrians as well as the donor family and their guests.
Entry to the house is through a 240cm-wide door. There are no steps, and there is an access ramp installed at the door. Once you enter the house, there is a secondary doorway 100cm in width. There are no steps and the floor surface is wood.
We advise that rucksacks and large bags are left in their owners’ vehicles. We may ask you to remove your rucksack or large bag upon entry.
We ask that prams are left in their owners’ vehicles or on the ground floor, but two hip carriers are available for those with small children - please ask a member of staff.
Access to the first floor
Access to the first floor is up 26 steps, each around 15cm high. There are handrails either side of the staircase.
Unfortunately, there is no ramp or lift available and there is no alternative level entrance.
Access to the Upper Hall, Stone Parlour, Drawing Room and Linenfold Room is on the same level.
Most of the floor surface is carpeted and there are soft furnishings, keeping sound echoes to a minimum.
Access to the Dining Room and Queen’s Room on the first floor is up two steps, each about 15cm high.
Access to the Library is down one step, approximately 20cm deep, from the Garden Lobby on the first floor.
Lighting in the House
Lighting is both artificial LED and natural, and kept at a moderate to low level to protect the collection. Interiors are naturally dark, owing to the original oak panelling installed throughout the house.
Mobility vehicles and wheelchairs
Powered mobility vehicles can be accommodated on the ground floor of the house. They cannot be accommodated throughout the rest of the house due to steps, narrow corridors and restricted turning circles.
Small personal wheelchairs can be accommodated on the ground floor and first floor, first floor access is granted if the wheelchair user can manage the 26 steps between the ground and first floor.
Corridors in the House
There are two narrow corridors located in the house, one measuring 100cm and the other 85cm.
Accessibility in the café
You’ll find the café in the Visitor Services building. The building is open plan, with wooden flooring and both natural and artificial lighting. There is seating inside and outside, and tables can be rearranged to accommodate wheelchair users.
Exterior surfaces consist of tarmac and wooden decking. Entrance to the café is via steps or ramp. All doors are non-powered opening, 151cm wide, opening outwards to 90 degrees.
The counter is 89cm high, with a facility to hold trays running the full length of the counter.
Catering staff can assist with service and carrying trays.
An Induction Loop is available at the till point.
Access in the cafe
Inside the cafe at Sizergh
The cafe at Sizergh is located in the Visitor Centre.
Accessibility in the shop
You can find the shop in the Visitor Services building. Entrance to the shop is via steps or ramp. All doors are non-powered opening, 151 cm wide, opening outwards to 90 degrees.
There is circulation space between fixtures and tables of 120cm to allow the use of powered mobility vehicles and wheelchairs, and staff can help with reaching down items to view.
The counter is 76 cm in height with a wheelchair refuge to the right of the till. Staff and volunteers can help with lifting and carrying goods if required.
An Induction loop is available at the till point.
Accessibility in the garden
There is a map available at Visitor Services showing routes around the garden with the severity of the slopes indicated.
There is a route around the garden which is all on one level and takes in most of the key areas. Chalk boards across the garden have interpretation written on them, and there are seats for visitors in the garden. During winter the metal seats remain in the garden, and wooden seating is stored.
Most of the paths are made up of limestone chippings, and some paths are bark mulched. Grass paths have been reinforced with a geotextile to aid access.
Spring and summer access into the garden is down a gravel slope of 1:25. It leads on to a grass path before reaching a gravel path. An alternative entrance is open all year round and omits the grass path.
There are two flights of steps – 20 steps in total – down to the lower terrace which overlooks the Mirror Pond. There is no handrail. A gravel slope leads to the hot wall and at the far end, 12 stone steps lead back onto the grass.
There are three water features in the garden. The dipping pond has a deck and the limestone Rock Garden has a stream, which winds through into the largest body of water, the Mirror Pond.
There are no gates on the route.
Access in the garden
Paths in the garden at Sizergh
Most of the garden paths are made up of limestone chippings, and there are seats for visitors.
Access on the estate
The second phase of a new 1.5km access path to Holeslack and through Holeslack wood is complete. A third phase - including benches and orientation - is set to be finished soon.
Sizergh is a two pawprint rated place. Find out which areas of the estate you can explore with your dog.
Whether you’re after a wild play area to let little legs run off some steam, a peaceful garden for a pram-friendly walk, or a children’s trail through a house filled with treasures, there’s something for all ages at Sizergh.
Hire a tramper mobility scooter at Sizergh to assist your visit to the gardens in Kendal, Cumbria.