Access Information


There is a perimeter fence surrounding Arbeia, South Shields' Roman Fort with the main gates situated half way along the Baring Street side.

The approach to the main entrance to the museum building entrance is flat tarmac and concrete. There is a short flight of steps leading to the building as well as an accessible ramp to the right. The doors entering the museum are heavy double glass swing doors. There is also a set of these doors exiting the building on the other side which takes you to the main Fort site.

Getting around

The surface around the Fort is generally flat but uneven and can vary from grass to gravel. The main paths throughout the site remains are original Roman roads covered with gravel and stones so please take great care when exploring and making your way to the reconstructed buildings.

There is a level path to the remains in the north part of the fort, and a viewing platform over the central remains.

There is flat level access around the Commanding Officer's house and barrack block but some of the floors are uneven.
The reconstructed West Gate has three floors. There is a single step up into the ground floor of one of the Gate towers. The next two floors are accessed by a steep, narrow wooden staircase inside.

TimeQuest is accessed via a small set of steps but there is a flat access route if needed. Please speak to a member of staff for guidance. Inside TimeQuest there is a short section of steps leading to the interactive excavation area.

Inside the museum building is flat level access. Directly outside the museum building is the herb garden which has flat level access. The Garden Room next to the museum building is accessed through push handle doors which open outwards. The Garden Room is flat level access.


There is a range of seating across the Fort including a wheelchair accessible area with picnic tables and benches.

Public telephone

If you require the use of a phone in emergencies or to book a taxi for disabled visitors please speak to a member of staff at the reception desk.

Borrowing a wheelchair

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

Pre-visit information

The pre-visit information is currently under revision. Please contact the Museum ahead of your visit, by calling (0191) 277 1410 or by emailing


All dogs are welcome at Arbeia. Dogs that are not assistance dogs are not permitted in the museum building but are welcome at the site in general, with owners requested to follow the site guidelines. A bowl of water is available upon request and complimentary dog treats at reception.

Induction loops

We don't have an induction loop facility however we do have free-standing, battery-powered listing points. Large print copies of the audio commentaries and a portable induction loop are available. Please ask a member of staff if you require one.


There are a number of fixed listening points across the site which have two metallic push buttons giving more information about the part of the Fort you are currently at as well as giving a commentary from one of the characters who lived at the Fort. Large print guides and Braille guides are available on request. Please speak to a member of staff if you require one.

Guided tours

Guided tours of the Fort can be booked but will incur a charge and need to be booked three weeks in advance. Please contact the museum to arrange this.

Fire Alarms

The fire alarms have voice evacuation sounders and visual flashing lights in the museum, TimeQuest and reconstructed buildings. If you will require assistance exiting the site in the event of a fire alarm please inform a member of staff on your arrival.

Toilets and baby changing facilities

The male toilets are on the end of the museum building nearest the West Gate with the female toilets on the other end near to the garden room as is the accessible toilet. Baby changing facility is available in the female accessible toilet.


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

Eating at Arbeia

Arbeia doesn't have any permanent refreshment facilities, you can buy cold drinks in the shop, however you are welcome to bring your own picnics and other refreshments and eat them on our lawn or in our picnic area.  

A pop up cafe does operate at certain summertime events however, please check the website in advance of your visit.