Very Accessible, Inclusive and Informative - Highly recommend
This review is especially helpful for those who have or use the following: Walking Aid
The Vagina Museum opened in November 2019. It's the world's first museum dedicated to female anatomy. This is a museum dedicated to female health. The museum is disabled accessible. It has a changing exhibition space and the current exhibition is Muff Busters: Vagina Myths and How To Fight Them (and is on until 28 February 2020). The exhibition consists mainly of information boards presented in a very engaging way. The museum focuses on being informative and factual. It's about spreading awareness and knowledge and helping to give people the confidence to talk about female anatomy. It's about empowering people and helping them make informed decisions about their bodies. The museum is pro feminism, LGBTQ+ and although when I visited it was almost exclusively women there, it welcomes everyone and encourages inclusivity. The museum is not offensive, it's not pornographic, shocking or sleazy. Personally I felt very comfortable visiting. There is no age limit regarding visiting the museum and I think it would be a idea space and empowering for older children to learn about anatomy in a safe and supportive space.
Transport & Parking
The nearest tube stations are Camden Town and Chalk Farm, both of which do not have step free access. The nearest accessible tube station is King's Cross. Alternatively you could use Tottenham Court Road tube and get the number 24 to Hartland Road/ Camden Market stop, which is close to the entrance of the market. The are a number of buses that travel between Camden High Street and Chalk Farm which stop near Camden Market.
The Vagina Museum is housed inside Camden Market. There are different parts of Camden Market so it can be a little confusing if you are not familiar with the layout. The museum is in the Stables Market. The entrance is on Chalk Farm Road, see my photo of the entrance. From the market entrance make directly towards Cyberdog, with the two large robots standing outside its entrance, see photo. Then turn right into the alleyway where Dr Martens is, where the Christmas tree is in my photo. Then take the next turning on the left, into the alleyway with a flight of stairs on the left hand side and a bridge connecting the buildings on both sides. Continue walking and the museum is further up on the right hand side, see photo. The walk from the market entrance to the museum should only take 2 -3 minutes, however, there are cobblestones throughout the market area, see photos, so take care. These are old and very worn. Some of the cobblestones are raised. I think they would be quite slippery if wet. The Vagina Museum is entirely on the ground floor and has step free access. There is a permanent slope at the entrance and the rest of the museum is level. On the left there is a book and gift shop. Items are on shelves of varying height. On the right is the information desk, at standing height. Admission to the museum is free, apart from paid special events, so someone is at the desk to assist with questions/ provide information. The museum space is quite small. It is the size of two large rooms and this makes it easy to get round. In the centre of the museum gallery space is a bench, without back support or arms to aid transferring. The museum also offer additional seating if required. The museum is well laid out and spacious. There are a lot of information boards with different coloured background and black text.
There are no toilets in the museum. Staff at the information desk will assist with providing directions to the nearest accessible toilet, see photo of the map. The toilet is located in another building so it means going outside again. The nearest accessible toilet is 1 - 2 minutes away from the museum. See my photos of the route. On exiting the museum turn left and at the end of the alleyway where Dr Matens is turn left again. Walk towards the archways directly in front of you and there you will see a sign for the accessible toilet. Turn right, go up a slight slope and then a further short slope. Almost immediately after you will see a wide entranceway on your right, see photo. Turn right into here and make towards the lifts on your right hand side. Take the lift to the basement and turn right, and the accessible toilet is immediately next to the lift. The accessible toilet requires a RADAR key and there is a notice on the door saying how to contact a member of staff if you don't have your own. The toilet was quite spacious, it was clean with grab rails and an emergency cord which only hung three quarters of the way down. The Vagina Museum's website gives the location of the Camden Society, as being the nearest Changing Places toilet. However, recently the Wellcome Collection has opened a Changing Places toilet and this is a short bus ride and walk away.
Staff were very welcoming and friendly. I spoke to the person on the reception desk, who was very helpful in providing me with directions to the accessible toilet. I also told her that I was doing a review for Euan's Guide and we had a discussion about the good access round the museum and she made a note about the Wellcome's Changing Places toilet and my comments about having seating with back support and arms. I felt there was a genuine wish to be accessible and inclusive.
Anything else you wish to tell us?
Entry to the museum is free although donations are appreciated. There is a charge for special events. I highly recommend a visit and I look forward to attending their future events.