Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4NS
Book now (by following this link you will leave the BBC website)
BBC Newcastle Tours offer visitors a unique opportunity to step behind the scenes of our television and radio world.
Scheduled carefully between our live television broadcasts, you are welcome to come in and have a good look around. Why do some newsreaders only wear one shoe? Why does the weather forecaster have an earpiece in their left ear, while news presenters have one in their right? In radio why do some programmes have a "driver"? And what is the RATS alarm?
After one of our tours you might just know the answers!
The cameras are set for action, the news stories are being prepared and as the clocks count down, you can step into the shoes of a director or try out the presenter's chair.
You'll see for yourself how we make radio shows – we are on air 24 hours a day. It's fast-paced, exciting and we would love to show you!
'The Pink Palace', as the building is affectionately known, is home to Look North, Sunday Politics and Late Kick Off as well as the radio station BBC Newcastle.
This is the hub of the BBC in the North East and Cumbria and with so many exciting dramas being made in the region – such as award-winning show The Dumping Ground, Wolfblood and until recently, The Paradise and Hebburn – we have a massive amount to show off.
And if after seeing all that you fancy having a go yourself then why not? To round up we have a whole host of interactive elements in our specially designed studio inviting you to make your own TV and radio programme.
Please remember that BBC Newcastle is a working building so no two tours are the same, but they will always be informative, interesting and fun.
Tours take approximately one hour and 45 minutes and involve a certain amount of walking and standing.
The young men who guided us and put on the presentation were very enthusiastic and entertaining enabling us to enjoy the whole experience.
Book now (by following this link you will leave the BBC website)
Concession is aged 60 or over
Child is under 16 years
Blue Peter Badge holders: only available to badge holders aged 16 and under (with a badge and badge winner's card) when accompanied by a full paying adult – free by calling our group booking and access requirements line.
Disabled visitors: Standard prices as listed above (escorts have free entry but will require a ticket for admission).Tweet
Tours take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays
Each tour takes a maximum of 15 people
The number of tours available is limited because of the nature of the building, but we welcome all groups and organisations
For individual and group bookings of fewer than 15 people, please book online using the 'Book now' button above (if you have any access needs, please call our booking line – details below).
You can pay by cheque or with a credit or debit card including Visa, Mastercard or Visa Debit.
BBC Newcastle, Broadcasting House, Barrack Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4NS
Link to map.
From the Tyne Bridge: heading north on A167 take 4th slip road, signposted Royal Victoria Infirmary. At roundabout, take 3rd exit on to Claremont Road, turn left on to Hunters Road; before 2nd set of traffic lights turn left into BBC car park. From Newcastle Airport: follow A696, then A167 towards Newcastle city centre. Take the left sliproad A189 signposted City (West), turn right at traffic lights on to Grandstand Road; continue until you see BBC Newcastle and turn left on to Hunters Road. Car park 1st right turn. From A1 (South): take slip road A184 signposted Newcastle (Centre) Gateshead. Keep right to stay on A189 Blenheim Street. Turn left to stay on A189/Gallowgate, pass St James Park football stadium. At large crossroad, turn right on to Hunters Road. BBC car park 1st right.
Nearest railway station is Newcastle Central, 1.8 miles away. This takes approx 30 minutes to walk, and the route is uphill.
Nearest metro station is St James, 0.9 miles away taking approximately 20 minutes to walk.
Regular bus routes stop at BBC Newcastle. Please visit: www.travelinenortheast.info.
Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. The tour is not ideal for children under 7 years old, although they will be welcomed. This is because BBC Newcastle does not make programmes for children/young people so the programmes talked about may not seem relevant.
Tours cover a fair distance. A wheelchair is available and must be booked in advance by phoning our group bookings and access requirements line on 0370 901 1227 (from outside the UK, call: +44 1732 42 7770). A portable hearing loop or sign interpreter can be booked in advance (as above).
Parking available to public on Saturdays. On Tuesday, available on a first-come first-served basis; please be aware car park is very busy and we cannot guarantee spaces. Cars left at own risk. If you are a Blue Badge Holder we can reserve a space, please request at time of booking or phone in advance on 0370 901 1227 (from outside the UK, call: +44 1732 42 7770).
Coaches and minibuses can drop off and wait in the BBC car park. Please call our booking line in advance of your tour on 0370 901 1227 (from outside the UK, call: +44 1732 42 7770).
The tour lasts approximately 1 hour 45 minutes, and involves alking around the building and periods of standing.
For group bookings of more than 15 people and bookings for visitors with access needs, please call our group bookings and access requirements line on 0370 901 1227* (+44 1732 42 7770 from outside the UK; textphone for hearing-impaired callers 0370 903 0304*) so that we can discuss any specific requirements.
Please note it is not possible to make a booking for fewer than 15 people over the phone unless you have access requirements – please book online.
*Standard geographic charges apply and calls may be included in your telecoms provider's call package. Calls from mobiles may be higher. Calls may be recorded for training.
This access statement does not contain personal opinions as to our suitability for those with access needs, but aims to accurately describe the facilities and services that we offer all our guests/visitors.
BBC Newcastle is offering people the chance to take a tour of the state of the art studios situated at BBC Broadcasting House on Barrack Road just outside of Newcastle Upon Tyne City Centre. Have a look behind the scenes of programmes such as ‘Look North’ ‘Late Kick Off’ and BBC Radio Newcastle. You could also take part in your own recording of a radio drama with sound effect and music!
We are situated on a busy cross roads. There is a gradual hill leading down to the city centre.
Tours last approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes and give you a fascinating insight into the world of broadcasting.
Please note, BBC Newcastle is a working building. Therefore we cannot guarantee who or what you will see on the day of your visit.
We are members of the Visitor Attraction Quality Scheme and can tailor tours specially for those with disability. Our tour is fully accessible for wheelchair users.
Scripts used for interactivity are available in Braille format. We have bullet point scripts for areas of the tour for guests who are hard of hearing and a hearing loop in our reception area.
A sign language interpreter can be booked in advance at no extra charge. Assistance dogs are welcome in our premises.
All of the tour guides have been trained in Disability Awareness.
The nearest railway station is Newcastle Central station which is 1.1 miles. This is approx. 20 minute walk but is all up hill. The station offers national and regional connections.
The nearest Metro Station is St.James Park which is 0.8 miles. This is approx. 15 minute walk, again all up hill.
To travel by taxi from central station which is currently being re furbished, if you need a wheel chair accessible taxi you would need to call Noda Taxis.
There are bus stops directly outside of BBC Newcastle numbers 71, 72 and 87 going directly to Newgate Street outside of The Gate shopping Centre every 10 minutes. Numbers 62 and 63 going directly to Greys Monument on Blackett Street these run every 15 minutes.
From the surrounding bus stops there is approx. 50 metre walk to the front entrance of the building. This is accessible via 8 steps with handrails on either side or by a sloped walkway accessible for wheelchairs. There are pedestrian crossings at all points on the main crossroad outside of the building.
The BBC has a private car park accessible from Hunters Road. This car operates a barrier at the entrance, the driver needs to wind down press a button. There is a low level buzzer at the correct height for the driver of a car, and a high level buzzer for coaches and work transit vans. This is answered by the reception 8am-5pm Monday- Friday. Newsroom 5pm-7.30pm Monday – Friday and at all other times security answer and operate the barrier.
For customers who are hard of hearing there is a camera providing a visual so that the receptionist could see and open the barrier for them.
The car park has 104 car parking spaces 5 of which are allocated for blue badge holders. 3 of these spaces are situated towards the front main entrance. The remaining 2 are at the back of the building next to a staff door. The car park is block paved in the visitors area and has areas of tarmac towards the back staff entrance. The car park and pavements are flat and firm.
There is a pavement leading around the building alongside the car parking spaces.
Vehicles can gain entrance to park for duration of visit and are able to drive up to main entrance for drop off and pick ups but then must park in a designated space.
The car park is free of charge.
The car park is very open and therefore lit well by daylight. The lights are set on a timer for hours of darkness with tall lamps as seen in above picture.
The main entrance has 3 doors. One large rotating door used through out the day. This is a manual door. One accessible door which is self operating for wheel chair users. There is a large button on the side of the door. Internal and External. The door opens outwards stays open and then closes automatically after 8 seconds.
The door opens to 94cm/37 inches. It holds open for
The 3rd door is locked and able to be opened from inside or with a staff pass from the outside. During weekends and 5pm-8am weekdays this is the only door used at the main entrance. This door is glass and reasonably heavy. During visits a tour guide would hold the door open for any guests to enter/exit the building. Again this door opens outwards. You are able to push open from inside the building but unable to open from outside. The door opens to 94cm/37 inches
Main Entrance at BBC Newcastle
All administration for tours – ticket checks, security and safety briefings all take place in our main entrance/reception area. This is a large open reception area with low level seating. There is a large reception desk which is staffed by BBC staff 8am-5pm on weekdays and by a security team during weekends and between 6pm-8am on weekdays. There is a low counter area suitable for wheelchair users.
There are low level soft seating areas which also provide enough room for a number of wheel chairs to pull up alongside seated companions.
The floor is step free and the surface is covered in carpet through out.
Tickets cannot be purchased at the BBC Newcastle reception, they must be pre booked and paid for online or by telephone to the official booking line. Confirmation of ticket purchase must be brought to the tour. We offer complimentary tickets for carers.
There is a hearing loop system for deaf and hard of hearing people in our reception area.
The area is mainly lit by natural light as two sides of the walls are glazed walls with a darker film over the glazed panels. There are also evenly spaced ceiling lights and strip lights through out the space for evenings and darker daytimes.
We offer the use of lockers for tour guests to store any personal belongings or coats, these keys are carried by the visitor during the tour at all times.
Visitors are welcomed by two guides who describe and explain each particular area on the tour route. Automated audio tours are not offered as each tour is different due to the nature of the building.
We have upon request bullet point notes on each area of the tour for people who are hard of hearing.
There are numerous photographic and visual displays on the tour route. For example pictures of Look North presenters, a broadcasting timeline and a depiction of the route of the Olympic torch relay in 2012. All of these are produced to a large size and positioned to ensure maximum visibility. The tour guides verbally explain these displays as well.
There are rarely any flashing lights on the tour, on very odd occasions guests would be pre warned before entering a space. If this was the case the light is not bright only remains on during a live broadcast. We use the ‘House’ lighting in our main TV studio this is at an adequate work and viewing level. One broadcast area has extremely low lighting. Guests are pre warned before entering this area. If they did not want to enter another route could be taken.
The rest of the route is evenly lit with florescent tube lighting.
The ‘Technical Gallery’ in which the main room lights remain switched off during tour. This is the same room with the room lights on.
The fire alarm is tested on a weekly basis, this usually occurs during our tours. Guests are pre warned and it lasts for approx. 5 seconds.
Visitors are guided through an electronic accessible gate, operated by the reception staff to begin the guided tour of the building.
Through out the building the tour passes through many single doors the size of openings ranges from 74cm-93cm/ 29 inches-36inche. These are all large enough to allow wheelchair access. In some areas we do pass through multiple doors but tour guides will always assist be holding these doors open to make access easier. Doors into studios are sound proofed and therefore heavier than usual, again guides will assist by holding open these doors to improve visitor access. Many of the doors through out the route are double opening and these can always be opened to allow wheelchair access, these sizes range from 132cm/52inches - 139cm/55 inches.
Seating varies dramatically through out different areas of the tour. One or two seats are available in all studio and office areas, these are always offered to anybody in need of a seat. In the main Television and Interactive studio there is enough seating for a whole tour group should it be needed. An extra seat can be made available at points during the tour where there is no seating available upon request.
There is short pile carpet throughout the building apart from in the TV Studio area and the Scene Dock directly behind the studio which is a concrete floor.
There are WC’s open for the general public unless they are taking part on an organised tour. We have an accessible WC on the ground floor on our tour route. The WC has an adjustable hand rail.
Toilet height is 43cm/16 inches. Basin height is 70cm/27 ½ inches.
Some BBC Tour staff have received training in ‘Working with Disabilities’.
All tour guides are trained in First Aid
Guides are trained in Fire evacuation and will lead full group out via quickest route to the assembly point. There are green and white visual signs around the building detailing evacuation routes and comply with statutory health and safety regulations.
We welcome assistance dogs to the building. There are no specific facilities in the building for assistance dogs, but there is space for assistance to rest in our reception area and water is available for them on request.
We can provide Braille scripts for one of our interactive activities reading and performing a radio drama.
Bullet point notes can be provided for guests who are hard of hearing.
We offer to provide a sign interpreter for individuals if requested. This is free of charge, however if booking is cancelled within 2 weeks of the tour they are liable for full cost of the interpreter.
There are no hotels, restaurants or cafes immediately next to BBC Newcastle. There is a large choice of hotels in Newcastle town centre. The closest is Sandman Signature Newcastle Hotel
Gallowgate, NE1 4SD. It is 0.8 miles and approx. 15 minute walk.
A local taxi company with a range of accessible taxi's suiting many different needs is NODA. Contact tel: 0191 222 1888
Frequent local and national train and bus services are available in Newcastle City Centre. The local Metro trains cover the North East area.
Local buses stop directly outside of the BBC Centre.