All About The Archers Tour

All About The Archers Tour

BBC Birmingham
The Mailbox
Birmingham B1 1RF

Book now (by following this link you will leave the BBC website)

Tickets are available to buy until midnight the day before your intended visit.

Take an exclusive behind the scenes look at Radio 4's iconic drama. You'll have the chance to visit The Archers recording studio, the Ops Room and the Green Room.

See original scripts, cast photos and memorabilia from the archive and learn how storylines are created and episodes recorded from script to broadcast. 

As a special treat, you can recreate an iconic Archers scene and take the recording home as a memento of your visit. You’ll also be able to find out if you really know your Aldridges from your Grundys in our All About The Archers quiz.

All about The Archers Tours run on selected Saturdays each month at 11.30am and 3.00pm.

Each tour lasts approximately 2 hours.

Book now (by following this link you will leave the BBC website)

For individual bookings or groups of fewer than 15 people please book online. If you have access needs or wish to book a group of more than 15 people, please call our booking line on 0370 901 1227. 

Prices valid from 1st April 2019 until 31st March 2020

Adult Child Concessions Student
£15.00 £10.50 £12.50 £11.00


Under 18s must be accompanied by a ticket holding adult at all times.

Babies and children under 9yrs old can't be admitted as the tour is not appropriate for children of this age group.

Blue Peter Badge holders: only available to badge holders aged under 16 (with a badge and badge winner's card) when accompanied by a full paying adult – free. Please have your badge ID number to hand when booking online.

Disabled visitors: Concession prices apply for all Blue Badge Holders, Escorts also get free entry but will require a ticket for admission please call our Access Needs line on 0370 901 1227 (+44 1732 42 7770 from outside the UK; textphone for hearing – impaired callers 0370 903 0304) to arrange your tickets.

**BBC Tours Security Checks**

Please arrive 15 minutes earlier than your tour time, to allow for all security checks to take place before the tour starts.

Please remember that large bags, rucksacks and shopping bags are not allowed on the tour. We do not have cloakroom facilities, so please do not bring these bags with you. Please check our Terms and Conditions for what we allow you to bring.

We hope you understand the need for these extra checks and we look forward to seeing you soon.

 

Booking Information

Pre-booking is essential.

Gift Vouchers for BBC Tours make an excellent birthday or Christmas present, or a special treat, and are available by calling 0370 901 1227 option 2.  Please hold to speak to an agent to make your purchase.

Tickets are available to buy until midnight the day before your intended visit.

Blue Peter Badge holders: only available to badge holders aged under 16 (with a badge and badge winner's card) when accompanied by a full paying or concessionary adult.  If a disabled Blue Peter badge holder is accompanied by a registered carer, both can gain free entry. Carers must bring along evidence. If a full paying or concessionary adult is accompanied by two children with badges and valid badge cards free entry will be given for both children - please book online and have your badge ID number to hand. If you have any access needs, please call our group bookings and access needs line on 0370 901 1227 option 2.  Please note that this offer is not available to adults or anyone aged 16 or over.

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.

Coach parties are welcome. 

Venue

BBC Birmingham

Getting There

BBC Birmingham is located in The Mailbox, just off Queensway. The nearest railway station is Birmingham New Street. 

Children

Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. We're sorry, but we can't admit babies or children under the age of 9 on the Birmingham tour. This is because the tour content is not appropriate for children of this age.

Disabled Visitor Access

Wheelchair access from the street – from the front of The Mailbox, face the building and enter the car park past the Malmaison Hotel. Follow signs for Central and Canal Side lifts through the cark park on the Lower Ground, lifts will be on your right.  Take these lifts to Level 3. Follow the walkway and BBC Birmingham is on the left.

Tours cover a fair distance. A wheelchair is available and must be booked in advance by phoning our group bookings and access requirements line (0370 901 1227 (from outside the UK, call: +44 1732 42 7770)). If you are bringing a large or electric wheelchair, please be aware of our lift dimensions – 122cm deep and 109cm wide. A portable hearing loop or a sign interpreter can be booked in advance of the tour. The tour may include walking along suspended floors at a height of 280cm. This floor is solid and has railings; it can be avoided if necessary.

Parking

The Mailbox has a pay-and-display car park (height restriction 2.05m). Park on the Lower Ground car park and take the Central and Canal Side lifts to level 3. Blue Badge parking can be found near these lifts.

Coaches

Drop-off/pick-up point for coaches and minibuses at the front of The Mailbox. Waiting time is limited to 30 minutes. The nearest long-stay parking is at the Wholesale Market and must be booked in advance by calling Birmingham City Council on 0121 303 0250. Charges apply.

Group Booking

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. 

Important Security Information

Please arrive 15 minutes before the start of your tour to allow for all security checks to take place before the tour starts.   Guests will be subject to a person and bag search.  Please only bring essential items and keep belongings to a minimum. 

The following items are permitted on the tour

Small bags including handbags (under 40cm x 35cm x 19cm - approximately the size of an A3 sheet of paper)
Prohibited Items

No Backpacks
No Large bags including shopping bags (over 40cm x 35cm x 19cm - approximately the size of an A3 sheet of paper)
No Suitcases
No Wrapped Birthday Presents/Gifts
Please note there are no temporary storage facilities for non-permitted bags, it will be left to the guest to find a safe temporary storage facility.

*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.

Accessibility Information

Access Statement for All About The Archers Tours at BBC Birmingham

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.

Contents

Introduction
Pre-Arrival
Car Parking and Arrival
Main Entrance, Reception and Ticketing Area
Attraction (displays, exhibits, rides etc)
Public Toilets
Additional Information
Contact Information 

Introduction

BBC Birmingham is offering people the chance to take a tour of the state of the art studios situated in The Mailbox in the City Centre. Have a look behind the scenes of The Archers and even take part in a special recording of a radio drama, complete with sound effects and music!

Tours last approximately 2 hours and give you a fascinating insight into the world of broadcasting.

Please note, BBC Birmingham is a working building, so we cannot guarantee who or what you will see on the day of your visit.

All About The Archers Tours are situated in The Mailbox shopping and lifestyle centre. We can tailor our tours for those with a disability.

We are members of Visitor Attraction Quality Scheme.

Our tour is fully accessible for wheelchair users, a wheelchair is also available to loan. Scripts used for interactivity are available in Braille format and large font. A sign language interpreter can be booked in advance at no extra charge. Assistance dogs are welcome in our premises. A hearing loop system is at BBC reception. We look forward to welcoming you. If you have any queries or require any assistance please phone 0370 901 1227.

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Pre-Arrival

The nearest railway station is Birmingham New Street Station, Victoria Square exit is approximately 360 metres (393 yards) from The Mailbox complex, a 5-minute walk away. The station offers national and regional rail connections and is the hub for South West bound buses across the city.

Taxi’s accessible for wheelchair users are available from outside New Street Station main exit (Smallbrook Queensway.)

New Street Station and adjacent streets offer an extensive bus network connecting the city to the surrounding regions. To check local bus routes go to  https://nxbus.co.uk/west-midlands/information/buses-to-birmingham-city-centre/

The streets surrounding the attraction are paved and well lit. There is a combination of steps and slight slopes. Lifts and escalators are used inside The Mailbox complex.

Scripts used for the interactive parts of the tour are available in Braille format and large font. The Booking Information is available in large font. The bookings website has accessibility help.

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Car Parking and Arrival

Enclosed parking is available on site within The Mailbox complex, this is not a BBC owned car park. There are 672 parking spaces available with accessible parking (8 parking bays) available near the central lift access and ticket machine on each level. Throughout the car park and near lift access points there are dropped curbs and clear signage.

The lifts have raised operating buttons and voice announcements. BBC Birmingham is situated on Level 3 of The Mailbox. Visitors are advised to park near to the H2O car valet on the LG Level and use the nearest lift. 

Designated Blue Badge parking can be found next to the lift lobby on each level. Standard parking charges apply to all Blue Badge holders parking in The Mailbox car park. Visitors should be aware that not all lifts from the car park go to Level 3.

The floor surface is paved, level and firm from the car park to BBC Birmingham.

The route from the car park to BBC Birmingham is indoors and well lit.

Visitors can be dropped off at the front of the Mailbox, where there is a dropped curb and internal access through the car park (LG Level) to lifts to Level 3.

The glass door entrance to BBC Birmingham is open to visitors from 9.30am to 5.30pm on the days of each tour. To enter BBC Birmingham there is a clear glass double door (width 1588mm, 63 inches) then a clear glass slider door (width 1400mm, 55 inches). Both entrance doors open automatically and are DDA compliant.

There is only one main access entrance to BBC Birmingham for visitors. This is located on Level 3 of the Mailbox and is clearly signposted around the complex.

There is level access to the main entrance of BBC Birmingham, therefore, no steps so no ramp or handrails are required.

The entrance doors to BBC Birmingham are glass doors which are pulled back by the Security team when the building opens each morning and are shut by staff each evening.

 

Birmingham door   Birm Entrance
Door and entrance to BBC Birmingham at the Mailbox

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Main Entrance, Reception and Ticketing Area

Security checks take place in the main entrance area of BBC Birmingham on Level 3 of the Mailbox.

This is called BBC Birmingham’s Public Space. It is a large open-plan public area which offers adequate seating, low-level access to computers showing BBC content and display windows into BBC radio studios.

The floor in the main entrance area of BBC Birmingham’s Public Space is step free throughout.

The area is evenly lit with coloured ceiling spot lights. Some natural lighting also filters in from upstairs.

Reception at BBC Birmingham is located in the main entrance of the Public Space on Level 3. Reception has an open counter and is fully accessible for wheelchair users.

There is a hearing loop system for deaf and hard of hearing people at BBC Reception. Signage is available for Tours requested in advance.

Wheelchair loan is offered to visitors at the time of booking and at the beginning of Tours if required.

 

Birmingham Reception
BBC Birmingham Reception, Level 3

After a security check, guests will be guided upstairs one level (there is lift access) to our ‘Ambridge’ reception area to check in. The floor in the ‘Ambridge’ reception area is carpeted and step free throughout.

There are tables and chairs for visitors with adequate space for a wheelchair user to pull up alongside a seated companion.

The area is evenly lit with ceiling spot lights. Some natural lighting also filters in from the skylight.

 

 Ambridge Reception

‘Ambridge’ reception area at BBC Birmingham

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Attraction (displays, exhibits, rides etc.)

Visitors are welcomed by three guides on each tour who introduce, describe and explain each area along the Archers tour route. Automated audio tours are not offered to visitors as tours routes can vary. 

There are numerous photographs and visual displays on the tour route eg: photographs of Archers actors. All are produced to an appropriate size to ensure maximum visibility.

Archers Display Archers Display 2
Visual Displays on the Tour Route

There are no flashing light displays along the tour route. However, visitors are warned before entering broadcast studios of any low-level lighting.

Visitors are guided through an electronically accessible entrance from the Public Space into the staff and broadcasting area of BBC Birmingham to begin the tour. This is a double door. The standard door opening widths on the tour route range from 860mm - 1070mm.(34in - 42in) Some are double doors which can be opened fully to allow wheelchair access. Doors into studios are sound proofed and, therefore, heavier than usual. The tour guides hold open these doors for guests as much as possible during Tours to improve visitor access.

Some seating is available in along the tour route for visitors to use as and when needed. Also, seating is offered during the interactive elements of the tour including Be on TV and Radio Drama recording at the end.

Archers Tour Route
Archers tour access door

Archers Studio
Archers studio door

There is a combination of short pile carpet and wood flooring along the tour route as well as in the studio.

There are no specific displays of exhibits on the Tour route. However, there are down-lit display cabinets in the Public Space area for visitors to view.

The tour route is evenly lit throughout with fluorescent tube lighting. Tour guides ensure that rooms are lit to their full capacity when showing visitors around.

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Public Toilets

There are no Public WCs in the main public area of the Public Space. However, an accessible WC is available for visitors and members of the public taking an organised tour on level 3 in our tours waiting area of the Public Space.

The accessible WC is unisex and has baby changing facilities.

Birmingham Toilet New
Toilet on Level 3

The Toilet on level 3 is fully DDA compliant

There are both horizontal and vertical grab rails to the right of the WC.

The fire alarm in the WC does not have a flashing light, but audible alarm sounders can be heard in the WC. The access WC is also a controlled space. BBC Security and Tour Guides are required to know the location of tour visitors at all times and are familiar with safety evacuation procedures in the event of an emergency.

A red alarm cord is situated in the WC and can be pulled if visitors need assistance.

The WC is well lit with ceiling spot lights.

The floor of the WC is tiled.

There are lever taps in the WC.

Birmingham WC1 
Disabled WC Upstairs near Reception

A second toilet complete with hoist is located in the ‘Ambridge’ reception area on the upper level of the Public Space. If you require the use of a hoist please inform the booking line when booking a tour so that we can provide access on the day.

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 Additional Information

Tour Guides are trained in Fire Awareness and can operate fire evacuation chairs and will lead and assist visitors in the event of an evacuation. Guides are required to carry evacuation procedures with them during each tour. There are also green and white visual signs around the building detailing evacuation routes which 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 dogs to rest in the Public Space and water is available to them on request.

There is a wide choice of accommodation available near to the Mailbox.

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Contact Information

Address:

BBC Birmingham
Level 3
The Mailbox
Birmingham
B1 1RF

Telephone

0370 901 1227

 Website

www.bbc.co.uk/tours

Grid Reference

SP 06524 86461

Hours Of Operation

Archers tours run on selected Saturdays at 11.30am and 3.00pm.

Local Accessible Taxi

Taxis at New Street Station are available on a rank. All taxis are accessible to manual wheelchairs. Most are accessible to electric wheelchairs.

Call TOA 0121 427 8888 or BB’s 0121 693 3333 to check suitability before travelling.

Local Public Transport

Frequent national & local train, bus & tram services, as well as Taxis, are available throughout Birmingham City Centre. Visit networkwestmidlands.com or call 08712002233.

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