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FAQs / Help

The tour

Each tour will be one hour long, comprising a short health and safety brief, time to climb the 67 steps to the observation deck, an informative tour of the history and conservation work taking place in the Painted Hall and time for questions with our knowledgeable guides.

If you have any health conditions that you think may prevent you from ascending or descending the steps quickly in case of an emergency evacuation, please consider this before booking your ticket. We are happy to speak to you directly about access to the observation deck. If you have any concerns, please feel free to contact us.

The tours will offer very close access to Painted Hall ceiling and, at this time, comprises one of the biggest conservation projects of this type taking place in Europe.  Please take the time to read the information below before booking your tickets.

The observation deck

The space at the top of the observation deck will be lit according to the work that is taking place but may be quite dark in places.

Due to the number of steps involved and the duration of the tours, you will need to wear sensible footwear.

Late arrivals

The capacity at the top of the observation deck is limited so it is very important that you arrive 15 minutes before your tour time to keep the tours running smoothly. As other tours will be taking place in the day, we cannot guarantee your tour if you do not arrive at the time specified in your confirmation letter / email. We regret that we are not able to make any allowances for this.


All tours will be conducted in English unless otherwise advertised.

Is there wheelchair access?

There will be some limited access for wheelchair users, but you will need to book over the telephone. Please contact 020 8269 4799. We cannot guarantee access if you do not phone in advance.

Can I take pictures, audio/video recordings?

Pictures are very welcome, please feel free to share them on social media. No audio or video recordings will be allowed.

Can I purchase a ticket at the Old Royal Naval College on the day?

If there are spaces available you can book on the day, but if we are full, then you cannot. If you arrive at the Old Royal Naval College and there are no tickets available for that day, you can book for a future date.

How can I get in contact with you?

Please phone 020 8269 4799 or email

Age restrictions

No children under the age of 6 will be permitted on a tour (including babes in arms). All children between 6 years old and under the age of 16 years old must be accompanied by an adult. Children must be able to ascend and descend the stairs by themselves in case of an emergency.

Height restrictions

The space between the floor and the ceiling will be 220cm (6’8) and all visitors will be asked to wear a hard hat for the duration of the tour. Any members of your group taller than 6’4 may find it difficult to move within this space.

What can I bring up to the observation deck?

We ask that you take as few items as possible up to the observation deck with you. No wet coats will be allowed due to the conservation work taking place requiring controlled humidity conditions. No suitcases, rucksacks or large bags will be permitted on the tour but lockers will be provided. We also ask that you bring no sharp objects or aerosols with you. We will be operating random bag searches and we reserve the right to confiscate any item that we deem to be unsafe.

What should I wear?

Please wear sensible footwear. No stiletto heels will be permitted. We strongly advise that you wear closed-toed, closed-back shoes, with a heel of no more than 2 inches high. Due to the conservation heating on the observation deck, we would advise that you wear several layers as the heat levels will vary depending on the humidity within the Painted Hall.

You will be asked to wear a hard hat and a high visibility jacket for the duration of the tour.

How many steps are there?

There are 67 steps from the Lower Hall to the observation deck.

Luggage and security checks

No large bags or rucksacks may be taken on the tour. Some lockers are provided but we would ask, where possible, that large bags and rucksacks are left behind. No buggies or pushchairs will be allowed at the top of the scaffolding. We reserve the right to carry out security checks and inspect any luggage or bags being brought into the Painted Hall.

Can I bring my pet?

No pets please, only assistance dogs will be admitted.

Can I Gift Aid my ticket?

Yes please! If you’re a UK tax payer, please fill in the Gift Aid declaration when you buy your tickets and you’ll help us to carry out more conservation work.

How do I use my DigiTickets?

You will be emailed an order confirmation that will include your unique Booking Reference Number and a barcode that also contains this number. You may make a note of this number and take with you when you visit the attraction in place of a ticket, although we suggest printing out the email as this will contain a barcode which will grant you quicker access.

Do you issue refunds?

All tickets are non-refundable but please let us know 48 hours before your tour if you will not be able to attend your original time and we will be happy to book you on the next available tour that is convenient for you to attend. 

What happens when I buy a ticket online?

On completion of your order, you will be emailed a DigiTicket containing a barcode and booking reference number.  Present this ticket on arrival, or if you don’t have a printer, simply make a note of the Booking Reference Number.

Can I change the ticket I have bought for another time / date?

If you are hoping to exchange your ticket for another time / date then we require at least 48 hours’ advance notice. We cannot guarantee availability of other times and dates but will do our best to accommodate you on the earliest available tour.

I don't have a printer...

You do not have to print out the 8 digit booking reference – simply make a note of the Booking Reference Number and take it with you, coupled with some ID.

Trouble with your purchase? Contact Old Royal Naval College +44 (0)20 8269 4747

Interested in DigiTickets? Proactive Ticketing Solutions

We provide the tools, expertise and support you need to manage the entire ticketing process, before, during and after the customer visit.

Old Royal Naval College

Company Name: The Greenwich Foundation for the Old Royal Naval College