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11 Wheelchair Accessible Things to Do in London

London is one of the most vibrant and exciting cities in the world, offering a wide range of activities and attractions. There is always something new and exciting to explore.

I recently visited London with my partner, my mum and my 10-year-old nephew. To make the most of our trip, I had to ensure that all our activities were wheelchair accessible and kid-friendly. All of the planning was worth it, as we had an amazing time and made lots of unforgettable memories.

So, if you are planning an accessible trip of your own, read on to discover the wheelchair accessible things to do in London that you should add to your list.

Getting to London | Wheelchair Accessible Train Travel

We opted to travel with Avanti West Coast trains from Glasgow Central to London Euston. I’m so glad we travelled by train, as it was so much easier than flying as a wheelchair user.

Read my review linked below to find out what it was like to travel as a wheelchair user on an Avanti West Coast train! And the accessibility of Glasgow Central and London Euston stations for disabled passengers.

Read more: How Accessible Are Avanti West Coast Trains for Wheelchair Users?

Emma sat in the wheelchair space onboard the Avanti West Coast train

AD – I was kindly provided press tickets for some of the attractions we visited, but not all. Gifted/press experiences are marked with *. As always, all views and opinions are my own!

11 Wheelchair Accessible Things to Do in London

1. Up at The O2 Wheelchair Climb

The O2 Arena, located on the Greenwich Peninsula in London, is a famous entertainment venue that attracts top performers from all over the world.

The venue also features Up at The O2 which offers a unique experience of climbing over the O2 roof using a 52-meter high fabric walkway that provides a 360-degree view of London, suspended two meters above the O2 roof surface.

Emma is sitting in a manual wheelchair provided by Up at the O2 for the purpose of her O2 wheelchair climb. She is on the summit of the O2 roof with a spectacular view around her. Emma is wearing a purple sweatshirt and brown flared leggings. Emma is smiling.
Up at The O2 wheelchair climb is one of my favourite wheelchair accessible things to do in London

Initially, I presumed that full-time wheelchair users like myself would not be able to participate in Up at The O2. However, I contacted them and discovered that they offer wheelchair climbs. 

The wheelchair climbs are available two days a week from late spring to early autumn, but there is a waiting list for this activity. If you’re interested in trying something fun and unique, I recommend contacting them and adding your name to the waiting list.

Emma and two climb guides pictured on the walkway of the Up at The O2. The are completing the descent.

This experience was the main reason for our trip to London. My mum and nephew joined us, as the O2 climbs are suitable for children aged 8 and up.

Up at The O2 has good accessibility, with a hoist to help transfer into a special climb wheelchair and a large, accessible toilet. Two climb guides were present at all times to assist me, so I didn’t have to do anything physically.

Emma sat in a manual wheelchair with her family pictured on the summit of the O2 roof with a spectacular view around them.
Emma and her family at the summit of Up at The O2

Reaching the summit and taking in the breathtaking panoramic views with my family is an experience I will cherish for the rest of my life.

Read my full review of Up at The O2 Wheelchair Climb below:

Up at The O2 Wheelchair Climb Review: Everything You Need to Know

Lunch at Thunderbird Fried Chicken – The O2

After your climb to the top of The O2, you are likely to have worked up an appetite. I would recommend having lunch at one of the restaurants in The O2. There are many options to choose from, but we decided to go to Thunderbird Fried Chicken, which is an American-style fried chicken and wings restaurant.

They have plant-based options available, which are really good. My nephew loved the food so much that he still talks about it and wants to go back the next time we’re in London.

Plant based nuggets and fries in a cardboard box from Thunderbird Fried Chicken in the O2 arena
Plant based nuggets and fries

Changing Places Toilet in The O2

It was great to see a Changing Places toilet at The O2. The toilet was spacious and equipped with a ceiling hoist, changing bench, and shower. It was conveniently located on the ground floor inside The O2 building.

Emma, a power wheelchair user is wearing a purple sweatshirt and brown flared leggings. She is in the Changing Places Toilet at The O2 London
Emma in the Changing Places Toilet in The O2

2. Uber Boat by Thames Clippers*

The Thames is a famous river that flows through central London, and exploring the city by taking a Thames River cruise is an exciting way to see it from a different perspective.

Initially, I had planned on taking a guided river cruise, but due to time constraints, I opted for an alternative option: taking an Uber Boat. Not only was it cheaper, but it also doubled up as a taxi, allowing us to see iconic sights while getting from A to B. 

Uber river taxi on the Thames
Photo by Jason Thompson on Unsplash
Emma sat in her wheelchair inside the Uber Boat in London. She is wearing a purple sweatshirt and brown flared leggings.
Emma on the Uber Boat by Thames Clippers

All Uber Boats are wheelchair accessible, and visitors can hop on and off at 24 piers along the Thames from early in the morning until late at night, seven days a week. However, it’s worth noting that Cadogan, London Bridge City, and Wandsworth Riverside Quarter piers are not wheelchair accessible.

We started our journey from North Greenwich Pier, where we had just finished our Up at The O2 wheelchair climb experience, and took the Uber Boat to Tower Millenium Pier, where we stopped off to see the Tower of London and the Tower Bridge. The Uber Boat worked perfectly for us.

After a walk around the area, we headed back to Tower Millennium Pier and took another Uber Boat further along the river to Embankment Pier.

View of Tower Bridge from the Tower Millenium Pier.
Tower Millennium Pier

Each pier we visited had a long ramp, with the North Greenwich pier being the most accessible and easiest to navigate.

Access to the Uber Boats is via an arch gangway ramp, and due to my muscle weakness and the gradient on some piers, I needed someone to hold my shoulders to prevent me from falling forward. It was manageable, but it’s important to keep this in mind if you have similar upper body weakness.

Also, the door into the boat has a small threshold lip, making it a little tricky to drive across, especially if you have low anti-tipper wheels on your wheelchair.

View of The O2 from inside the Uber Boat on a sunny day.

Once on board, you will find the wheelchair space towards the back of the Uber boat, next to the door to the outdoor seating deck. Due to safety reasons, wheelchair users are not allowed on the outdoor deck, but the boats are nice inside, with comfortable seats, a toilet, and a café bar that sells refreshments.

On our first Uber Boat ride, we sat in the front row, not knowing that there was a dedicated wheelchair space. However, we were told by the staff on our second ride where the space was located. It is tucked behind the back row of seats and positioned so that wheelchair users will be facing out towards the side windows.

Emma sat in the wheelchair space onboard the Uber Boat in London. She is wearing a purple sweatshirt and brown flared leggings. Emma is also wearing a green Cambridge face mask.
Emma in the dedicated wheelchair space on the Uber Boat by Thames Clippers

We had a River Roamer ticket with unlimited all-day travel, which meant we could hop on and off as and when we wanted. There is also the option to buy single and return tickets.

It’s worth mentioning that disabled people receive a 50% discount on the ticket. Additionally, if you require the assistance of a carer, you can get a complimentary companion ticket.

Find out more about accessibility on the Uber Boat by Thames Clippers

3. Tower of London and Tower Bridge

We decided against visiting the Tower of London, as it would have taken up a lot of our time. Instead, we wanted to make the most of our trip by trying to fit in as many activities as possible.

Taking the Uber Boat to Tower Millennium Pier allowed us to get up close to the Tower of London and take a few photos. We were also able to take in one of the best views of London’s iconic Tower Bridge.

Both the Tower of London and Tower Bridge are wheelchair accessible, so I’ve added them to my list for our next trip.

Find out more about accessibility at Tower of London and Tower Bridge.

4. SEA LIFE London Aquarium*

When looking for wheelchair accessible things to do in London, I wanted to make sure they were also fun and interesting for my young nephew. One of his top choices was to visit SEA LIFE London Aquarium, as he loves learning about animals and marine life, particularly penguins, so he was over the moon when he got to see them up close for the first time.

Located along the South Bank, SEA LIFE London Aquarium is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. It boasts a massive collection of over 500 marine species and over 2 million litres of water, making it one of Europe’s largest aquatic collections.

As we explored the aquarium, we came face to face with playful penguins, majestic sharks, and mesmerising jellyfish. I could have spent hours watching the jellyfish change colours. My Mum said she felt so relaxed watching the fish.

We learned about the life cycles and habitats of different marine species and gained a deeper appreciation for the importance of ocean conservation.

Young boy watching a Sea turtle at SEA LIFE London Aquarium
Emma sat in her wheelchair next to her nephew. They are both peacefully watching the fish at SEA LIFE London
Emma driving her wheelchair across a glass walkway with shark swimming below her. Emma is with her nephew and mum.
SEA LIFE London Aquarium is a wheelchair accessible attraction in London

Other than the penguins, my nephew’s highlights included the Ocean Tunnel, surrounded by sharks, stingrays, and sea turtles, the Open Ocean and the Shark Reef Encounter, where we had to walk/roll on a glass walkway just inches above swimming sharks.

We also learned that the aquarium has a charity, Sea Life Trust, that provides practical care for marine animals, funds conservation projects, and runs campaigns for marine habitats and wildlife worldwide. We learned about their efforts to create marine protected areas, reduce marine litter, protect sea turtles, and even create the world’s first beluga whale sanctuary in Iceland.

In terms of accessibility, the main entrance has step-free access, and there’s lift access to all three floors. Standard accessible toilets are available throughout the aquarium, and there’s also free entry for carers/companions. 

However, it’s worth noting that some areas have low lighting and uneven flooring, and they can get crowded during peak times. We visited on a weekday just after the school holidays, so it was quieter. But the staff can direct you to a quieter area if needed.

Find out more about accessibility at SEA LIFE London Aquarium.

Emma sat in front of a large screen playing an interactive sea life game.

5. London Eye*

While exploring the South Bank area, a must-visit attraction is The London Eye – the world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel that takes visitors on a 30-minute ride above the city, providing incredible views of the capital city.

The London Eye is wheelchair accessible and having previously been on it a few years ago, I knew my nephew would enjoy it, so it was another attraction on his list of things to do in London.

A view of the river Thames, Westminster and a pod from the top of the London Eye.

However, like many London visitor attractions, the London Eye can be costly. Planning ahead (if you can), keeping an eye out for good discounts, and booking online is the way to go. Due to its popularity, long queues are expected, but fast-track tickets are available to bypass the crowds and get you into the capsule quicker, which is what we did.

Booking the first morning slot worked well for us, as we found there were fewer people. It could have been the time of year we visited, but we got on the London Eye right away.

Upon arrival, there is a ramp to the ticket office, which is wheelchair accessible. Two staff members provided a small wheelchair ramp to bridge the gap between the platform and the pod, making it easy for me to drive in and out of the pod. The ramp can accommodate a 37-inch wide wheelchair.

Emma sat in her power wheelchair inside the London Eye. Behind Emma is a view of the river Thames and tall buildings. Emma is wearing a light brown jumper and black and beige trousers.

Once I was inside, the staff allowed my family and the other customers to enter, and off we went on our 30-minute ride. We had a great time taking in the views and spotting famous landmarks such as Big Ben, the Palace of Westminster, Buckingham Palace, and more.

Find out more about accessibility at London Eye.

Emma sat in her power wheelchair inside the London Eye next to her nephew who is looking out the window. A view of the river Thames and Westminster can be seen out of the pod window. Emma is wearing a light brown jumper and black and beige trousers.
A view of people inside the London Eye pod.

6. Walk along the South Bank

We enjoyed exploring the South Bank during our stay in London, and we often passed through on our way back and forth to our hotel that was nearby. It’s a great place to enjoy stunning views of the Thames and some of London’s most iconic landmarks. Not to mention, there are so many fantastic restaurants, museums, and other fun things to check out.

Best Restaurants in South Bank

Giraffe Southbank Centre

We loved eating at Giraffe as we’ve found it to be one of the best restaurants in South Bank in our opinion. We have dined here twice on this trip and once on a previous trip a few years ago. It is a great family-friendly restaurant that offers good options for my young nephew, along with vegan options.

The restaurant is wheelchair accessible and features a step-free entrance, plenty of tables both inside and outside, and an accessible toilet. Overall, it’s a great place to eat along the South Bank.

Fed by Plants

We stumbled upon an incredible vegetarian/vegan restaurant called ‘Fed by Plants’ by accident. This gem is located in Gabriel’s Wharf, and I can’t recommend it enough. The owner, Charles Diallo, was friendly and has a real passion for delicious, healthy food. The menu offers vegan burgers, pizzas, tofish nachos, nuggets, salads, fruit smoothies, cakes, desserts, and more.

Although we were on our way back to catch our train, we couldn’t leave without ordering something from the menu. So we ordered the Bean and Lentil Fritters to takeaway, and they were amazing. I highly recommend checking out Fed by Plants.

6. Buckingham Palace: Watch the Changing of the Guard

If you’re looking for a great way to start your day in London with your family, watching the Changing of the Guards ceremony outside Buckingham Palace can be a fun and exciting experience.

The Changing of the Guard is a formal ceremony that occurs at Buckingham Palace, where the current group of soldiers protecting the Palace are replaced by a new group of soldiers. This tradition has been going on for centuries and was first held during the reign of King Henry VII at the Palace of Whitehall.

The soldiers who protect Buckingham Palace are called The King’s Guard, and they are made up of soldiers who are currently serving in the Household Division’s Foot Guards. They wear traditional red tunics and bearskin hats.

The Changing the Guard ceremony takes place outside Buckingham every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday at around 10:45 am and lasts about 45 minutes. The actual handover takes place at 11 am. It’s a free event, but it can get crowded, so you should arrive early to get a good spot where you can see everything.

Watching the ceremony was on our list of wheelchair accessible things to do in London, but unfortunately, it was at the same time as our Up at The O2 wheelchair climb, so we couldn’t make it.

The next day, we visited Buckingham Palace, where my nephew enjoyed seeing the Palace and we explored the surrounding area and St James Park before heading to the Natural History Museum.

7. Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum is one of the most popular museums in London, located in the Museum Quarter in South Kensington. It boasts a vast collection of over 80 million specimens, including giant dinosaurs, tiny insects, fossils, rocks, and minerals.

Hope the blue whale at Natural History Museum London
Credit: coward_lion – stock.adobe.com

The museum has many highlights, including the massive blue whale skeleton suspended from the ceiling in the Hintze Hall and the impressive display of birds and mammals from around the world. The dinosaurs are also a major attraction for many children.

Although entry to the museum is free, some temporary exhibitions may require a ticket, but free companion tickets are provided. The building itself is stunning, with a grand entrance hall and intricate architecture.

There is wheelchair access throughout, with lifts to access the floors and accessible toilets, although there is no Changing Places toilet.

However, we felt that the museum did not live up to the hype. Despite spending a few hours in the museum, we left feeling underwhelmed, as half of the time was spent in the T-Rex restaurant.

We expected to see lots of dinosaurs and interesting, interactive displays for my nephew, but we were disappointed. He loved the Earthquake Simulator and I even went on to experience it. Although, I’m surprised my old, ancient wheelchair handled the shaking.

The museum can get very busy, particularly during school holidays, so it is advisable to plan your visit accordingly and book your admission in advance to avoid queuing.

If you are looking for an alternative, the Science Museum, located next door to the Natural History Museum, may be a better choice. Its exhibits and interactive displays are likely to appeal to my nephew’s interests.

Find out more about accessibility at the Natural History Museum.

8. Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square is an iconic public space in London, surrounded by historic buildings and famous landmarks, such as the National Gallery and Nelson’s Column, and the beautiful bronze lion statues. 

The square is always bustling with tourists and locals, and it offers a variety of activities, from street performers to annual public events. It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area!

We took a break in Trafalgar Square, enjoying the sun by one of the lovely fountains before heading to Leicester Square to complete the next item on our list of things to do in London.

A photo taken next to the fountain at Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square

9. Lego Store

If you’re a fan of Lego, then the Lego Store in London is a must-visit place for you. It’s the largest Lego store in the world, situated in Leicester Square, right across from another massive store, M&M’s London.

This store has two floors filled with amazing Lego models of top attractions in London, such as Big Ben, a London Underground train carriage, and a beautiful mosaic of London’s skyline.

The store also has activity stations for kids where they can make their own Lego mini-figures or create Lego mosaic portraits from photos taken in a booth in the store, and then buy them to take home. My nephew was so excited to visit the Lego Store that we spent an hour and a half there. He enjoyed creating his own Lego figure personalised with his name.

You can also find cool London-themed Lego souvenirs that make great gifts for any Lego fans in your family or for yourself.

In terms of wheelchair accessibility, the store has a step-free entrance and a lift to access the second floor. The store can get very busy, especially during school holidays and weekends, and there will likely be a queue to enter. Therefore, it’s best to factor that in when planning your visit. Additionally, a security guard at the main entrance stopped the flow of people coming in to allow me to exit easily.

10. M&M Store

The M&M’s London Store is situated in the heart of Leicester Square and is the largest candy store in the world. The store is vibrant and colourful and is filled with M&M’s in every flavour and colour imaginable. The store has four floors, each dedicated to different types of M&M’s merchandise, like clothing, accessories, and home decor.

Emma's nephew is standing next to the wall of multicoloured M&M's with his arms up in excitement. His face is blurred for privacy.

The highlight of the store for many is the “Pick & Mix” station, where you can create your own personalized bag of M&M’s with your favourite colours and flavours from a wide selection of over 100 M&M’s varieties. However, the prices can be a bit steep, so it’s important to be mindful of your budget.

The store is wheelchair accessible, and there is a lift available on all floors. The aisles are spacious, which makes it easier to navigate through the store.

Emma's nephew is pictured standing next to a silver sports car with a blue M&M in the drivers seat.

11. Leake Street Arches – The Graffiti Tunnel

Leake Street Tunnel is one of London’s coolest street graffiti spots and is located just a short distance from the iconic London Eye. This hidden gem is tucked away underneath Waterloo Station. If you are in the area, you should definitely visit this cool place. 

The tunnel is a constantly changing space that is filled with vibrant and colourful graffiti art. The designs range from political statements to pop culture references and everything in between. Every inch of the walls, floors, and ceilings are covered in intricate and mind-blowing designs.

Emma sat in her wheelchair at the entrance to Leake Street Arches - The Graffiti Tunnel
Emma, her mum and nephew entering Leake Street Arches

During our stay at a nearby hotel, we passed through the tunnel several times and always found another amazing piece of art to admire.

Overall, the Graffiti Tunnel at Leake Street Arches is an offbeat and unique place to visit in London, especially for those who love street art. There are also restaurants and bars in the tunnel.

Wheelchair accessible Things to Do in London

There are so many more wheelchair accessible things to do in London that are kid-friendly. We couldn’t possibly manage to fit it all into one 3 day trip.

Here are more things to do in London that I have added to my list for our next trip:

  • Tower of London: Discover the Crown Jewels, learn about the royal family’s history, and see the resident ravens on a guided tour led by the Beefeaters.
  • Science Museum: Get hands-on with interactive exhibits, including a flight simulator, robot exhibit, and space exploration gallery.
  • West End show: Catch a family-friendly production like The Lion King, Matilda, or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for an unforgettable experience.
  • Hyde Park: Take a break from the city and enjoy a picnic.
  • Tate Modern: Explore the impressive modern and contemporary art collections at the Tate Modern.
  • London Transport Museum: Learn about the history of London’s transportation system with vintage buses, trains, and trams, and take a ride on a classic double-decker bus.
  • Twist Museum of Illusions: Have fun with optical illusions, puzzles, and mazes, and snap some great photos.

Final Thoughts 

So there you have it, all the wheelchair accessible things we did in London during this trip. I hope this guide helps you plan your own accessible trip to London. If you have visited any of these attractions or plan to add them to your list, do let me know.

Where Next: You Might Also Enjoy

Train Travel to London: Avanti West Coast Trains

Up at The O2 Wheelchair Climb Review

4 Wheelchair Accessible Public Transport Modes in London

3 Days In London | Where We Stayed And What We Did

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Meet Emma

Hello I’m Emma. My mission is to show you the possibilities of accessible travel through my travel guides, tips and reviews. I also share personal stories, live event reviews and more.

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