It can be so annoying when you’re planning a trip in the UK when you need the place to be accessible to you. It can be so frustrating, especially when you would love to see something in your own country, yet can’t because of stairways, toilets and tools that are simply not at the venue/destination. There are 10 million people in the UK with disabilities, and yet there still seems to be an issue in terms of accessibility for wheelchair users.
However, there are some amazing places to visit in the UK that are accessible to wheelchair users, as well as to other people with disabilities. Below are some of the best-rated places for accessibility that you can find in the UK. If you know of any more, please share it with us!
Caernarfon Castle, Wales
I highly doubt that accessibility was considered when building an impenetrable fortress. However, over the years Caernarfon Castle, one of the landmark features of Caernarfon, has been adapted to provide disabled visitors with the chance to explore the ruins. To access all the wards on-site, there is a purpose-built wheelchair ramp. And, those in wheelchairs (along with their carers) can enter the castle free of charge. This is great if you’re after the sights of Wales without a hefty price tag.
Chill Factore, Manchester
I was absolutely ecstatic when I found out that Disability Snowsport UK provides skiing for those who have disabilities. The adaptive equipment used by the team is specially produced to support and protect individuals on the slope. The establishment is mostly located on the ground floor, however, the restaurant and café on the first floor can be accessed by lifts. You can also find accessible toilets at Chill Factore.
Science Museum, London
If you have your eye on some educational visits this summer, then the Science Museum is where it’s at. With large print, Braille and Makaton language material, the Museum is well known to help and aid those with communication disabilities.
In terms of wheelchair access, you can have a look on the website for the Science Museum, and find dates and times for their specialist accessible events – which are held throughout the year. The premises are fully accessible by wheelchair on any given day, and guests who disabled will also receive discounts at the on-site ODEON cinema, where carers can also enter free of charge.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh
The beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh have made sure that their site is entirely accessible to those who are disabled. Around the park, you will find scooters and wheelchairs for those with mobility issues, which are free to hire.
Throughout the gardens, you will also find regular places to sit in the shade, and water assistance checkpoints for those with guide and rehabilitation dogs. Any reception area found in the gardens also feature lowered counters, so those in wheelchairs can easily speak to a member of staff.
Spread over 36 acres of land in Regents Park, London Zoo is extremely accessible to those in wheelchairs, and to others who are impaired. And, although guide dogs are not allowed in the zoo itself, you can walk your dog around the gardens, and you can book a volunteer to escort you around the park – these can be organised in advance on the London Zoo website.
With over 800 animals in the zoo, it’s such a great day out, and I’m so glad that it can be enjoyed by everyone. All of the enclosures in the zoo, including the penguin pool (one of the zoo’s most amazing sites), are accessible by wheelchair. You can also find disabled toilets on-site at London Zoo.
The Brighton Dome is home to three separate venues that encompass one big space. The Corn Exchange, Concert Hall and Theater are hosts to a range of film nights, art shows and comedy stand up evenings.
In terms of accessibility, the Brighton Dome is highly accessible thanks to a refurb a number of years ago. You will be able to find lifts and audio devices throughout the venue, as well as accessible disabled parking near to the building itself. The Grade 1 listed building really is a beauty to behold and I definitely recommend seeing it for yourself!
Giant’s Causeway, Portrush
Known around the world, the Giant’s Causeway is a sight to behold. With 50 000 natural steps leading to the sea, the site has become wheelchair accessible since its new owners, The National Trust, purchased it. You will find disabled toilets on-site, as well as a free shuttle bus – and ramps at the visitor centre which wheelchairs can access.
Bournemouth and Boscombe Beaches, Dorset
Here you will find traditional British beaches with miles and miles of amazing photos ops. If you are disabled and would like to visit the site, you can use the transport in the area for free, including the lifts to scale cliff edges. You can also find tonnes of accessible bars and restaurants nearby.
To find out more about free travel in these areas, visit the Access England website.
Before you go
Before travelling anywhere in the UK, make sure it has been accessed by Visit England, and read its access status, which should be available to download as a PDF on the Access England website.
You must also make sure you have the right equipment in order to ensure you have a great trip. In some cases, you may find that having a wheelchair that can collapse and easily stored away in a boot great for travelling with. You can also find a range of other wheelchairs and accessories on the Millercare website.