Accessible UK attractions for wheelchair users
With bank holidays galore this year and good summer weather on the forecast, we’ve compiled a list of accessible UK attractions for you to head out and enjoy on a short break, day trip or even a longer holiday.
With bank holidays galore this year and good summer weather on the forecast, we’ve compiled a list of accessible UK attractions for you to head out and enjoy on a short break, day trip or even a longer holiday.
Wherever in the UK that you might want to travel to, we’ve got some accessible ideas for you!
Please note: This is a long blog post; if you know where you’re heading and just want to read about some attractions near your chosen destination, click the relevant link below to skip to the section about that location:
- South East England
- South West England
- East Midlands and East Anglia
- West Midlands and Coventry
- North West England
- North East & Yorkshire
- Northern Ireland
London: Our nation’s capital is packed full of attractions and things to do, catering to UK residents as well as international tourists. Accessible features are now commonplace, with many attractions offering wheelchair solutions and step-free access for less able visitors.
Here are some great options for accessible attractions to visit if you’re heading to see the sights of London:
ZSL London Zoo –
A staple attraction within London’s Regent’s Park for the past 200 years, ZSL London is a historically significant zoo with many exotic animals and interactive enclosures to educate and engage visitors.
Wheelchair access is available throughout much of the zoo and there are specific wheelchair-friendly areas including Tiger Territory, Land of the Lions and The Aquarium, which offer lifts to viewing platforms. With a wheelchair-friendly entrance located next to the main entrance and a disabled bay in front of the entrance to the zoo, accessibility is fairly simple.
Disabled users can also park on the main road in front of the zoo for up to four hours, and there is disabled parking in the main car park if you’re looking to park for longer. Wheelchair-accessible toilets can also be found at various locations around the zoo.
Discover over 750 animal species at this fun-filled London attraction. Find out more.
Kew Gardens –
Explore London’s World Heritage Site botanic garden at Kew Gardens. You’ll be able to experience the beauty of the open green spaces, as well as the exotic glasshouses, water lily ponds and flower displays. With art exhibitions taking place throughout the year in between the blooms, there is often much more to discover at Kew.
Wheelchair users can discover the sights with ease as the gardens are flat and the buildings and all cafes are wheelchair-accessible. The Treetop Walkway is easily reached via a lift, and there’s a Kew Explorer land train which can fit a manual wheelchair so you can travel from one side of the garden to the other in ease. Blue Badge Holders can also park in the Kew Gardens car park free of charge.
Find out what’s happening at and all information about accessibility at Kew Gardens.
Science Museum –
This museum houses a world-class collection and record of scientific, technological and medical advancement from across the world and is one of the top things to do on a visit to London. Discover science through the ages and how different places around the world approach scientific discovery.
For disabled users, there are a number of features that the museum has implemented to aid in inclusivity. There are a small number of disabled parking spaces outside the museum on Exhibition Road. Disabled visitors can park in these spaces with their Blue Badge for four hours between 08.30 and 18.30. All lifts across the museum are wheelchair accessible, meaning that disabled users can explore the museum easily, and there are wheelchair-accessible toilets are available across all levels of the museum. There are a host of exhibitions and events designed to aid deaf and hard of hearing visitors, blind and partially sighted visitors and those with special needs.
Explore some of the major scientific advances of the last 300 years. Read more.
South East: Named the UK’s sunniest region, South East England has plenty of attractions and even scenic drives to keep you entertained on a holiday or day trip. Stretching from Kent through Sussex and Hampshire and continuing through Surrey, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, the South East is vast. Here are some top wheelchair-friendly things to see or do in the South East of England:
Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire–
One for the history enthusiasts, Bletchley Park is the home of British codebreaking. Having played a major role in the Second World War producing secret intelligence which had a direct and profound influence on the outcome of the conflict, today, Bletchley Park is a museum. The attraction brings together the dramatic history of the twentieth century with the challenges we face with our rapidly-changing and technologically-complex society.
The museum welcomes all people with disabilities and aims to create a welcoming and accessible experience for all visitors. The museum entrance has step-free access and all the exhibitions are positioned at ground floor apart from Block B, which has a wheelchair lift. Ramps are also installed throughout the site for easy access. They offer British Sign Language interpreted guided tours throughout the year which are available to book online. There are also a number of allocated parking spaces for disabled visitors within the Bletchley Park car park.
Find out more about their accessibility features, as well as the museum itself here.
Kent & East Sussex Scenic Drive –
This scenic route will take you through a route of changing landscapes and beautiful countryside. Starting from the ancient seaport of Hythe – which has a long, accessible promenade overlooking the English Channel – you should drive south towards Romney Marsh.
This vast expanse of drained marshland now plays host to sheep and the odd hamlet and makes for a truly atmospheric drive. Don’t be fooled by the so-named ‘coast road’ route; you can’t see the sea beyond the large sea wall alongside the road, instead head through the small interior roads via Lympne, Burmarsh and St Mary in the Marsh.
Head inland to Lydd, where you can stop off at the local RSPB nature reserve and admire birdlife from the wheelchair accessible hides. Then travel on to the pretty medieval town of Rye and explore the harbourside area where it’s quite level and there are accessible public toilets. Continuing on towards Wittersham, you will see the landscape change and the Kent orchards, vineyards and fields appear in front of you. Iden and Wittersham are two little villages with pretty churches to stop off on the way, and if you’re for somewhere with more bustle then head to Tenterden. The journey will end at the village of Gouldhurst, which is positioned on top of a hill and offers a great view over the Kent Weald.
Please note: this scenic drive has been researched and abbreviated from The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain, for the full route, maps and further information, please visit: Accessible Britain via Rough Guides and look for South East England.
Royal Pavilion, Brighton–
Built as a pleasure palace for the Prince Regent (later King George IV), the Royal Pavilion is a distinctive landmark in Brighton & Hove with an exotic oriental appearance, both inside and out. This former Royal Palace has a fully-accessible ground floor however, the first floor can only be accessed via a staircase.
Audio guides are available with BSL and also or visitors with visual impairment and within the audio guide is a video tour of the first floor for visitors who are unable to use the stairs. Tactile tours can be booked for groups of visually impaired visitors and sign language interpreted groups tours are also available to book.
Accessible facilities are available on site, and the dedicated Royal Pavilion website answers all manner of accessibility-related question pertaining to the attractions features.
South West: The South West of England is made up of Devon, Cornwall, Wiltshire, Cotswolds, Dorset, Somerset, Bristol and the Isles of Scilly. A popular holiday destination, the south-west not only has a beautiful coastal region and idyllic rolling countryside but it also contains a number of fantastic cities to visit whilst in the area.
Here are some accessible attractions to explore in South West England:
Roman Baths & Pump Room, Bath –
The Roman Baths sit at the centre of the City of Bath World Heritage Site and are made up of the remarkably preserved remains of one of the greatest religious spas of the ancient world. The Romans built a temple and bathing complex on the site of Britain’s only hot spring which still provides water to both the ancient baths, as well as the adjacent Thermae Bath Spa – the only natural thermal spa in Britain. You can witness where ancient Romans would bathe and worship almost 2,000 years ago. There’s also ruins to explore, costumed characters to talk to and interactive displays to understand the site in more detail.
This historic site is 90% accessible to wheelchair users and has invested heavily over the past few years to help provide access for all. As the Roman Baths are six metres below street level, there are steps throughout the site, so to access the whole site you would need to climb steps, which isn’t going to be possible for full-time wheelchair users. Saying this, the attraction has catered to wheelchair users as much as is possible. There are a number of accessible lifts so wheelchair users can access the 18th century Pump Room, the Sun Lounge and the Terrace.
Read more about all the information on accessibility and what to see and do at the Roman Baths, here.
The Eden Project, Cornwall –
This expansive garden housed in tropical biomes sits within a huge crater in the Cornwall countryside and offers visitors the chance to get up close to tropical rainforest and discover plants that normally are only found growing on the other side of the world. Explore the relationship between humans and plants as well as learn where tea, rubber, sugar and much, much more come from. With events and workshops taking place throughout the year it’s a good idea to check to see what’s on before you like to visit.
The Eden Project has a great stance on accessibility and provides a host of services and facilities to help promote inclusivity and access for all. There are recommended routes that outline the gradient of the land so that you can make an informed decision as to what route you’d like to take, as well as a Land Train to provide added assisted transport where required. There are sensory aspects to a visit to The Eden Project which aim to engage all your senses.
Find out more about The Eden Project and it’s accessible features, here.
South Devon Railway and Totnes Rare Breeds Farm, Devon –
Run by enthusiasts this attraction owes much of its popularity to the people behind the scenes. The passionate staff and volunteers help to make this attraction a worthwhile stop on any trip to Devon. Wheelchair users are encouraged to board the steam train and relax whilst the train chugs along on a thirty-minute journey around the valley of the river Dart.
Once you arrive at Totnes Riverside station, you can head to the family-run Rare Breeds Farm where children are free to feed, pet and learn about the many animals that live there. Visitors to the farm can also enter some of the enclosures as well. Animals living at the farm include owls, squirrels, guinea pigs, chickens, pigs, alpacas, donkeys and sheep. Access is of paramount importance to the family-run team at the Rare Breeds Farm and their website states they want access for all. The entire site is wheelchair friendly, the pens have wide entry gates and have been designed so the animals can be viewed from any level.
East Midlands and East Anglia: The East Midlands and East Anglia are two very distinct regions but are fairly close to each other in terms of travel time. The East Midlands includes Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Rutland and Nottinghamshire. East Anglia is made up of Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. There’s so much to see and do in both areas so we’ve had to just narrow it down to three accessible attractions, but if you want to know about more things to see and do in these areas, check out The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain.
IWM Duxford, Cambridgeshire –
Imperial War Museum Duxford is a historic airfield and Britain’s largest aviation museum. A base for the largest pieces of the IWM collection, exhibits include almost 200 aircraft, military vehicles, and artillery as well as minor naval vessels. The museum also hosts a number of air shows, events and workshops throughout the year for aircraft and history enthusiasts.
Access for all is important to IWM Duxford. The site is approximately one mile long and so there is a free on-site mobility assistance vehicle available for visitors who require assistance around the site, but as IWM Duxford is a former airfield the ground is mainly concrete and even, making for a fairly smooth surface. Most of the site is on ground level but where there are multiple levels to the buildings there are accessible lifts for disabled visitors to use. The one place to look out for is the American Air Museum as, at the entrance to the museum there is a steep incline but the assistance vehicle can help with this, or alternatively you can gain access from the ground-level airfield side of the building. The upper level within the building, where a café is located, is accessed via a steep ramp so bear this in mind if you’d like to access the upper levels.
There are also aircraft that can only be viewed inside via steps however, Concorde in the AirSpace area of the museum has a film showing its interior based by its left wheel. If you’re travelling to IWM Duxford for an air show it may be harder to get around and the assistance vehicle does not operate as attendance is very high. However, there is a wheelchair-user viewing enclosure at air show events with courtesy seating for assisting companion, so you can enjoy the aircraft in a dedicated and non-crowded setting.
Discover more about IWM Duxford, here.
National Space Centre, Leicester –
The National Space Centre is a museum and educational resource covering space science and astronomy. With the UK’s largest planetarium and a huge 42m high Rocket Tower, the National Space Centre is a great day out for anyone with an interest in space and science – and the building is impressive too!
With a flat entrance, disabled bays and ramps to allow for easy access, the National Space Centre is committed to inclusivity. Based across four floors, wheelchair users have access across the entire site through two fully-glazed lifts and there are various features to accommodate specific needs. Displays are spacious and easy to access, though there are some interactive features that might be out of reach to wheelchair users.
Learn more information through their website here.
Norfolk Coastal Path, Norfolk–
The 45-mile-long Norfolk Coast Path runs from Hunstanton to Cromer but there is a one-mile stretch between Wells-next-the-Sea harbour to its beach and coastline which makes for an accessible path with a lot to see. Park near to the harbour – the most accessible car park being Stermans Yard on Freeman Street – and head towards the harbourmaster’s office on Beach Road.
Wheelchair users can enjoy the views of the harbour, saltmarsh and sandbar as well as the sea itself. There’s plenty of rest stops with room for wheelchairs and also places to grab a bite to eat on the way. There’s also a RADAR key-accessible toilet at the start of the path near the harbourmaster’s office, and an additional accessible toilet at the beach car park.
Find out more via the Rough Guide to Accessible Britain, here.
West Midlands & West Coventry: The second-most-populous region in England outside of London, the West Midlands contains large cities including bustling Birmingham, cultural Coventry and sporting Wolverhampton.
We’ve put together a list of just some of the accessible attractions in the region for you to visit:
Chatsworth House, Derbyshire–
The beautiful stately home Chatsworth House dates back to the seventeenth century and showcases a vast amount of British history within its grand walls. Within the house there are over 30 rooms to explore including the Painted Hall, regal State Rooms and the Sculpture Gallery. Outside there is more to explore including a grotto, artificial waterfall, nursery and assorted greenhouse as well as a farmyard to aid in sensory engagement. The house is accessible to all wheelchair users, with a lift inside the house so disabled visitors can experience everything there is to see and do. The garden and outside grounds are also accessible to visitors with wheelchairs however, there are some steeper slopes to consider and it’s important to note that the playground has a bark surface.
There are also buggy tours of the garden which are available on a first-come, first served basis. These can be caught from outside the Orangery shop and carry a small additional charge. Chatsworth House is currently holding an exhibiting about man’s best friend, and is encouraging visitors to bring their dogs along on their visit.
Find out more about accessibility, as well as what’s on at Chatsworth, here.
West Midland Safari and Leisure Park, Worcestershire –
The West Midland Safari and Leisure Park has been open since 1973 and houses some of the world’s most beautiful and endangered exotic animal species. Get up close to giraffe, zebra, rhino, deer, tigers, cheetah, elephants and buffalo at this exciting attraction.
The fact that this is a safari park means that wheelchair users can see the animals from the comfort of their wheelchair friendly vehicle, making for a simple visit. When it comes time to the Leisure Park, the natural contours of the land mean that some areas have differing gradients but these have been minimised as much as possible for wheelchair users and the enclosures are all accessible with tarmac and hard surface walkways. There is lots of disabled parking on site, queue assistance if required and a host of wheelchair-accessible toilets all over the site. Please bare in mind that not all of the 30 rides on site are accessible for wheelchair users, but if you can transfer from your wheelchair, the Venom Tower Drop and the Jumbo Parade family ride are manageable.
Learn about what to see and do, as well as accessibility at the attraction, here.
Hereford Cathedral and the Mappa Mundi, Hereford –
This stunning Norman cathedral is definitely worth visiting if you’re near Hereford. There’s much to see inside the cathedral including some beautiful stained-glass windows (with one recently installed window in tribute to the SAS) and the shrine of St Ethelber, to whom the cathedral is dedicated. What really makes this an amazing place to visit though are two unique features housed within the cathedral, the Mappa Mundi and the Chained Library.
Made from a single calfskin, the Mappa Mundi is the largest surviving medieval map of the world and dates from around 1300. It sees Jerusalem at the centre of the world and is decorated with animals, historical and biblical events as well as plants and mythical creatures. The Chained Library is made up of early seventeeth century bookcases with over two hundred medieval manuscrips all attached to the bookcases with chains and locks. The Cathedral itself is fairly accessible, apart from the lower crypt, which is only available to access via small steep steps. The exhibition area where the Mappa Mundi and the Chained Library are based has level entry through a push-button door, and has plenty of space. There’s also a small café and garden on site and an accessible toilet.
One to definitely visit if you can. Discover more about Hereford Cathedral.
North West England: Vast and beautiful landscapes filled with lakes, estuaries full of birdlife and large cities, the North West has something for everyone. If you love music, football, horse racing, museums, the seaside or great nightlife, the North West will not leave you disappointed.
Discover some of the top accessible attractions in the region:
Albert Dock and the Museum of Liverpool, Liverpool –
The Albert Dock is a large complex which offers visitors views, walks, green space and some incredible museums. Whilst here you can have a picnic on the grassy spaces, look out at the sea, grab an ice cream and then learn about the area at top museums including the Merseyside Maritime Museum and International Slavery Museum – which showcases Liverpool at the centre of the world’s trading history, and highlights the importance of the port, the Tate Liverpool – with exhibitions of modern and contemporary art, The Beatles Story – which outlines the life, music and legacy of the band and the Museum of Liverpool – which tells the story of Liverpool through hands-on exhibits.
All three museums are accessible with lifts, accessible toilets and hearing loops and Tate Liverpool and Beatles Story also have various accessible features to aid wheelchair users. There’s plenty of parking by the Albert Dock, and apart from the odd gradient, flagstone and cobble, the whole area is accessible.
For everything to see and do at Royal Albert Dock, please visit their site.
Blackpool Tower, Lancashire –
The tower, inspired by the Eiffel Tower, opened to the public in 1894 and is the 120th tallest freestanding tower of the world. A staple of Blackpool, the tower and attractions surrounding it make for a nice day out at the seaside. The tower was refurbished in 2011 and if you take the lift up to the top, gives you a great view of the surrounding area – including views to Wales and the Lake District – via the new 380-feet high glass Skywalk. Surrounding the tower, there’s a lot to see and do, including a 4D cinema with weather effects, a traditional circus and The Blackpool Tower Ballroom. Great for a day out with the kids there’s also a laughter-filled Dungeon tour with live shows and drop ride and also Jungle Jim’s Indoor Play Area.
All the attractions are accessible at the Blackpool Tower, but parking can be tricky. There’s no dedicated parking at the tower but plenty in outdoor and multi-story car parks which have disabled bays. The circus and Dungeon need to be booked in advance as there is limited disabled seating on site.
Learn more about Blackpool Tower and plan your visit.
Anderton Boat Lift, Cheshire –
This 72-foot-high boat lift which was built in 1875 is a marvel of Victorian engineering. Created to haul cargo boats from the River Weaver up to the higher Trent and Mersey Canal, it is now a popular tourist attraction. The boat lift recently underwent a multi-million-pound restoration and allows visitors to learn about the machinery, take a ride through the lift and then enjoy a river trip from the Cheshire countryside.
Passing through a separate fully-accessible visitor centre entrance which teaches you all about the boat lift, you then travel onto the lift itself via a fifty-foot vertical ride inside a glass-roofed boat. After this, you can neither enjoy a 30-minute river cruise or explore the other attractions on-site, including a maze, new children’s adventure play area (with some activities suitable for wheelchair users) and a wheelchair-accessible nature park. There’s plenty of parking on site within the level car park but the lift trips (which have mechanical transport on and off, allowing you to stay in your wheelchair) can only hold two wheelchairs at a time so it’s best to book ahead if you can.
Find out more, here.
North Yorkshire: Some of the UK’s greatest hidden gems, as well as top tourist sights, are available to visit within North East England. With Leeds, York, Scarborough, Durham, Newcastle, Gateshead and Beverley all within the North East, there’s a lot to see and do.
Here are just some of the many accessible attractions to discover in North East England:
The Deep, East Yorkshire –
One of the UK’s biggest aquariums, The Deep houses over 5,000 animals including sharks and rays for visitors to discover. Housed in an amazing glass and aluminium building on the banks of two rivers, The Deep’s architecture resembles that of a shark. With exhibits showing the different marine life in various waters across the world – from warm tropical water to the icy Antarctic – The Deep teaches visitors about aquatic life through interactive displays and tanks with informative signs. The highlight of the attraction is Europe’s deepest viewing tunnel and then a ride back up to the ground floor in the world’s only underwater lift, which takes you through the main tank, where the sharks swim around in front of you.
Access to the entire site is great, with lifts, ramps and a special disability-friendly entrance. Disabled parking is ample and they often host ‘quiet days’, where the audio system is turned down, lighting turned up and a BSL-trained member of staff delivers a signed presentation.
Discover The Deep.
Beamish Museum, County Durham –
This open-air living history museum transports visitors back in time from the 1820s up to the 1940s, with dedicated areas which demonstrate life throughout history, all spread over a three-hundred-acre site.
Staff in period costumes explain how life was lived in the various times highlighted and everything within Beamish is designed to be engaging and interactive so that visitors can learn more themselves. Visitors can take part in activities to see how people lived in various eras, and gain a better understanding of how life has changed over the years.
The site, whilst large, is wheelchair friendly, apart from some areas which have uneven surfaces in keeping with historical accuracy however, staff are always prepared and trained to help. There is a fully accessible bus to transport visitors around the site, and if you are more mobile there’s a tramway and bus that can transport you to the main points of interest of the museum. There are also various spacious accessible toilets around the site and all staff undertake annual disability awareness training so are readily available to help if needed.
Find out more about visiting Beamish, here.
Eureka! The National Children’s Museum, Yorkshire –
If you’ve got little ones at home and are in the Yorkshire area then a trip to Eureka! The National Children’s Museum is a must. The museum aims to inspire children to find out about themselves and the world around them through hundreds of imaginative, engaging and interactive exhibitions within six large indoor galleries and a big outdoor space.
Children have a lot to discover on site at Eureka! as they learn about themselves, occupations in the modern world, wildlife and much more through play. Even though the museum caters mainly for the under 12s, there’s a lot to entertain older children whilst on site.
Extremely wheelchair friendly, the museum has dedicated parking spaces for disabled visitors about 50m from the entrance and if you require assistance on arrival, you simply ask a member of the team. If it’s really busy, children with disabilities can jump the queue at the entrance. The museum is level and there are lifts between floors so you won’t miss a thing. The Wonder Walk outside also incorporates a sensory trail, and there’s a wheelchair accessible trail.
Read more about Eureka!
Scotland: The diverse landscapes, attractions and cities available to visit in Scotland make it a great destination for a holiday or a short break for anyone. With breath-taking scenery and top things to do to boot, Scotland is a great choice.
If you’re heading to Scotland this year, why not check out these accessible attractions:
Fort George, Inverness-shire –
Built for King George II in preparation for the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, Fort George is still in use as an army barracks today. Named as the ‘mightiest artillery fortification in Britain’ it offers a fascinating insight into 18th century military life, as well as many forms of arms including bayoneted muskets, pikes, swords and ammunition pouches. As well as the military history of the site, it is positioned on a piece of land that juts into the Moray Firth, where you can witness beautiful coastal views and sea life (including dolphins).
The fort is very accessible, with mainly level ground (a few short stretches of cobbles to cross at the entrance) and then the rest of the site is largely wheelchair accessible, except help may be required up one of the six grassy 20 degree ramps to the ramparts or up the slight step into the Barrack Rooms. There are two sets of accessible toilets on site. The Regimental Museum has chairlift access to the second floor only.
Discover more, here.
National Galleries, Edinburgh –
If you’re taking a trip to Edinburgh and have an interest in art or culture then a trip to the large Scottish National Gallery complex off Princes Street in the centre of the city should be on your list of things to do. Three buildings sit within this complex – the Royal Scottish Academy, shopping and eating centre The Weston Link and the Scottish National Gallery. The gallery is housed within an impressive Neoclassical building and you can see masterpieces by some of the greatest artists ever known including Raphael, Rembrandt, Rubens, Monet, Degas and Van Gough. There’s also a large collection of Scottish paintings to discover whilst perusing the large gallery.
The Scottish National Gallery is fully accessible on all levels and has voice-activated lifts. There are tours that can be booked for those with specific disabilities, simply contact the education department in advance of your visit.
The Scottish National Portrait gallery is based a few streets away on Queen Street and has recently benefitted from a two-year, multi-million-pound restoration. Another fully accessible attraction, this gallery houses a vast range of portraits from the Reformation through to the modern day with various subjects. Huge vaulted ceilings and gothic windows make the building feel like a cathedral and provides a unique backdrop for the collection on display.
Read more about Scotland’s National Galleries, here.
The Titan Crane, West Dunbartonshire–
This 150ft crane helped build some of the world’s most famous ships including the Queen Mary and the QE2 as well as the HMS Hood. It survived the Blitz as well as the industrial decline in Scotland and is now a popular tourist attraction. Built in 1907, a visit to the crane takes you back in time to celebrate the area’s shipbuilding history and heritage.
Accessibility is good at the Titan; a bus takes you on a short tour and then transports you to the base of the crane, where you are taken by a glass lift to the viewing platform within the crane itself. There are fixed binoculars, two at wheelchair height, so you can look out across the land from the heightened position. Back down on ground level, there is an accessible visitor centre which showcases artefacts and historical drawings of the crane, as well as café.
Plan your trip to the Titan Crane.
Discover some of the accessible attractions to visit in Wales if you’re looking to get away:
Llangollen Wharf –
Discover the tranquillity of the UNESCO World Heritage Site within the Llangollen Canal as well as the two-hundred-year-old Pontcysyllte Aqueduct which carries the canal high over the River Dee. One of the longest established visitor attractions in North Wales, disabled visitors can travel to the Wharf via a boat run by The Vale of Llangollen Canal Boat Trust which takes you across the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.
The boat can be booked for a half or full day-trip between March and October every year and has been specially created for disabled access. The boat holds up to 12 people, but cannot take more than four wheelchairs at any one time. It is a volunteer-run service and a donation per trip is requested so that the volunteers can continue to run, check the website link above for more details.
There’s also the option of taking a Horse Drawn Boat from the Llangollen Wharf and down the canal, pulled by a horse alongside the towpath. The boats have ramped access for wheelchair users but you’ll need to book ahead to secure your space.
Find out more, here.
Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff –
This world-renowned arts centre in the Cardiff Bay area of Wales’ capital city has an iconic and truly-unique architectural design. Since opening in 2004 it has become a top class venue for the arts as well as an inclusive place for the local community to converge. Shows at the Millennium Centre range from dance displays, musicals, orchestral performances, stand-up comedy, concerts and theatre across a full spectrum of genres.
The venue is committed to inclusivity with seventeen bookable Blue Badge parking bars, all under cover, automatic doors, lifts and level access to all areas. Accessible toilets are found throughout the centre and the auditorium has accessible seating and wheelchair access at every level. An amazing venue that is truly trying to create access for all, if you want to catch a performance in Cardiff then make sure you check out the Millennium Centre.
National Waterfront Museum, Swansea –
Discover the story of Welsh industry and innovation from the past to the present day at the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea. Housed within an original listed warehouse, which has been linked to a modern slate and glass building, you can get up close and discover the history and heritage that Wales played as an industrial nation.
Inclusivity is key for the museum as the entire site is wheelchair-accessible with lifts around the building. There’s Blue Badge Holder friendly parking on site, and further parking nearby, audio descriptive tours for those visitors who are blind or partially sighted as well as exhibitions designed with accessibility in mind.
Learn more about the National Waterfront Museum.
Northern Ireland: The country that built the Titanic, has the world-famous Giant’s Causeway and top golf, as well as extraordinary landscapes, amazing historical roots and thriving cities, Northern Ireland offers a great option for a short trip, holiday or even just a day out if you’re not travelling far.
Here are some of the accessible attractions you can discover in Northern Ireland:
Portsteward Strand, County Derry –
Looking to take a trip out to the seaside? Portsteward Strand is a two-mile long sandy beach surrounded by tall dunes full of wildlife. It’s owned by the National Trust, a Blue Flag beach and is an Area of Special Scientific Interest – as well as one of the UK’s best wild swimming spots. The best part? You can drive your wheelchair accessible vehicle right on up and park it on the beach.
Wrap up a picnic and prepare for any weather as you head to the beach, the sand is compacted so should be fine for wheelchair users, but if you’re going to travel further along the beach be aware that changing conditions could make for softer surfaces and trouble with navigation. There’s also a mobility toilet at the end of the road leading to the beach. Also, if you’re into that sort of thing, some of the scenes from Game of Thrones was filmed on this very beach. Look out for family fun days throughout the year to take the whole family along.
Find out more, here.
Titanic Belfast, Belfast –
This museum, which takes visitors back to the 18th-century shipbuilding city of Belfast sits on the site of the former Harland and Wolff shipyard – where the fated RMS Titanic was built. The huge complex is designed to inform visitors about the story of the Titanic, from the ship being built to setting sail and then sinking on its maiden voyage in 1912.
As well as historical accounts and interactive displays (including holograms, virtual reality and artefacts), the museum also has attractions including a dark ride, an underwater exploration theatre and recreations of the ship’s cabins. There is also a cable car that takes visitors around to see the different processes of the ship’s creation – electric wheelchairs can’t be accommodated on this ride but there’s room for one manual wheelchair and those who choose to leave their wheelchairs until they get back will be helped by staff.
All the spaces and galleries with the Titanic Belfast are fully accessible, the entrances all have level access and there are two scenic lifts that take visitors to all levels of the museum. There are accessible toilets throughout the museum and there is disabled parking on two levels of the underground car park.
Learn more about the Titanic Belfast, here.
Armagh Planetarium, County Armagh –
Explore the sky, space and beyond at the Armagh Planetarium – Ireland’s leading astronomical education centre. The domed ceiling of the planetarium comes to life with a state-of-the-art digital projection system that shows family-friendly shows about the planets, our solar systems and beyond. As well as the planetarium, there’s an exhibition area which has multiple displays to show you the science behind space exploration, and a 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite.
The planetarium complex is easy to navigate for wheelchair users, with ramped walkways to the entrance and all parts of the ground floor, lifts to the first floor and dedicated viewing spaces for disabled visitors within the theatre. There’s accessible toilets on each floor and outside, on the fourteen-acre Astropark where the planetarium is based, there’s plenty of flat surfaces and places to sit down and relax.
Delve into space exploration with a trip to the Armagh Planetarium.
For more detailed information on any of the attractions, accessible travel information and more things to do in each area, please visit The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain via Motability.
Please note: the attractions and information within this blog have been gathered from The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain, Visit London, Visit Scotland, Visit Wales, Discover Ireland and Visit England, as well as the attraction websites themselves.