Organising an outing is key when you have a disability to make sure the destination caters for your needs. We’ve put together a guide to some of our favourite accessible attractions from around the UK, so hopefully by the time the weather gets warmer and restrictions are lifted, you can enjoy a fun and stress-free day out.
South East: London Zoo, London
With over 800 animal species within its 36-acre Regents Park site, London Zoo is a must see. Almost all the enclosures and halls are accessible, despite the zoo’s large number of listed buildings, and there are disabled toilet facilities, parking and wheelchair hire available if you book in advance. Guide dogs are not allowed for safety reasons, but volunteer escorted tours can be arranged instead (you’ll need to book these about three weeks in advance though.)
South West: Sea Life Centre, Brighton
Get up close and personal with more than 150 types of sea creature at Brighton Sea Life Centre. All areas are wheelchair-friendly with the exception of the auditorium, but the talks held here can be heard from the tunnel and staff will answer any questions. A hearing induction loop is offered and magnifying glasses, large print documents and videos with subtitles are available. There’s free entry for carers too.
Midlands: Cadbury World, Birmingham
Accessibility AND chocolate? We’re sold! Cadbury World caters for disabled visitors with lifts, ramps, disabled facilities and low level exhibits – even the ‘bean mobiles’ on the Cadabra ride accommodate wheelchairs. Guide dogs are allowed in the building with the exception of the chocolate-making areas, but Cadbury World provides a dog sitting service. Audio guides and scripts are available for the tours, as well as British Sign Language tablets, and there is also an infrared hearing system. A must for chocoholics!
North West: Sandcastle Waterpark, Blackpool
The UK’s largest waterpark does everything it can to assist disabled visitors. There’s induction loops, wide access gangways, accessible toilets and changing rooms, support rails, poolside wet room facilities, an accessible video guide and a dedicated pool safety hotline. There’s even accommodation for guide dogs, so nothing stands in the way of you enjoying the attractions which include white knuckle slides, wave machines and fun themed swimming pools.
North East: Life Science Centre, Newcastle
Forget what you think you know about science, the £90million Life Science Centre has hands on experiments, live ‘experiences’ and even ‘lectures in curiosity.’ Intrigued yet? There’s even a winter ice rink! The LSC recommends that anyone with special access requirements gets in touch before their visit so staff can meet their needs, but generally speaking all areas of the centre are accessible, including the ice rink. Induction loops and scripts are available too. Wheelchair users pay the normal ticket price but carers, visually impaired and hearing challenged people go free.
Scotland: Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh
You wouldn’t expect a castle built hundreds of years ago to be accessible, especially one at the top of a hill. At Edinburgh Castle though, the team has lots in place to make it as accessible as possible, including blue badge parking and a mobility vehicle which can take you from the car park to the castle doors and back again. You can also hire wheelchairs and large print guides, and audio guides are available. Some areas of the Castle aren’t accessible due to the age of the building but staff at the venue are happy to advise, and carers are admitted free of charge.
Wales: Celtic Quest Coasteering, Pembrokeshire
Think having a disability means daredevil activities are off limits? Think again, because Celtic Quest can tailor its coasteering to almost anyone. This includes deaf and blind children and adults, as well as people with learning difficulties and limited mobility. And because the coasteering kit makes you buoyant, you don’t even need to be a strong swimmer.
Northern Ireland: The MAC, Belfast
Belfast’s new arts, music and theatre venue was designed with access and inclusion in mind. There’s dedicated wheelchair seating, and lifts and accessible toilets on each floor. During the season it offers a range of accessible performances including signed, captioned, and audio described performances. There are also ‘relaxed’ shows which are designed for people with learning disabilities, Down’s Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Conditions or sensory and communication disorders. These have a relaxed attitude to noise and movement and some small changes to light and sound effects.
For more information on our disability travel insurance for your trip, click here.