Ivy Palmer - Care Advice & News

A guide to accessible days out in the UK

Living with limited mobility shouldn’t mean you have to stay at home staring at the same four walls. In fact, seeing, experiencing, and learning new things is proven to be good for our mental and physical wellbeing, so it’s important to get out and about as much as possible.

Accessibility can sometimes feel like a barrier to overcome – but it doesn’t have to be. As long as you carry out forward planning to ensure that your chosen location is disability-friendly, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy a range of attractions around the UK.

Planning accessible days out

There are a number of barriers to accessibility that may put us off visiting a new place – from narrow corridors to how far away the car park is – but with the right pre-planning there are many day trips for disabled people to enjoy:

  • Wheelchair accessibility – when organising day trips for wheelchair users, it’s important to know whether the right facilities are available, first. Before travelling to your chosen location, you can check if there is an accessibility statement on the venue’s website, or give them a call to confirm.
  • Accessible toilets – accessible toilets are extremely important for those living with a disability – especially when planning wheelchair friendly days out. Some toilet facilities just aren’t big enough, particularly for visitors who require a changing bench and access to a hoist. Again, check with the location you’re visiting to confirm whether these facilities are available.
  • Disabled parking – if you hold a disabled parking permit (also referred to as a blue badge), you should be able to access parking spaces closest to the venue. Even so, it is worth contacting reception wherever you are visiting to ensure that disabled parking isn’t too far away. If you are travelling via public transport, it may be necessary to plan your journey in advance, ensuring that each stop and station you need is accessible.
  • Communication aids – if you require a particular kind of communication aid, ensure you’ve planned support at least 24 hours in advance. For example, if you are deaf or hard of hearing, you may need to book a sign language interpreter or make sure that visual information is subtitled. If you are visually impaired, it is worth ringing attractions beforehand to see if audio description is available.

What are the best day trips for disabled people?

When it comes to the best day trips for disabled people, there are a variety of accessible options throughout the UK to pique your interest.

A number of museums, including the Science Museum in London and St Fagans Natural History Museum in Cardiff, are among the most accessible tourist attractions. The Science Museum has written material available in large print, deaf-led tours of galleries, audio-described events for blind visitors and Makaton language resources for those with communicative disabilities. St Fagans Natural History Museum has dedicated car parking and ramps, along with a motorised Disabled Tour Vehicle available to transport visitors around the site.

If you’re more into the arts, The Mac in Belfast offers music, theatre, dance and art – all with accessible seating and wheelchair access. They also provide subtitled performances for deaf audiences and touch tours. Similarly, Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery in Glasgow is fully wheelchair accessible, provides subtitles for all audio-visual presentations, and has many staff members who are British Sign Language users.

If you find yourself in Scotland, why not take a trip to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh? The staff who work at the gardens ensure that disabled visitors enjoy their trip by going out of their way to provide scooters and wheelchairs for those who have limited mobility. There are also seating points at regular intervals throughout the gardens, as well as water points for guide dogs.

If you want to tick a historical landmark off your list, visit Caernarfon Castle in north-west Wales. With a purpose-built ramp which allows wheelchair users to reach all the innerwards of the castle, this medieval fortress is completely accessible to people with disabilities. Disabled visitors are also welcome to visit the castle free of charge – along with their carers.

For a comprehensive list of accessible events and wheelchair friendly days out in the UK, it’s also worth getting hold of publications such as the Rough Guide to Accessible Britain (which is free for blue badge holders). There are also regional alternatives available, such as Artsline, which concentrates specifically on accessible arts venues in the London area.

Do you need extra support on your days out?

At IP Homecare, our live-in carers can accompany you on day trips and enable you to continue doing the things you enjoy. Our live-in care services mean someone is always on hand to provide professional support and companionship, and are also available on a short term respite basis.

If you would like to find out more about our services, get in touch today.