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Accessible trips in the UK

There are so many iconic landmarks to be found across the UK, but just how accessible are they? To find out, join innovative stairlift manufacturer, Acorn Stairlifts, as it charts — in no particular order — some of the nation’s most accessible landmarks…

Beamish Museum

This open-air museum tells the tale of those living in in both the 1800s and the 1900s. Those at the museum can visit a pre-World War One town, a pit village, a farm in operation during the Second World War, a colliery, picturesque Pockerley Old Hall, and Rowley Railway Station as it was in Edwardian time.

Enjoy a ride on the Beamish Tramway to experience a form of travel that is becoming rarer these days, while plans are also in place to expand Beamish Museum with a 1950s town, upland farm and Georgian coaching inn in the months and years to come.

Did you know?

The museum was named European Museum of the Year in 1987.

Accessibility

As this is an open-air museum, a lot of the surface is uneven to create a more realistic experience — but there are more suitable pathways. There are steep slopes, while a few buildings and exhibits have stepped access.

If you’re the carer of someone who is disable or the parent of a disable child under the age of five, expect free admission to the museum. Once inside, free wheelchair hire is available from the Entrance Building — assistance dogs and motorised scooters are welcome throughout the museum, too.

If you require more information around accessibility, please click here.

Address:

Beamish Museum, Beamish, County Durham, DH9 0RG.

Open:

Until October 28th 2018: 10.00am — 5.00pm (last admissions at 3.00pm).
From October 29th 2018: 10.00am — 4.00pm (last admissions at 3.00pm).
Closure: Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day and Mondays and Fridays from January 8th until February 15th.

Coca-Cola London Eye

Opening in 2000, the former Millennium Wheel has taken on a new name and remains the most popular paid-for tourist attraction in the country.

You’ll never see sights like those at the top of the wheel.  There are plenty of events to take part in when inside one of the Coca-Cola London Eye’s pods too, including the opportunities to enjoy barre or yoga classes with a twist courtesy of Time Out London.

Did you know?

The observation wheel has a height of 135 metres — making it the tallest in the world.

Accessibility

The London Eye is the ideal tourist attraction for the elderly and disabled as there are safe boarding ramps and T Loop facilities for those with hearing and visual impairments.

It’s important to remember that as this is a popular location, there is a limited number of wheelchairs available to the public but they are available to loan at the customer service station. Guide dogs and mobility scooters are welcome on the wheel too!

Head to this page if you need to learn more about accessibility at the London Eye before booking your visit.

Address:

The Coca-Cola London Eye, Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7PB.

Open:

Opening times are subject to change throughout the year.
Monday to Thursday: 11.00am — 6.00pm
Friday to Sunday: 10.00am — 8.30pm

Titanic Belfast

If you want to explore the truths of the Titanic, there’s no better place to do this than Titanic Belfast. This is because the attraction plays host to the Titanic Experience — complete with nine interactive galleries which include an electronic dark ride and the chance to reflect on the excitement of Titanic’s launch day. There’s also a tour of the very spot where the passenger liner departed on its doomed voyage.

There’s a lot more to the Titanic Belfast museum than just Titanic — the facility actually looks at a range of different voyages and is even home to the SS Nomadic.

Did you know?

You may be surprised to hear that the hull of the Titanic was constructed and launched just 100 metres from the venue. The drawing office where the passenger liner was designed is also to the right of the building, with the Victoria Channel from where she first set sail to the left.

Accessibility:

The Plaza is fully accessible to guests too, as well as any circulation spaces and galleries that you may want to see. However, the Shipyard Ride can’t accommodate mobility scooters because of dimensional and weight restrictions. One standard wheelchair can get onto a wheelchair-accessible car at this facility though, but wheelchairs must not be larger than one metre in length.

If you have a visual impairment, there are audio guides that can be used for free to ensure that you have the best experience possible — guide dogs are also welcome!

Click this link to find out more information around accessibility ahead of your trip.

Address:

Titanic Belfast, 1 Olympic Way, Queens Road, Titanic Quarter, Belfast, BT3 9EP.

Open:

Keep an eye out on opening times as this can changes throughout different periods of the year.

  • From October to March — open from 10.00am until 5.00pm.
  • In April and May — open from 9.00am until 6.00pm.
  • In June and July — open from 9.00am until 7.00pm.
  • In August — open from 9.00am until 8.00pm.
  • In September — open from 9.00am until 6.00pm.

Closure: From December 24th to 26th.

WWT Wetland Centres

Each Wetland Centre in the UK can cater to both adults and children and offer a relaxing experience that encourage the appreciation of watery landscapes.

This will be an adventure you’ll never forget. You also shouldn’t be surprised if you witness close encounters with some of the most dramatic and rare birds seen across the globe, or spot anything from frogs and dragonflies to water voles.

Did you know?

Believe it or not, each year WWT Wetland Centres are able to teach 50,000 children about water and the natural environment. This includes 15,000 children who are from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Accessibility

It’s important to remember that the facilities will differ across each site, so it’s important to contact your desired centre ahead of your trip. But WWT Wetland Centre prides itself on being able to fully cater to those with special requirements.

Along with accessible walkways, parking and toilets, your visit will be no struggle at all. Assistance dogs are welcome at each site, too.

If you require any further details on accessibility at this complex, click here.

Address:

No matter where you’re based in the UK, you’ll likely be close to a WWT Wetland Centre. Check out some of the locations below:

  • Arundel: WWT Arundel, Mill Road, Arundel, West Sussex, BN18 9PB.
  • Caerlaverock: WWT Caerlaverock, Eastpark Farm, Dumfriesshire, Scotland, DG1 4RS.
  • Castle Espie: WWT Castle Espie, 78 Ballydrain Road, Co Down, N Ireland, BT23 6EA.
  • Llanelli: WWT Llanelli, Llwynhendy, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, SA14 9SH.
  • London: WWT London, Queen Elizabeth’s Walk, Barnes, London, SW13 9WT.
  • Martin Mere: WWT Martin Mere, Fish Lane, Burscough, Lancashire, L40 0TA.
  • Slimbridge: WWT Slimbridge, Bowditch, Slimbridge, Gloucestershire, GL2 7BT.
  • Steart: WWT Steart Marshes, Steart, Somerset, TA5 2PU.
  • Washington: WWT Washington, Pattinson, Washington, Tyne and Wear, NE38 8LE.
  • Welney: WWT Welney, Hundred Foot Bank, Welney, Nr. Wisbech, PE14 9TN.

Open:

  • Arundel:
  • Summer opening times (March 26th to October 28th 2018) — open from 9.30am until 5.30pm, with last admission at 5.00pm.
  • Winter opening times (October 29th 2018 to March 31st 2019) — open from 9.30am until 4.30pm, with last admission at 4.00pm.

However, take note that the Wetland Centre closes at 2pm on Christmas Eve and all day on Christmas Day.

  • Caerlaverock:
  • Open from 10.00am until 5.00pm.

However, take note that the Wetland Centre is closed on Christmas Day.

  • Castle Espie:
  • Open from 10.00am until 5.00pm, with closing time extended to 5.30pm on Saturdays and Sundays from May to August.
  • However, take note that the Wetland Centre is closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
  • Llanelli:
  • Open from 9.30am until 5.00pm.
  • However, take note that the Wetland Centre is closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
  • London:
  • Summer opening times (March 1st to October 31st 2018) — open from 9.30am until 5.30pm, with last admission at 4.30pm.
  • Winter opening times (November 1st 2018 to February 28th 2019) — open from 9.30am until 4.30pm, with last admission at 3.30pm.
  • However, take note that the Wetland Centre closes at 3pm on Christmas Eve and is closed all day on Christmas Day.
  • Martin Mere:
  • Summer opening times (March 24th to November 2nd 2018) — Open from 9.30am until 6.00pm, with last admission at 5.00pm.
  • Winter opening times (November 3rd 2018 to March 23rd 2019) — Open from 9.30am until 4.30pm, with last admission at 3.30pm.
  • However, take note that the Wetland Centre closes at 3pm on Christmas Eve and is thenclosed on Christmas Day.
  • Slimbridge:
  • Summer opening times (April to October) — open from 9.30am until 5.30pm, with last admission at 4.30pm.
  • Winter opening times (November to March) — open from 9.30am until 5.00pm, with last admission at 4.00pm.
  • However, take note that the Wetland Centre closes at 3pm on Christmas Eve and is closed on Christmas Day.
  • Steart:
  • Open all-year round.
  • Washington:
  • Summer opening times (April to October) — open from 9.30am until 5.30pm, with last admission at 4.30pm.
  • Winter opening times (November to March) — open from 9.30am until 4.30pm, with last admission at 3.30pm.
  • However, take note that the Wetland Centre closes at 2pm on Christmas Eve and remains closed on Christmas Day.
  • Welney:
  • Summer opening times (March to October) — open from 9.30am until 5.00pm, with last admission at 4.30pm.
  • Winter opening times (November to February) — open from 10.00am until 5.00pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, with last admission at 4.30pm, and open from 10.00am until 8.00pm on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, with last admission at 6.30pm.
  • However, take note that the Wetland Centre is closed on Christmas Day.

National Space Centre

You won’t have an experience here anywhere else — as it’s the UK’s largest planetarium. Take in some of the attraction’s grandest artefacts at the semi-transparent Rocket Tower, feel what it would be like to be an astronaut venturing away from Earth in the Into Space gallery, and take in some truly amazing shows at the Sir Patrick Moore Planetarium.

When you visit, make sure to make your way round the Space Oddities gallery to learn more about the satellites currently in space. Completing the experiences are The Universe and Our Solar System galleries — two facilities which are great if you ever wonder what’s beyond our planet.

Did you know?

You may be surprised to hear that the Rocket Tower hits highs of 42 metres giving you great views of Leicester city. It houses both Blue Streak and Thor Able rockets, not to mention the Apollo Lunar Lander, real Moon Rock and the Gagarin Experience.

Accessibility:

You won’t feel out of place at the National Space Centre — as staff make it their mission to cater to all. If you require a wheelchair upon arriving at the attraction, these are available on loan free of charge but subject to availability.

If you’ve got an assistance dog, bring it along. As well as this, it’s worth knowing that the Sir Patrick Moore Planetarium has an introduction loop and can hold six wheelchairs.

Take a look at this page if you want to know much more about accessibility at the National Space Centre.

Address:

National Space Centre, Exploration Drive, Leicester, LE4 5NS.

Open:

Monday to Saturday: 10.00am — 4.00pm.
Sunday: 10.00am — 500pm.
As well as this, it’s worth checking the venues on-site calendar to find out more information about any additional events.

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