Are you looking for something to do this weekend? We've compiled this list of accessible places to visit in the UK that meet exceptional accessibility standards. In no particular order, here are some fantastic places to visit in the UK that have taken extra steps to ensure that individuals with disabilities can still enjoy what they have to offer.
1. The Deep, Hull
This photo is property of The Deep
The Deep is one of the UK's most popular aquariums which houses over 5,000 animals from all over the world, including sharks, sawfish, rays, turtles, penguins and even insects. No matter what your interest is, you'll be spoilt for choice at The Deep.
One of the many great things about The Deep is that they operate an "access for all" facility so that everybody can enjoy what The Deep has to offer. Doorways and lifts can be easily accessed via wheelchairs and mobility scooters and you'll find that the entire route is gently sloped so that all areas are accessible.
The Deep has 8 wheelchairs and 4 walking aids that can be pre-booked to be used on your day out, free of charge. 2 mobility scooters are also available that can be used on the day, but these cannot be pre-booked and are first come, first served.
Accessible features such as hearing loop systems and braille/large-print copies of the guidebook are available to make your visit as accessible as possible. Quiet days are also available twice per year where the presentations are available with BSL interpretation.
The Deep now has a Changing Places facility which means they are able to provide additional space and equipment to those that require it. This includes an adjustable bench, hoist, adjustable basin and mirror, a centrally placed toilet and a portable privacy screen. This new facility is available to anybody who needs to use it and is not limited to those who are visiting The Deep. The Changing Places facility can be accessed using a radar key, but if you don't have your own, one can be borrowed from reception.
This photo is property of The Deep
Getting into The Deep will cost you £12.15 for an adults ticket if purchased online, or £13.50 if you decide to pay on the day. If you're an elderly person aged 60+ you'll pay £11.25 if your ticket is purchased online or £12.50 on the day. Children under 3 years are free and children aged 3-15 are £10.35 online or £11.50 on the day. If you require a carer to be with you on your visit, they'll gain free entry.
Address: The Deep, Tower Street, Hull, HU1 4DP
Entry: £10.35 - £13.50
2. Yorkshire Wildlife Park, Doncaster
Copyright © Yorkshire Wildlife Park Limited
The Yorkshire Wildlife Park is home to over 400 animals, spanning over 70 different species - which includes polar bears, lions, tigers, rhinos and many, many more! The park was built for conservation and animal welfare and opened back in 2009. If you're looking for an exciting day out where you'll get to see some of the incredible animals and creatures that the park has to offer, it'll cost you just £13.50 for an adult or £8.50 for an elderly or disabled adult when buying your tickets online.
If you're looking for more of an extensive experience, Yorkshire Wildlife Park has a variety of experience options available. For example, you can pay to have a unique 2-hour carnivore experience where you'll get up and close to the parks most famous Lions, African Painted Dogs and Amur Tigers (all at a safe distance). Breakfast is included in this experience and participants will receive a certificate pack to record their achievement.
The majority of the park has been designed with accessibility in mind. You'll find that the pathways throughout the main park are level and any gradients are kept to a minimum. The park does have a facility to offer transit wheelchairs to borrow for your day out (free of charge), but there is a limited number so please do make sure that you call Yorkshire Wildlife Park prior to your arrival to avoid disappointment. If you're bringing your own mobility scooter or wheelchair and it ends up getting dirty, the park even has an area to wash it down.
Copyright © Yorkshire Wildlife Park Limited
Address: Yorkshire Wildlife Park, Warning Tongue Lane, Bessacarr, Old Cantley, Doncaster, DN4 6TB
Entry: £6.00 - £16.50
3. Imperial War Museum North, Manchester
© Jason Lawton, IWM NOR 0050
IWM North Exterior
The Imperial War Museum in Manchester allows you to explore conflicts from around the globe. From WW1 right the way through to modern day warfare in areas such as Syria, you'll be able to learn about how these wars started the consequences that they've caused. The Imperial War Museum is sure to give you an interactive learning experience.
The admission for this exhibition is completely free and IWM North is committed to ensuring that the facility is completely accessible to all visitors, regardless of disability. IWM North has 6 manual wheelchairs that can be used free of charge and has lifts to all floors. If you have hearing problems, IWM North are able to provide audio described tours, but you'll need to contact them to check when this facility will be available to you.
© IWM NOR 0001634
IWM North interior during the Big Picture Show
Address: IWM North, Trafford Wharf Road, Stretford, Manchester, M17 1TZ
Entry: FREE ADMISSION
4. Curve, Leicester
© Tom Wren
Curve in Leicester offers a variety of performances to go and see, including musicals, plays, comedians, dancers and more. They have events available to go and see throughout the week and at the weekend, so you'll certainly be able to find something that you'll enjoy. Pricing for these events vary and you can purchase tickets for them easily using their website, in person or by giving them a call.
In terms of access, Curve ensures that their building and the facilities inside are accessible for everyone. All public areas of the theatre are accessible via wheelchair and you'll find wheelchair spaces in the performance areas. Accessible toilets can be found throughout the theatre along with a dedicated Changing Places toilet and, if required, there is a space for your assistance dog.
© Pamela Raith
Curve has a variety of services available to help make viewing these performances more accessible. These include Captioned, Signed, Audio-described, Relaxed and Dementia-friendly performances. A full list of the accessible services available can be seen on their website. To book these services, you'll need to join their access register which can be done by calling their Ticket Office, filling in the form online or by visiting the theatre in person.
Address: Curve Theatre, 60 Rutland Street, Leicester, LE1 1SB
5. Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth
The Mary Rose is an interactive experience that allows you to experience Henry VIII's Tudor warship, including the sights, sounds and even smells of life on board. The Mary Rose also has a cafe and gift shop for you to enjoy once you've finished looking at the vast number of artefacts on display.
The Mary Rose has been designed to be accessible to everybody right from the outset. The journey from the dockyard entrance to the museum is a 10-minute walk but a golf buggy is available. Visually impaired visitors can enjoy the sensory resources that are on offer to help maximise the enjoyment of their visit. Large print guides are available in every gallery and visitors are also able to handle original and replica artefacts. Although The Mary Rose has to keep light levels low, they also offer regular “Lights Up Mornings”, when light levels are increased to aid those with visual impairment. Induction loop systems are in place to help hearing impaired visitors and guide dogs are welcome. There are also volunteer guides on every level able to assist you with any questions you may have.
The entire museum is wheelchair accessible, there are lifts to enable you to access all floors and there are disabled toilet facilities. Wheelchairs are also available, if required, for visitors. Tickets are just £16.00 for an adult or £14.00 for seniors. Student tickets are available for £14.00 and child tickets are available for £8.00. Family ticket options are also available and Registered Carers get in free.
Address: The Mary Rose, Main Road, Portsmouth, PO1 3PY
Entry: £8.00 - £16.00
This article was written to give an opinionated review of accessible attractions that we feel are worth visiting. Any information in this article including attraction details, features, pricing, address etc was correct as of 11/05/2018 and is subject to change at any time.
Do you know of any really good accessible places to go in the UK? If so, get in touch. We'll continue to update this article in the future to help you explore great places in the UK!