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In summer the days seem longer and full of opportunity, with endless places to be explored and family memories to be made. Whilst spontaneous days out are great, it often pays to plan ahead, especially if you’re looking for a destination that offers good accessibility for wheelchair users. Here are some ideas of accessible attractions within the UK.
Discover Children’s Story Centre, Stratford, London
Ideal for children with disabilities, Discover is the UK’s first story centre for children aged 0-11. Sessions for children with disabilities are led by trained Story Builders who use a variety of creative techniques to engage children in a number of ways. Free play is encouraged and the Story Builders work hard to ensure both children and their accompanying grown-ups get the most out of the centre as they can. Story building sessions are available where the Story Builders use the children’s own ideas from free play, along with their interests to create a collective story telling experience with props, music, rhythm and rhyme.
The centre also offers a free Saturday morning club called Mighty Mega for disabled children aged 5-11 and their families. This session gives children with disabilities the opportunity to take part in storytelling, music, dance, arts, crafts and multi-sensory play. Advance booking is essential for the Mighty Mega club and regular attendance is encouraged.
Find out more at the Discover Children’s Story Centre website.
Thermae Bath Spa, Bath
Looking for a more pampering break? Why not indulge in a spa day or even a weekend? The Thermae Bath Spa, which claims to be Britain’s original natural thermal spa, is an ideal way to relax. Choose from numerous treatments, including facials, massage, scrubs and some interesting signature treatments unique to the Bath spa. With a sauna, steam room, and open-air rooftop pool, the spa has hoists in all pools for easier access. There is also an onsite shop and restaurant allowing you to enjoy a fully indulgent experience.
Find out more at the Thermae Bath Spa website.
Pleasure Beach, Blackpool
How about a day at the seaside? Well not just any seaside. How about the traditional seaside town of Blackpool, which happens to be very accessible!
Blackpool Pleasure Beach is probably one of the best-known attractions in the town and is continuously striving to make the park and its rides as accessible as possible. Wheelchairs can be borrowed and accessible toilets are available at many locations throughout the attraction. There is level access throughout the park, with ramps as required. Parking is also available at a reduced rate for Blue Badge holders.
Find out more at the Pleasure Beach website.
West Midlands Safari Park, Worcestershire
Discover animals from as far afield as the plains of Africa and the wilds of Asia as you drive through four-miles of ‘safari’ at this award-winning visitor attraction in the heart of England. There are currently around 140 different species of animals accommodated at the park, including cheetahs, lions, elephants, giraffes and rhinos.
The park also houses the Land of the Living Dinosaurs animatronic attraction, an immersive trail which features over 40 life-size moving, breathing dinosaurs including a T-Rex, Triceratops and many more. There’s an onsite theme park with rides for all the family, including traditional rides, water rides and roller coasters. Younger visitors to the park can enjoy the Boj Giggly Park play area an immersive, multi-sensory play area based on the popular CBeebies character.
In terms of accessibility guests who present a valid DLA, PIP letter or Blue Badge can claim a free carer ticket when they purchase a standard adult or child ticket. There is free wheelchair hire (pre-booking essential) and the majority of areas are accessible via wheelchair.
In terms of parking there are dedicated spaces for those with disabilities and also numerous onsite accessible toilets. Assistance dogs can accompany their owners through the pedestrianised areas of the park, but are not allowed on the safari. There are provisions made for them to be left with reception staff or in kennels for the duration of the safari experience. There is also provision for carers to accompany disabled riders on the rides in the theme park and queue jump opportunities for those who require this.
Find out more at the West Midlands Safari Park website.
These are just a selection of some of the accessible days out throughout the UK. For more ideas for days out, take a look at the Rough Guide to Accessible Britain. Days out are even better when you have a wheelchair that enables you to live without limits, check out Sunrise Medicals range of manual wheelchairs and powered wheelchairs and start exploring!