London - Top 5 Accessible ActivitiesBy Niamh Duffy -
National History Museum
The Natural History Museum is probably one of the most famous museums in Britain. Once home to Dippy the Dinosaur, replaced by Hope the Blue Whale, it has displays and exhibits that are suitable for everyone.
All floors in the Blue, Green and Red Zones are accessible via a lift, as well as the Darwin Centre. The Museum also has Disabled Access toilets and these are clearly marked on the museum’s map. Wheelchairs can also be borrowed for free and they are found in the Darwin Centre Atrium. Audio descriptions and large-print Gallery Guides are available. Guide dogs are also allowed. You can download mp3 Audio description guides from the Natural History Museum Website on the facilities and access section on the visit page.
Let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to snoop around one of the most famous homes in Britain? Or even the world? Yep, you can actually visit Buckingham Palace! Take a tour around various staterooms and learn interesting history facts along the way, not to mention maybe spotting one of our beloved
royals entering the palace.
Wheelchair access and step free access is available via a separate entrance and it must be pre booked. Free wheelchair hire must also be pre-booked. Manual and powered wheelchairs are allowed but check that they are compatible with the lift first as there is height and width restrictions.
There is a ramp to access the Queen’s Gallery. Furthermore, the Royal Mews are level-access. However, it is worth noting that the Royal Mews can be uneven and cobbled so care is needed. Accessible toilets are available. Guide dogs are also allowed.
For those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of the busy city life of London, Kew Gardens is probably the best place.
The Gardens are fully accessible along with most of the buildings and all the cafes and shops are accessible via a ramp or step free. This includes The Hive, as well as the Treetop Walkway, via a lift. However, The Glasshouses are only accessible for manual wheelchairs and there is no accessibility to the upper levels of the Palm House.
There are accessible toilets throughout Kew Gardens, including one with a hoist and changing bench in Brentford Gardens. You would need to provide your own sling and ask for the key at reception.
The thing that everyone wants to do when they visit London is to go on the London Eye. The good news is that the London Eye is accessible. However, there are some restrictions.
The main thing is that you would need to book in advance, particularly if you are a wheelchair user. The other thing to know is The London Eye only allows two wheelchairs per capsule and 8 wheelchairs at any time.
Guests who are hard-of-hearing can purchase a guidebook that tells you where to find various landmarks whilst on the London Eye.
Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour
This is a must for any Harry Potter fan. During this tour, you can visit sets, view costumes and props, and learn how special, visual and creature effects came to life in one of the most famous film franchises ever.
The tour is mainly wheelchair accessible but they recommend contacting them before you visit. This is especially important if there is large group of disabled people, due to limited space in the cinema. Everywhere is wheelchair accessible except the Hogwarts Bridge and the Knight Bus. The Green Screen area is accessible however, depending on your ability, the Broomstick simulator may not be suitable.
Both manual and powered wheelchairs are suitable. Manual chairs are also free to borrow. For hard-of-hearing, there is a digital guide with subtitles on some of the content. A British Sign Language interpreter is also available but they require advanced booking.
For those sensitive to noise, noise-cancelling headphones are available in the cinema.
Guide dogs are allowed.