The UK is leading the way when it comes to making their attractions accessible. So if you're a family that has to accommodate special needs, it's now getting much easier to plan.
Educational museums and incredible visual attractions
Among the top-rated attractions, and winning awards for its accessibility, is the Science Museum in London, one of the country’s most family-friendly museums. Their exhibits are all designed with interactivity in mind and are pitched at all levels, meaning there's something to keep everyone entertained.
Another highly regarded venue is the Eden Project in beautiful Cornwall. Featuring the world's largest greenhouse and several massive biomes holding plants from around the world, the Eden Project is far more than just a garden centre – it's filled with exciting things for every age to explore.
History lovers will appreciate the thought that's gone into the visitor experience at the SS Great Britain, a passenger steamship that sits in the docks of Bristol Harbour. With audio and BSL guides, the ship is well-designed for visitors with accessibility needs. The same rings true for Stonehenge, the ancient stone circle that sits on Salisbury Plain. Despite its natural setting, it is wheelchair-accessible.
More and more museums are offering alternative ways of interacting with the past, allowing those with visual disabilities the opportunity to touch items on display. The Roman Baths in the beautiful city of Bath allow this, as does the nearby Jane Austen Centre, where you can try on costumes.
Animals, boats and Shakespeare
Children with disabilities will love visiting Longleat Safari Park, where you can get up close and personal with giraffes, tigers, zebras and lions. There's even a safari boat cruise, railway and an adventure castle playground, all with great access.
One of the best days out in London also happens to be perfect for those with access needs. A stroll along the leafy South Bank encompasses great views, stellar art, fantastic restaurants and a dollop of Shakespearean history. All the buildings that sit along this stretch of the Thames – from Festival Hall to Shakespeare's Globe, Tate Modern and the London Eye – are wheelchair-friendly.
If walking is too much though, you can always hop aboard one of the Thames Clipper boats that run between Tower Bridge and the London Eye.
Attractions in Northern Ireland and Wales
Visitors to Belfast in Northern Ireland should head straight for Titanic Belfast, an exciting new exhibition showcasing the story of the fateful ship through special effects and reconstructions. There are integrated hearing loops and a well-designed wheelchair route.
The Wales Tourist Board has useful information on which attractions in Wales are the most wheelchair-friendly. High on the list is the National Roman Legion Museum and Millennium Stadium.Be sure to check the appropriate websites for all attractions prior to visiting. If you have any specific questions relating to accessibility, all venues are happy to provide information over the phone to help you make the most of your visit.