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Britain’s most unique accessible attractions

4th June 2018

From Cadbury World and Blenheim Palace to the Museum of Witchcraft in Cornwall, Britain is home to a variety of unique attractions that are also accessible to those with limited mobility. People with mobility issues who struggle to get around their own home and need walk in baths and showers to aid them can be put off going out on day trips or visiting certain attractions as they feel they are not accessible. This guide caters to those looking for something a little different on their holiday as the most unique accessible attractions are revealed.

Blenheim Palace

Opening hours: Daily from 09:00am – 6:30pm (the palace opens from 10:30am – 5:30pm)

Home of the 12th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, Blenheim Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that boasts over 300 years of history, more than 2,000 acres of landscaped parkland and formal gardens, and a wealth of events, tours and exhibitions throughout the year.

Despite its age, this beautiful palace is also really accessible, as a spokesperson for Blenheim Palace explains: “We are committed to providing an accessible attraction, and we strive to ensure that visitors with disabilities can enjoy as much of our magnificent World Heritage Site as possible. Blue Badge holders and carers for Blue Badge holders are admitted free. We also have a number of wheelchair and buggy access points and dedicated parking areas for Blue Badge holders.

“Some of the large events at the palace do require us to make changes to the accessible routes, but we always strive to continue to cater for those with access needs during these times.

“A touch tour of the palace is available for the visually impaired. You will be assigned a dedicated guide who will help you to appreciate our collection of priceless artefacts, as well as giving you a flavour of Blenheim Palace's long and diverse history.”

Cadbury World

Opening hours: Most days open from 10:00am – 3:00pm or 9:30am – 4:00pm

Cadbury World is a day out guaranteed to entertain all ages and all visitors with mobility issues. No matter the weather Cadbury World’s chocolatey zones are open to explore, from the 4D Chocolate Adventure with wheelchair spaces – an interactive cinema experience complete with motion seats where guests can enjoy a ride on the Crunchie Rollercoaster – through to watching the talented chocolatiers in the Chocolate Making Zone complete with a pot of delicious melted Cadbury Dairy Milk for tasting.

Guide dogs are allowed throughout the attraction except in production areas where staff will be able to offer additional assistance. The Cadbury café is a must-visit as visitors can enjoy a variety of tasty treats. The World’s Biggest Cadbury Shop is the place to pick up unique souvenirs or simply stock up on classic Cadbury favourites.

Talking about accessibility at the attraction, Gerrard Baldwin, general manager at Cadbury World, says: “We want to create moments of pleasure for all our visitors and lasting memories of a wonderful day out. With this in mind, Cadbury World visitor safety and enjoyment is paramount and central to how we operate. We strive to offer an inclusive experience for everybody and regularly carry out reviews and risk assessments to ensure the expected high standards are maintained.”

Cadbury World has a number of facilities available to those with mobility problems including a lift linking the main and upper floors, low level service desks and a Changing Places facility with hoist, height adjustable changing bench, sink and centrally placed toilet to name just a few. Visitors with any special requirements should contact Cadbury World before their trip.

Grant Museum of Zoology

Opening hours: Mon – Sat, 1:00pm – 5:00pm. Closed around Easter and Christmas

The Grant Museum of Zoology boasts one of the oldest natural history collections in the UK and is home to 68,000 zoological specimens. Visitors will get a unique window on the entire animal kingdom as the collection includes dodo bones, Australia’s Tasmanian tigers and the world’s rarest skeleton, the quagga.

Explore the collection for free and take part in the museum’s organised events and special exhibitions and older people visiting with grandchildren can join in on free learning and family activities throughout the year. These events and displays draw from University College London’s cutting-edge research today, revealing more about the specimens in the collection.

Talking about the accessibility of the museum, Jack Ashby, the museum manager at the Grant Museum of Zoology, says: “The Grant Museum welcomes people with different needs and from all backgrounds. Access to the museum is step-free, toilets are adapted for wheelchair users and staff are on hand to answer any questions you might have. Please get in touch if you need more information to plan your visit and we hope to see you soon.”

Museum of Witchcraft

Opening hours: Open daily until October 31st 2018 from Monday to Saturday 10:30am – 6:00pm (last entry 5:00pm) Sunday from 11:30am – 6:00pm (last entry 5:00pm)

Located in the beautiful village of Boscastle on the North Cornwall coast, the Museum of Witchcraft is home to the world's oldest and largest collection of items relating to witchcraft, magic and the occult.

Visitors can look at nearly 4,000 objects in 25 permanent displays covering topics such as herbs and healing, spells and charms, protection and cursing. There are special displays on the Ouija board and visitors can even find out about real witches practising their craft today.

The Museum is one of Cornwall's most popular museums and those with mobility problems do not have to miss out. Judith Hewitt, the Museum Manager, says: “The majority of the museum (two thirds) is on the ground floor and is fully accessible. We have a stair lift which users with mobility issues can use to access the upper gallery.

“People who are unable to access both floors due to mobility are allowed free entry to the museum. A large print guide is available for visually impaired people. An audio guide will be available soon.

“The museum is a flat five-minute walk from the main car park in Boscastle. There is an area in front of the museum where people can be dropped off by arrangement. Touch tours can also be arranged by prior appointment.”

Royal Yacht Britannia

Opening hours: 10:00am-3:30pm (November – March), 9:30am – 4:30pm (April – September), 9:30am-4:00pm (October)

The Royal Yacht Britannia is regarded as Scotland's Best Attraction by Visit Scotland and this can in part be put down to the attraction’s incredible history. The Royal Yacht Britannia was home to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family for over 40 years, sailing over 1,000,000 miles around the world. Now berthed in Edinburgh, you can follow in the footsteps of Royalty to discover the heart and soul of this most special of Royal residences.

The attraction is fully accessible for wheelchair users and those with mobility issues as there are ramps to most levels, handrails on all stairs and accessible toilets available. Visitors that are driving can benefit from 1,600 free parking spaces, including dedicated disabled parking spaces on all levels.

Titanic Belfast

Opening hours: 9:00am -6:00pm (April – May and in September), 9:00am -7:00pm (June – July), 9:00am -8:00pm (August), 10:00am -5:00pm (October – March)

The Titanic Belfast tells the story of the Titanic, from her conception in Belfast in the early 1900s, through her construction and launch, to her famous maiden voyage and tragic end. Located beside the Titanic Slipways, the Harland and Wolff Drawing Offices and Hamilton Graving Dock – the very place where the Titanic was designed, built and launched in 1912.

This unique attraction is very accessible as Titanic Belfast’s Chief Executive, Judith Owens, says: “At Titanic Belfast, we are very proud to be consistently recognised as industry leaders on a local, national and international level for our accessibility standards. We aim to ensure that our visitors and employees access requirements are not only fully met but exceeded.”

Leadenhall Market

Opening hours: Public areas are open 24 hours a day seven days a week

Dating back to the 14th century, the Leadenhall Market is situated in what was the centre of Roman London. The former meat, poultry and game market is now home to boutique retailers, restaurants and cafés and it has even featured in Harry Potter.

The market was used as Diagon Alley in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Potterheads out there will notice that the entrance to the wizard’s pub, the Leaky Cauldron, is located at an opticians in Bull’s Head Passage in the market.

All public areas in the market are fully accessible and visitors in London for the weekend can easily visit the Leadenhall Market, Tower Bridge and the Monument all in a morning or afternoon.

Derwent Pencil Museum

Opening hours: 9:30am -5:00pm (Mon – Sun)

The Derwent Pencil Museum in Keswick is the home of the first pencil, and now visitors can go on a journey of graphite and pencil discovery from its humble beginnings as a cottage industry, to modern day production. Restored machinery, words and photographs will help visitors to trace the history of the pencil.

The museum has displays on secret World War II pencils with hidden maps, one of the largest colour pencils in the world (measuring 8 metres in all), miniature pencil sculptures, the Queen’s diamond jubilee pencil and lots of other exhibitions.

The museum is fully accessible for wheelchair users and visitors with mobility problems and those who are getting peckish should head to the coffee shop at the museum for light lunches and cakes which have all been sourced locally.

Image Credits: Blenheim Palace, Cadbury World, © UCL Grant Museum of Zoology / Matt Clayton, notree_lb / Royal Yacht Britannia, Altug Karakoc.

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.