Great accessible UK weekend breaks: Cardiff
23rd January 2018
This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.
Wales’ capital city offers a startling range of accessible attractions, restaurants, and activities to visitors and they are all within a short distance of one another.
Cardiff really is a great destination for visitors with limited mobility and who need aids such as walk in showers for their home as many of its attractions are accessible to all.
Find out here about the accessible tours, attractions and restaurants you can put in your itinerary for a weekend break in Cardiff.
Best accessible attractions to visit
There are so many attractions to visit in Cardiff and here are some of the most accessible attractions visitors just can’t miss during a visit to the city.
One of the largest arts centres in Europe, Chapter promotes international art, live performance and film alongside a dynamic social space.
Chapter was born in a period of great transformation and was one of the first arts centres in the UK. It has brought together different art forms under one roof, centred on an open, accessible space.
Around 800,000 people visit the art centre every year and those with mobility problems are able to enjoy the fully-accessible venue. There are automatic doors, step free entrances, lifts and stair lifts in the two cinemas.
Dyffryn Gardens are a great example of magnificent Edwardian gardens and across 55 acres they feature a collection of intimate garden rooms such as a rose garden Pompeian garden and several ponds.
Within the gardens, which were designed by landscape architect Thomas Mawson in 1906, is a grand Victorian mansion that has parts of its ground and first floors restored.
Visitors with mobility problems can borrow wheelchairs and mobility scooters free of charge from the visitor centre, but it is advised to book the scooters and wheelchairs in advance. There is also a volunteer golf buggy available most days that will take visitors around the gardens and to the house.
For those who are able and choose to walk around can do so on level and accessible routes around the gardens, while the first floor of the house can be explored via a lift.
The Cardiff Castle is certainly the city’s historic heart and is one of Wales’ leading heritage attractions.
The fairy tale towers and walls make-up the 2,000 years of history and during a visit to the castle there are a few attractions that are a must see. The wartime shelters, the Roman Wall, the Norman Keep and the Clock Tower are just a few things to see.
The castle offers concession tickets for disabled visitors and carers are allowed into the attraction free-of-charge.
Best restaurants in Cardiff
Cardiff is a foodie’s heaven and there’s lots of great restaurants for people to eat at. Here we take a look at some of the best and most accessible eateries in the city.
Moksh is a well-respected restaurant that while remaining authentic to Indian cuisine, redefines its boundaries through Chef Stephen Gomes’ imagination.
Moksh, which was the first Indian restaurant to be awarded an AA Rosette, uses local ingredients and the restaurant’s dishes also draw on the ancient Indian Ayurvedic system, a 5000 year old system of natural healing and cleansing that explores how to eat for optimum balance.
Chef Stephen Gomes, says, “While my culinary style represents an evolution in Indian food, authenticity is the foundation of our menu, staying true to my travels through the sub-continent. I look to create a dining experience that will not easily be forgotten, and believe that with the right infusion of flavours food could, and should be magical, and even more importantly fun… I believe if you cook from the heart, the rest will follow.”
The restaurant is wheelchair accessible and there is a small ramp available to use for the main entrance. The toilets are also wheelchair accessible.
Laguna Kitchen and Bar
Kacie, the blogger behind The Rare Welsh Bit, recommends dining at the Laguna Kitchen and Bar at the Park Plaza Hotel.
She says, “If you’d prefer to stay in the heart of the city centre, consider Park Plaza Hotel on Greyfriars Road. This four-star hotel has an award-winning restaurant, Laguna Kitchen and Bar, serving quality Welsh and continental food and drink to impeccable standards. The hotel is well-known for its afternoon teas and with a Gentlemen’s Afternoon Tea, Hendrick’s Afternoon Tea and Traditional Afternoon Tea to choose from, there’s something to suit all tastes.”
The restaurant has previously won Restaurant of the Year in the South Wales Echo Food and Drink Awards and is renowned for serving classic British cuisine with a twist of Welsh character.
There are a number of menus diners can choose from including an a la carte menu, a lunch menu and a chef’s table tasting menu.
The restaurant is very accessible for those with mobility problems as visitors have plenty of space to manoeuvre.
Mercure Cardiff Holland House Hotel restaurant
Another hotel restaurant that is well-known for serving up great food is the Mercure Cardiff Holland House Hotel restaurant.
The restaurant serves contemporary British cuisine that include quality steaks and fresh seafood. The hotel and restaurant is also very accessible as well.
The Rare Welsh Bit’s Kacie has visited the Mercure Cardiff Holland House Hotel before and explains the accessibility of it in an article.
She says, “The four-star Mercure Cardiff Holland House Hotel is a great place to stay for anyone who needs a little help getting around, with wheelchair accessibility, accessible bathrooms and reduced mobility features. Located on Newport Road, the hotel is around a 5-10 minute walk from the city centre and boasts a highly rated restaurant and well-stocked bar, swimming pool, spa, gym, sauna and Jacuzzi, free Wi Fi, laundry services and more.”
Best accessible tours to go on
There are lots of accessible tours available in Cardiff and here are some of the best ones on offer to visitors.
Cardiff Bay Tours
Cardiff Bay Tours offer lots of accessible tours allowing people to visit and experience Cardiff Bay and its attractions.
There are lots of tours available through Cardiff Bay Tours such as a road train tour that allows you to see attractions such as the Pierhead Building, Torchwood & Dr. Who Locations, Wales Millennium Centre and panoramic views across the Bristol Channel to Flat Holm and Steep Holm Islands and the Somerset/North Devon Coast.
There are also boat tours around Cardiff Bay on offer that like the road train tours allow those with mobility problems put their feet up whilst taking in some great views.
City Sightseeing Cardiff
City Sightseeing Cardiff have a hop-on-hop-off bus that allows visitors with mobility problems to explore the city and all its attractions.
The tour allows people to sit back and relax as they enjoy a full loop, or get off at various stops to explore the area further.
There are 11 stops in total and the full loop takes around 55 minutes. Tours start from 10am and run until 3pm.
Where When Wales tours
Where When Wales Tours are an independent family-run business that offer day tours to visitors to South Wales.
Tours take no more than 15 passengers and their itineraries are planned to travel along the most scenic routes.
From Cardiff visitors can head to the Brecon Beacons National Park, Swansea and the Gower Coast as well as Wye Valley.
There are lots of day tours available and all of them can cater for visitors with mobility problems.
Watch an event at the Principality Stadium
Home of the Welsh Rugby team and a major venue for other top sporting events and concerts, the Principality Stadium should certainly be on a Cardiff itinerary list.
There are lots of stadium tours available as well and visitors can explore the facets and features that make the Principality Stadium one of the most impressive icons of modern Wales.
Visitors can find out lots of information about the pitch and the fully retractable roof, which covers the entire playing surface and creates one of the world’s largest indoor arenas.
Access to the Principality Stadium is across level plazas with hardly any steps and ramps. All toilet facilities are accessible, there are disabled car parking spaces available and refreshment facilities are easily accessible for those who struggle to walk long distances.
Visit the National Museum
The National Museum offers visitors a great introduction to Cardiff as it is home to Wales' national art, natural history, archaeology and geology collections.
The art collection is regarded as one of the finest in Europe as visitors can see 500 years of paintings, drawings, sculptures, silver and ceramics.
The Natural History galleries is now home to the new Marine gallery, which is home to the largest Leatherback Turtle, the skeleton of a Humpback Whale, information about the Big Bang theory and the formation of Wales.
There are also regular events and programmes taking place throughout the year. Visitors can also enjoy a tour.
Image Credit: Chapter, Dyffryn Gardens, Moksh.