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Great accessible UK weekend breaks: Middlesbrough

17th April 2020

Due to current concerns about the Coronavirus outbreak, it’s important that everyone follows government guidelines regarding unnecessary travel and advice about keeping safe. Therefore, this article should only be used as a tool to plan a future trip to Middlesbrough when the lockdown restrictions have been lifted.

With its culture, spirit and attractions, Middlesbrough has all the elements of a northern city despite its formal status as a town. It is the commercial mecca of the Tees Valley region and is home to all the top high street shops, designer boutiques, restaurants and bars.

The town has become a popular place to visit and now that the town centre is accessible for wheelchair users and those with mobility problems, it is easier to get around. So, people who need the latest at home walk in baths, walking aids or are wheelchair users, keep reading to uncover the top places you can visit during a weekend break in this guide.

How to get to Middlesbrough

Travelling to Middlesbrough by road

The A19 and A66 are the major road routes into Middlesbrough from the north and the A1 from the south.

Travelling to Middlesbrough by rail

Located in the historic quarter of the town, the Middlesbrough Railway Station connects to the whole of the UK. There are direct trains to Manchester, while Edinburgh and other major cities can be reached via connecting trains at Darlington, but plans are afoot for direct trains to London and other major cities.

Travelling to Middlesbrough by air

The Teesside International Airport is just 30 minutes away from the town centre and it runs regular domestic flights as well as some international flights.

Best accessible attractions to visit

Middlesbrough is home to a number of great attractions and here are three accessible places you can visit over the course of a weekend.

Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art

Part of Teesside University, the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art describes itself as a place that connects art, people and ideas.

A spokesperson from the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, said: “We work with communities to address current issues within politics, economics and culture. Our programmes encompass urgent themes such as climate change, migration, inequality, ageing and wellbeing.”

There are changing exhibitions, collection displays, learning activities, projects and community-focused initiatives that involve artists from across the Tees Valley, nationally and internationally as well as the general public.

The attraction is accessible to visitors with mobility problems and it provides wheelchairs, hearing loop, large print, ear defenders and radar keys. All the spaces are wheelchair accessible and there are lifts to all floors.

Captain Cook Birthplace Museum

Opened back in 1978, the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum is located in a building close to the granite urn marking, the site of Cook’s birthplace cottage in Stewart Park, Marton, Middlesbrough.

The museum is popular with adults and children as it tells the story of one of the most renowned navigators and mariners in the world. There are exhibitions, galleries, events and activities that bring Captain Cook’s adventures to life.

The museum houses around 1,500 artefacts from all over the world including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, East Asia and Antarctica. Some of the most famous collections are Aboriginal artefacts that were collected in the early 1900s by Dr Weatherill of Stokesley.

The museum is an accessible attraction as it boasts full disabled access throughout its facilities which include the café, shop, the Walkabout Gallery, Cabinet of Curiosities and the Mess Deck (an area for activities and events).

Newham Grange Farm

Newham Grange Farm is regarded as one of the best family attractions around Middlesbrough. The animals you can see during a visit here include sheep, cows, pigs, rabbits, ponies, donkeys, goats and poultry.

There is a petting area where visitors can get up close to some of these animals and if you’re visiting with small children they can ride on a mini tractor. There’s also a willow maze that is accessible to people with mobility issues, but some wheelchair users may find sections a bit tight to get around.

The attraction is a working farm but it has made every effort to make the site as accessible as possible to visitors with mobility issues. The on-site car park has designated bays for Blue Badge Holders, the majority of paths around the farm are wheelchair accessible, there are accessible toilets, visitors with a disability and one carer are entitled to a concession ticket, counters in the shop are accessible for wheelchair users and an effort has been made to make all viewing platforms for the animals accessible.  

Best restaurants in Middlesbrough

There are several world-class restaurants serving a variety of foods from across the globe and here are some accessible eateries you can visit.

The Brierley at Acklam Hall

Seen as one of the best restaurants in Middlesbrough and the North East of England, The Brierley at Acklam Hall is perfect for a quick bite to eat or an elegant three-course dining experience.

The restaurant offers a renowned menu, but for diners heading there for the first time there is one dish they recommend you try: “Our twice-baked cheese soufflé has been on the menu since we opened in 2016 and has become a firm favourite with our guests.”

The restaurant is very accessible to diners with mobility aids as the main dining areas for afternoon tea, lunches and dinners are all on the ground floor. There are also two private dining rooms on the ground floor for small functions and gatherings.

If any guests have trouble walking from the car park to the restaurant, the restaurant has the ability to remove the bollards to the front of the building allowing guests to drive right up to the front door upon request.

The Prickly Pear Bistro


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The Prickly Pear Bistro is a ‘Spanish Courtyard-Esque’ venue that oozes a certain rustic charm and stylish interior.

It is highly recommended by Olivia McHale, who runs the lifestyle blog The Northernist. She said: “Dubbed ‘a hidden gem’, The Prickly Pear Bistro can be found on the ground floor of The TAD Centre, an old office building in Berwick Hills, Middlesbrough. It’s an unusual spot for a restaurant, but with a free car park just outside, a stop on the 9 bus route and not a stair to climb, it’s super easy to get to. The tables are also perfectly spaced for wheelchairs and mobility scooters to move between, so it’s perfect for absolutely everyone.

“The menu boasts Asian-inspired flavours, with adventurous hanging kebabs and crowd favourites like crispy gyozas and chicken shawarma - but that’s not all! There’s also brunch, the Sunday roasts and a parmo menu that lists over 35 varieties of the Boro signature dish. If you want my recommendation, you’ve got to try the Meze Parmo out! Go along, be in awe of the garden-style décor and enjoy their incredible food!”

Six Medals Pub

The Six Medals Pub not only offers good food and drink, but it has fantastic views of both the Transporter Bridge and the Temenos sculpture in Middlesbrough.

The family pub is adjacent to the Riverside Stadium, offering a wide range of cask ales and a great wine selection. The food menu also serves up some great dishes you can try during your visit. From a classic British carvery to legendary pub favourites, the food is fresh, hot, and served daily.

The pub is popular with families as there is an indoor toddler zone and an outdoor play area that children can enjoy while the adults can relax with a hot drink and some cake.

The pub is also accessible to those with mobility problems with nearby car parking available, accessible toilets and lots of inside space for wheelchair users to manoeuvre around. There’s also a flat, paved area outside where diners can stop and enjoy a drink or some food.

Other activities

Visit the Riverside Stadium

The Riverside Stadium is one of the top attractions in the town and is home to Middlesbrough Football Club.

Built in only 32 weeks, the stadium was the first venue to be designed and constructed to comply with the Taylor Report. It opened in 1995 and in 2013 its capacity grew to 34,742. It now hosts music concerts and other events throughout the year.

The stadium is accessible so visitors who are going on a stadium tour or want to watch a match in the future can visit knowing they will be able to get around okay. There are nine accessible entrances around the stadium, 221 spaces for wheelchair users inside the stadium and there are 19 accessible toilets situated around the Riverside Stadium.

Visit the White Water Centre


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Tees Barrage International White Water Centre is one of the top places to visit if you are looking for some outdoor adventure. Despite the nature of the activities on offer, the centre provides a completely accessible and compliant service for all of its customers.

The attraction has watersport facilities and activities on offer to visitors and the different activities you can enjoy including bell boating, paddlesports, raft building, powerboat trips, family rafting and white water rafting.

There’s also the UK’s largest climbing adventure course and on top of this, the attraction is surrounded by thriving wildlife for the perfect setting to take photos and explore.

The centre says: “Tees Active and Tees Barrage recognise its responsibilities in providing services at our facilities which are available and accessible to all and welcomes all disabled people irrespective of physical, intellectual or sensory ability to participate in their chosen activity.”

If you or a family member have mobility problems, then you can take a look at the different walk in bathtubs and stairlifts that are available, take a look today!

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only and are up to date as of the time of publishing