What to do with grandchildren in South East England and London
26th July 2018
It can be difficult for grandparents to entertain the grandchildren during the summer holidays and it is easy to be stumped for ideas.
This is especially true when the grandparents suffer with mobility problems and need walk in showers and baths around the home as it is easy to think that going out for the day is ruled out. However, this is not the case and there are lots of accessible activities grandparents can do with their grandchildren.
This guide focuses on some of the most accessible and best attractions to visit and activities to do with grandchildren in South East England and London.
Bekonscot Model Village & Railway
Location: Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire
Opening times: 10 am to 5.30 pm (10 February to 28 October)
Did you know that with the opening of our New Town in Bekonscot last week, 27 new models have been created and over 50 new figures? https://t.co/MMQyDdz2zV #modelvillage #modelrailway #Beaconsfield #Bucks pic.twitter.com/k2NS6F3iwf— Bekonscot (@bekonscot) July 18, 2018
At Bekonscot Model Village & Railway older people can be a giant in this miniature wonderland where nobody grows up and time seems to stand still.
The attraction was established in 1929 and it depicts rural England in the l930s. The new Education Centre is a great place for grandchildren to learn about the history of Bekonscot and life in the 1930s through interactive exhibits, role play and storytelling.
Visitors can also see a train set that is one of the largest and oldest in the whole of the UK as well as enjoy a number of children rides and go on a sit-on-railway.
The attraction is very accessible for older visitors with mobility problems as there are three wheelchairs available to hire for free and all paths and walkways are easily accessible.
Location: Strood, Kent
Opening times: 10am-5pm (February – November)
Diggerland is a fun-packed digger and construction themed adventure park for children and adults of all ages from 4 to 84 and beyond!
Gentle rides and static machines allow for everyone to get involved. Whether that be enjoying a ride on the Diggerland train, taking in the views of historical Rochester 50 feet in the air from the Skyshuttle, driving a Dumper Truck around a specially designed course, or operating a digger to hook a duck or knock down skittles. There really is something for everyone at Diggerland.
The park is very accessible and a spokesperson for Diggerland Kent, adds, “The Diggerland Kent Park is very accessible with dedicated parking for cars with disabled parking permits. Each Diggerland location has at least one toilet adapted to suit the requirements of wheelchair users or those with disabled needs. Wheelchair ramp access and smooth tarmacked walk ways flow throughout the Diggerland Kent Park.
“Being a compact park, the walk around Diggerland takes no more than 15-20 minutes. With ample machines on site, queuing times are considerably reduced as opposed to many other theme parks, with queue times exceeding no more than 30 minutes for the popular rides. Picnic benches and seating areas are plentiful throughout the Diggerland Kent Park.”
What’s more over-65s can enjoy half price entry, while grandchildren under 90cm can enter free of charge.
Location: Alfriston, East Sussex
Opening times: 10am-5pm (winter) and 10am-6pm (summer)
Widely regarded as the best small zoo in Europe, the award-winning Drusillas Park offers the perfect day out for the family.
With over one hundred different animal species in naturalistic environments, there is plenty to enthral everyone from the youngest to the oldest visitor. Animals include the popular meerkats, sloths, penguins, camels, red pandas, otters, beavers, gibbons, and a range of monkeys to name a few.
Lemurland is a must-visit as visitors can get nose to nose with a friendly group of ring-tailed lemurs, while Lory Landing is a walk-through aviary that allows visitors to get a close-up look of rainbow lorikeets.
Grandchildren will love the Go Wild and Go Bananas play areas, the Eden’s Eye interactive maze and the Amazon Adventure soft play area. There is also a Go Safari attraction, which is a three-ride attraction that is African themed.
The park is also really accessible as Emily Polling, the Marketing & Public Relations Assistant at Drusillas Park, explains.
“Disabled access is of paramount importance to Drusillas Park. All of the animal enclosures are specially designed to allow low-level viewing, so those in a wheelchair won’t miss out on any of the amazing animals. The zoo route is also designed to be step free and wheelchair accessible, so manoeuvring around the Park is as easy as possible.
“Drusillas offers Access Passes to all disabled visitors who need to skip ahead of long queues. These passes can be obtained from the Visitor Services Office upon arrival.
“Additionally Drusillas offers free entry to all disabled carers, upon production of DLA or PIP evidence dated within the last two years.”
Location: Herne Bay, near Canterbury, Kent
Opening times: 10am - 4pm (autumn and spring), 10am - 3pm (winter), 10am - 5pm (summer)
Wildwood is a great day out for all ages with visitors able to see amazing British wildlife from past and present.
The attraction is set in 40 acres of ancient woodland and holds a stunning collection of over 200 British animals in natural enclosures.
Dan Farrow, who is the marketing manager at Wildwood, says the park is a great attraction for children to visit.
“It's a great place for children to learn about animals which used to live in the woodlands of Britain including bears, Arctic foxes, wolves, bison, elk, pine martens and lynx as well as animals that are under threat such as the red squirrel, dormouse and water vole. It's an engaging place to educate the kids and, if they get restless, they can go wild in the amazing adventure play park featuring Kent’s tallest vertical drop slide, zip wire, wild fort, twisting tube slide, pine marten towers and a special area for under-5s.”
Wildwood is also very accessible for all visitors and its flat and wide paths that go through the woodland help those with mobility problems. There are also mobility scooters available to book.
Location: Windsor, Berkshire
Opening times: 9.30am-6pm
LEGOLAND is a great place to spend a day out, or even spend the night at one of the two LEGO themed hotels.
With over 55 rides, live shows, and attractions, there’s something for all the family to enjoy. New for 2018 the Resort has added iconic landmarks made entirely of LEGO bricks to the world-famous Miniland.
Grandparents and grandchildren alike can enjoy the many landmarks from across the world, including new areas such as Australia, China, Russia, India, and the USA. Little ninjas can also enjoy the brand new and exclusive LEGO NIJAGO 4D Movie, or head to the new LEGO Reef where guests can build underwater creatures out of virtual LEGO bricks before casting them off into a digital Reef.
Some of LEGOLAND Windsor Resort’s rides and attractions allow wheelchair users to remain in their chair and these include LEGO Star Wars™ Miniland Model Display, Aero Nomad, The LEGO 4D Movie Theatre, LEGO Reef, Miniland and the Hill Train.
There is also accessible car parking available and a number of wheelchairs available.
Chichester Festival Theatre
Location: Chichester, West Sussex
Opening times: 10am-8pm (Box office opening times)
One of the UK’s flagship theatres, the Chichester Festival Theatre is renowned for its high-quality productions and for boasting one of the country’s most striking playhouses.
With its light and spacious foyers and welcoming café, bars and restaurants, all with lovely views over Oaklands Park, Chichester is one of the country’s most loved and lively theatres.
The annual festival season runs from April to November and during this time period there is usually more than 230,000 people that visit the theatre.
A spokesperson for the theatre says they try to make the venue as accessible as possible, “We want everyone to be able to access and enjoy live entertainment, drama, music and dance. We are committed to ensuring that everyone’s needs are met in order to enjoy the best possible experience.”
Natural History Museum
Opening times: 10am-5.50pm
The Natural History Museum is undoubtedly a world-class visitor attraction as well as being a leading science research centre.
The museum has a huge collection of over 80 million specimens that span billions of years, which explains why more than five million people visit annually.
The exhibitions cover a variety of themes including the world’s oceans, human evolution, space and dinosaurs to name just a few.
The Natural History Museum is also easy to get around for visitors with mobility problems as there are wheelchairs available to borrow for free, lifts to all floors, accessible toilets and assistance dogs are also allowed in.
READ ALSO: Tips and advice for grandparents
Image credits: LEGOLAND Windsor, Philip Vile, Diliff.
This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.