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What to do with grandchildren in the East of England

5th June 2019

The east of England is a beautiful part of the country with expansive wetlands, a network of lakes and lots of impressive towns and cities. It is, therefore, little surprise that the region is a popular place to visit.

With the summer holidays fast approaching, it is the perfect opportunity for grandparents to take their grandchildren out for the day in the East of England. This guide takes a look at the best accessible attractions older people with mobility problems can visit.

So, people who need mobility aids like walk in showers in the home don’t have to worry about visiting an attraction with their grandchildren that isn’t accessible.

Clacton Pier

Location: Clacton-on-Sea

Website: https://www.clactonpier.co.uk/

Opening Times: 9:30 am-10 pm

Best for: Entertainment lovers

There is so much to explore at the pier and with it being 6.5 acres in size, it is the largest leisure pier in Europe!

Clacton Pier prides itself on offering fun for all ages and great value for money. It is all about making happy memories with youngsters and bringing back memories from the past for the older generation.

Nigel Brown, the communications manager, said: “Clacton Pier prides itself on offering fun for all ages and great value for money. It is all about making happy memories with youngsters and bringing back memories from the past for the older generation.

“We have a large number of attractions including 17 rides, a new £4 million development – with soft play, 18-hole adventure golf, and Dockside Dodgems - the Lanes Bowling, a Seaquarium, recently expanded amusement arcade, Boardwalk Bar and Grill, and other food and drink outlets and much, much more.

“There is also an end of the pier circus throughout the Whitsun school holidays and the whole of the summer school holidays, with two performances (no animals) twice daily. There are also seven free firework displays throughout the year.”

In its 148-year history, the pier has undergone renovations to make it as accessible for visitors with mobility problems and the attraction does all it can to accommodate for visitors. The pier is all on one level (step-free) with wheelchair access/ramps to the bars, restaurants, bowling and family entertainment centres.

Roarr Dinosaur Adventure

Location: Lenwade, Norfolk

Website: https://www.roarrdinosauradventure.co.uk/

Opening Times: 9.30am-5pm

Best for: Budding dinosaur archaeologists

This family-owned attraction is located in an 85-acre park and is open all year round apart from Christmas and Boxing Day.

The popular attraction offers grandparents and their grandchildren lots of fun of a Jurassic nature with its animatronic dinosaurs, the Dippy’s Splash Zone, Predator High Ropes, Secret Animal Garden and Dinomite, which is the largest indoor play area in Norfolk, all a hit with visitors.

The deer safari is a nice relaxing ride, while the Dinosaur Trail, Lost World A-mazing Adventure, Pterodactyl Treehouse, Stone Age Road Race indoor race circuit and X-tinction fossil dig are all informative and fun attractions.

Surfaces are either tarmac or crushed and rolled stone and are therefore wheelchair accessible. There are also manual wheelchairs and mobility scooters available to hire on request, while a lift can take visitors to the first floor at the Dinomite.

Wheelchair users can also take advantage of the disabled parking on offer as these are located close-by to the entrance of the attraction.

Promenade Park

Location: Maldon, Essex

Website: https://www.maldon.gov.uk/site/

Opening Times: 24 hours

Best for: Adventurers

This 100-year-old Edwardian Promenade park is a great place for grandparents to take their grandchildren as there is so much to do and it is very accessible.

The park receives over 300,000 visitors a year and as well as offering thrill-seeking attractions, there are also great walks and places that visitors can sit and take in the beautiful countryside.

Jack Ellum, the Tourism and Events Manager, at Maldon District Council says the Promenade Park is a great destination for kids out with the grandparents.

“Promenade Park is a great destination for people of all ages, packed full of fun activities for all the family. The Maldon Splash Park and Maldon Beach Huts make a great base to relax while being close to the fantastic play equipment and the always popular play Galleon. There is also Pirates Bay Adventure Golf, the Maldon Museum in the park and a whole range of seasonal actives, events and attractions. The park is located next to the tidal River Blackwater which makes it a beautiful place for a walk or picnic.”

The park has plenty of parking including disabled bays and hard surface paths that enable access to visitors with mobility problems throughout the attraction.

Visitors with reduced mobility or using wheelchairs will enjoy the level hard surface path that loops the large ornamental lake, with two large fountains. The park is well served with toilets, including disabled toilets and a Changing Places toilet.

Shepreth Wildlife Park

Location: Shepreth, Hertfordshire

Website: https://sheprethwildlifepark.co.uk/

Opening Times: 10am-5.30pm

Best for: Animal lovers

Opened to the public in 1984, the Shepreth Wildlife Park is now a safe haven for injured and orphaned animals and is now one of East Anglia’s major attractions.

There are more than 100 species to see and meet and grandchildren and adults alike will be fascinated with the keeper talks and demonstrations that take place at the park. As well as the animals, there are in and outdoor play zones, warm tropical exhibits and animal encounter sessions that visitors can enjoy.

Some of the experiences visitors can enjoy are a ‘Keeper Day’, a once in a lifetime chance to shadow an experienced member of the team and the ‘Discovery Experience’ which allows visitors to face their fears and expand their knowledge in a hands-on encounter.

The park is also very accessible to visitors with mobility issues as most of the paths are tarmacked and there are disabled toilets and accessible entrances throughout the park. Viewing platforms have lower walls for visitors in wheelchairs to watch the animals, while the two cafeterias and the Discovery Zone are accessible too.

Speaking to us about what visitors can expect to see, a spokesperson said: “As members of BIAZA, the wildlife park is progressively and actively committed to its animals and conservation, and to educating the next generation of conservationists.”

Mountfitchet Castle

Location: Stansted, Essex

Website: https://mountfitchetcastle.com/

Opening Times: 10am-5pm

Best for: History enthusiasts

The castle picturesquely overlooks the Stort Valley and is located in a beautiful are in Essex. It is steeped in history as it was a former Iron Age hill fort, a Roman signals fort and later a Saxon and Viking settlement before being attacked in 1066 by William the Conqueror.

Sabina, who runs the lifestyle and family blog Mummy Matters, talks about how child-friendly and accessible the castle is: “It's easily accessible and there are lots of things to look at, the grandparents will love the historical aspect and the children will love exploring. The bonus is the Toy Museum at the end where grandparents can get nostalgic about old toys and children can be in awe of so many toys.”

Visitors will be amazed by the reconstructed castle and village, Norman Motte, the roaming animals and different buildings that can be explored.

Cambridge Science Centre

Location: Cambridge

Website: http://www.cambridgesciencecentre.org/

Opening Times: 10:30am-5pm (Half term and Saturday & Sundays)

Best for: Science lovers

There are lots of experiences that can be had at the Cambridge Science Centre including workshops and inspirational shows visitors can enjoy.

There are more than 30 hand’s on exhibits that visitors can delve into and this centre is regarded by many as a must-do for families in the area.

The area is highly accessible for people with mobility issues with disabled toilets on offer throughout the centre and accessible parking spaces in front of the centre, but these are subject to availability.

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