Accessible Summer Day Trips for the Family
If you or someone you care for has additional access needs, planning a fun day out can be a stressful job. To make this easier, we’ve compiled some of our favourite accessible activities for you to enjoy this summer. Each of our picks has specific measures in place to accommodate individuals with additional needs.
We also understand that transport can be an area of concern, that's why we support the Motability Scheme. The Motability Scheme takes away some of these worries, by allowing disabled individuals the opportunity to exchange a qualifying mobility allowance for for a brand-new car every three years.
Read on for our top accessible UK day trips.
The Alnwick Garden, Alnwick
The serene Alnwick Garden offers visitors a 12 acres of garden space, with orchards, water fountains and a large treehouse to explore.
The Garden has been designed to be accessible for all, with many wheelchair accessible routes - including along the rope bridges which lead to the famous Treehouse Restaurant. Plus, visitors will find plenty of resting spots around the Garden, and if you’d like to visit during a less popular time, the staff will be able to recommend quieter periods, so you can enjoy a your trip at your own pace.
Bursting with rides, activities and large LEGO models, Legoland is the perfect day trip for all the family. Although a theme park could sound pretty overwhelming, especially when planning a trip out for someone with additional needs, Legoland have made a number of excellent accommodations to ensure everyone can enjoy the experience.
Child-friendly rides offer a calmer experience than your usual theme park rollercoasters, plus a sensory room is available for autistic visitors, which provides a quiet space should guests need a moment away from the excitement outside. Legoland is currently the only theme park in the UK to offer a dedicated sensory environment.
The Eden Project, Cornwall
The huge biomes at the Eden Project house an array of different environmental climates, the largest rainforest in captivity and some eye-catching plants. Various project exhibitions serve as an engaging way to educate visitors on the ways in which humans can work together with nature, to deliver a more sustainable future.
Free shuttle buses and a Land Train which accommodate wheelchairs are in operation to help visitors get around the site, and manual and powered wheelchairs are available to hire at no additional cost. Plus, at various times (particularly during school holidays), the Eden Project opens up early to allow individuals with additional needs to attend various exhibits without the crowds.
Cadbury World, Birmingham
Visitors to Cadbury World are able to take part in an interactive, self-guided tour on how confectionary is made an learn the story behind the Cadbury brand.
Many accessibility considerations have been made here to allow everyone the opportunity to enjoy the attraction. These include wheelchair access, audio description, easy to read guides and tactile features which allow visually impaired visitors the chance to feel props to get a true sensory experience.
Brighton Beach, Brighton
Known for its lively culture, Brighton is a much-loved seaside city which offers a range of activities for all the family. If you’re worried about the pebbles on the beach, you can hire special all-terrain beach wheelchairs for free, so disabled tourists can get as close to the shore as they like. Brighton beach has also been recognised in the Visit England Access for All Guide.
Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Castle is one of the UK’s most exciting historic sites. Learn all about Scotland’s rich history and enjoy spectacular views of the city from the top of Castle Rock.
A common issue with old buildings is that it isn't always possible to make certain areas wheelchair accessible. However Edinburgh Castle have made a number of alternative wheelchair routes which allow access to certain rooms, which once would have only been accessible on foot. A mobility vehicle is available to take individuals who are unable to manage the steep slopes to the top of the castle grounds. Plus, for those with impaired vision, there are models of many of the exhibits to allow a sensory experience through touch.
Various locations across the Lake District
Whilst the dramatic landscapes of the Lake District may make you wonder whether it would really make for an accessible day out, there are actually more than 40 breathtakingly scenic routes without stiles (coined ‘Miles Without Stiles’). These are particularly suitable for wheelchair users, individuals with visual impairments or people who find walking a challenge, for example.
Restoration work along the Keswick to Threlkeld Railway path has recently been completed, meaning gradients and surfaces are now designed for all levels of mobility. The trail weaves over the River Greta on some of the original Victorian railway bridges, and there’s an opportunity for wildlife spotting along the way. Before you set off, head to the Lake District National Park Authority website to plan your trip and check key route information in advance.
We hope this guide has provided some inspiration for your next accessible summer day out - no matter what your access requirements.
If you, or someone you care for has a disability, you could be eligible to join the 600,000 people who have already found everyday freedom through the Motability Scheme. If you’d like more information, and to check your eligibility, simply submit an enquiry online, pop into your local dealer, or call us on 0344 234 8348.