6 Reasons Why England is the Perfect Destination for Disabled Travellers
Travelling with a disability takes extra preparation and planning, especially when you’re deciding where to go.
If you still haven’t picked out a destination, or you’re not sure where to start, then why not make a trip to England? You’ll be spoilt for things to see and do, with beautiful countryside, craggy coastlines, and historic towns and cities found all over this tiny island nation. Disabled access has improved rapidly over the last few years, so here are six reasons why it’s well worth looking into.
- People are happy to accommodate your needs
The most important thing is that you have an enjoyable trip, so don’t hesitate to let staff know what your disability and requirements are before you go somewhere — they’ll be happy to help. Book in advance, whether you’re getting tickets for an attraction or a table at a restaurant, and staff will be able to tailor your visit accordingly.
In terms of accommodation, there are options up and down the country, including disabled-friendly cottages with level access, roll-in wet rooms, lowered surfaces, and hoists.
- Lifts and ramps are commonplace
These days, it’s rare for shops, museums and other attractions not to have access in the form of lifts and ramps. Extra care is taken to ensure that wheelchair users have space to enter a building via automatic doors and make their way round without any trouble.
- Public transport is accessible
Trains and buses have dedicated seats for disabled travellers, including space for wheelchairs.
Most train and tube stations have lifts from platform to platform, while buses have ramps and can be lowered to pavement level so those with reduced mobility can board with ease.
Click here for a guide to accessible transport in London.
- You can take advantage of special events
Braille maps, induction loops, and guide dog access are standard now, but it’s becoming the norm to have dedicated days or times for disabled visitors to enjoy attractions in a more comfortable environment, too.
For example, The Deep, an aquarium in Hull, has quiet days when the light and sound levels are adjusted to accommodate those with sensory conditions, and it regularly puts on presentations in British Sign Language. Meanwhile, the Science Museum has regular events for visitors with Autism, shutting the museum to the general public so guests can enjoy the exhibits.
- You can see what’s on stage
There are always theatre productions happening in England, from local drama group shows to top West End shows. Many venues, especially those in London, have assisted performances, for disabled patrons, which are a must if you enjoy visiting the theatre.
Examples of assisted performances:
- Audio described performances: A description of the performance is relayed to patrons with sight problems via a personal headset.
- Captioned performances: The words the actor(s) are saying/singing are displayed on a screen to help those who are deaf or have hearing loss understand the production.
- Sign language interpreted performances: A British Sign Language interpreter stands on the side of the stage to sign the performance for those who are deaf or hard of hearing.
- Relaxed performance: A more relaxed performance of a production designed for people with learning disabilities or conditions like Autism.
England is a great place to see and for the most part relatively easy to get around in for the disabled. Have you been lucky enough to visit?