I think taking my children on days out is important. It exposes them to new ideas, and they can have fun. Plus, it allows us to spend quality time together as a family. With a baby in a pushchair, though, finding accessible places to visit is important. It must be even more difficult when a member of your family is disabled. Wheelchair users need accessibility ramps, while visually impaired people might need Braille guides. Luckily, there are many places where you can have an accessible day out with the whole family. Here are five favourites:
Discover Children’s Story Centre, London
At Discover, children up to 11 can enjoy an interactive, multisensory storytelling experience. The centre has both an indoor and an outdoor story world, complete with secret caves, sensory garden and a giant spacecraft. Wheelchair users and pushchairs are able to access the vast majority of the areas, including the sensory garden, via ramp. Inside you’ll find an accessible toilet, a step-free entrance and a lift; there are also disabled parking bays. The friendly staff are experienced in working with the SEN community, too.
Warner Brothers Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter, Hertfordshire
Fans of Harry Potter will jump at the chance to visit the studios where the movie was made. On the tour, you’ll have a chance to walk through some of the film sets, including parts of Hogwarts and The Forbidden Forest. You’ll visit the special-effects department to see how the magical creatures in the movie are brought to life, and can even sample Butterbeer in the Backlot Café. The studio is mainly on one level, and easy to navigate via wheelchair and pushchair. If you call in advance you can book a free carer ticket. When you arrive, staff are on hand to assist, and can provide ear defenders, manual wheelchairs and foldable stools for free.
Haldon Forest Park, Devon
We recently visited this beautiful forest, the perfect place for a family walk. There are two circular trails which are suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs, both offering amazing views of Exeter and the River Exe. Disabled people looking to tackle rougher trails are able to pre-book Trampers – motorised scooters that can go over all terrain. Rangers can even drop them off by your car. The main car park also has disabled spaces and an accessible toilet.
Castle Drogo, Devon
If you have a baby in a pushchair or a wheelchair user in the family, I doubt visiting a castle would be your first idea for a day out. But the National Trust has endeavoured to make the majestic Castle Drogo as accessible as possible. It’s worth visiting to peek inside the castle, and explore the gardens – the trip can also be combined with an event, such as the upcoming Christmas Market. The visitor centre is on one level, and anyone with mobility issues can take the volunteer-operated buggy to the castle. Inside, wheelchair users can access some rooms in the castle – there’s a digital book in the entrance hall that allows you to see the other rooms. There’s an accessible path in the garden, too.
The whole family will love visiting the UK’s largest planetarium and space exhibition centre. There are plenty of hands-on exhibits and fascinating artefacts that reveal the history of space, from the Big Bang to the lunar landings. The planetarium has step-free access and space for wheelchairs, and lifts provide access to all levels of the space centre. Those with a visual impairment can arrange Touch Tours in advance. Large-print and Braille exhibit guides are available.
These are just a few of many accessible days out for the entire family. Having mobility issues or any other disabilities shouldn’t restrict you from having fun. Luckily, places like these are of the same opinion, and can be enjoyed by everyone.
The blog content was provided by Warner Brothers Studio Tours. Find out more here: https://www.wbstudiotour.co.uk/