Imaginative new features are helping transform the experience of days out for disabled visitors across the UK according to the new Rough Guide to Accessible Britain, which launches its sixth edition today.
Sensory trails, foot operated audio guides, and stair climber wheelchairs are just a few of the new installations creating a more immersive experience for visitors with disabilities. With comprehensive details of the UK’s top attractions with a range of features to ensure they are inclusive, the Guide celebrates the innovation, fun and creative design that make great days out accessible.
Emma Bowler, reviewer and foreword author of the Guide explains:
“Gone are the days when people thought a ramp was all it took… Attractions around the UK have really upped their game since the first edition of the Rough Guide to Accessible Britain, and are being increasingly creative as they recognise the diverse needs of disabled visitors. The Guide is really valuable resource and has done the hard work – digging out gems and dismissing those who have merely added a disabled parking space – making sure that your day out is truly inspiring and great fun to boot.”
The sixth edition of the fully refreshed and enhanced Rough Guide to Accessible Britain is now available online at accessibleguide.co.uk and has been developed in association with Motability Operations Ltd, the company that operates the Motability Car Scheme for disabled people.
Aimed at making each day out worry-free, all attractions featured in the Rough Guide to Accessible Britain have been assessed in detail by the Rough Guides team of reviewers, who either have a disability themselves or visited the attraction with a disabled friend or relative.
Some of the more unusual accessibility features highlighted in the updated 2016 edition of the Guide include vibration plates for sound to be felt, and pre-visit stories to aid those with autism. There are also tactile maps, wheelchair accessible bikes, golf buggies, accessible roundabouts and tree houses, and motion sensors to experience lights and sounds. Country parks, castles, cathedrals and sports stadiums also offer creative options to improve accessibility.
Delia Ray, Motability Operations Ltd, explains:
“It’s great to see innovative examples like Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower which added a tactile model of the tower to offer visually impaired visitors a sense of its structure, and Eureka! The National Children’s Museum in Halifax where specially trained ‘Eureka! Enablers’ can be booked to assist disabled people during a visit.”
Highlights of the newly refreshed Rough Guide to Accessible Britain include:
- Over 175 reviews of attractions, museums, parks and more throughout the UK
- Almost 500 miles of scenic drives with accessible stops and sights
- Over 150 cafes and restaurants
- 41 museums
- More than 30 animal and bird based attractions, including a jelly fish colony, a jar-opening octopus, a seal hospital, pig racing, and the only polar bears in the UK
- 15 beaches and coastal attractions
- 15 attractions with a specific touch or tactile element to their accessibility features
- Ten clearly arranged regional chapters
- Five of the world’s top sporting venues
- Four cathedrals
- Two attractions designed by Sir Christopher Wren
- One time machine
The Guide reviews are free to read and use at accessibleguide.co.uk, and the website also has additional practical information to aid a great day out such as visitor reviews, special offers and the ‘Days Out Blog’ for more inspiration.
In addition to practical information for planning a visit, the Rough Guide to Accessible Britain features ideas on places to eat out, where to learn a new skill, family-friendly attractions and even venues which are free to visit.
Including everything from some of the UK’s most famous museums and attractions, to a series of hidden gems, as well as sports stadiums, and even specialist circus schools and a dog collar museum, the Rough Guide to Accessible Britain is brimming with inspiration and ideas. Appealing to the most adventurous explorer with sky diving, ice skating and more or those who are looking for a more calming day out via a scenic drive, the Guide is the leading comprehensive source of accessible travel advice within the UK.