To bring a bit of new year cheer, we’ve compiled a list of the best free and accessible days out to enjoy across the UK
THE CULT OF BEAUTY
Wellcome Collection, London
The Cult of Beauty is the latest exhibition taking place at Wellcome Collection, giving visitors the chance to reflect on inclusive beauty. The free exhibition has step-free access to all floors of the building, equipped with accessible toilets on each including a Changing Places Toilet on the ground level. The Cult of Beauty considers the influence of morality, status, age, race and gender on the evolution of ideas about beauty. The venue offers free live access tours of the exhibitions on request including, but not limited to: audio description, British Sign Language-led, British Sign Language-interpreted and speech- to-text.
DEMENTIA FRIENDLY CONCERTS
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow
Glasgow Life has organised a selection of dementia-friendly concerts in January. Music plays a big part in dementia care, as research shows it can help manage mood, reduce anxiety and reconnect people with themselves. The Willows will perform at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on January 23, 2024.
The following week, trad duo Mairi McGillivray and Katie Allen will perform in the venue on January 30, 2024. Both concerts are free but ticketed. Tickets can be booked in person at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall Box Office, via the Glasgow Concert Halls website, or by phoning 0141 353 8000.
Screech Owl Sanctuary & Animal Park, Cornwall
This is the perfect family fun day out for all animal lovers who are keen to learn more and interact with owls, emus, alpacas, and goats on-site at the sanctuary. The Sanctuary is an award-winning visitor attraction that homes and cares for owls and other animals. The recently renovated site ensures that wheelchair and mobility scooter users can access all enclosures and see each animal as part of the experience. There are multiple benches throughout the centre to accommodate visitors with limited mobility. The centre is open seven days a week, between 10am – 3pm and for the Winter Season is completely free to visit including parking, although donations are appreciated.
The Science Museum, Kensington
The Science Museum has created a completely free sensory experience for children under the age of nine, accompanied by their parents or carers, where they can develop skills through play. In Pattern Pod, children can explore water ripples without getting wet, create images and patterns on touch screens as well as many more fun interactive activities. The free interactive gallery is conveniently located on the ground floor, with accessible toilets on every level including a Changing Places Toilet within the premises. While admission is free, booking tickets is required and can be done online.
Royal Air Force Museum, Midlands
The RAF Museum provides an enjoyable day out for the whole family, featuring an impressive playground as well as a huge selection of interesting exhibits. The museum is open daily from 10am and is free to enter but pre-booking tickets before arriving is advised. The site has manual wheelchairs and motor scooters available on loan to visitors. Additionally, the museum ensures that all exhibitions are accessible via lifts within the building. The museum features a virtual reality flight simulator, the National Cold War Exhibition featuring a slew of artefacts, and an aviation-themed playground for the young visitors.
THE FOSSIL SWAMP
National Museum Cardiff, Wales
This exhibition transforms the space into the ancient tropical swamp that once covered Wales over 300 million years ago, before both humans and dinosaurs walked the earth. All areas of the museum can be reached via lifts, with wheelchairs and mobility aids available on loan, and plenty of seating throughout to ensure visitors can make the most of the exhibit. Visitors will get to learn about the tropical wetlands and experience a first-hand look at the huge 3D centrepiece Stigmaria. The exhibition is completely free for everyone, including parking for blue badge holders, and provides the perfect space for an accessible family day out for those interested in learning about the distant past.