London, if you are disabled or mobility impaired, could seem like a challenge to visit.
But with a bit of planning, you can experience most things in this great city.
In comparison with other major European cities, London is ranked highly when it comes to accessibility. The vast majority of sightseeing attractions in London are easily accessible. In addition, public transport is mostly accessible and you don’t have to worry about spending half of your life savings on taxis.
So, save yourself some time on research and read further to see our choice of 10 best places in London for the mobility impaired.
Founded in 1753, this is officially the first national public museum in the world. From the beginning, free admission was granting to all ‘studious and curious persons’ and so the British Museum is free to enter.
The British Museum is fully accessible. In addition to self-operable lifts, a handrail and a level access at the Montague Place entrance, it also provides disabled parking spaces and accessible toilets.
Since this is a big museum, you should take into account that you won’t be able to fully see it in a day. Because of that, perhaps you can choose a few favorite collections and enjoy them instead of trying to see everything.
If you get tired walking, at both entrances you can borrow a wheelchair in case you don’t already own one.
Houses of Parliament tours
Over one thousand years of England’s parliament history lies hidden behind these walls. Otherwise known as the Palace of Westminster, the historic complex comprises the House of Lords and House of Commons. These majestic buildings are one of the London’s most prominent hallmarks and you shouldn’t miss the chance to visit them.
Again significant effort has been made to make this Victorian building accessible for the mobility impaired. A detailed tour runs regularly and staff are more than willing to help you to overcome those few pesky steps at the Westminster Hall.
Hyde Park chill
If you want to feel true London spirit, consider spending a part of your London visit in Hyde Park. This beautiful natural oasis in the middle of the bustling city features a variety of events including sports, self-guided walks, or, if you are in the mood, free hugs and making a public speech (at the world famous Speaking Corner).
Or you could simply chill and enjoy the nature: the wildlife is also available free of charge(!).
Westminster Abbey guide
Only one part of the Abbey isn’t accessible, but your audio guide, helpful staff, and volunteers will compensate this loss. You can rest assured that you will be completely able to experience Westminster Abbey.
South Bank walks
Another way to experience London’s street life is visiting South Bank. Many facilities and services are accustomed to disabled visitors, pavements are smooth, and there are many ramps allowing you to access an object of your choosing. If you want to hear some great buskers, this is a place to go.
Science Museum events
Fun, interesting and interactive events is what you get from this institution. In addition to numerous collections displaying the development of science and temporary thematic exhibits, you can enjoy science and nature documentaries in new IMAX 3D cinema. Flat access, lots of space around exhibits and plenty of lifts and toilets are available for disabled visitors. The entrance to the Science museum is free of charge, so all you have to do is come and enjoy.
London Eye panorama
Is there any way to see all that London has to offer at once? Yes, there is and the news is great for the mobility impaired visitors – it’s fully accessible with ramps everywhere. The London Eye panorama offers a fantastic view to all London’s great tourist attractions. Imagine all London landmarks: the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Shard, the river Thames of course, Buckingham Palace, The Tower and The Tower Bridge, St.Paul’s Cathedral, London parks and gardens before your eyes.
The Natural History Museum accessibility
This is the place to visit if you are interested in natural history and if you want to see some of the world’s greatest specimen collections, including the one once owned by Charles Darwin. Many of these collections, due to their age, besides scientific, also have a great historical value.
As is the case with other major cultural institutions in London, this one also has a great access for all visitors with mobility impairments. All floors, as well as the ground level, are accessible either by the ramps or the lifts. In case you are not a wheelchair user, but still, you have mobility difficulties, you have an option to borrow wheelchair free of charge.
Hard Rock Café
Besides century-old tourist attractions, London features many more modern, well, ‘landmarks’.
The first Hard Rock Cafe opened in London in 1971. This café, in addition to accessible grounds, also has accessible toilets, aiming to provide an equal access to all visitors.
River Thames Boat accessible Cruise
Taking the boat trip from Westminster Pier to Greenwich will give you the opportunity of enjoying the London from the river.
This is a great way to relax and listen to guides narrating everything you need to know about historic buildings you encounter along the way. As far as the accessibility is concerned, there’s no room for worrying since this river cruise offers excellent accessibility from the moment of embarking to disembarking. If any problem arises, staff are very helpful.
With this mini-guide, we have tried to present to you different ways to experience London, from air with London eye, from water by taking River Thames Boat Cruise, on the streets and parks by visiting South Bank and Hyde Park, and to satisfy your intellectual thirst by offering you a great choice of world’s most famous museums and their collections. Finally, your heart and your belly will be happy too – just grab a beer and a burger at Hard Rock Café.
More specific information can be found at http://www.inclusivelondon.com
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