Five accessible venues to visit this summer
Have you or a loved one experienced difficulties accessing a live music venue or attending a museum or popular tourist attraction?
Many people with arthritis tell us that being able to easily access venues and enjoy events makes them feel part of society and not left out from having fun with friends and family.
We know that not all venues make accessibility a priority and don’t think about the challenges that people with arthritis face each day. They don’t realise that if you’re in pain and your joints are stiff, that it can affect even the smallest movement and cause fatigue. It’s important therefore that venues have wide, open spaces that are easy to access and places to sit, if you need to rest.
With the warm weather now in sight, most people will be making plans to go out. And we don’t want anyone with arthritis to miss out on enjoying the social aspect that comes with accessing music and culture over the summer.
That’s why we’ve included some of the best accessible venues in the UK that you might like to visit with friends and family this summer.
Somerset House, in Central London, is keen to enrich lives with performing arts, and show everything from opera to dance, and live music to art exhibitions.
When it comes to accessibility, the venue has ensured their events and exhibitions are accessible to everyone, regardless of their level of mobility. The have the following features in place, which should allow you to access the venue with ease:
- Lift access
- Step-free access
- Automatic doors
- A lowered box office counter
- Accessible toilets on all floors
- Hireable wheelchairs that are free of charge.
You can discuss your visit with one their Visitor Experience Team, if your worried about anything. Find out more.
A buzzing and energetic place, the Science Museum in South Kensington, London dispels the myth that science is boring. With hands-on exhibits and lively demonstrations exploring everything from space travel to genetics, there really is something for the whole family.
The family friendly Wonderlab has several activities that can be easily accessed by children with limited mobility.
The museum has lots of manoeuvring space and their information desk has maps showing lifts, ramps and accessible toilets. You can also check the accessibility section on their website before you get there.
Although it’s advised to travel via public transport, if you find it difficult accessing public transport, you can drive as there are Blue Badge parking bays close to the museum.
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Home to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the park has been designed to be inclusive - with the highest standards of accessibility for visitors.
Visitors can enjoy beautiful green spaces, sporting venues, arts events and spectacular views of London from the 376-foot high ArcelorMittal Orbit.
All around the park you’ll find good step-free access and hard-standing surfaces for wheelchair users. They also have Blue Badge parking close to each venue within the park.
A mobility service is operational on selected days of the week to help people with disabilities and long-term health conditions get around. This needs to be booked in advance via the park’s website.
The venues have been specially designed for wheelchair users to get unobstructed views as well as having seating that is easy to get to. The VeloPark run a disability cycling programme for visitors. Find the timetable here.
The Eden Project
The Eden Project in Cornwall is a botanical and conservation attraction, showcasing the world’s diverse plant life.
Eden has great access on arrival, with marshals directing you to parking spaces. If you don’t have a Blue Badge but need an accessible space near the entrance and visitor centre, the marshals will be on hand to help.
Manual wheelchairs and buggies are also available to transport people who have limited mobility across the venue. There are slopes throughout the site, but most have alternative and more accessible routes. For further information, see Eden’s access guide.
Located in the centre of Bath, you can explore the Roman Bath House and museum to discover how the Romans lived. The venue has worked hard to make this ancient site accessible, with four lifts giving access to most of the complex.
The main entrance has large double doors with level access from the street and lowered ticket desks. Wheelchair and mobility scooters are available to borrow.
The museum can get crowded and noisy, so if you need somewhere to rest, you can ask a member of staff to find a quiet space or allow you to leave the venue and re-enter. The website has access information and maps for wheelchair users.
Get in touch
Let us know if you decide to visit these venues or if there’s others that you would recommend visiting, on our social media channels or online community. We’d love to hear if you found them easy to access and if you have any advice for planning visits to places over the summer.
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