5 Must-Visit Attractions for Wheelchair Users up North
by Northern Life
Experience the best of the north of England from the comfort of your wheelchair…
Planning a grand day out? Whether you take your Fenetic lightweight folding wheelchair with you or pre-book mobility aids at attractions like these, your options are wide open. These wheelchair-friendly spots are ideal for everyone, from history buffs to culture vultures and nature lovers, so take your pick.
Get outside and admire one of the North’s best-preserved abbeys in your portable wheelchair, near Helmsley in the North York Moors. Rievaulx Abbey is remarkably intact, towering at its original height, and you can see the best of it. Park in the disabled bays and follow the wheelchair-friendly route around the ruins, up the ramp into the cloisters. There’s even a sensory garden and wheelchairs for hire if you didn’t bring your own collapsible wheelchair, and carers don’t have to pay a penny to visit.
Meanwhile, in the visitor centre, you can ride the lift into the small museum, pick up a souvenir in the shop or grab lunch in the café and use the disabled loos.
National Railway Museum
There’s no better place for train spotters up north, than a free family day out to the National Railway Museum in York. Home to the iconic Flying Scotsman and Mallard, City of Truro and a plethora of steam engines, there’s disabled parking right outside the main entrance and lifts to the first floor. Borrow a folding wheelchair, book a mobility scooter in advance or ride your own around Station Hall and the Great Hall –where there are ramps to the Bullet Train and the Chinese Loco, and information panels at eye level.
It’s easy to make a day of it, with the two cafes, shop and disabled toilets, so why don’t you?
Ferens Art Gallery
No trip to the UK City of Culture 2017 is complete without visiting Ferens Art Gallery, slap bang in the centre of Hull. You get ten rooms of art to explore, showcasing everything from fourteenth-century paintings to this year’s Turner Prize exhibition from September to December 2017. And it’s easy to navigate the gallery in your wheelchair, with access ramps, lifts to the first floor and a fully accessible shop and café. Free days out don’t get much better.
Yorkshire Wildlife Park
Come face to face with Pexel the polar bear or a pride of lions and get involved with feeding time with the animals at the interactive area, or with the family at the fully accessible cafes, complete with disabled toilets. Yorkshire Wildlife Park is home to 300 animals and wheelchair users will get a good view of them all around the park, from the wide, accessible walkways. Just park in one of the 120 blue badge spaces close to the entrance, where you can collect your pre-booked wheelchair and get exploring.
Sheffield Winter Gardens
Escape the hustle and bustle of Sheffield with a peaceful break at Europe’s largest urban greenhouse, among 2,500 plants from Central America, China and Madagascar. The Queen did, when she opened Sheffield Winter Gardens, where everything from Eucalyptus trees to Norfolk Island Pines are watered by hand. Quench your own thirst and have a bite to eat at the nearby Gallery Café, where there are toilets are accessible for all.