No doubt London is a beautiful, modern city with much to see and do. Plus, it also has plenty of accessible attractions to offer. Srin, a wheelchair user and world traveler has his top 10 must-see attractions in London:
1. London Eye
“This is one of my favourite tourist sites in London,” Srin shares. The London Eye is a great way to get a panoramic view of the bustling city, with easy access into the capsules. Information about its accessible features can easily be found on the website, including details about priority queues. Tickets are cheaper if you purchase them online as well. The London Eye is also free for carers.
2. Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace is also completely accessible the last time Srin visited (over 10 years ago!), but to his recollection, there was no accessible washrooms.
Again, information regarding accessibility can be found on the Buckingham Palace’s website, including concessionary rates for people with disabilities and their carers. Also, if you indicate “disabled” when booking for guided tours, expect a ring from the staff to inquire if any adjustments need to be made.
3. The Natural History Museum, V&A Museum, and Science Museum
These 3 museums are located alongside each other in South Kensington. All 3 offer great access, except during peak periods where it can be difficult to move around the crowd. On the upside, “all the major public museums in the UK are completely FREE [with the exception of special exhibitions], so you can go as many times as you want,” says Srin.
4. The British Museum
The British Museum is another major museum in London with free entry, with exceptions to special exhibitions. Not only does it have much to offer, it is also completely accessible. “While it is fully accessible, it is also one of those museums that is difficult to fully see in just a day,” says Srin. “If time is limited, I’d recommend going to one of the special exhibitions.”
5. National Gallery and Trafalgar Square
The National Gallery, while smaller than the previous museums, still has much to see. It is also free and accessible.
Right behind the National Gallery is Trafalgar Square. It is “one of the must-see public squares and is within walking distance of Buckingham Palace, Horse Guards Parade, the Houses of Parliament, Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus,” says Srin.
6. Tate Modern
The Tate Modern, another free art museum, is a great place to get introduced to modern art. “It’s accessible, spacious, easy to navigate, and its exhibitions are well presented,” Srin describes. The museum is also close to other monuments, such as Shakespeare’s Globe, the St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the Thames River – perfect for additional sight-seeing!
7. Shakespeare’s Globe
Right by the Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe is a great venue to catch performances. Srin recalls having a wonderful time watching a performance there many years back: “The performances at the Globe are a world away from the boring and static way in which Shakespeare is taught in the classroom, and watching a modernised play live with its characteristic audience participation is a really enjoyable experience.”
There are also a couple of viewing options to choose from – either the wheelchair platform in the covered stands or the open standing area near the stage, where you can be exposed to the interactive elements during the performance.
8. St. Paul’s Cathedral
The cathedral is located opposite the Tate Modern. As it is quite an old building, some areas in the cathedral are not accessible, such as the Whispering, Golden, and Stone galleries. Apart from that, the other areas in the cathedral are accessible. The cathedral’s website is a good place to read up on access information and directions to get there.
9. Kew Gardens
If you are looking for a little breather away from the metropolis, why not head down to Kew Gardens? However, do take note of how you’d want to plan your day and transport as Kew Gardens is located by the edge of the city. “As there would be a big step to get onto the train, I had to arrange assisted travel with South West Trains, who organised a ramp to be placed,” shares Srin.
The gardens is also a big area, so it’s best to plan your day there well! More information about the terrain, grounds, and ticket prices for people with disabilities can be found on the Kew Gardens’ website.
10. London Dungeon
The London Dungeon is a good alternative if you are looking to do something different during your time in London. It is located near the London Bridge Station, which is one of the major transport interchanges, and is mostly step-free.
As the London Dungeon is supposed to give off a scary atmosphere, do take note that some areas can be quite dark. Additionally, “it does offer special tours for those with hearing impairments,” says Srin. “We suggest calling the venue to talk through specific disabilities and whether you would be able to enjoy the full experience.”
With a variety of accessible attractions around London, you’re sure to have a fully-packed vacation there.
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