Top Tips for a day out with wheels
There’s nothing worse than getting to a well-known event or attraction to find steps, cobbles and one disabled loo that’s all the way over the other side of the location. As a disabled individual it can make your trip 1000x better to be prepared. Here’s my top 5 tips for an awesome day out.
1: Explore google.
Your first instinct when planning to go on a day out or visit a new attraction is to explore the website; you can find out what attractions they offer, prices and usually some information on access. But don’t just stick to their website, image searching your destination can help you get a better idea of what this place looks like and how easily you are going to be able to get around.
Whether you’re going to a theme park, national trust gardens or historic castle, you can usually find loads of photos on Google, Instagram or Facebook.
2: Research Peak times:
This one is a bit more difficult and not always a choice but it’s worth having a google if you got a few dates to choose from. No one wants to battle through crowds with a wheelchair or kay walker, so have a quick search to see when the locations busiest days are or when they have special events on where there may be more crowds. If this doesn’t work you can usually find an enquiries contact on their website, just be prepared for a slow response.
3: Pick up the phone:
The easiest and most accurate way to find out what access is available is to phone the place and ask. This way you can find out about problems you may face – cobbled streets, parking, is it free, toilets, how many disabled loo’s are available, tickets, discounts for carers e.c.t. It also means they can be prepared for you, meaning you can get the best possible experience from the day.
4: How old is the attraction?
If you’re heading to a historic building, castle or gardens, the access could also be quite historic. Whilst most attractions will have upgraded their access with wide, new paths and facilities, the buildings may not be as accessible. For example Warwick Castle in Warwickshire, has easily accessible grounds but access to the castle is not as wheelchair friendly. (however, they do list on their website the amount of steps to each building, and access to the dungeon is free for both the wheelchair user and 1 carer as it is a step free attraction)
5: Ask friends and look at reviews:
With the internet it isn’t hard to find a blog post, facebook post or trip advisor comment with someones experience. You may not find lots about disabled access but at least you can get an idea of the attraction, what there is to do and the quality of hospitality - if the hospitality is good you have more chance of being looked after and getting assistance when needed.
Don’t let your wheels hold you back with a bit of research and preparation you can make the most of a day out.