1: google is your best friend:
Make sure you do your research on google weather that be reading reviews, looking at the facilities around the location, having a look at if the site has an access bit on their website or looking at photos. All of these will help you get a greater understanding of the site/location which will also help reduce some of you anxieties about going to the location. Plus a lot of the time this can also help me decide if I really want to go to the place or is there a better option
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.