It’s not until you experience limited mobility yourself, or you’re traveling with a friend or loved one, that you notice how difficult things can be. You often have to keep extra things in mind, such as which train stations are accessible, which stadiums, and even what activities you can do. One of the biggest questions travellers to the UK with reduced mobility have is how accessible is the UK? While many activities are accessible, there are certain things that are definitely lacking – for example 7/10 attractions in the UK do not have reduced ticket prices for visitors with disabilities. Whether you’re visiting the UK for the first time, or just heading out to explore your home country, here are some tips for traveling around the UK with limited mobility.
Research in Advance
Traveling around the UK can be a bit stressful if you’re not familiar with the places you’re going, especially when you need extra assistance to get around. For that reason I suggest researching in advance, looking up information about the train stations, activities you’d like to do, and making a loose plan for how you’ll get around, and you can do this by looking at this article about how accessible the UK is. Unfortunately something I’ve noticed is that many of the UK’s wonderful free activities are actually less accessible, which is something I hope to see change in the coming years. Private activities tend to reinvest some of their profits into making it more accessible, so that more people can enjoy it.
Pick Your Accomodation Wisely
There are certain things that you might want to look for in your accommodation which can help make your trip significantly more comfortable if you have mobility issues. If you use a wheelchair, then you’re going to need somewhere that is wheelchair friendly, but beyond that there are a few other considerations. For example, does the bathroom have an emergency cord? This can be essential especially if you’re traveling alone and something happens. If you’re using a car or renting one on your trip, then it might be important to check whether the hotel has accessible parking for you. Other things such as hand rails in bathrooms etc can make you feel more confident and independent on your trip, so be sure to call the hotels and ask what features and assistance they have.
Don’t Forget About Restaurants
One of the joys of traveling is getting to experience new food, but this can be more challenging when you have mobility issues. You’re probably going to want to have on hand a few great restaurants that are accessible for you to enjoy. A few things you’ll want to consider before adding a restaurant to your list: does it have an accessible entrance? Are there accessible bathrooms? And if relevant for you, does the restaurant allow service dogs? In the UK, around 8/10 restaurants are accessible, which does bode well for opening up options for you to enjoy, but much fewer restaurants have accessible bathrooms, around 5/10 which can make it challenging to comfortably enjoy your meal. I suggest finding a few restaurants that interest you ahead of time, so in a pinch you have a few good options that will not only be delicious but comfortable for you!
If you’ve let your limited mobility stop you from enjoying the wonderful gift of travel this is your sign to get out there and explore. Hopefully these tips ensure that traveling with limited mobility is easier than ever for you.