6 Access-friendly Attractions in Britain
From iconic museums and lively zoos to historic homes and outstanding landmarks, there is a wealth of attractions in Britain that are access-friendly
Here are 6 top attractions, covering every possible interest, that promise a great day out for everyone – made all the better with discounts of up to 2FOR1 entry when you travel by train.
1. National Football Museum, Manchester
Even if you’re not a diehard fan of the beautiful game, the National Football Museum makes for a fascinating day out. You can see gems like the oldest surviving FA Cup and the original laws of the game – dubbed the “Magna Carta of football” – as well as quirky inclusions like George Best’s Mini Cooper.
You can also take part in interactive experiences and learn all about the history of footballs, which is a lot more interesting than it sounds!
Access-friendly features include ramps for to all raised areas, staffed lifts to all floors, induction loops at key points, water bowls for guide dogs (which are allowed), accessible toilets and disabled parking bays. For more access information, visit the National Football Museum website(external link, opens in a new tab).
2. Home of Charles Darwin – Down House, Downe (Greater London)
Both the home and office of Charles Darwin and his family, Down House offers a fascinating glimpse into the everyday life of one of the greatest minds of the 19th century. Here you can see the restored study where he worked on his seminal work, On the Origin of Species, the bedroom where he often read and the gardens that doubled up as an “outdoor laboratory”.
The home also plays host to an incredible exhibition with highlights including his hat and microscope. You can enjoy a narrated tour of the residence with the dulcet sounds of David Attenborough for company.
Down House is access-friendly. It has wheelchair access, lift access, rest points inside and outside, braille guides, induction loops and tour transcripts. Discover more on the Down House website(external link, opens in a new tab).
3. Verdant Works, Dundee
Formerly a jute mill, Verdant Works takes you on a riveting tour of Dundee’s industrial textile past. Not only do you get to see brilliant artefacts and machinery on display – and hear the machines whirr into action, too – but you’ll also learn about the very people whose lives revolved around the mill (including kettle bilers and mill girls).
The museum features regular and changing exhibitions, with one of the current displays focusing on the impact tuberculosis had on mill workers in the city in the 19th century.
In terms of accessibility, the museum has ramps and a lift to help you get around, adapted toilet facilities, free entry for carers and sensory backpacks. Do bear in mind that because some of the machinery is in operation, the museum can get noisy. Visit the Verdant Works website(external link, opens in a new tab) for more accessibility details.
4. House for an Art Lover, Glasgow
Set in the magnificent grounds of Bellahouston Park, the Charles Rennie Mackintosh-inspired House for an Art Lover is a lovely and welcoming space dedicated to all things cultural, with the art gallery being one of the main draws.
The exhibitions here tend to rotate, but to give you a taste of what to expect, past displays have included works by Bernat Klein, Alison Harley and Callum Rice. More permanent works of art can be enjoyed outside – there are sculptures like Elephant for Glasgow and Ghost dotted about the grounds.
With regards to accessibility, House for an Art Lover is well set up. Ramps and a lift allow you to get around the space seamlessly, guide dogs are welcome, there are blue badge parking bays and usually there is at least 1 member of staff on duty who has gone through BSL training. For more information, see the House for an Art Lover website(external link, opens in a new tab).
5. Plantasia Tropical Zoo, Swansea
Located in the heart of Swansea near the River Tawe, Plantasia Tropical Zoo is home to over 40 different types of animals, from cute meerkats and talkative parrots to scary crocodiles and a plethora of creepy crawlies (think scorpions, tarantulas and “assassin bugs”).
While they’re the main act, the zoo has more up its sleeve. Once you’ve caught up with your favourite creatures, do check out the amazing plants on show – weeping fig and rubber plant to name but 2 – and wander around the fascinating exhibition about the naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace.
Plantasia Tropical Zoo is accessible. Most of its space, from the forest floor to the watering hole, can be accessed by wheelchair, there are automatic doors throughout, guide dogs are welcome and carers get free entry. There is unfortunately no induction loop. Check the Plantasia Tropical Zoo website(external link, opens in a new tab) for more details.
6. St Davids Bishop’s Palace, St Davids
What is left of St Davids Bishop’s Palace may fall under the category of ruins, but they’re impressive ruins nonetheless – the exterior still gives enough of an impression of how magnificent it would have been during its heyday in the Middle Ages.
At your own pace you can explore different aspects of the impressive structure, look into the distance for lush views – you are in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, after all – and learn more about its history at the visitor centre.
The great bulk of the St Davids Bishop’s Palace is access-friendly, with plenty of flat surfaces, modest slopes, portable induction loops and audio information panels, and an accessible bathroom. The nearest car park, Merivale, which has disabled bays, is a short distance away. For more on accessibility head to the St Davids Bishop’s Palace website(external link, opens in a new tab).
More about accessible train travel and facilities
You can visit our Accessible Train Travel and Facilities page to find out about booking assistance, discounted travel, travelling with a wheelchair or mobility scooter, support for visually impaired customers, travelling with assistance dogs and more.
Disabled Persons Railcard
For people with a disability that meets the eligibility criteria(external link, opens in a new tab)
Just £20 for 1 year or £54 for 3 years
1/3 off rail travel for you and an adult companion
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Image credit: National Football Museum