Is the UK a Suitable Place to Visit for Disabled Travelers?


The UK has many popular attractions that make it worth visiting. In fact, its capital city, London, receives more tourists than any other city in the world. For disabled travelers, though, it’s important that they’re able to know their specific needs can be catered for before making the trip.

In 2010, the UK enacted the Equality Act which forms the basis of their anti-discrimination law. This also aims to offer the same standard of service to disabled people as non-disabled people by providing accessible facilities, and information where required.

Accessible Transport

If you’re coming to the UK and have access or disability needs, you’ll want to know which aspects of public transport are suitable for you. In many cities, licensed taxis are required to be wheelchair accessible, though this isn’t always the case in rural areas. Fortunately, all mainline trains, trams, and buses have at least one space for a wheelchair, mobility scooter, or a parent with a buggy.

Some trains and trams have doors that sit level with the platform. For those that don’t, there will be available ramps or other boarding devices. While staff are not allowed to lift you or help with personal assistance, they can meet blind and partially sighted travelers and offer guidance around the station. Other amenities include handrails on walkways, tactile strips installed on platform edges, and blue badge parking.

Tourist Attractions

While it’s true that the level of accessibility for people with disabilities varies wherever you go in the UK, many of the country’s most popular tourist attractions have made the effort to ensure that they can be enjoyed by all. The Eden Project in Cornwall, which houses thousands of different plant species from all over the world inside several artificial biodomes is a good example.

Similarly, the Science Museum in London caters particularly well for disabled visitors. This includes written material available in large print, a Makaton language resource for those with communicative disabilities, and information in Braille. For those traveling with young children, the National Children’s Museum in Halifax or Cadbury World in Birmingham make for a great kid’s day out. Visually impaired visitors will have to opportunity to touch and feel exhibits at both locations, including a Wonder Walk with scented plants at the National Children’s Museum.

While it is still recommended that you plan any trips ahead of time, there are enough facilities in place that you should be able to overcome any obstacles.

Graham Michael