Wondering where to go for a break of visit this summer but maybe restricted in choice? Rough Guides has come up with the UK’s best inclusive attractions celebrated in the new Accessible Britain. Rosanna Head
As UK attractions begin to reopen and lockdown restrictions ease, many are keen to start safely exploring our shores. Available online for free, to help people of all abilities start to plan their days out, a new, refreshed edition of The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain (accessibleguide.co.uk) is published this week.
The eighth edition of the Guide is packed with over 200 comprehensive reviews. Through collaboration with Carers Trust and the National Autistic Society, this edition features more information relevant to carers and those with hidden disabilities.
This latest Guide features 25 exciting new venue reviews including outdoor attractions such as Belfast Zoo, Kew Gardens, Legoland, Trebah Gardens, and Powis Castle. Plus, all existing reviews have been updated and refreshed pre-COVID-19. Over 85 attractions and ideas featured in the Guide are outdoors, including nine scenic drives.
According to research for the Rough Guide to Accessible Britain* more than half (51 per cent) of people with a disability, or their carers, spend between two and five hours planning a day out and one in ten spend more than a day researching.
The majority of this research is conducted online, with 92 per cent searching on the internet and 12 per cent using online communities. Almost half (42 per cent) will call the venue in advance to ensure they have all the information they need ahead of visiting.
Emma West, reviewer and foreword author of the Guide, said:
“If you have specific access requirements, or care for someone who does, planning a day out is much more complex. The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain is such a valuable resource for simplifying that process and opening up options for exploring the incredible venues we have on our doorstep in the UK. It’s widely acknowledged that being outside is great for our mental health too, so I’m proud to be involved in celebrating the attractions which have made significant efforts to ensure a brilliant day out for everyone, regardless of any physical, mental health or cognitive condition.”
When asked what makes a great day out, comments from respondents highlighted how important the feeling of inclusion is, such as, “…where I don’t have to feel my disability is limiting my experience – or rather, where inaccessibility isn’t limiting my experience”. Remarks also referenced feeling fully informed about the accessibility of a venue: “…knowing that somewhere is suitable and you can relax/not worry about it”, and “feeling completely at ease and included without having to do loads of research and having to call the venue to ask for special arrangements to be made”.
All attractions featured in The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain have been assessed in detail pre-COVID-19 by Rough Guides’ team of reviewers, who either have a disability themselves or have visited the venue with a friend or relative with accessibility needs. The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain has been created in partnership with Motability Operations Ltd.
The new edition of The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain is now available to read online and download for free via www.accessibleguide.co.uk.
*The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain survey was completed (online, during February-March 2020) by 541 respondents, 456 of which receive Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment, 61 are carers for someone with a disability and 17 preferred not to say.