Fun Days Out

Concessions for Disabled - Always state that you require admission for a disabled child as it is not always obvious to the attendant.  In some instances it may be necessary to provide proof of disability.  In addition, state that you are the "carer" not an adult or you may end up paying more than you need to. 
 
Disabled toilets - Remember your RADAR key! Click Here for details.

Please click below on an image of interest ....

Swimming    Ice Skating    Theatres

 Theme Parks    Cinemas    Zoo's    Museums

Libraries    Outdoor    Other Places of Interest

If you know of any facilities that are suitable for disabled needs in your area,
please let us know via our CONTACT US page and we will add it to this page.

               Please note: The information we have provided below regarding the facilities is for recommendation and guidance only
 

Swimming:

Find a centre near to you and see what disabled facilities are available.  Some centres provide disabled changing areas and hoists.

Belfairs Swim Centre - Seals Disabled Swimming Club - Leigh on Sea, Essex

  The Riverside Ice & Leisure complex - Essex - Offering free use of their swimming facilities to all ages with physical and mental disabilities every Sunday between 18.00 and 19.00. 

We were advised of this facility by the Social Services' Children with Disabilities Team (CWD). It may be worth checking your local CWD to see if they can enquire about similar arrangements at your local leisure centre.
 

Ice Skating:

Ice skating is available for wheelchair users  with the use of special boards.   Wheelchair users are now able to join in the fun on the Ice Pad.

The Riverside Ice & Leisure Complex - Essex - Matthew on the ice for the first time.

   

Theatres:


  The Cliffs Pavilion & Palace Theatre
- (Southend-on-Sea, Essex) -
Concessions for disabled.  The Cliffs Pavilion has good accessibility for wheelchair users.  Disabled parking spaces.  Disabled toilets available.  Dedicated seating for wheel chairs.  Due to its location, parking for the Palace Theatre is not available.

The Piccadilly Theatre - (London) - Concessions available for disabled and carer.  Disabled seating available (Seats A27, A28 and Box C Royal Circle). 
Disabled access for wheelchairs is only via the exit on the Royal Circle level.  Good disabled toilet available (adjacent to box c on the Royal circle level).  Obviously very restricted parking.

Kazzum - (Bethnal Green, London) - we specialize in work with and for young people that explores diversity and focuses on disability arts.  

The Mushroom Theatre Company - (Rayleigh, Essex) - aims to promote and encourage each student to achieve their full potential in a totally inclusive, safe and happy environment. To build self-esteem and thoughtfulness to our world and those around us.

SeatPlan - "Join our mission to review every theatre seat in London" - A comprehensive access guide to London's theatre seating highlighting accessibilty seating.

Theme Parks:

We have experienced a few upsetting moments at a number of major UK theme parks due to restrictions placed on wheelchair users.  Matthew loves to be thrown about by some of the faster rides.  All too often though, the entrances for these rides designated for disabled access, have stairs that are impossible to negotiate by wheelchair or buggy.
All we can suggest is that you phone the theme park and discuss specifically what rides are available to disabled children especially those in wheelchairs.

LegoLand - (Windsor, Berkshire) - This is a great theme park that is 95% accessible to wheelchair users (even having installed lift access to ride platforms) and has more disabled parking than I've ever seen.

Thorpe Park - (Chertsey, Surrey) - As with most Theme Parks, there will be rides that are not accessible to wheelchair users.  However, we found that Thorpe Park has more accessible rides than most.
Upon entering the park, head for the customer services shop which is just beyond the Dome.  The disabled guest will receive a yellow wristband and a ride card.  Most  rides are only accessible at the exits of the rides.  This avoids steps and tight corridors.
Although marked as accessible, the rides will require man-handling of the disabled guest from the chair to ride.  The operators are friendly and more than happy to wait.
There is plenty of disabled parking close to the front gates but get there early for a space.  There are also disabled toilets available.

Cinemas:

In 2004 a national discount card scheme was launched in almost every UK cinema - that's over 500 cinemas.

The Cinema Exhibitors’ Association Card entitles the holder to one free ticket for a person accompanying them to the cinema.

To apply for the card a person must meet one (or more) of the following criteria.

The card is valid for one year from the issue date and costs £6.00.

Application forms are available at all participating cinemas, or from the Card Network website HERE.

Odeon Southend Victoria Circus - Essex - Good accessibility for wheelchair users.  Lift access to upper floors.  Disabled toilets available.  Disabled parking in local multi storey car parks.

Empire Cinemas Basildon - Essex - Sited on the Festival Leisure Park with plenty of disabled parking.  Disabled toilets.  Most of the cinemas have limited disabled seating areas that is generally situated at the front.  The smaller "Studios" do not have disabled seating although their website indicates that they do.

Zoos:

During holidays and weekend breaks, we generally try to visit a zoo.   We have yet to come across a zoo that did not facilitate disabled children.  Here are some zoo's that we have visited and would recommend.

Whitehouse Farm - (Morpeth, Northumberland) - Disabled parking and toilets available.  All areas wheelchair accessible except for the breeding barn.

Thorp Perrow Arboretum - (Bedale, North Yorkshire)  - Highly recommended.  Concessions available.  Disabled parking and toilets are available. Most of the grounds including the Falcon and Mammal Centre are accessible by wheelchair.

 Tropical Wings - (South Woodham Ferrers, Essex) - Fully accessible to wheelchairs.  Disabled toilet and designated parking.  Concessions available.

Howletts Wild Animal Park - (Canterbury, Kent) - Good accessibility for wheelchair users.  Some gravel paths are a bit steep and slippery.

Colchester Zoo - (Colchester, Essex) - Good accessibility for wheelchair users.  Some steep slopes though.

Twycross Zoo - (Atherstone, Warwickshire) - Very good accessibility for wheelchair users.  Disabled toilets available.

Woburn Safari Park - (Woburn Park, Bedfordshire) - Concessions for disabled.  Very good accessibility for wheelchair users.  Plenty of disabled parking spaces for the Leisure Centre.  Disabled toilets available.  Wheelchair hire available.

Trotters World of Animals - (Bassenthwaite, Cumbria) - Concessions for disabled.  Very good accessibility for wheelchair users.  Disabled parking spaces.  Disabled toilets available.

Aquarium of the Lakes - (Newby Bridge, Cumbria) - Concessions for disabled.  Very good accessibility for wheelchair users.  Plenty of disabled parking spaces but you have to pay.  Disabled toilets are available at the adjacent lakeside.

 Isle of Wight Zoo - (Sandown, Isle of Wight) - Concessions for disabled.  Very good accessibility for wheelchair users.  Plenty of disabled parking spaces free of charge.  Disabled toilet available.

Kielder Water Bird of Prey & Falconry Centre - (Kielder, Northumbria) - Highly recommended. Accessible by wheelchair although one part is quite steep.  Staff are friendly and helpful.

Folly Farm - (Kilgetty, Pembrokeshire) - Plenty of activities and disabled parking.  Wheelchair access throughout the park and disabled toilets at key areas around the park.

Museums:

Mechanical Art & Design Museum - (Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire) - Wheelchair Access, Concessions for disabled and their carers.  Free disabled parking in nearby carparks.

Beamish Museum - (Beamish, County Durham) - Free admission for assistants to disabled visitors, Accessible toilets and Accessible bus.  Some areas are not accessible such as the tea room in the town.

Hexham Gaol museum - (Hexham, Northumberland) - Although grade listed by local authorities, a large glass elevator within the gaol allows full access to wheelchair users.

Cumberland Pencil Museum - (Keswick, Cumbria) - Concessions for disabled.  Good accessibility for wheelchair users.  Disabled parking spaces.  Disabled toilets available.

 

Southend Central Museum and Planetarium - (Southend, Essex) - Housed in the same facility, the Museum is situated on the ground floor and is accessible by wheelchair via the side entrance only.  The Planetarium however, is situated on the first floor and is NOT accessible by wheelchair.  A disabled toilet is only available in the Library next door.  Disabled parking at rear of building.

Shiply Art Gallery - (Gateshead) - Access for wheelchair users via ramp.  Lift available.  Accessible toilets.

Stephenson Railway Museum - (North Shields) - Level access route available.  Accessible toilets.

Discovery Museum - (Newcastle upon Tyne) - Lift available.  Accessible toilets.  Facilities for the Deaf and Blind.

The Royal Cornwall Museum - (Truro, Cornwall) - The museum is fully accessible to wheelchair users.  Please contact the museum with regards to toilet facilities.

Steam Museum - (Swindon) - Wheelchair friendly, adult changing facilities in disabled toilet, plus carer gets in free (Thanks to Laura for that information).

Libraries:

Southend Central Library - (Southend-on-Sea, Essex) - Good accessibility for wheelchair users.  Disabled parking spaces to rear.  Disabled toilets available.  Lift available to access children's section.
 

Outdoor Activities:

Grangewaters - (Thurrock, Essex) -   The centre provides a wide range of safe and engaging water and land based outdoor activities, designed for all abilities and age ranges.  Visit Thurrock Council's
Access for All website for a visitors guide to Thurrock.

Ullswater Steamers - (Ullswater lake, Cumbria) - Cruising between the Pier House, Glenridding and the Pier House, Pooley Bridge.  Concessions for disabled.  Electric powered wheelchairs are permitted on the vessels as long as they can be switched to manual for the duration.  We would recommend starting and finishing at Glenridding as Disabled parking is adjacent to the Pier House and there is also a disabled toilet in the Pier House.  The disabled toilet at Pooley Bridge requires a RADAR key.

Attenborough Nature Reserve - (Nottingham) - Positioned on the River Trent, this facility has good Access to the Education Centre and surrounding country side with all paths laid to firm gravel or concrete.  Disabled parking spaces.  Disabled toilet in Education Centre.

Rutland Sailability - (Rutland Water - Southern Shore) - We provide training, support and equipment to enable our members to enjoy the challenge of this physical activity in a safe, welcoming and friendly atmosphere and we also have a strong social side to our club.

Hylands Park - (Chelmsford, Essex) - At Hylands House in Chelmsford there is now a fully accessible wheelchair adventure wall, please see attached photo, giving children of all ages and disabilities the chance to play together

Other Places Of Interest:

 Hexham Abbey - (Hexham, Northumberland) - Most areas accessible (except crypt) for wheelchairs.  Disabled parking available in town centre (next to Waitrose)

The Max Card is designed to make great attractionsacross the UK more accessible to looked-after children, children with complex needs, their friends and family.

Alnwick Garden - (Alnwick, Northumberland) - Highly recommended. Concessions available.  Plenty of Disabled parking and toilets are available. Gardens (including maze) and Tree house with restaurant accessible by wheelchair.

Cadbury World - Bournville, Birmingham - Wheelchair access (except for packing department).  Concessions available (book by phone first).  Disabled toilets and plenty of disabled parking.  Recommended.

 Tower of London - (London)  Disabled children are treated as VIP's by the Yeoman.  Be prepared to gain access and jump queues throughout this attraction.

National Space Centre - (Leicester) - Concessions for disabled.  Good accessibility for wheelchair users.  Plenty of disabled parking spaces.  Disabled toilets available.  Lift available to access entire centre.

Dinosaur Isle - (Sandown, Isle of Wight) - Concessions for disabled.  Good accessibility for wheelchair users.  Plenty of disabled parking spaces.  Disabled toilets available.

CP Sport - (England & Wales) - Cerebral Palsy Sport promotes and seeks to increase sport and physical recreational opportunities for people with a disability and especially those who have cerebral palsy.