The Top 30 Best Accessible Attractions in the UK
With the spring and summer months ahead of us and the Covid-19 restrictions lifted, it’s finally time to plan day trips and adventures outside of the house.
In the UK over 20% of the population is living with a disability, yet a fifth of all UK attractions still have poor accessibility ratings.
In a recent disability survey, 93% of respondents shared that they check accessibility facilities ahead of their trip and 73% of respondents reported that website information has been confusing and inaccurate. Understandably, this leads to disappointment for many and creates exclusion from access to great experiences.
To cut the confusion Middletons has created a list of the top 30 most accessible attractions in the UK to visit this spring and summer. Middletons has analysed sets of data from attraction review sites to accessibility reports in order to produce a list that not only shows the most entertaining or the most accessible - but the best overall!
You may see the phrase ‘accessibility-friendly’ on most websites or venues, but what does it really mean and what are the criteria?
For an attraction to be considered accessible, anyone should be able to engage and visit, regardless of injury or disability and without limitation. There are key factors to consider such as:
- The overall accessibility of the attraction and access to the venue
- If the attraction is free of charge or offers a level of concessions for people with disabilities and their carers
- Ramps or lifts for those who use wheelchairs, mobility scooters and other mobility aids
- Number of disabled toilets
- Number of disabled parking spaces
- Hoist availability
- Number of staff with disability awareness training
- Whether the attraction clearly and correctly offers accessibility information on their website
Each of these factors has been considered in the creation of our top 30 list.
The Top 3 most popular, most accessible attractions in the UK
To get things started, here are the top 3 most popular, most accessible attractions in the UK to add to your summer plans.
Liverpool takes the number one spot with its very own museum - the Museum of Liverpool. Positioned right on the iconic waterfront, the Museum of Liverpool celebrates the city’s global significance and unique history and culture.
You can find number two on our list, The British Library, in London right by Kings Cross St. Pancras station. They have an awe-inspiring collection of over 170 million items including artefacts from every age of written civilisation. They have regular free exhibitions within the library with something new to explore every visit.
The South of England takes third place in our top attractions leaderboard with The Oxford University Museum of Natural History. Inside this attraction, first established in 1860, you’ll discover an impressive collection of natural history specimens and learn about their background and stories.
The Top Regions for Accessible Attractions
As a global hotspot for tourism and culture, you may not be surprised to learn that London tops the regional leaderboard with 12 of its attractions featured in the Middletons top 30 list. You may, however, be interested to know that the North West has the second-highest number of accessibility-friendly attractions in the UK. Liverpool boasts an impressive 20% of the UK’s top attractions.
If you’re based in the North of England, here are some of the best attractions in the UK to visit while keeping your fuel costs low.
If you live in the South of England, we recommend checking out these incredible top-rated attractions that are well worth a day trip.
You can find your local top accessibility-friendly attractions on the interactive map below.
The most-accessible type of attraction is…
Have you noticed a common theme across many of these fantastic attractions? 60% of the top accessibility-friendly attractions are museums. It’s great to see the museums here leading the industry and demonstrating excellent accessibility and bringing history alive without limitations. At these attractions you can expect to see ample parking, a proportionate number of disabled toilets and concessions on offer if entry is not already free.
As expected, you will see fewer heritage sights featured on an accessibility-friendly leaderboard. This is largely due to the fact that these buildings are listed and their historical infrastructure cannot be altered. Additionally, these buildings were usually erected as private homes rather than places of public interest for visitation.
A more inclusive future
The attractions listed here are great examples of creating an inclusive and accessible experience for all. Today, an overwhelming 75% of all UK attractions are not fully accessible to those living with injury, disability or mobility needs. Tourism in the UK must do more to make access to educational and entertainment resources equal for all.
Museums, galleries, zoos and historical sights have all been shown to have a significant impact on education. By experiencing and learning in new environments people are able to develop their understanding of the world, global history and exciting new possibilities for the future. Without access to these educational spaces, people with disabilities are put at a disadvantage in learning. Removing limitations on who can learn is essential to closing the education gap and creating an equal world.
The Full Top 30 Best Accessible Attractions in the UK
Without further ado, here is Middletons full Top 30 most popular, most accessible attractions in the UK.
Planning your next trip
When you’re planning your next excursion you can always refer to this list, in addition to utilising helpful resources like TripAdvisor, Revitalise and Euan’s Guide. Middletons always recommends checking a venue’s website before arrival to ensure that you have all of the information that you need for your trip ahead of time.