London has made a number of improvements in recent years to increase accessibility to many of its top attractions, as well as its travel network.
The London transport network is not 100 per cent accessible, but investment in the city’s infrastructure has increased the options available to those with a physical disability.
Travellers are advised to plan ahead and do some research on the Transport for London (tfl.gov.uk) website. In particular, the site has a great online journey planner that allows travel to be filtered based on accessibility needs.
It is also possible to travel across all of the public transport network with assistance dogs and a growing number of stations are being developed to have step-free access. Transport for London also provide a special travel mentoring service where a member of staff can be provided to assist travellers who are not initially confident to make the journey solo.
In particular, buses are a great option as all 8,000 of the capital’s network have special low-floors and are able to ‘kneel’ to the curb to allow access. The buses also have specific wheelchair spaces and priority seats for people who require them.
The best accessible London attractions
Here is our guide to the top attractions in London that have good accessibility as well as other facilities for those with disabilities.
One of the most popular attractions in London, the Coca-Cola Ferris wheel on the South Bank offers a great chance to get a unique view of the city. Wheelchair users can drive straight into the capsules and the clear glass allows a perfect way to see the skyline.
There is also T Loop facilities in the London Eye ticket hall, 4D Experience and on the London Eye River Cruise
Visitors can contact the London Eye directly to find more about priority booking to avoid queues and ensure there are no problems on the day.
The Science Museum
The Science Museum is one of the most popular destinations in the capital, with around 3.3 million people visiting the free attraction every year.
It has a mix of galleries, exhibitions and collections that look at the history and future of science. Items on display include Stephenson’s Rocket, the first jet engine, a reconstruction of Francis Crick and James Watson’s model of DNA and Charles Babbage’s Difference engine.
One of the great attractions is that it allows people, especially children, a chance to get some hands-on experience of science.
All of the museum is fully wheelchair accessible, with both adult and child wheelchairs available, which can be booked in advance or borrowed on the day at the information desk.
There are also a small number of disabled parking spaces are available outside the Museum on Exhibition Road.
The museum is open from 10am to 6pm every day except 24th to 26th December, but the museum closes at 7pm during school holidays, with last entry at 6.15pm.
London Zoo is a great day out in the city and has seen a number of improvements in recent years to ensure better access.
Although the Zoo is now close to 200 years old and has a number of listed buildings, most of the attraction is accessible for wheelchair users and those with walking difficulties.
For example, the Tiger Territory is wheelchair friendly and has a lift available for visitors to access the higher viewing platform, while the Aquarium has disabled access via an entrance to the left of the main doorway.
In addition, the paths are generally tarmac covered and there is level or ramped access to most buildings, although sometimes the slopes can be relatively steep.
For those travelling to the Zoo by road there are six disabled parking bays near the main Zoo entrance. In addition, there is also a pay and display parking on the Outer Circle and in the Zoo car park, which is a short distance along the road.
Tate Modern on London’s popular South Bank area is close to the world-famous Shakespeare’s Globe theatre, as well as opposite St Paul’s Cathedral.
The art gallery is free to enter and its large spacious rooms make it easy to navigate by wheelchair.
Disabled visitors can make use of five parking spaces which are located on Park Street at the eastern end of the building. These car parking spaces must be booked in advance by contacting the Tate directly.
Current expansion plans will see a new accessible car park with ten spaces created for disabled visitors by summer this year.
In addition, Tate Modern also offers a number of special tours for those with disabilities, including Audio described tours and some exhibitions have large print captions available.