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From sky-high bars to treetop walkways, London is bursting with accessible attractions. Here are a few of the best:
Cocktails at 350 Feet
Less able people often consider multi-storey buildings to be the enemy but once a building reaches a certain height, as is the case here, there’s no way anyone could make it up the stairs so you’re guaranteed that there will be a lift. The Paramount Bar at Centre Point gives you two experiences for the price of one: come for the outstanding cocktails and stay for the spectacular views. If you’re feeling really flush then you eat at the restaurant too.
See Where the War Was Won
A museum named after the former Prime Minister rather than one sponsored by that insurance peddling bulldog, The Churchill War Rooms let you into the bunker from where World War Two was coordinated. Considering its size and original use, it’s surprising that this is one of the more accessible London attractions. We get sick and tired of hearing venues say that buildings are too old to be adapted and this helps highlight why it’s such a feeble excuse. If you can adapt this, you can adapt anything.
Above the Trees at Kew Gardens
“Treetop walkway” and “wheelchair accessible” are two things you don’t expect to be found in the same sentence (again, altitude is a traditional nemesis for wheelchair users) but this 18m-high attraction is completely step-free for those who can’t manage the stairs. There’s a lift up to the walkway for less able visitors and once you’re up, the walkway is flat and lets you see Kew Gardens in a whole new dimension.
The Wallace Collection
One of the capital’s most underrated and most accessible museums, The Wallace Collection is full of hidden gems. The Laughing Cavalier painting by Frans Hals is something of standout, even in a collection featuring works by Rembrandt, Titian and Gainsborough, but the building is grand enough in its own right to make it worth a visit. One of the best collections of the arts in the world – and it’s all accessible and free.
Climb the Dome
It might come as a surprise that the chance to climb over the roof of any building would be accessible to all but that is precisely the case at the O2 Arena. We’ve even been told by the guys who designed it that, while making sure that Up At The O2 is accessible, they wanted to make it as much of a thrilling experience as it is for able-bodied participants. The experience opens in Spring, but you need to get on the waiting list now for a realistic chance of making a booking in 2014.
This post was written by Max Sunter, chief ‘wheeler’ for Blue Badge Style, a ‘Michelin-like’ guide for the less able, their friends and families. Blue Badge Style offers information on what to do, where to go and what to buy to maintain your sense of style whatever the disability.