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Accessible Activities, Attractions and Events in Yorkshire | 2019 Guide

The 12th November 2019 was Purple Tuesday. This fantastic annual event is part of a campaign encouraging organisations of all sizes to become more accessible and improve their ability to meet the needs of customers and visitors with disabilities.

The failure of businesses to provide a positive experience for disabled people is an issue all throughout the year. However, the problem often becomes even more apparent over the festive period.

We’re sorry to already be bringing up Christmas in November! But families and groups of friends will already be excitedly planning days out to celebrate the holidays. Unfortunately, for people with reduced mobility, or other disabilities, planning to attend an event or attraction can be less than enjoyable. Rather than looking forward to spending time with loved ones, they are worrying about whether the venue will have wheelchair access or appropriate toilet facilities.

That’s why, feeling inspired by the wonderful work of the Purple Tuesday campaign, we’ve put together this guide to accessible activities, attractions and events in Yorkshire throughout the rest of the year.

Here are our top three recommendations for wheelchair-friendly activities and attractions with facilities for disabled people:

1)    National Railway Museum, York

The National Railway Museum has been a popular attraction for both Yorkshire locals and visitors for years! Not only does it offer free entry and a variety of events and exhibitions to suit all ages, but they have also worked to make the museum inclusive and accessible to all.

The National Railway Museum has done a lot of work to improve accessibility

Key Accessibility Information

 

FacilitiesInformation
Disabled Parking?Yes – accessible parking can be found next to the main entrance and is free of charge.
Wheelchair Access?Yes – the main entrance has an access ramp and all areas of the museum can be accessed by lift or ramp.
Disabled Toilets?Yes – accessible toilets can be found in the entrance foyer and the Great Hall.
Seating?Yes – seating areas can be found throughout the Great Hall, Station Hall and South Yard.
Changing Places?No – they do not have a full Changing Place, but accessible changing facilities are available.
Support Dogs Allowed?Yes – support dogs are welcome throughout the museum.

 

As well as ensuring they have the facilities disabled visitors need to have a comfortable day out, the National Railway Museum has also implemented additional changes to improve the visitor experience. Here are some examples of what’s on offer:

  • Large print and braille museum maps for visitors with visual impairments
  • A fixed hearing loop for visitors with hearing impairments
  • Visitor Centre staff are trained on providing dementia-friendly visits
  • Quiet mornings and adapted queuing systems can be arranged to support visitors with Autism.

What’s On?

If a trip to the National Railway Museum sounds right up your street, take a look at some of our top picks for upcoming events.

Brass, Steel & Fire

This is the main exhibition running until April 2020. Get an insight into the technological advances over the last 100 years of the railway. Plus get a chance to get up close to the original Stephenson’s Rocket!

Christmas Events

If you’re looking for something more festive, visit on a weekend in December to make the most of the museums Christmas activities. Learn about the power of sprouts – everyone’s favourite Christmas vegetable – in a science demo or enjoy the wonder of storytelling sessions if you’re visiting with children.

Full event listings are available on their website.

 

2)    Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield

 

If you prefer spending time in the great outdoors, then the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) is another great option for a family day out. The 500-acre park has been putting the spotlight on art from around the world for 40 years and entry is free!

Yorkshire Sculpture Park have made many of their 500 acres more accessible

YSP has a mixture of both modern and classic art and sculptures

Key Accessibility Information

FacilitiesInformation
Disabled Parking?Yes – designated accessible parking spaces are available, but parking charges do apply. These charges help to fund the YSP charity.
Wheelchair Access?Yes, in some areas – level access, paving and ramps have been installed where possible. An accessible shuttle bus also runs between different galleries.
Disabled Toilets?Yes – accessible toilets can be found in the YSP Centre, Longside Gallery, The Weston and YSP Learning.
Seating?Yes – seating areas can be found at The Weston, YSP Learning, the YSP Centre and the Longside Kiosk. There are also various picnic areas marked on the park map.
Changing Places?Yes – there is a Changing Place facility at YSP Learning.
Support Dogs Allowed?Yes – support dogs are welcome throughout the park.

Much of the park is now accessible. Unfortunately, there are some areas which can still only be accessed via steps and forest areas which are not paved.

As the park is so large, you are still able to plan a day trip which is completely accessible. You can download the park map before your visit, or contact their visitor team for advice.

If you spend a lot of time outdoors, and having the option to access unpaved or wooded areas would benefit you, then you should consider trying an active user wheelchair.

Robust Active User Wheelchairs are perfect for the outdoors

This rigid K-Series wheelchair has mountain bike wheels and a free wheel device to suit off-road terrains

Active user wheelchairs can be adapted to be much more robust and manoeuvrable than other types of wheelchair. If you’re interested in finding out more, please get in touch.

What’s On?

Planning a visit to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park? Here are some of the events and exhibitions coming up:

David Smith: Sculpture 1932 – 1965

David Smith was a pioneering American artist, and his work is on display at YSP until the end of January 2020! Installations can be found in the Underground Gallery – which has lift access – and across the outdoor areas of the park.

MADE

If you’re looking for some extra-special gifts, then head to the YSP Centre to check out some fantastic jewellery from a range of artists. All pieces are available to purchase, so it’s an art exhibition and Christmas shopping in one!

3)    Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds

The Royal Armouries Museum is a must-visit for any history buffs, but also has a lot to offer for the whole family. Entry is free every day and they’ve made a lot of changes over the years to improve accessibility. Plus, they always welcome feedback on anything they can do to further improve the experience for visitors with disabilities!

The Royal Armouries Museum is working to make history accessible

Key Accessibility Information

 

FacilitiesInformation
Disabled Parking?Yes – designated accessible parking spaces are available in the coach park and the adjoining multi-storey car park.
Wheelchair Access?Yes – all access routes to the entrance have a level access path and all galleries are accessible via lift.
Disabled Toilets?Yes – accessible toilets can be found across four floors: the ground floor, first floor, second floor and fourth floor.
Seating?Yes – there is seating in all gallery areas and portable, folding chairs can be provided for any visitors who have difficulty standing for long periods
Changing Places?No – unfortunately, there are currently no Changing Places within the museum. However, a Changing Place can be found at the nearby Assisted Living Leeds which is an approx. 6-minute walk away.
Support Dogs Allowed?Yes – support dogs are welcome throughout the museum.

 

Sensory backpacks are also available free of charge. They are specially designed for children and young people on the Autism spectrum and include devices like ear defenders and soothing sensory toys.

What’s On?

As well as the long-term exhibitions, there are a series of events running over between now and the end of the year. Here are our top choices:

Combat Demos

Watch as trained professionals demonstrate medieval combat techniques. These exciting, live-action demos run across various galleries at different times of the day.

Cutting Edge

On Friday 22nd November, Professor David Williams, from Loughborough University, will be delivering a fascinating talk on how arms and armour have impacts science, technology and medicine throughout history.

Mobility Scooter Hire

We hope that, so far, this guide has given you some inspiration for activities you can enjoy that are accessible for all. But what if you’re just visiting Yorkshire and don’t want to bring your own mobility scooter or wheelchair from home?

At Yorkshire Care Equipment, we understand that travelling with a mobility aid isn’t always practical. That’s why we offer care equipment for hire.

We offer a range of mobility scooters, wheelchairs and other care equipment. All are available to hire to one day, a weekend, a week, or even a whole month.

Mobility scooters for hire and sale

Speak to a member of our friendly team in our Harrogate showroom, on 01423 799960, or using our online contact form, for more information. We will be happy to help you find the right mobility scooter or wheelchair for you, so you can focus on enjoying some Yorkshire-based adventures this Christmas!

Summary

Yorkshire is home to a range of accessible activities, events and attractions. The National Railway Museum, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Royal Armouries Museum are all wheelchair-friendly and provide facilities for disabled visitors. Contact us for further recommendations, or to hire a mobility scooter or wheelchair to help you to get out and explore all that Yorkshire has to offer!

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Leanne Godfrey

Leanne is our Marketing Executive, meaning she coordinates and writes some of our blogs, magazine articles, and brochures amongst many other resources. She also takes care of all our social media profiles, so feel free to send her any blog ideas you have!

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