13 London Wheelchair Accessible Travel Tips
London Wheelchair Accessible Travel – London has enormous amount of things for disabled visitors to see and do. With a few tips and tricks, London becomes a very manageable city to visit with a disability. These 13 London Wheelchair Accessible Travel Tips will get you started in making the most of your time visiting London.
1. See a different Changing of the Guard – Disabled tourists will challenged by sidewalks packed full of other tourists. To get even a decent look at the Changing of the Guard, you’ll have to fight some very large crowds. Wheelchair users in particular may have obstructed views of the Changing of the Guard. Another option for disabled tourists to see all the pageantry is to watch the Inspection of the Guard beforehand at the nearby Wellington Barracks where you will have no problem getting right up next to the fence. (shown in the image on the right).
2. Use the wheelchair accessible London buses – The buses are far more accessible than the Tube and provide an easy and cheap way to get around the city. Almost all buses have wheelchair ramps and spaces reserves for wheelchairs (pictures of both are shown below). Occasionally a bus may have a broken wheelchair ramp and you’ll need to wait for the next one. The #15 bus runs east-west and is useful to get between Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden, and St. Paul’s Cathedral. The #11 bus connects the three locations mentioned above plus Westminster Abbey. The British Museum and British Library can be reached from Covent Garden by using the #168 bus which runs north-south.
Buses are also useful when arriving at the airports. London accessible trains from Heathrow go to Paddington Station where you can take the #15 bus into the city centre. Accessible train transportation goes from Gatwick to Victoria Station where the #11 bus will take you to Trafalgar Square
3. Consider staying on the south side of the Thames to save money – Although it’s not very far away, the London accessible hotels on the south side of the River Thames can be noticeably cheaper than the hotels in Westminster and Mayfair. Some of the neighborhood are not very nice or do not have good accessible public transportation options, so choose your hotel carefully.
4. Take the boat tour at sunset and go all the way to Greenwich – The best photo opportunities for your wheelchair accessible boat travel in London are likely to occur at sunset (Thames river at sunset shown on the right). While the most popular route is between Westminster Bridge and the Tower Bridge, the ride is a relaxing way to see the city – consider taking the route that goes all the way to Greenwich and back.
5. Visit TKTS for cheap tickets – The TKTS booth in Leicester Square offers discount tickets on the day of the show. You’ll need to confirm with the individual theatre that the tickets are handicapped accessible. The easiest way to get accessible seats is to buy them from the theatre directly.
6. Use the Millennium Bridge – The Millennium Bridge is a walking bridge that connects St. Paul’s Cathedral on the north side of the Thames River with the Tate Modern Museum on the south side of the river. It has elevators at both ends of the bridge and is an easy way for London wheelchair travelers to cross the river (photos of the Millennium Bridge shown below).
7. Purchase an Oyster Card – The Oyster Card is a credit card size electronic card that is definitely the easiest way to pay for public transportation in London. You can buy one in a train or metro station from the Oyster Card dispensing machine (shown on the right).
8. Accessible side entrance to St. Paul’s Cathedral – The main entrance to St. Paul’s Cathedral has numerous steps to ascend (shown in the image below on the left). A side entrance on the south side of the building (shown below on the right) has a wheelchair lift to get up to the main floor.
9. Accessible rear entrance at British Museum – The British Museum has a wheelchair lift at the main entrance on the south side of the building on Great Russell Street (wheelchair lift shown in the pics below). The north side of the building has flat access to the building. Disabled travelers to London can use either entrance to get into the museum, but should opt for the back entrance if the wheelchair lift is broken.
10. Pick up your Parliament tickets across the street – If you are visiting London when Parliament is open to the public and you have purchased your Parliament tickets in advance, you’ll need to pick them up before your visit. The ticket window (shown below on the left) is actually located across the street from Parliament, on the west side of St. Margaret Street. On the back side of the building is a ramp (shown below on the right) to get around the stairs in the front of the building.
11. Pick up an audioguide at the National Gallery – Art museums are nearly always better with an expert to explain the significance of the paintings you are viewing. The audioguide is cheap and essential to make the most of your National Gallery visit.
12. Spread the museums out through your trip – London has more top-notch museums than any other city in Europe. Visiting them can be incredibly enjoyable but also sometimes exhausting. In order to get as much out of your museum visits as possible, spread them out throughout your trip. You’ll likely have more energy in the morning than after a full-day of sightseeing.
13. Take the London Eye and a bus tour to get an orientation of the city
– A wheelchair accessible bus tour is a great way to see all of the tourist areas of London in a short period of time. It will also help you during the rest of your trip because you will have a better sense of the layout of the city. The wheelchair accessible London Eye also gives you a good opportunity to view the layout of the city from above (ramp shown in the photo on the right).
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London Accessible Travel – main page
Pros and Cons of London Disabled Access
13 Wheelchair Accessible Travel Tips for London England
9 Keys to Success for London Handicapped Travel
Tower of London Wheelchair Access
London Eye Wheelchair Accessibility
Stonehenge Disabled Access
Travel Insurance for Disabled Travelers
London Accessible Travel Packages
Accessible Walking and Driving Tours in London
Highlights of London Accessible Driving Tour
Classic London Wheelchair Accessible Tour
Royal London Accessible Guided Tour
London Accessible Boat Cruise on the Thames River
Stonehenge & Hampton Court Accessible Driving Tour
Stonehenge & Windsor Castle Accessible Guided Tour
Stonehenge Accessible Tour by Train
Cambridge Accessible Tour from London
Oxford Accessible Tour from London
Highlights of Greenwich Accessible Tour
London Accessibility Guide by John Sage
London Trip Planning by Sage Traveling – Travel with Ease!
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