Top 5 Wheelchair Accessible Irish Treasures you don’t want to miss!
The wild, wonderful Ireland is a small island with a big reputation among travelers worldwide. Incredibly beautiful landscapes, a history filled with intriguing details and fascinating, friendly people with a charming accent… It’s no wonder that Ireland is becoming an increasingly popular travel destination!
Generally, the hills, cobblestones and hotels located in 100+ year old buildings have made disabled travel here challenging. However, don’t let that discourage you from experiencing Ireland firsthand. In this month’s newsletter, I’ll share the Top 5 Wheelchair Accessible Irish Treasures You Don’t Want to Miss!
Top 5 Wheelchair Accessible Irish Treasures
you don’t want to miss!
1.The Titanic Exhibition
The world-famous Titanic Exhibition is one for the memory books. Located in Belfast, this exhibition was built right beside the harbor in which the original Titanic ship was made. The incredible exhibition is a combination of modern interactive experiences, videos and displays throughout, teaching you about the story of the Titanic from birth to the death. Uncover the true legend of the Titanic in the city where it all began!
The Titanic Exhibition offers wonderful accessibility features! From the main floor, there is an easy ramp leading from the Boomtown Gallery to the Arrol Gantry Lift and a moderate ramp leading into the Ocean Exploration Centre. Wheelchair users can use a lift at the Arrol Gantry to gain access to the next part of the exhibition where other lifts are available to help navigate the different exhibition floors. The Theatre has designated spaces for wheelchair users located at the back and the floor below. Accessible restrooms equipped with grab bars, extra turning space and wide doors are located throughout the different floors.
2. The Antrim Castle Gardens and Clotworthy House
The incredible Antrim Castle Gardens are located only a short 30 minute drive from Belfast. The 400-year old Gardens have been transformed into a unique living museum that has been awarded the prestigious Green Glad and Green Heritage Status. Admire the 17th Century Anglo-Dutch style canals, ponds and avenues, a 12th Century Motte, the Victorian Pleasure Garden and a recreated Large Parterre. On the site is also the restored Clotworthy House which is the former coaching house and stables for the Antrim Castle, which burned down in 1022. The House now has a gallery and coffee shop inside, as well as a charming little Courtyard.
Most of the terrain in the Gardens is flat with a gravel path or thin layer of sand. It is possible to follow a step-free path through them. The Clotworthy House Courtyard is fully accessible with flat paving stones. There are also wheelchair accessible restrooms inside as well as a wheelchair lift to access the upper levels of the gallery for viewing etc.
3.Trinity College and Book of Kells
The prestigious Trinity College is an absolute must-see when you visit Dublin. The college was founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I, and is located on College Green, opposite the historic Irish Houses of Parliament. Browse the beautiful, ornate campus grounds and make your way to the incredible Library of Trinity College. The 18th century Library building is a legal deposit library for Ireland and Great Britain, containing over 6.2 million printed volumes and significant quantities of manuscripts, including the Book of Kells, the artistically decorated medieval bible. The illuminated illustrations of the Christian Gospels dates back to 800 AD!
While you will experience some mild cobblestones throughout the exterior College grounds, these do not pose any major challenges. The area also has some paved paths available. Ramps have been installed to enter the main buildings, and the surfaces inside are flat and smooth. In order to get to the Library, a private staff member will escort wheelchair users using a private elevator.
4. National Stud and Japanese Gardens
Located approximately an hour drive from Dublin, the National Stud and Gardens offers a refreshing escape from the busy city life. This is a unique attraction of outstanding national beauty that is home to some of the most magnificent horses and sumptuous gardens in the world. For well over 100 years, the National Stud has been producing thoroughbreds capable of being crowned champions home and abroad. While here, you can learn about the history of the site, see the newborn foals and old legends, and enjoy a quick lunch or snack in the onsite café. Right next to the Stud, you will find the breathtaking Japanese Gardens. These immaculately manicured Gardens take you on a journey around rivers and cherry blossoms, and many different other trees, plants, flowers, lawns and rocks. The Gardens are renowned throughout the world and the finest of their kind in Europe.
The entrance to the National Stud has a long wheelchair accessible ramp to avoid the long flight of stairs, and the grounds at the main entrance are smooth and easy to navigate. Some areas by the stables have mild cobblestones but these shouldn’t pose any major challenges for wheelchair users. The path at the Japanese Gardens is mostly flat, however, some areas have some narrow, challenging inclines that can be avoided if needed. The surfaces include gravel and paved paths throughout.
5. Guinness Storehouse
Housed in an old fermentation plant, the new seven-story Guinness visitor experience center tells the story of Ireland’s iconic drink and brings to life the heritage of this world-famous beer. Enjoy a self-guided tour at your own pace through the interactive Visitor Experience. See the world’s largest pint glass and the 9000 year lease signed by Arthur Guinness.
To enter the Guinness Storehouse, wheelchair users must enter via the accessible entrance located on Market St. and push the call button to gain access. There are lifts located throughout the building to help navigate the different floors, including the Panoramic lifts (2.2mx 1.1 m) and the Visitor Experience lift (1.5m x 1.1m). Additionally, accessible restrooms with wide doors and grab bars are available on the ground floor, as well as the 3rd, the 4th and 5th floors. Don’t miss out on the wheelchair friendly tap located on the 4th floor where you can pour your very own Perfect Pint of GUINNESS®.
Did you know?
While April, May and June are some of the best months to visit Ireland, September and October are also great options for an accessible Ireland vacation. Our accessible trip planners are ready and eager to help plan a fully accessible vacation for you that includes accessible accommodation, transportation and memorable wheelchair friendly guided tours that include the above Top 5 Accessible Irish Treasures you don’t want to miss!
John Sage, Founder and President of Sage Traveling
Phone: US: 1-888-645-7920, UK: +44 20 3540 6155