Visiting London with a disability

Planning a trip to London is already sometimes a difficult task when it comes to deciding what to see and what to visit, but if you are going to visit London with a disability then there are some aspects that you will need to take into account to get around and visit the most famous attractions of London. the city.

London is becoming better prepared for people with a disability every day, and is becoming more accessible every day for people with reduced mobility, and all the works carried out today take into account improving accessibility to public transport, both by metro and buses, in addition to facilitating access in case you need a wheelchair on the streets and sidewalks. Most of the attractions are also accessible to people with reduced mobility, and almost all of them offer sessions with auditory description or in sign language.

What will you find in this article?

Visiting London with a disability

1. Travel to London

Today, airports are prepared to facilitate access for people with disabilities, with assistance for people with reduced mobility when arriving at the boarding gate and getting on the plane at the departure airport and getting off the plane and if necessary get to the departure area at the arrival airport. They usually have wheelchairs available and people to help you if you don’t have a wheelchair but need to avoid a lot of walking. If you bring your own wheelchair, we recommend that you read the necessary information on the website of the airline with which you fly.

2. Documentation

I recommend that you carry your handicapped card with you, since it will be necessary to present it to take advantage of reduced tickets at attractions and I always recommend that you also carry your DNI just in case.

3. Wheelchair rental in London

One option is to rent a wheelchair for your stay in London. On this website you can book one and they take it to the hotel: Wheelchair rental website .

4. Public transport in London with a disability

Public bus

Nearly all London buses are wheelchair accessible, with a system of easy access to the bus generally through the rear door and a priority space for wheelchairs. Traveling on the London bus and tram network in a wheelchair is free, and no special ticket is required.

Meter

The metro is also accessible as long as you go with the route well studied in advance, and I have to admit that there is a very useful map, with everything you need to know, but that at first it is a bit complicated to understand. You must have a normal tube ticket, since there are no reduced prices for people with disabilities visiting London, these discounts only apply to residents. To move around London we recommend using one of the two transport cards that exist, the oyster card or the travelcard, and choosing which one really suits you depends on the number of zones you need and the number of days you are going to be in London.

Most central London tube stations have escalators to get down to the platforms, but many of the stations still require going down a few steps after the first few escalators to get to the different platforms. Many of the stations also have elevators, but it is not necessarily possible to reach the platforms by elevator, as sometimes you also have to go down stairs afterwards.

London Underground Accessibility Maps

On the normal London Underground map accessible tube stops are marked with a wheelchair. If it is a blue circle, it indicates that they are fully accessible, that is, it is possible to go in a wheelchair from the street to the same subway car, since there will be a higher area on the platform to avoid any unevenness. between the car and the platform. And if it is a wheelchair in a white circle, it means that there are no steps from the street to the platform, but there is some unevenness when it comes to getting on the subway car and you still need help.

In addition to the normal metro map, there is another map that explains in great detail what degree of accessibility there is at each metro stop and between different lines at those metro stops where there is more than one line in case you need to change. At first it is a bit difficult to understand, but once you get the hang of it it is very easy. In addition, this map indicates the distance between the car and the platform. You can see this map here: London Underground accessibility map .

In addition to this map, Transport for London has different accessibility maps, including large font maps, which you can see here: Accessibility Maps

If you need help just ask one of the workers.

You can find more detailed information about the use of public transport in London on the official website of Transport for London: Transport for London

5. Guide Dogs

Guide dogs are allowed in shops and public transport in London. Most hotels also accept guide dogs, but you need to contact the hotel directly or check their official website.

6. Accommodation

For people in wheelchairs or with reduced mobility, my recommendation is to choose a hotel as close to the center as possible, to use the public bus to reach the tourist places of interest, or choose a hotel that is close to a metro stop accessible.

Hotels with recommended wheelchair accessible rooms:

  • Premier Inn London County Hall : Hotel located next to the London Eye, with rooms adapted for wheelchairs (you must make sure to request one of these rooms when making the reservation). The nearest tube stop is Waterloo (with wheelchair access).
  • Premier Inn Waterloo : Hotel located also next to the London Eye, with rooms adapted for wheelchairs (you must make sure to request one of these rooms when making the reservation). The nearest tube stop is Waterloo (with wheelchair access).
  • Park Plaza Westminster Bridge
  • Citizen M: Modern hotel located between London Bridge and Southwark stations, both with wheelchair access and close to Southbank, next to the Tate Modern.
  • Ibis London Euston : Located next to King’s Cross and Euston. The Euston tube stop is the closest, which is wheelchair accessible with a moving ramp, and the Euston Square tube stop which is also close by is fully wheelchair accessible.

7. Stroll through London

Walking around London with reduced mobility or in a wheelchair is relatively easy, since there are practically no steps and the sidewalks are adapted by the most tourist areas to avoid unevenness.

One of the best areas is Southbank, the South bank of the Thames, since it is possible to go from the London Eye to the Tower Bridge in London without a step. That’s why if you have the hotel in this area it can be ideal.

Along this path you will come across the Millennium Bridge, which you can cross in a wheelchair and reach St Paul’s Cathedral.

And in the center you can walk through Covent Garden, Leicester Square, Piccadilly, Soho, Regent Street and Oxford street without having to go up or down a step.

Our London itineraries may be helpful when planning a trip to London.

Most of London’s famous attractions are wheelchair accessible and many also offer information in braille and even sign language (English) guides. I recommend visiting the official website of the attractions you want to see as they usually have a lot of information about it, some with accessibility maps that can be very useful. And if you have read other articles on our blog, you will have seen that I always recommend buying tickets online in advance, but if you intend to visit an attraction, it is better to check the official website, since admission to some attractions is free if you have a card. handicapped or admission is at a reduced price and includes a free companion. In most cases you can buy your ticket online normally and when you present the ticket you bought at the box office and documentation that proves your disability, a companion (who acts as a caretaker, “carer”) can enter with you for free. In other cases it is necessary to buy the tickets at the same ticket office of the attraction (the ticket for people with disabilities is called «concession» ). If you are going to visit the attraction in a wheelchair, some attractions ask you to contact them directly through their email to make the reservation and reserve a specific time, such as the London Eye and the Madame Tussauds wax museum.

Here is a list of the most famous attractions in London and their accessibility:

Tour Bus: Big Bus Tours buses are wheelchair accessible. Although you will not be able to go up to the second floor, in my opinion it is a very simple way to visit the city, being able to get on and off at the points of interest in the city without having to use public transport, and the best of all is that in the cruise that they give away can also board wheelchairs. For the tourist bus I do recommend buying tickets in advance online as it is cheaper. More information: BigBus

London Eye: London ‘s famous Ferris wheel is another easily accessible attraction. If you have a disability you have to buy a normal and current adult ticket, there is no discount for the person with a disability or in a wheelchair, but upon arrival when you present the ticket you have purchased and the documents that prove your disability, they will allow a companion go up for free, for this reason it is not necessary to buy the ticket for the companion in advance. Wheelchair access is allowed, and a maximum of two wheelchairs can enter one of its capsules. If you need to get on the London in a wheelchair, it is best to follow the instructions on the official website and reserve a time through their contact form. More information:London Eye . Official website: London Eye .

Madame Tussauds: It is possible to access all floors of the famous London wax museum with a wheelchair, and by presenting your disabled card at the entrance they will allow the entrance of one companion for free (as long as you carry your disabled card ). If you are going to visit the London wax museum in a wheelchair, it is best to book a time through its official website. It is also possible to ask for a wheelchair at the entrance if you need one, or you can reserve it at the time of booking on its official website. If you have a disability you can buy your ticket online and at the box office when you present the documentation they will allow the entry of a companion for free. More information: Madame Tussauds . Official website with detailed information on this topic:Madame Tussauds

Torre de Londres: La Torre de Londres tiene algunas zonas totalmente accesibles y se puede visitar en silla de ruedas, incluyendo la zona donde están localizadas las joyas de la corona. La torre en sí es la menos accesible, por las escaleras que nos podemos encontrar una vez estemos dentro. La entrada a la Torre de Londres es de precio reducido para personas con discapacidad y un acompañante entra gratis (llevando carnet de minusválido y presentándolo en taquilla). También es posible pedir una silla de ruedas en la entrada si necesitas una. Más información: Torre de Londres.

Shakespeare’s globe: Shakespeare’s globe theater located in the Southbank area is wheelchair accessible, whether to visit the exhibition and theater or to attend a play. Official website: Shakespeare’s Globe .

British Museum: Free entry museum fully accessible for people with reduced mobility.

London Zoo: The famous London Zoo, located in Regent’s Park, is also accessible. They have wheelchairs available to use for free in the Zoo, you simply have to go to a store called The Lion’s Den located on the right as soon as you enter the Zoo, and it is necessary to pay a deposit that is returned to you when you return the wheelchair. wheels. More information: London Zoo .

Wembley Stadium: One of the football stadiums that can be accessed by wheelchair.

Buckingham Palace: If you go in a wheelchair you can visit Buckingham Palace for free, or you can also rent a wheelchair at the entrance for free to visit the palace, but you need to book in advance through its official website: Buckingham Palace . More information: Buckingham Palace .

Natural History Museum: The natural history museum is accessible to visit with a wheelchair, with an elevator to reach the different floors and bathrooms adapted for the disabled. It is possible to rent a wheelchair for free at the entrance to visit the museum. It also offers sessions with auditory description and sign language (English). Official website: Natural History Museum . More information: Museums of London .

Westminster Abbey: Free entry for people in wheelchairs and one companion, it is necessary to take into account that the floor is uneven and not the entire abbey is accessible with a wheelchair, but it is still worth entering. They also have wheelchairs to rent for free. Official website: Westminster Abbey . More information: Westminster Abbey .

Tower Bridge Exhibition: Accessible for wheelchairs, free admission for the disabled person and one companion. Official website: Tower Bridge .

St. Paul’s Cathedral: The main entrance to the cathedral has stairs, but there is an entrance on the south side of the building with no steps. There is a lift to the crypt, but it is not possible to go up to the galleries. The person with a disability and a companion can enter the Cathedral of San Pablo for free, but it is necessary to present the documentation at the box office so that they give you the 2 free tickets. The rest of the companions will need a normal ticket. Official website: St Paul’s . More information: St Paul’s .

9. Going to the theater in London with a disability

The best musicals in London are located in the largest theaters in the city, and although they are usually quite old theaters, almost all of them have adapted bathrooms and an accessible area. To go with a wheelchair, it is better to check the official website and contact the theater directly through your email, since they also usually offer cheaper tickets for these cases.

Many of the smaller theaters offer special sessions, such as sign language sessions, auditory description for people with reduced vision, or quieter sessions for people with autism. To find out which theaters offer these sessions, it is best to consult this website: Theater accessibility .

10. Taxi in London

The typical London taxi is adapted with a ramp for easy access and is large enough to travel in a wheelchair. If you need to book a taxi in advance, we recommend booking a minicab , simply indicate what you need.

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