Thursday 29 October 2020

16 of the most accessible attractions in Gloucestershire

Find a family day out that’s fun for everyone as SoGlos rounds up 16 of Gloucestershire’s most accessible attractions.

With gorgeous gardens, fascinating cultural venues and unique places to explore in Gloucestershire, people of all ages and abilities will find fun places to visit that are inclusive for all.

In this hot list, sponsored by Lilian Faithfull Care, SoGlos rounds up 16 of the most accessible attractions for a day out that every family member can enjoy.


About the sponsor – Lilian Faithfull Care

Proud to make a ‘home for life’ for its residents, Lilian Faithfull Care provides exceptional elderly and dementia care at its five homes and two day care hubs across Gloucesteshire.

As a charity, Lilian Faithfull Care puts people over profit and has a compassionate and holistic approach with a knowledgeable and understanding staff team.

For more information, visit lilianfaithfull.co.uk.


1. Cotswold Farm Park

Home to a collection of adorable rare breed farm animals, as well as wildlife walks and outdoor play areas, Cotswold Farm Park in Guiting Power is a wonderful day out for little ones and grown-ups.

Offering a multi-sensory experience ideal for guests with learning disabilities, listening posts for visually impaired visitors, wheelchair access throughout the park and wheelchairs available to borrow, it’s a day out everyone in the family can enjoy.


2. Museum of Gloucester

From Roman ruins to the Birdlip mirror, the Museum of Gloucester has an impressive collection of historical artefacts, as well as paintings and artwork, all within its beautiful Victorian building in the heart of Gloucester.

With level access on both floors, a changing places toilet and plenty of room around the exhibitions, its ideal for wheelchair users. Staff at the museum have disability awareness training to make visitors feel safe and welcome too.


3. Westonbirt Arboretum

With 15,000 trees from all over the world, Westonbirt Arboretum near Tetbury is a nature lovers paradise. Along with walking routes of varying difficulty, the fully accessible STIHL Treetop Walkway lets visitors marvel at all the beautiful colours from 13 metres up in the tree canopy.

Assistance dogs are welcome to come along and mobility scooters are available to hire for free when booking tickets.


4. Gloucester Cathedral

The jewel in Gloucestershire’s architectural crown, Gloucester Cathedral is both breathtaking and accessible. People of all ages and abilities can enjoy wandering its famous cloisters and taking in the stunning stained glass windows.

The cathedral offers disabled parking spaces, accessible toilets, self-operated lifts and wheelchairs to borrow, as well as a hearing loop in the Nave and the Quire. There is a sensory trail, ideal for people with complex disabilities, and a Traditions Box to borrow, designed for people with dementia.


5. Cotswold Wildlife Park

The whole family can enjoy a roarsome day out at Cotswold Wildlife Park in Burford. Come face to face with giraffes with ramp access to the giraffe house, see Asiatic lions in their enclosure with windows that are all viewable from a wheelchair or take a leisurely trip around the park and see what other animals you can spot.

As well as being flat with plenty of wide open space, Cotswold Wildlife Park also has a changing places toilet and free wheelchair hire. Plus registered blind visitors can come along free of charge.


6. Batsford Arboretum

The beautiful Batsford Arboretum in Moreton-in-Marsh has a multitude of colourful trees, shrubs and bamboo, including an impressive collection of Japanese Flowering Cherry trees.

While some parts of the arboretum are tricky to access from a manual wheelchair, electric wheelchair and mobility scooter users should have no problems. Wheelchair users aren’t charged entrance fees to the arboretum and less mobile visitors can hire an all-terrain Tramper mobility scooter for £2.50 for a two hour slot. Disabled parking and toilets are both available too.


7. Cattle Country Adventure Park

Fluffy bunnies, cheeky piglets and friendly goats are just some of the cute animals to meet at Cattle Country Adventure Park in Berkeley, with paths around the park and most of the farm trail being wheelchair accessible.

On top of that, wheelchair users receive free admission, there are concessionary rates for disabled visitors and assistance dogs are welcome to come along. Less mobile guests can also book a wheelchair in advance to use on their visit.


8. Sudeley Castle

The historic Sudeley Castle allows visitors to follow the footsteps of Tudor royalty, as the final resting place Henry VIII’s sixth wife, Catherine Parr.

There is an accessible route through the garden, though manual wheelchair users may need some assistance on gravel areas, and staff can provide directions for guests who aren’t able to use the grass bank to access the church. The church itself, the pheasantry and adventure playground are all accessible, and there are disabled toilets inside the castle.


9. Slimbridge Wetland Centre

With level access on all paths around the site, step-free entry to most hides, a wheelchair accessible wild safari and an accessible observation tower and observatory, Slimbridge Wetland Centre is an ideal day out for wildlife lovers.

There are also mobility scooters to hire from £6 per day, plus designated disabled parking spaces, accessible toilets and a hearing loop in reception for anyone hard of hearing.


10. Corinium Museum

Cirencester’s award-winning Corinium Museum tells the story of the Roman capital of the Cotswolds, with thousands of artefacts from tools to jewellery on display.

It offers full disabled access, with lifts to upper floors, step free access to the Roman Garden, shop and café and Braille interpretation for many of the museum’s interactive exhibits. There’s also a hearing loop in reception, the shop and the lecture theatre.


11. Hidcote Manor Garden

The Arts and Crafts Movement was the inspiration behind the beautiful Hidcote Manor Garden near Chipping Campden. Each area has been intricately designed, paying attention to colour, scent, shape and texture, with lots of exotic plants to enjoy.

Facilities at Hidcote include disabled parking spaces close to the entrance, adapted toilets and a dedicated wheelchair accessible route for visitors who don’t want tackle slopes, steps, grass or uneven ground.


12. Birdland Park and Gardens

Flamingos, parrots and penguins are just some of the colourful creatures to see at Birdland Park and Gardens in the picturesque Bourton-on-the-Water.

It proudly describes itself as one of the Cotswolds most accessible attractions, with wheelchair access throughout, guide dogs welcome and wheelchairs available to reserve in advance for visitors who need them.


13. Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway

For a delightfully nostalgic day out, the Gloucestershire Warwickshire railway, which runs from Cheltenham Racecourse to Broadway, has specially adapted carriages for wheelchair users.

There are accessible toilets at most stations, disabled parking spaces at Cheltenham, Toddington and Broadway and ramps available to get on and off the trains. Due to the current restrictions, there is room for one pre-booked wheelchair per train, so remember to include any wheelchair requirements when booking.


14. Cotswold Motoring Museum

Get a chance to see the famous TV toy car Brum, alongside an extensive collection of vintage cars, bikes and toys, at the Cotswold Motoring Museum.

With disabled and wheelchair access throughout museum, much of the surrounding area in Bourton-on-the-Water is flat too, which is ideal for wheelchair users and people with limited mobility.


15. International Centre for Birds of Prey

The International Centre for Birds of Prey in Newent is home to a variety of stunning birds, from owls to eagles, where visitors can enjoy flying demonstrations and learn about these incredible hunters.

The entire site is step free, which is ideal for guests with limited mobility.


16. Cerney House Gardens

With a scented garden, lavender walk, laburnum archway and a bothy serving tea and cakes, all set within a Victorian walled garden, Cerney House Gardens near Cheltenham has plenty to explore.

It’s open seven days a week from January until late October and offers disabled parking and wheelchair access to both the gardens and the tea room.


For more information, visit lilianfaithfull.co.uk.

© SoGlos
Monday 28 September 2020

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