Slimbridge Wetland Centre

Slimbridge Wetland Centre

Slimbridge Wetland Centre | 21st August 2018

Location: WWT Slimbridge
Bowditch, Slimbridge
Gloucestershire, GL2 7BT

Date of initial visit: 29th March 2017

Date of revisit: 21st August 2018

Parking

There is a large car park with 17 disabled spaces, the spaces are located close to the ramped entrance and the car park toilets which has one disabled toilet.

Accessibility

I would very much recommend a visit to Slimbridge Wetland Centre, there is something there for everybody. Majority of the park is accessible for a wheelchair due to the ramps and clear, wide pathways, the wildlife can be appreciated by children and adults making it fully inclusive.

You can hire an electric scooter or a manual wheelchair from the park, it is advised to call in advance to book one of these. Electric scooters are £6 for the day and they ask for a donation towards manual chairs to go towards maintenance costs.

For people with visual impairments there are volunteers on offer, they will aid you around the park whilst giving you some interesting facts about the fabulous surrounding wildlife. This is work in progress and training is still being given but has been greatly received. Due to this being offered by volunteers you will need to contact the park to organise this ahead of time and be flexible to work around them. The centre will also print out a large print map on request if you need one.

Slimbridge also have dates where they hire out Mobiloo to have on site, who provide extra toileting facilities including an electric hoist, adult size changing table and an assistant available. The upcoming dates are as follows:

  • Wednesday 22nd August 2018
  • Tuesday 18th September 2018
  • Wednesday 24th October 2018

Please visit the website to keep up to date with any other news.

You can read about the Slimbridge 2020 project here. Within this project are some exciting things on the horizon regarding accessibility such as a fully functioning lift at the new Holden Tower (from Autumn 2019) with a stunning view over the Estuary, current access is up two flights of stairs. The summer walkway is going to be made accessible (opening summer 2020) and they are also building a new accessible Avery and outdoor theatre which will have disabled toilet facilities inside.

During wet winter months you are required to disinfect your shoes and wheels going round certain parts of the park, there is a mat and wheel wash provided.

There is a Land Rover Safari which takes you along the banks of the River Severn with a expert warden to point out the surrounding wildlife, a lift has recently been installed which can accommodate 2 wheelchairs per journey. However, we didn’t get chance to experience this.

The centre itself is very big and you could easily spend a full day here, on entrance there is a large double automatic door leading into the venue, with a button for disabled users to press this will open the door and there is a lowered reception point on the right for disabled customers. You can collect a token from the reception for the observatory which is a viewing platform up high where you can see a 360-degree view of the Wetlands. This is accessible via the lift.

You then lead from the visitor centre directly out to Swan Lake, there is a flat, wide decking type bridge which leads over the lake with birds either side, you can get close to the water and feed the birds with grain which can be purchased at the visitor centre for £1.50

Welly boot land is just around the corner from Swan Lake, this is a great area for children, I was able to get in here and could sit comfortably around a bench but the activities are very interactive and would be no good for a child in a wheelchair. There are small bridges over water streams, roundabouts, climbing frames etc.

You can then work your way around the park in a loop, I would recommend from the left and then looping around to the right (e.g from swan lake, welly boot land, south discovery hide, Asia, otter pool, Hogarth hide, tropical guide, Kingfisher hide, playpark/toilets, North America, duck decoy, pond zone, garden of reflection, Knott hide (this pathway has some less accessible areas so you may want to end your trip before), gift shop, home!) there are lots of gates which are required to be kept shut, this is to keep certain birds in their home environment but also to keep other animals out such as foxes. Some less able-bodied people would not be able to open these gates, if you were visiting alone without any assistance then the staff are happy to help with this as much as possible.

The South Lake discovery was fantastic hide with a great view for a wheelchair user and lots of space to manoeuvre inside, there were lots of low windows I could get to and binoculars available. This was one of the best Hides for accessibility.

The otter pool has flat decking all around and a glass wall to separate so you get a good view, the otters sleep quite a bit in their cave during the day, you can also go through the cave where there is a small window to look through, this would be difficult for someone with limited sight due to the height of the windows and it was quite dark. They also do talks about the otters at 11.30am and 3.00pm.

The flamingo lagoon is also a superb hide for accessibility, there is a ramp leading down and a very large window. You are slightly underground here so the flamingos are at eyeline which is easier to see for somebody with a sight impairment. There is also a video screen in here with an audio information headset about the conservation work the WWT are doing for flamingos.

The park outlines on their map that the Stephen Kirk hide, the Holden Tower and the Summer walkway have restricted wheelchair access which is correct (no access at all) you can view some of the other hides along this route although we didn’t see much wildlife along this track so for a wheelchair user I personally avoid going any further than the pond zone.

When I visited in November I was also not able to access the Kingfisher hide as they required you to clean your feet/wheels before entering but there was no facility to do this for my wheelchair.

Café/Restaurant

There are two Kiosks around the park where you can buy drinks and confectionary, there was no lowered counter here.

The Kingfisher Kitchen is located by the entrance and had very good accessibility, there were benches outside I could comfortably fit my wheelchair underneath and lots of tables inside too. The walkways were nice and wide, and it was easy to navigate around. The menu was light but they do not offer a large print or braille menu, the PDF screen readable online menu is available here. You are required to go to the counter to place your order, the counter is at a low height.

There are vegetarian and gluten free options on the menu and they offer take away food in 100% compostable boxes.

Toilets

There are 6 disabled toilets located around the park, all four of the toilets I had time to look at had good facilities inside, with all necessary adjusting hand rails and lowered sinks etc, none of them required RADAR keys. The 6 disabled toilets are located:

  • Car park
  • Foyer by main reception x2
  • Visitor centre, downstairs
  • Near restaurant, located outside the building
  • To the side of the kiosk by the play area

Most toilets are near the entrance to the park apart from the toilets by the play area so I would advise making this your half way break point.

Lift

The lift takes you up to the observatory and is located in the visitor centre, it isn’t large enough to turn around in but it is large enough for somebody to assist a wheelchair user inside. The buttons are easy to reach and the lighting is quite dim.

Customer Service

Project Manager, Jackie Harris met with us to show us around the wetland centre. Jackie very kindly gave up her day to provide us with a taster of a guided tour around some areas of the park and was able to give us some great insight about the wildlife. She took all of our comments about areas for improvement on board and was very keen to make the park as accessible as possible. The volunteers we spoke to at the reception were also very helpful and friendly.

Visit Slimbridge Wetland Centre website for more information including ticket and membership prices.

Accessibility Rating

(image – five out of five stars)

https://goo.gl/maps/UTjmjpVzYkJ2

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Blackfriars

Blackfriars | 10th July 2018

Location: Ladybellegate St, Gloucester, GL1 2HS
Date of visit: 10th July 2018

Parking

There are seven disabled bays located outside the Blackfriars, in the Lady Bellegate street car park which is a council owned car park, you can park here for free with a blue badge.

There is also an NCP car park which backs directly onto this car park, there are disabled parking bays in this car park however, there is no free parking with a blue badge, so you will need to pay for a ticket.

Accessibility

There is a small curb to gain access to the main entrance, they have a temporary ramp for this which would remain in place if there was an event on. This takes you through a stone archway and down a wide pathway. There are some benches to the right of the pathway on some grass. At the bottom of the pathway is another archway which leads through to a courtyard, here you can access the North, East and South range.

  • The North Range

Turning left through the archway takes you down to the North range, this is an original priory church building and is used for events such as weddings and parties as well as theatre productions and music events. There is a small slope leading down to two sets of wide doors, these would be open during an event. There are two floors to the North range, the second floor is up 5 steps, both floors are all open plan and there is a platform lift available to the left of the stairs. All areas are accessible for wheelchair users.

  • The East Range

Heading out of the North range and turning left takes you to the East range where there are three floors. The first floor has a small room which can be used for meetings or signing of the registers for a wedding. There is a wooden ramp that has been built throughout the first floor which makes the accessibility very good. There is also another door in here via which can be accessed via the ramp, this leads to a garden and then through to the top floor of the north range. There is a piece of ramp leading down to a empty part of the building, there is not much to see down here and floor is very uneven so I would avoid going down here.

The second floor can be accessed via a platform lift, when exiting to the lift your first right takes you to a café/bar area with some small tables to sit at, these were suitable for a wheelchair, although a large wheelchair may find it difficult to find underneath. There is a fold out section of the bar which is slightly lower and an appropriate height for a wheelchair to order and pay for drinks. Next door along is access to the toilets, the disabled toilet is at the end of the corridor.

The third floor is also accessible via the lift, there is a smaller room here which can also be used for events, there is a flat entrance and is all accessible.

Lift

The two platform lifts in the North and East range are both easy to use, the buttons are at a low height. However, they do have manual doors so a wheelchair user or somebody with a visual impairment may need assistance to do this.

Toilets

The disabled toilet is located on the second floor to the East range and requires access via the lift. It is very spacious, large enough to turn around in, as it is located at the end of a corridor it is easier to turn around in here rather than reversing down the corridor which is not wide enough to turn around in. The toilet is on the back wall to the left as you enter, and the emergency cord is in corner next to the toilet. There is an adjustable handrail and wall mounted hand rail to each side for left and right-side transfer. The sink, hand dryer and soap dispenser were all at a lowered height. The toilets were very clean.

Accessibility Rating

(five out of five stars)

Visit website for bookings: http://www.gloucesterblackfriars.co.uk/

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Nature in Art | 7th April 2017

Parking

There is disabled parking located at the front of the building for three cars.

Accessibility

There is a ramp leading into the front of the building making it easy for wheelchair users. You enter straight into the gift shop with a gallery to your right hand side. There is plenty of space to get about in a wheelchair.

There are three galleries within the building, two of which are upstairs. To access these galleries upstairs, there is a lift available on the ground floor. There is a ramp leading outside into the beautiful gardens, there is no gravel or path around the garden but it is easily accessible for wheelchair users especially during the summer months. Any carer with a disabled member has free entry.

There is an education centre located at the back of the gardens, they have art courses and activity days held here.

Lift

The lift is wheelchair accessible but is rather small, therefore, not large enough for a wheelchair to turn around in or enough space for a PA or family member to assist a wheelchair user. This would not be suitable for somebody that would need to be supervised to use the lift. The buttons are nice a low and easy to use for somebody that is able to use these.

Toilet

There is a disabled toilet located in the education centre. This is a large wheelchair accessible toilet, with space for a wheelchair to turn around in safely and a family member or PA to assist a wheelchair user. There are handrails for both transfer sides and the sink, hand dryer and toilet paper dispenser are all accessible for wheelchair users.

Café

There is access to the coffee shop through the main building, or you can access the coffee shop using the ramp outside. The coffee shop is wheelchair accessible with an open seating plan. They offer A4 size menus for the visually impaired.

They have three special chalk boards located above the counter, for easy viewing.

The lighting in the coffee shop is nice and bright.

Accessibility Rating

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Victoria Pleasure Gardens

Victoria Pleasure Gardens | 6th June 2018

Parking

Gloucester Road Car Park is right on the doorstep to the gardens. There is only one disabled parking spot, however all the car park is easy to access. Blue badge holders can park for free.

Accessibility

Victoria pleasure gardens is a hidden beauty in Tewkesbury, they are tended to by ‘The Friends of Victoria Pleasure Gardens’ which is a volunteer group who joined together after the 2007 floods to bring life back to the gardens. The Borough Council mow the grass and the volunteers tend to the beautiful flower beds, they also have support from members and local charities to help with the costs.

There are three Archway entrances to the gardens, one from Gloucester Road Car Park, one on Gloucester Road and the last on Mill Street. All the entrances are accessible for wheelchairs, Mill Street being the most uneven of the three, however still manageable.

All the pathways around the gardens are fully accessible, they are nice and wide and the ground is even, the edges are neatly trimmed so it is easy to see. There are benches dotted around the gardens with space on the end of the benches for a wheelchair to sit so that you can sit with somebody who is at a bench. My wheelchair was able to mount the grass from the pathway if you wanted to sit on the grass – perfect for picnics! The gardens aren’t enormous, so don’t expect a day out here, but they are lovely to visit none the less.

You are right on the bank to the River Avon and at the one end to the gardens is the old Tewkesbury Mill and a Weir, there is quite a lot of noise created from the Weir, personally I find this quite relaxing however, others may find this too noisy.

Toilets

There are some public toilets located in Gloucester Road Car Park, there is one disabled toilet which requires a RADAR key. The disabled toilet has handrails for both transfer sides, and the facilities within the toilet are all at a lowered height for a wheelchair user. They are council public toilets, you are required to pay 20p for the non-disabled toilets. Considering they are public toilets, the cleanliness is pretty good. They are cleaned everyday at 6pm.

Customer Service

Rosemary from the friends of Victoria pleasure gardens very kindly took the time out of her day to show us around the gardens and answer all of our questions and talk all about her enthusiasm for the gardens.

 

Accessibility Rating

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The Roses Theatre

The Roses Theatre | 1st June 2018

Parking

There is no customer parking at the theatre, however, there are a few standard parking spaces on Sun Street if you can get a space. The closest public car park is Oldbury Road Car Park which is only approx. 100 yards away, there are four disabled bays here and you can park for free with a disabled badge.

Accessibility

There is an automatic double door to enter the building, which leads to a large foyer and the box office reception. There is a lowered section to the reception which makes it easy for somebody in a wheelchair to book and pay for their own tickets or to ask for help or advice. The café is immediately to the left which also leads to the auditorium.

When entering the auditorium, the immediate row as you go in is designated for disabled customers, they have two seats that are permanently removed for wheelchairs, however, the entire row of chairs can be easily removed and fits up to 11 wheelchairs. There are emergency exits on the end of each row which involves no stairs, as well as 4 other exits within the room. The entire row has the best seats in the house and a fantastic view of the stage giving a very enjoyable theatre experience.

It is advised to notify the theatre before arrival if you are in a wheelchair so they can ensure there is enough room for you in this row.

They offer audio description headsets for somebody who is blind or visually impaired which describes to somebody what is going on in the performance, they allow guide dogs into the building and they also offer subtitle screenings for the deaf. They also have parent and babies showings where they show PG, 12 and 15 rated films and parents can take along their babies/toddlers without the worry of them disturbing other viewers.

Upstairs next to the bar is a wide open space where they hold live music and comedy. This is all accessible.

The Roses Theatre – Tewkesbury Visit the website to see what shows are currently on.

Cafe

The café has some small tables and chairs in which were suitable for my wheelchair to fit under, they serve hot and cold drinks and some light snacks here. There is a small menu on the side of the wall but most of what is sold is on show over the counter. There is a lowered section to the counter.

Before entering the auditorium, there is also a small shop selling cold drinks, sweet and chocolates to enjoy the show with, again the bar is nice and low and easy for a wheelchair user.

Upstairs there is a bar serving other beverages as well as alcohol. To the left of the bar is a lowered section.

Toilets

There are two disabled toilets, one on each floor. The ground floor toilets are through the café and to the left, there are adequate hand rails for transfer and the sink, toilet roll dispenser is at an appropriately lowered height, including the mirror! The same applies for the first-floor toilet which is the larger of the two. The toilets have recently had a revamp and were nice and new and clean.

Lift

The lift is located at the back of the building through the café and past the toilets, the buttons are low and within reach for somebody using a wheelchair. The lift isn’t huge but was big enough for a wheelchair and two other people standing, to fit in at a squeeze. A wheelchair could not turn around within the lift.

 

Customer Service

Caroline, Head of Marketing, kindly showed us around the venue and gave us all the information required. She told us about their recent refurbishment at The Roses and when this took place they did it with accessibility in mind and she was happy to see they had done a good job following our feedback. She also advised how all of their staff have had Dementia Awareness Training to help their staff be better prepared for challenging behaviours.

Accessibility Rating

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Sherborne Cinema

Sherborne Cinema | 11th May 2018

Parking

There is parking located to the left of the building and there is one disabled spot.

Accessibility

There is a paved ramp leading into the front of the venue and there is a large accessible double door. The ticket booth is located on the left hand side, this is where you can purchase your tickets and also some snacks and drinks.

There is one cinema screen; this is where all the films are shown. The back row has space for three wheelchair users.The aisle is wider than your average cinema and you are welcome to sit on the end of the aisle in your wheelchair if it is a smaller wheelchair, this may be more suitable for somebody with a sight impairment so they can be closer to the screen. It is advisable to turn up early if you are in a wheelchair so the most suitable. It Is advisable to turn up early if you are in a wheelchair so the most suitable seat for you can be found before everybody else arrives.

They also offer headphones for the blind, this facility offers audio description through the headphones and guide dogs are welcome into the building.

There is a small porch over the main entrance to the cinema, this was added for sound proof. It makes it a little tight getting into the cinema.

Toilets

The toilets are on the right hand side of the building, the disabled toilet or ‘easy access toilet’ as Mark has called it, is at the end of the corridor on the left. The toilet is big enough for somebody to assist a wheelchair user and has suitable hand rails for transferring, The sink, hand dryer and toilet paper dispenser are all at a suitable lowered height.

Customer Service

Mark is an extremely friendly gentleman who has an obvious passion for film and has done a great job at keeping the traditional and personal touch within his cinema, it was a pleasure to meet him and I look forward to many more cinema trips in the future.

 

https://www.sherbornecinema.co.uk/programme Take a look at the website for up to date programme times

 

 

Accessibility Rating

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Gloucester Guildhall

Gloucester Guildhall | 2nd May 2018

Parking

You can enter the Guildhall directly from the Kings Walk car park, which is free after 6pm. You can park in here for up to 3 hours with a blue badge but you do need to complete an application form to get the electronic tag. To enter the building via the car park there is a steel ramp.

Accessibility

If you’re not entering the Guildhall via the Kings Walk car park, the main entrance is on Eastgate street. There is a singular automatic door and straight away steps leading up to the box office on level 1 or a lift which has access to all floors. All of the hallways across the venue are nice and wide and easy to navigate with a wheelchair. Considering the Guildhall is an old building, which is often where accessibility issues can be found, the accessibility across the venue is very good – wide entrances, hallways and big rooms.

The Guildhall monitor how many wheelchair users are in the building at the same time, due to the fact it is all above the ground floor. The maximum capacity is 8 people as this is the amount of wheelchairs they can get out of the building safely in the case of an emergency.

Guide dogs are allowed in the building.

Box Office

The box office is on the first floor and has a low reception point which makes it easy for a wheelchair user to communicate with staff on reception.

Cinema

The cinema is on the second floor, the main entrance for the cinema is down a small flight of stairs which is accessible via a platform lift and then up another platform lift to get into the cinema. There is a rear entrance to the cinema which cuts out the stairs, a member of staff will be happy to open this for you as it will be easier and quicker than using the platform lifts.

If you are in a wheelchair it is advisable to arrive a little earlier than the showing time for the film so that you can find the most suitable position for you. All of the seats within the cinema can be moved so you can sit wherever you prefer.

The Hall

There is a large entertainment hall which is on the second floor, to get to the hall you are required to use the door lift and the platform lift. The hall is used for concerts and gigs etc. There is tiered seating which can be folded away or extend across the hall it is large but would still be an intimate gig.

If the gig was standing it may be a little overcrowded and busy for someone in a wheelchair as there are no cornered off sections or anywhere specifically for disabled people. If it was seated the tiered seating would be inaccessible for a wheelchair but there would be plenty of space at the front.

There is a refuge point just behind the hall in case of an emergency where the emergency services will collect people in need of help, there is a flight of stairs leading to the refuge point which is a fire exit/staff only.

Café

The café is located on the second floor which is accessible via the door lift and platform lift, there is a wide entrance into the café, the tables are suitable for my wheelchair to fit under and the walkways are nice and wide. There is also a lower section to the bar on the righthand side. The menus are nice and light however, they don’t offer a larger print menu. The café uses local and fresh produce and can accommodate for vegan and gluten free.

Studio / Meeting Rooms

There is a studio room with a mirrored wall that can be used for dance lessons, there are also several meeting rooms of different sizes across the venue that can be hired out for meetings, events, conferences etc. Each of the rooms have a wide entrance and are easy to get in and out of.

Customer Service

Chris kindly showed us around the venue at short notice and gave us lots of information about the venue. On other occasions when I have visited the Guildhall all of the staff have been polite and helpful

Lift

The door lift to all floors is easy to use and large enough for my wheelchair and somebody to assist, although a slight squeeze. However it is not large enough to turn around in. The buttons are a low height and nice and big so easy to use.

There are two platform lifts on the second floor, there is a sign to ask a staff member for help but they were easy to use.

Toilet

There are three disabled toilets in the building, two on the second floor and one of the third floor. The toilet on the third floor is a little cramped so a large wheelchair user may find it easier to use one of the toilets on the second floor. However, it still had ramps for a left and right hand transfer and the sink and other facilities were all at a lowered height.

Both toilets on the second floor are larger and again all facilities at an appropriate height.

Accessibility Rating

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Museum of Gloucester

Museum of Gloucester | 2nd May 2018

Parking

There are two disabled parking spaces located outside the building with two drop kerbs to get off the road however, these are hard to access once parked in the disabled spaces, you have to go along the road until the end where there is a drop kerb. There is also St Michaels Square car park close by where you can use your blue badge for 3 hours free parking.

Accessibility

There is a ramp leading into the venue, with a large accessible automatic double door. The reception point is on the right-hand side, as you enter the building. There is a lower section of the reception desk for wheelchair access. There is plenty of space to move a wheelchair around. There are lots of easy access things to see within the lower ground floor. There are also listening options with easy to reach buttons for wheelchair users. Every part of the downstairs floor is accessible, with easy to go through arches for wheelchairs.

There is another floor which is accessible via the lift and plenty of space to move around on the first floor with lots to see and look at. There are also two art galleries located on the first floor. This is all accessible and easy to view from a wheelchair.

Café / Gift Shop

There is a self-service café located on the ground floor. There is a selection of hot drinks available and cold drinks in the fridge. The seating plan is open with lots of space for wheelchair users and accessible tables. There are also a couple of quiet corners.

There is also a fantastic little gift shop with lots of gadgets, books and memorabilia.

Customer Service

All the staff at the museum are extremely friendly and helpful. Angela took the time out of her day to show us around and answer our questions.

Lift

There is a lift located at the back of the building, which will take you up to first floor. The lift is accessible for wheelchairs, there is a double sided door so you drive into the lift and drive out the other side.

It is not large enough for a wheelchair to turn around in but there is room for a family member or PA to assist the wheelchair user. The buttons are easy to reach for somebody in a wheelchair and easy to use.

There is an Evac chair available at the top of the stairs, in case of emergencies.

Toilet

There are two disabled toilets on the ground floor, they aren’t large enough for a wheelchair to turn around in but they are large enough for somebody to assist. There are handrails for right and left hand transfer, the sink and hand dryer are at an appropriate height for a wheelchair however, the toilet paper dispenser and soap dispenser are a little high. The toilets are part of the public toilet scheme and are kept nice and clean.

Accessibility Rating

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The Orchard Trust

The Orchard Trust

The Orchard Trust | 5th January 2018

The Orchard Trust are a registered charity based in the Forest of Dean, they have two supported living homes in Lydney and four residential homes located in Lydbrook, Coleford and Ruardeen Hill. There is also a day centre facility which is located in Lydbrook, just a short distance from the home. The day centre is open to the public as well as the service users during the hours of 09.00am-03.00pm They welcome and accommodate people from all walks of life, including all physical disabilities, the elderly as well as mental health issues or even people that just need a bit support. There is no charge to visit the smallholding and sensory garden but they also offer Activities, Creativity, Engagement (A.C.E) you can read the details here on the website as well as pricing.

Parking and Location

Orchard Trust can be tricky to find as a first-time visitor, click here to view directions, my top tip would be to look out for the concrete bus shelter opposite the turning and it’s pretty easy from there.

Once you reach the top of the hill there is a car park located on the righthand side, the small car park is unmarked and there are no designated disabled spots but the accessibility from the car park to the venue is fine. There is a newly paved even pathway leading from the car park to the reception area.

Accessibility 

The Orchard Trust reached out to me and asked me to visit the site, the purpose of my visit was to advise them on how they can improve accessibility issues they have as they are looking to make continuous improvements to the site. They are located on an uneven hillside which causes some accessibility issues.

Learning Centre

The main learning centre and reception point is in a two-story converted barn with no lift, the only access point to the second story for wheelchair users is across a raised ramp which you are required to go outside for, the turning point into the building is quite tight and a little tricky to manoeuvre. All the doors across the site are manual so a wheelchair user would require assistance from somebody who is able bodied. Despite some of the accessibility issues, I was still able to access all areas of the building.#

Kitchen

Within the learning centre is a kitchen with four separate colour coded areas, in each area there is an oven, a sink and basic kitchen appliances such as chopping boards and frying pans etc. In the pink kitchen there is a height adjustable worktop at the touch of a button. There is plenty of space to navigate around the kitchen in my wheelchair.

Activity Park

There is a newly built activity park which is designed for adults with disabilities as well as children, there are also activities for the able-bodied which provides a fun day out for all families. In the park there is a swing and merry-go-round designed for wheelchairs to mount. Along side it is a standard swing to all be enjoyed at the same time and the merry-go-round has seats to be sat on as well as up to 2 wheelchairs. There is also a in ground trampoline which will also hold a wheelchair.

Activity Park

There is a newly built activity park which is designed for adults with disabilities as well as children, there are also activities for the able-bodied which provides a fun day out for all families. In the park there is a swing and merry-go-round designed for wheelchairs to mount. Along side it is a standard swing to all be enjoyed at the same time and the merry-go-round has seats to be sat on as well as up to 2 wheelchairs. There is also a in ground trampoline which will also hold a wheelchair.

Smallholding

There is a lovely smallholding which is fully accessible for wheelchair users. Here you’ll find some farm animals including Milly the pig, sheep, pygmy goats (two of which are pregnant!), chickens and ducks which you are able to pet and feed. The goats in particular are very fun and friendly!

There is a newly paved pathway which leads around the smallholding, it is wide enough for two wheelchairs to pass by each other. There are also stopping points with benches dotted along the pathway, so people can stop for a rest if needed.

At the far end of the walkway there is a sheltered wooden outdoor classroom, in here is a long bench purposely built to fit a wheelchair underneath. It’s also nice and quiet in here with a nice view and perfect for a picnic.

Sensory Garden

Even though I visited the sensory garden on a cold winter day I was still able to appreciate the surroundings, I can imagine it would be twice as lovely in the summer.

I was able to navigate around all the garden in my wheelchair, however some of the areas I wasn’t able to reach from my wheelchair due to them being too far away from the pathway.

There was however still plenty of areas I could enjoy including a xylophone, plants I could touch, feel and smell and a small water feature.

Toilets

There is a disabled toilet located round the back of the building on the ground floor in the learning centre. There is quite a tight turning point into the toilet which is hard to manoeuvre as a wheelchair user.

I was unable to transfer from my wheelchair to the toilet due to not having an appropriate hand rail. There are manual adjustable hand rails for left and right-hand transfer, however for me to be able to transfer from my wheelchair I need a static handrail attached to the wall that doesn’t move for safety purposes. I advised Phill about this and he said he would look to install a new handrail as soon as possible.

I was unable to turn the tap on by myself as it was too stiff, again Phill is aware of this and considering other options. The toilet paper and soap dispenser are also a little too high for me in my wheelchair.

There is an overhead hoist and an adjustable bed however I didn’t use these facilities, so I can’t comment any further.

There is enough room in the toilet for a wheelchair to turn around safely.

Note there is another toilet in the Leisure Centre which I was able to use.

Leisure Centre

There was a flat entrance into the leisure centre, it was accessible through a manual double door. There was also an accessible fire exit at the back of the building via a ramp.

There is an onsite fully equipped pool room, jacuzzi and floor level trampoline. I didn’t use any of these facilities however, at first glance they all looked very good. There was somebody in the swim gym, so I couldn’t look at this area, but I did view the rebound centre which has a ground level trampoline with a hoist to assist with transfer. There was plenty of soft mats around the trampoline to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

There is a disabled toilet in the leisure centre, access to the toilet is not ideal for a wheelchair user as you are required to drive the wheelchair over the mats for the trampoline and there is a danger of driving over the trampoline by mistake causing damage or injury.

Customer Service

Project manager Phill Hucks and George gave us the tour of the venue, they were both very polite and friendly and took all my comments on board with a view to take action. It is obvious that they both have a passion to give their service users the best experience possible.

Accessibility Rating

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Christmas Market at Gloucester Quays

Christmas Market at Gloucester Quays

16th November 2017 – 24th December 2017

I visited the Christmas market at Gloucester Quays where there are lots of nice stalls selling Christmas items and food. It is a great atmosphere and I would recommend a visit. There is also an ice rink next to the market, read about it here!

Parking

There are plenty of disabled parking spaces located in the Quays car park where you can park for free for up to four hours with a blue badge. It is about a five minute journey in a wheelchair from the car park down to the ice rink. Read Gloucester Quays parking review here

Accessibility

The accessibility around the market was good and I was able to access all areas in my wheelchair. All of the stalls were accessible and I was able to view the items on sale. Some of them were quite high but the stall assistants were happy to come round and help if required.

There are a few ramps around the market to help you get around and leading up to the two bar areas.

Toilets

There are some temporary portaloos with a disabled toilet however, the facilities in the toilet weren’t great and it was very small. There are also the toilets inside the Gloucester Quays shopping centre which have excellent disabled facilities. Read my full review here

Accessibility Rating

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Ice Rink at Gloucester Quays

Ice Rink at Gloucester Quays

Ice Rink | 15th November 2017

I was lucky enough to be invited to the VIP launch event for Gloucester Quays festive ice rink.

The temporary ice rink is located in the docks between 16th November-2nd January, there is also a Victorian and enchanted German market running between 16th November and 24th December.

This is a great activity for families and they are also very accommodating for people with disabilities.

Parking

There are plenty of disabled parking spaces located in the Quays car park where you can park for free for up to four hours with a blue badge. It is about a five minute journey in a wheelchair from the car park down to the ice rink.

Accessibility

My experience on the ice rink was great as a wheelchair user, you are able to use a manual wheelchair on the ice but electric wheelchairs are not permitted. If you don’t have a manual wheelchair you can hire one free of charge from Gloucester Quays.

The ice rink is a decent size and is quite safe to skate around on in a wheelchair. If you are not a confident skater they can offer supportive shoes which can be worn over the top of your own shoes instead of skates.

There is a ramp leading up to the rink entrance with easy access to the ice and there is also a spacious fitting room where you can swap your shoes for skates. There is a small step getting onto the ice this is easy to navigate with a manual wheelchair.

Customer Service

I was invited by Hazel to attend the launch night she was very friendly and helpful and answered all of my questions. Another staff member kindly pushed me around on the ice for a little while.

Toilets

There are some temporary portaloos with a disabled toilet however, the facilities in the toilet weren’t great and it was very small. There are also the toilets inside the Gloucester Quays shopping centre which have excellent disabled facilities. Read my full review here

Accessibility Rating

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Gloucester Prison

Gloucester Prison

Gloucester Prison | 3rd November 2017

Jailhouse tours organise the tour of Gloucester prison. The tours are conducted by ex-prison officers who share their interesting stories from when they worked at the prison. I found it very interesting learning all about the history of the prison and would definitely recommend a tour. They have development plans to turn this into flats in April 2018 so get booked if quick while you have the chance. Here is an artist impression of what they think the flats will look like.

Parking

There is no customer parking however there is a public car park on Ladybellegate street which is a five minute walk from the venue.

Accessibility

There is a ramp leading to the venue with double doors and there is a small reception point before entering the prison.
There are a few restricted areas due to stairs and the age of the building which I have highlighted in green on the map, I was able to access the first floor in B wing but the rest was inaccessible due to the stairs.

However, I was able to view most of the tour in my wheelchair. My guide advised me that we had to take a different route due to my wheelchair so before booking if you are in a wheelchair, advise a member of staff so they can accommodate for you.

There were quite a few tight corners and doorways, I was able to get around in my wheelchair but if you are in a wider wheelchair this may be an issue.

I was able to get a good insight into what life may have been like as a prisoner as I was able to view inside some of the cells and most areas to the prison.

Customer Service

When I emailed to enquire, Paul responded very quickly and was happy for me to assess the venue. Lucy gave me the tour of the prison on the day she was very informative polite and friendly and answered all of my questions.

Toilet

There was a disabled toilet but it was very old and there was no handrails so personally wouldn’t recommend it for a wheelchair user. The soap and hand dryer were also too high for a wheelchair user.

Accessibility Rating

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Kingsholm Rugby Stadium

Kingsholm Rugby Stadium

Kingsholm | 31st October 2017

Parking

On match days the car park is closed to the general public, they offer a park and ride bus service from St Oswalds Tesco which is organised by the stadium, which runs every 10 to 15 minutes.

Accessibility 

The disabled access gate is gate 3C, where a ramp is laid down for easy access, however you are able to use any of the gates if you wish.

There are two standing zones and two seating zones surrounding the stadium. The standing zones are inaccessible for wheelchair users, but the front rows of the seating zones are all designated disabled seats, with the row behind designated for carers and family members. The view from these seats gives a wheelchair user a great view of the action.

There is also a viewing platform for disabled fans, this was more secluded so therefore would be better for people who wanted to get away from the crowds and noise.

I was shown around all areas of the stadium including the bars, hospitality suites and corporate areas. There are also lots of food stands selling things like pasties and hot dogs. Workers on the stands are advised to go around and take an order from a disabled fan if they can’t hear over the noise of the crowds.

I was shown around the private boxes for the corporate fans the rooms were very posh with excellent views of the pitch and all accessible for wheelchair users.

Customer Service

I emailed Helen Grayer the operations co-ordinator to discuss the possibility of assessing the stadium, she responded very quickly and was very helpful. When I met Helen for the assessment she was very thorough with the tour of the stadium and explained every detail and all of the facilities they offer for the disabled.

On arrival I was greeted by Lisa at reception who was also very friendly and welcoming.

Toilets

There are lots of disabled toilets located around the stadium and on every floor. I assessed a few of them and all of were satisfactory.

They were all large enough for a wheelchair to turn around in safely and for a PA or family to assist. All of the facilities, sink, handrail etc were in a good position for a wheelchair user.

Lift

There were two sets of lifts within the stadium, both were large enough to turn around in safely. The buttons were easy to reach for a wheelchair user.

Accessibility Rating

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Prinknash Bird & Deer Park

Prinknash Bird & Deer Park

Prinknash | 25th October 2017

I visited Prinknash Bird and Deer park following an article I read online regarding an incident with an autistic gentleman. Melanie Meigh announced she was going to hike carer tickets up from £3 to the full ticket price. Please take a look at the article in the link below where you will see the attitude towards the disabled community is not a pleasant one.. Read the article here

Parking

There are two disabled parking spaces in the main car park, then there is a five minute journey (as a wheelchair user) down to the visitor centre. However this is down a steep road with no foot path (there is a stepped foot path).

Once I had travelled down to the visitor centre in my wheelchair I was faced with a steep gravel pathway. My wheelchair skidded on the gravel which could have potentially been dangerous.

As I was leaving, the owner advised me that I could park my car outside the visitor centre to avoid walking up the steep roadside slope however, the gravel pathway was unavoidable.

Accessibility

The park owner advised me of the following information:

“Due to the park being over 50 years old and due to the location, accessibility is an issue and wheelchair users are unable to access the park itself. There are Tree Preservation Orders on the trees limiting the amount of concrete etc that can be laid down as it would stop water getting to the roots.

A grant was requested to put a ramp inside the park but it was considered to be too large and would also damage the natural outstanding beauty, so there are lots of steps leading down to the park itself.”

However, wheelchair users can access the visitor centre which has a balcony where you can view some of the animals but the view is pretty poor for a wheelchair user as the balcony is too high. There is also a small café at the visitor centre where they serve teas, coffees and confectionary.

Accessibility Rating

Due to the fact I was unable to view any of the animals or park I can only give this a no star rating

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Unfortunately, I was unable to get onto the other balcony as there was a step, this could be easily avoided by putting a small soft edged lip over the door frame.

There is a £3 charge for a carer to assist a disabled visitor, which I haven’t come across when visiting any other attraction.

Toilets

There is a disabled toilet with enough room for someone to assist a wheelchair user. The sink, hand dryer and toilet paper dispenser were all within reach for a wheelchair user. The toilet was nice and clean and safe to use.

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Trapped Escape Rooms

Trapped Escape Rooms

4th October 2017

Escape Rooms is a real-life room escape game which requires players to work together to solve a series of riddles while locked in a themed room. There are three rooms – The Haunted Hotel, The Hangover and Prison Break of which you have 1 hour to escape.

I didn’t take part in the activities however, I could tell from the rooms that this would be a great activity to do with some friends or family.

I was unable to take any photos of the inside of the rooms as it would give away the secrets of the game!

Accessibility

There are steps to the front entrance making this inaccessible, however there is a flat entrance round the back with a small step which I was able to get my wheelchair through.

I was able to get my 600mm electric wheelchair around all three rooms although the entrances were very tight, this wouldn’t be suitable if you had a wide wheelchair. If you have a manual wheelchair I would recommend this over an electric one as this would be easier to navigate the tight entrances.

There are dim lights and flashing lights throughout the rooms therefore this would not be suitable for anybody who is sensitive to these types of things.

Customer Service

Nick was very helpful from start to finish. He responded to my e-mails very quickly and was keen for me to come and visit. He took the time to show me around the premises when the building had no bookings during the day.

Toilets

There is a spacious disabled toilet with enough room for a family member or PA to assist a wheelchair user. The sink, hand dryer and soap dispenser are all accessible for a wheelchair user. The emergency cord had been tied up out of reach, I advised Nick that this was unsafe and he assured me that he would make sure this was within reach at all times. The toilet was nice and clean.

Parking

There is no onsite parking however, there is a public car park just off Wellington street. There are also double yellow lines outside with a drop kerb which are suitable for a blue badge holder.

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Accessibility Rating

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Jet Age Museum

Jet Age Museum

17th June 2017

There are two disabled parking spaces located at the front of the building.

There is a flat entrance leading into the venue with large accessible double doors.

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Once inside, you go through a set of accessible double doors to enter the museum.

Attraction

Once inside there is a large open space which is all completely accessible.

There are lots of planes and little bits of information that you can get up close and personal with. I could drive my wheelchair right up to any of these displays with no trouble.

Outside there are some planes that are open for the public to go in and sit in. However these are inaccessible for wheelchair users due to the gravelled ground leading up to the planes. 

There is a possibility of them looking into getting a third seat at the back one of the Harrier planes. Then this will make the plane accessible for wheelchair users. Watch this space for an update!

Toilets

There are disabled toilets located to the right as you enter the building.

These are accessible for wheelchair users. There isn’t quite enough room for a wheelchair to turn around safely. There is room for a family member or PA to assist a wheelchair user.

There are handrails for both transfer sides. The sink and toilet paper dispenser are both accessible for a wheelchair user. The hand dryer is a little too high for a wheelchair user.

The toilet doesn’t require a RADAR key.

The lighting in the toilet nice and bright. The toilets are nice and clean and safe to use.

Café

There is a café to the left as you enter the building. This is accessible for wheelchair users.

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There are lots of tables that you can fit a wheelchair underneath.

Accessibility Rating

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Gloucester Cathedral

Gloucester Cathedral

12th June 2017

There is disabled parking located at the Westgate Car and Coach Park.

There is a long, cobbled road leading up to the entrance of the venue.

Parts of this can be very uncomfortable if you are in a wheelchair but it is a beautiful place to visit, so worth the effort!

At the moment, the Cathedral is undergoing some construction work. This is to make the venue more accessible in the future.

Once inside the Cathedral the space is very large and open and accessible to anybody who is in a wheelchair.

 

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Once you enter the Nave you can turn right and go down the South Aisle. This will lead you up to a ramp which will take you further into the South Transept. This is as far as you can go with being in a wheelchair.

If you go along the North Aisle there is another ramp leading to the North Transept.

There is currently construction work going on in the North Transept. They are putting in an accessible lift which will make the rest of the Cathedral more accessible.

The corridors inside, famous for being a set in The Harry Potter movies, go around in a square and each area of this is completely accessible.

These are called the West Walk, East Walk, North Walk and South Walk. Please be aware that in parts, the lighting can be quite dim.

From the East Walk you are able to get outside into the gardens. These are called Cloister Garth.

These are accessible for wheelchair users however, I didn’t get the chance to go outside due to the weather.

The coffee shop and toilets are located to the left hand side in the first corridor.

The disabled toilet is on the left hand side – it is accessible for wheelchair users. It is not quite large enough for a wheelchair to turn around safely. There is space for a PA or family member to assist a wheelchair user.

The toilet has handrails for both transfer sides. The sink, hand dryer and toilet paper dispenser are all accessible for wheelchair users.

The toilet doesn’t require a RADAR key.

The lighting is nice and bright. The toilets are nice and clean and safe to use.

There is a lift which will take you down to the coffee shop; this is a single lift only large enough for the wheelchair user.

There are easy to reach buttons on the inside of the lift, for self- operation. Or there are buttons on the wall upstairs and downstairs for a PA or family member to operate the lift.

Once down and out of the lift, you follow the corridor along to find the coffee shop.

There is an outside seating area however, this has a step so care is required by the wheelchair user.

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The café has plenty of seating which is accessible for wheelchair users, the café offers teas, coffee and a good selection of light lunches and cakes.

Accessibility Rating

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Sailing for Disabled at Over Basin

Sailing for Disabled at Over Basin

26th April 2017

http://www.sailing4disabled.org.uk/

Had fun driving the boat for Sailing for Disabled last week 👍🏼

Posted by Christian Drewitt on Wednesday, 3 May 2017

This is a fantastic attraction for all wheelchair users. Pete’s passion and care for the disabled really shows in his work and I enjoyed his company from start to finish. It is great to come across people who have a real passion for helping people with disabilities and I highly recommend this little trip. The half-mile boat trip runs Tuesdays only from 11am until 2pm

Pete owns an accessible, fully electric boat that can carry up to three wheelchairs and two crew members.

There is a ramp on the front of the boat which winds down onto the slipway for wheelchair access. Wheelchairs  need to be pulled on backwards for easier access when leaving the boat. Pete or a member of the crew are happy to help with this. The boat will take you along the canal with lots of things to see.

This service is free to use however, if you wish to make a donation then you can.

Accessibility Rating

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National Waterways Museum

National Waterways Museum

19th April 2017

There is disabled parking located in the Gloucester Quays Outlet Shopping Centre.

There is a flat entrance leading into the venue with a large accessible double door.

The staff were all friendly and well-mannered, Sam helped to answer any of our questions.

Toilets

There are disabled toilets located on the ground floor, these are accessible for wheelchair users.

There is enough room for a wheelchair to turn around safely.

There is enough room for a family member or PA to assist a wheelchair user.

There are handrails for both transfer sides.

The sink, hand dryer and toilet paper dispenser are all accessible for wheelchair users.

The toilet itself is lower than usual .

The lighting is nice and bright, the toilets are nice, clean and safe to use.

The lower ground floor of the museum is completely accessible for wheelchair users. There are lots of things to view and look at on the lower ground floor.

Lift

There is a lift located on the ground floor which will take you to first floor attractions.

The lift is wheelchair accessible. The lift is not large enough for a wheelchair to turn around in safely. There is enough room for a family member or PA to assist a wheelchair user.

The lift door closes quickly!

The lift has easy to reach buttons and the lighting is nice and bright.

On the first floor there are more attractions to see and do. There is plenty of space for a wheelchair user to get around easily.

Café

There is a small café located on the ground floor. They serve drinks and cakes from 10am until 4.30pm.

There are a few accessible tables and a few more tables located outside.

There is also a small accessible gift shop, selling memorabilia.

 

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Accessibility Rating

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Cotswold Farm Park

Cotswold Farm Park

4th April 2017

There is disabled parking located at the front of the building. You can fit about 6 cars in the disabled bays.

There is really rough gravel leading from the car park to the entrance, this was quite a bumpy ride in my electric wheelchair.

There is a ramp leading up to the entrance and ticket hut.

Once inside there is a short paved path leading up to more gravel. Once again this gravel is an uncomfortable ride in my electric wheelchair as I imagine it would be in a manual wheelchair.

There is a large tepee erected on the left as you enter the park, this has lots of events going on inside. However, due to a bark surface around the tepee, we couldn’t get across to see inside.

There is a Farm Safari ride, which takes you on a Tractor and Trailer Tour of Adam Henson’s Farm. It is scheduled to depart every hour.

Due to a private party, I didn’t have the chance to have a go on the Safari, however I know that they can accommodate one wheelchair on the ride, with a ramp provided.

The Touch Barn, is a great place where you can experience up close and personal contact with friendly animals, anything from little chicks, rabbits, sheep, chicken’s, pigs and piglets.

The whole barn is completely accessible with large space for a wheelchair to move around in.

We were lucky that at this time of year it’s lambing season. So we entered the lambing barn and got to witness the birth of a few baby lambs.

The barn was wheelchair accessible. It had space around the railings at the bottom so you could see the lambing going on.

You can take on the adventure of the grassed area, to get up close and personal to other farm animals outside. A little uneven but not a problem in dry weather.

I managed to get my electric wheelchair around the grassed area, however, other visitors stated if there was some sort of mesh it would be much easier for wheelchair users to get around.

On this part of the adventure you can hand feed the animals using the parks animal food.

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There are also audio posts to tell you about the animals, these have easy to reach buttons.

For the able bodied there is a great Lookout Tower which gives a view of the whole park.

Once you have finished the grassed area you can stop at Dolly’s Snack Bar, for a refreshment of your liking. Unfortunately, it was closed when we visited!

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They also have Bouncy Pillows, a Maze and Dolly’s Playpen.

There are disabled toilets located around the back of Dolly’s Playpen.

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The is a woodland walk and conservation area, these are both accessible for wheelchair users. The floor is covered in bark on a hard earth surface and it was easy for my electric wheelchair to get around.

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There are lots of different things to see in the conservation area and I really enjoyed the woodland walk.

We decided to stop and have lunch there is a ramp leading down to the benched area outside. Unfortunately I couldn’t get my wheelchair underneath any of these tables.

There were suitable tables within the gazebo area, however due to a private school party, I was unable to get in to the room.

After moving a long bench and some shuffling around, I managed to get a table inside the restaurant.

The restaurant is wheelchair accessible, with good bright lighting.

There are disabled toilets located around the back of the restaurant.

These are wheelchair accessible however, very small and hard to manoeuvre in.

I have been informed that these toilets are due a revamp coming soon, to include brand new disabled toilets and shower rooms.

All the staff were extremely kind, well mannered and helpful, we had great help and communication from Jenni.

We were delighted that Adam Henson took the time to say hello!

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Disability Rating

 

 

Gloucester Ski & Snowboard Centre

Gloucester Ski & Snowboard Centre

24th March 2017

There is one disabled parking space situated in the car park

There is a long steep hill, leading up to the venue for the disabled access point. This is currently under construction and there are no visible sign posts telling you where to go. A second disabled parking space is planned on completion.

Although not sign posted or very clear, the reception entrance is around the building on the right hand side.

There is quite a lip leading into the door but my electric wheelchair managed to get up this okay.

The staff were very friendly and helpful, Richard took the time out of his day to show us around and answer our questions.

Toilets

There is a disabled toilet located in the reception area, where you collect ski equipment.

It is accessible for wheelchair users, it is large enough for a wheelchair to turn around in safely and there is enough room for a PA or family member to assist a wheelchair user.

The toilet has a handrail for both transfer sides.

The sink, hand dryer and toilet paper dispenser are all accessible for wheelchair users.

The toilet doesn’t require a RADAR key.

The lighting is nice and bright, the toilets are nice and clean and safe to use.

Restaurant

The restaurant is wheelchair accessible.

They serve food from 10am until 9pm.

They don’t offer a largerprint menu or a braille menu for the visually impaired. Nor do they offer a hearing loop for the deaf.

They allow guide dogs and all other service dogs into the building.

Ski

For wheelchair users they offer tubing sessions, with a fully qualified instructor.

They also offer a Disabled Ski Club! This is held once a month, for disabled users and people with minor disabilities. They ask for a fee of £5 towards this.

Unfortunately they don’t offer any snowboarding facilities for the disabled.

They have a changing room for disabled visitors located next to the disabled toilet.

 

Accessibility Rating

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Slimbridge Wetland Centre – original

Slimbridge Wetland Centre – original

29th March 2017

Slimbridge is a fantastic day out for all families.

It is home to over 30,000 wild birds.

There is lots of exploring to do and so much fun for little children.

Most of the park is wheelchair accessible, with good paths. However, some of the hides and walkways are inaccessible.

You can use an electric or manual wheelchair. The park offers manual wheelchairs to hire, at no cost.

You can hire an electric buggy, for a small charge of £5. You need to call in advance and book the buggy.

They are due to make the summer walkway accessible and some of the inaccessible hides will be getting a face- lift.

There is an outdoor theatre coming soon and also an app for your smartphone to use, whilst walking around the park.

My only bit of advice for anyone who is able bodied, bring wellies!

The staff were all extremely helpful, friendly and well mannered. Jackie took the time out of her day to answer our questions. Jackie was extremely helpful and showed a lot of support towards my project.

There are plenty of disabled parking spaces located in the car park and a disabled toilet, too.

There is a ramp leading up to the entrance of the venue.

Before entering the venue you have to disinfect your feet or wheels of your wheelchair.

There is a mat and wheel wash provided.

There is a large double automatic door leading into the venue, with a button for disabled users to press, which will open this door.

In the reception area there is a lowered section of the desk for wheelchair users.

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Once inside you can go and collect bird food from the volunteers stand and also collect your tokens to access the Viewing Platform.

Start of the adventure.

There is a lift which will take you up to the Platform.

This is accessible for wheelchair users, it is not large enough to turn a wheelchair around in safely but there is room for a PA or family member to assist a wheelchair user.

The lift has easy to reach buttons but the light within the lift is quite dim.

The Viewing Platform gives you a 360 degree panoramic view of the Wetlands. I had no trouble viewing this using my electric wheelchair.

There is a large ramp leading from the main reception down to where the attractions start.

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The Toad Hall, is a fantastic little area where you can view toads. There are toys, games and a soft play area. They also do handling sessions and talks on the toads.

Outside

Once outside you walk over a bridge taking you to try and spot all the different birds.

Along the walk you will come to a part called the Wader Shore, this has slight rough gravel so a little bumpy for the electric wheelchair.

There are flat footpaths leading all around the park which makes it really accessible for wheelchair users.

The South Lake Discovery hide is absolutely fantastic for wheelchair users, there are lots of low windows for you to be able to look outside and see all of the wild birds.

If suitable for you, they have binoculars so you can have a closer look at the birds.

This is definitely the best hide for wheelchair accessibility.

Along the walk you will come across a few gates, these are fairly easy to use by lifting the latch and pushing the gate. This is quite difficult to do if you are in a wheelchair so the help of a PA or family member will be needed.

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We came across the Otter pool which was a nice surprise, there is great flat decking all around the pool so you can get a really good view of the otters.

There is a cave that will take you through to see the otters swimming underneath the water.

The Flamingo Lagoon has a fantastic accessible hide, which gives you a great view of the flamingos and the lagoon.

 

We decided to have a look inside the Tropical House.

You must disinfect your wheels and shoes before entering.

The floor inside is extremely bumpy and uneven but completely accessible and definitely worth a look inside.

We stopped off at the Kiosk, not far from the Chilean Flamingo’s. There are disabled toilets located by the Kiosk and tables for you to sit at to have your snack. However, you cannot fit a wheelchair under any of the benches by the Kiosk.

Not far from the Kiosk is the Kingfisher hide, we were advised that this is wheelchair accessible but we didn’t make it that far to have a look.

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We then headed back towards the main reception. There is another tower called the Holden Tower, however, this is inaccessible for wheelchair users.

There are two places to eat within the venue. The Swan Café located upstairs in the main reception and the main restaurant downstairs.

In the main restaurant the seating plan is open with lots of long tables, easily accessible for wheelchair users. There are lots of open windows so the lighting is extremely good within the restaurant.

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There is a little gift shop as you exit the park which is filled with lots of nice gifts and souvenirs if you wish to purchase them.

You exit the park through the gift shop which will take you straight back to the car park.

You will need to disinfect your wheels and shoes before leaving the attraction, wheel wash and disinfectant mat is provided.

Accessibility Rating