Seven of the Most Accessible UK Cultural Spots

Culture /

Accessible venues that we love

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From sign language to accessible performances, Charlotte Rickards celebrates the places making everyone welcome – the accessible UK cultural spots and institutions.

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Seven Accessible Cultural Spots and Institutions

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Concrete Cafe at the South Bank Centre

The Southbank Centre

Officially the first UK venue to be awarded Platinum accessibility status courtesy of Attitude Is Everything (its highest possible accolade), The Southbank Centre is the UK’s largest multi-arts centre and home to a plethora of cultural activities, namely theatre, exhibitions, and over 3,500 live events every year, over 40 percent of which are free. Set across 11 acres and attracting over 1.3 million visitors annually, there are restaurants, bars, street food markets and river views alongside all the culture.

The Barbican Centre  

Known as London’s best example of Brutalist architecture, the Barbican is a venue dedicated to the arts, with exhibitions, dance, film, music, and the like. It’s also teaming with options for all visitors, putting on relaxed cinema screenings and theatre performances, with captioning, audio description and BSL options, and accessibility for wheelchair users. There’s a packed cultural calendar to look at on its website.

Brighton Dome  

Hosting comedy, spoken word, dance and theatre, The Brighton Dome is all about platforming emerging and established artists for everyone. There’s a range of performances to check out, including BSL interpretation, relaxed performances, touch tours, and productions by disabled artists. There are also highly visual performances for deaf or partially hearing visitors. The venue recognises not all disabilities are visible, so has a programme in place to help visitors.

Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh  

Access to nature is a necessity for everyone. British Sign Language (BSL)seasonal garden tours with wheelchair and mobility scooters are available at The Royal Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh. Hearing loops are also located across the welcome points. The botanical gardens, originally founded in 1670 as a physic garden to grow medicinal plants, now consists of more than 13,302 species sprawling over 70 acres, just waiting to be explored.

The Eden Project  

Distinctive for its three domes, the Eden Project is Cornwall’s world-renowned eco attraction, and the planet’s largest experimental greenhouse garden. Personal assistants have free entry, and you can explore the biomes on any mobility vehicle. Plus, you can borrow one of its own wheelchairs or hire an all-terrain mobility scooter to discover the Eden Project’s extensive outdoor gardens and estate. You’ll just need to book the wheelchairs in advance at no extra charge.

The Hepworth Wakefield, Yorkshire  

The Hepworth Wakefield is the largest purpose-built exhibition space outside London. Its staff are trained in all aspects of visitor care, from artworks to the facilities. It’s fully accessible for wheelchair and scooter users, and there are accessible parking bays for Blue Badge holders. Guide and assistance dogs are welcome in the gallery, plus there are induction loops available in the gallery if needed. 

Wake the Tiger, Bristol  

The world’s first ‘amazement park’, Wake The Tiger has been tipped as ideal for those with ADHD, since it’s a visual sensory overload. Consider it a fantastical maze that blurs the lines between a surrealist film set and a mesmerising art piece. It also offers tickets specifically for individuals and families who are unemployed, on low income or anyone for whom it is not possible to visit due to financial means.