At present, the UK has 69 cities. There are approximately seven million residents in London, while the UK’s smallest city, St Davids, in South-West Wales, is home to just 1,600 people. Each city tries to have an edge over the other to become the best city to visit and each have their own stand-out destination for tourists.
This year, it seems that the sign of a good city can be seen by how much it can offer in terms of catering for every type of visitor. Accessibility has proved to be a major talking point over the past number of years, particularly with the development and growth of Trip Advisor. No matter where a guest goes, they should have the right to enjoy themselves and indulge in the sights like everyone else. That said, with the help of Lookers, motability dealers, we’ve picked our top three most accessible cities in the UK, and what you can do while you’re there.
Despite years of little growth, the capital of Northern Ireland has recently marked itself as a diverse, cosmopolitan British city.
Black Cab tour
This tour which takes you through key Belfast areas, such as the Falls and the Shankill, is one of the best ways to learn about the history of Belfast and the violence during the Troubles. All cabs have wheelchair access and do pick-ups from the major transport links at Great Victoria Street or Laganside.
This attraction is quickly rising to be one of the must-see tourist attractions throughout the UK. The Titanic Museum, which takes visitors through the iconic ship’s creation, is fully wheelchair accessible. Visitors can explore never before seen artefacts and experience the fascinating engine room replica.
For those who like a drink, this area bustling with great bars. With all the bars providing wheelchair access, and live music a staple on at least six nights a week, The Dirty Onion, the Duke of York and the Thirsty Goat, all exist as top-notch watering holes.
Known indigenously as the eighth wonder of the world, this idyllic scenery is a rock formation on the North Antrim coastline. In recent years, a multi-million-pound visitors centre was established, and a wheelchair accessible bus now runs, transporting people down to the stones.
Scotland’s largest city should certainly be on your list of must-visit UK destinations. Although its sister, Edinburgh, may boast the castle and the beautiful Royal Mile, Glasgow is by no means behind the capital city. Deemed as one of the most accessible cities in the UK, the cultural hub offers a vibrant buzz like no other.
Much of this city is flat thanks to the Clyde, and Glasgow’s relationship with ship-building. The shopping scene is no different and offers so much more than most of its UK counterparts in terms of variety. Argyll Arcade is the ideal choice if you’re looking to take advantage of the chic jewellery options on offer. Whereas the St Enoch Centre on the other hand, hits the 21st century with bang. Both shopping centres offer wheelchair access and similarly smooth-covered flooring to allow ease of movement.
The Clyde is unlike most other major attractions in the world. Most require climbing many steps before even getting a glimpse of a view, but the Clyde has wheelchair access and is often resurfaced in order to make the journey as smooth as possible. Not only does this make the travel that slightest bit easier, it also allows you to take on the beautiful Glasgow quayside.
With the opportunity to race go-karts at speeds of up to 35mph, this is Scotland’s only dedicated accessible karting track. Not only is the entire building based on the ground floor, the company have also invested in hoists and slings to assist those with access issues get into the karts. Depending on your need, they can either race you round and you be the co-driver, or alternatively you can take the wheel yourself.
The Tall Ship at Riverside
If being on land isn’t where you like to spend your trips, climb aboard the Tall Ship. The tourist attraction, docked on the Clyde, has lift access on board, which allows you to reach the tea room in the deck below. Also, if you don’t have a car, there is a wheelchair accessible bus which runs throughout the day and stops less than 100m away.
Travelling to Glasgow is fairly stress free. Queen Street and Central are train stations slap bang in the middle of the city, while the two airports offering international travel are Glasgow and Prestwick.
In 2017, Chester became the first UK city to win the coveted European Access City Award thanks to a concentrated effort on development and diversity over several years,
The City Walls
This is undoubtedly Chester’s most stunning piece of scenery. If a wheelchair user visits most major historic attractions throughout the world, they often are forced to concede in giving up on it. This is because making alterations to a historic structure is often impossible, in a bid to reserve its originality. In Chester however, the walls are surrounded by a mixture of gentle sloping paths, and on occasions where wheelchair access isn’t available for heritage reasons, additional handrails have been positioned.
If you haven’t seen this attraction before, the concept may seem confusing. However, it’s exactly what you think it is. Shops on top of shops might be an ever-present feature in shopping centres in the 21st century, however, the Chester Rows have been around for 700 years. Nowadays, you will find designer labels but back in the middle ages, iron mongers and shoe makers would have made their money here. In order to get to the second level of shops, usually visitors would take the stairs, however a ramp has now been installed, providing full wheelchair access throughout.
Of course, this is just a quick snippet of accessible cities in the UK. Use this information for your next jaunt and don’t worry about being restricted simply due to insufficient access.