12 Exciting and Accessible Trips to Consider over Christmas
There’s no better way to get into the festive mood over Christmas time than to enjoy a festive trip. Spending time with our loved ones, indulging in some seasonal treats and loving life is what Christmas is all about and we are now seeing more experiences than ever being open to everyone – including people who often struggle with accessibility issues.
The UK has more to offer every year, so here are 12 exciting experiences to have which are both accessible and will get your festive season off with a sparkle.
1. A trip to the West End
There’s nothing more Christmassy than a trip to the theatre and London’s West End has some of the best theatre in the world. There is a wide range of musicals in London, from the famous classics like The Phantom of the Opera to the super-fun Mamma Mia to new musicals with up and coming talent. More and more West End theatres are becoming easily accessible with removable chairs, specially trained staff, and infrared hearing systems, enabling more people to enjoy their shows.
2. Winter Wonderland – Hyde Park
London’s Hyde Park gets transformed every year literally into a winter wonderland, bursting with fun rides, cockle-warming mulled wine and the scent of spicy baked goods drifting through the air. It’s equipped with ramps and accessible toilets and parking – as well as an accessible pod on the big wheel…
3. Ice Skating
Just because you may be in a wheelchair doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the true winter ice-skating experience. The Natural History Museum ice rink has accessible skating in all of their sessions, as well as allocated Accessible only sessions which are quieter. There is also accessibility at Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland ice rink and trail and Brighton’s Royal Pavilion ice rink.
4. MK’s Christmas Market
For a truly Christmassy experience, Milton Keynes’ shopping centre offers both great accessibility for wheelchairs and all the fun and magic of the season of goodwill. The Santa’s Grotto experience includes the making of snow, as well as Santa’s favourite tipple, Snow-Nog as well as meeting him in person.
5. Frankfurt Christmas Market – Birmingham
Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market is the biggest authentic German Christmas market outside of Germany. Brimming with over 80 stalls selling crafts and hundreds of gift ideas, Christmas decorations, traditional food and drink, the Christmas market is accessible for wheelchairs, meaning that it’s a great place for a seasonal meetup.
6. Hampton Court Palace
There is a full program at Hampton Court Palace – which offers a number of accessibility features including wheelchairs to loan if you require and staffed lifts. Their Christmas features include the Christmas Fayre, the accessible ice rink and Elizabethan Christmas Cookery.
7. Snow Fun at Chill Factor
Chill Factor, based in Manchester, offers a world of accessible snow fun for everybody, including adaptive skiing. It is the home of Disability Snowsport UK and has a range of equipment and specially trained instructors to ensure a great time is had by all and get you into the festive mood.
8. Hogwarts in the Snow
It doesn’t get more magical than experiencing Christmas with Harry Potter at Hogwarts. The closest thing that you’ll get to this would be the Christmas themed Harry Potter studio tour – Hogwarts in the Snow. Most of the tour is wheelchair accessible and on it, you will see the stage decorated for the Yule Ball, the Great Hall set for festive banqueting and learn all about how the snow was created in the films.
9. Carol Concerts
There’s no better way to get in the festive mood than listening to Christmas carols – and singing along if you wish… There are local carol concerts all around the country, many in places which are completely accessible.
10. Chromotherapy Christmas
Created by the collaboration of artists, Squidsoup, the installation, ‘Wave’ is an interactive light and voice experience. It has been made accessible for wheelchairs and uses the healing concepts of light with 500 suspended orbs for a magical experience.
11. Christmas Lights
The addition of Christmas lights is a staple in most towns and cities. This is made even better by the fact that they are free to see and generally accessible to all. For a real treat, head into London and prepare to be dazzled by the lights on Oxford Street/Regent Street and Carnaby Street.
12. Christmas at Chatsworth
Chatsworth House in Derbyshire prides itself on making everyone welcome and their Christmas at Chatsworth season this year takes you on a festive adventure around the world – tracing the footprints of Santa himself. As well as great accessibility Chatsworth also have ‘Quiet Days’ will music turned off and no queuing.
In addition to these, there are many more local festive attractions which are also accessible, and which can get you in the festive spirit and really bring Christmas to life.
Article courtesy of Ella Hendrix.