If you’re a wheelchair user, it takes extra planning and vetting the attractions to make sure they provide wheelchair access before you go. So, are you planning a trip or day out in Hampshire or the Isle of Wight? There are many attractions that offer wheelchair access for people with disabilities.
Here is a curated list of wheelchair accessible attractions to make it easier to plan an amazing experience!
Wheelchair access at the theatres
New Theatre Royal – provides accessible entrances, ramps, and dedicated wheelchair spaces in the auditorium. So, visitors can enjoy live performances without any barriers.
Mayflower Theatre – provides designated wheelchair spaces with excellent views and convenient access points. Additionally, there are accessible restrooms and facilities available to ensure a comfortable visit.
MAST Mayflower Studios – the main entrance on Guildhall Square is accessed from street level. In the foyer, there is an accessible lift to all floors of the building with a level access entrance, providing level access for wheelchair users to all studios and rehearsal spaces. You can also join their Access Membership Scheme to be entitled to a discounted essential companion’s seat. There are also accessible toilets on all floors. See details for more information on accessibility at MAST Mayflower Studios.
Theatre Royal Winchester – has designated wheelchair spaces with excellent views of the stage. Plus, accessible entrances and facilities, including restrooms, are conveniently available to provide comfort and ease for all visitors.
Wheelchair access for seaside antics
Clarence Pier – offers a range of wheelchair-accessible attractions. From accessible restrooms to ramps and lifts, the pier ensures that wheelchair users can fully embrace the joys of the beachfront.
Sandham Gardens – a wonderful place to soak up the sun and create treasured memories by the sea. Paths with wheelchair access are flat and easily navigable, for you to breathe in the salty sea air, relax in beachside cafes or explore the gardens.
Wheelchair access at historical museums and sites
The D-Day Story – provides ramps and lifts, with accessible entrances and elevators, allowing wheelchair users to explore the exhibition halls and galleries seamlessly.
Royal Armouries Fort Nelson – provides accessible pathways, ramps, and lifts, so everyone can appreciate the historical artefacts and breathtaking views.
Beaulieu National Motor Museum – offers free entry to carers of disabled visitors. The museum has a ramped entrance and level access throughout the venue.
Carisbrooke Castle – a wheelchair-friendly attraction in Newport, Isle of Wight, where you can step back in time and explore the mediaeval castle. The castle features a lift that takes you to the upper levels, and it also has accessible toilets and parking.
Winchester Cathedral – welcomes wheelchair users with accessible entrances, ramps and lifts. With its rich history spanning centuries, the cathedral offers an inclusive experience, where you can admire the Gothic architecture, mediaeval stained glass windows and serene atmosphere.
Wheelchair access at attractions with a view
Spinnaker Tower – rising majestically in Portsmouth with wheelchair accessibility as a top priority! With ramps and a lift to the spacious viewing deck, all visitors can enjoy the unparalleled vistas. Plus, the venue offers a reduced price for wheelchair users and free entry for carers.
The Needles Landmark – offers paths and viewing areas designed with accessibility in mind. Whether you’re taking in the panoramic views of the stunning cliffs or enjoying the thrilling chairlift ride, expect smooth surfaces and ramps for easy navigation.
Wheelchair access for animals and farm fun
Staunton Farm – offers accessible paths as well as 3 disabled parking bays in the car park, accessible gravel paths, and 3 accessible toilets in the visitor centre, tearooms and courtyard toilet block.
Longdown Activity Farm – provides accessible paths that lead through the animal enclosures. Longdown have also added a swing with wheelchair access because so that every child can enjoy playing on the swings!
Tapnell Farm – this haven of rural charm is wheelchair accessible with smooth and well-maintained pathways for exploring a wide range of activities.
Marwell Zoo – offers accessible pathways, ramps and viewing areas at various animal enclosures.
Military and maritime museums
The Historic Dockyard – has accessible toilets and smooth flooring throughout the building. Plus, the museum offers wheelchairs free of cost. Because of the nature of their historic ships, parts of them may be inaccessible for some. Find more information on their wheelchair accessibility here.
Buckler’s Hard – provides accessible paths that lead visitors through the exhibits, including the maritime museum and historic shipbuilding displays. Wheelchair accessible facilities, including parking and toilets are available, and staff are eager to provide assistance.
SeaCity Museum – has accessible entrances, lifts and wide pathways. Explore the exhibits freely and learn about Southampton’s Titanic connections, as well as its role as a major port.
Winchester’s Military Museum – discover Winchester’s captivating military history with its accessible entrances, ramps and lifts. Visitors can explore galleries, artefacts and interactive displays, all designed to be inclusive and informative.
Wheelchair accessible learning
Winchester Science Centre – in addition to designated accessible parking spots near the entrance, the main entrance is equipped with ramps. All exhibition areas, galleries and interactive displays are designed with spacious pathways. Plus, each exhibit is designed with interactive elements positioned at an appropriate height for comfortable access.
Dinosaur Isle Museum – has spacious galleries and exhibits, wide pathways and displays are carefully positioned at accessible heights.
Wheelchair access at tranquil country parks
Staunton Country Park – amble along the wheelchair accessible paths. From the sensory garden to the ornamental farm, every corner of this enchanting park has been designed with inclusivity in mind.
Royal Victoria Country Park– has designated accessible paths for wheelchairs. The park also offers various benches to take a break, specially designed for wheelchair users.
River Hamble Country Park – has paved paths, wide trails and allows smooth navigation for wheelchairs (see main image at the top).
Itchen Valley Country Park – has accessible paths and trails. These paths are well-maintained and offer stunning views of the park’s diverse landscapes. There are accessible parking spaces and facilities.
Lepe Country Park – soak up the beauty of the coastal scenery with accessible routes, including paved paths, winding through the park’s natural landscapes. You will also find accessible facilities, such as parking spaces, toilets and picnic areas.
Fancy houses, flourishing gardens
Tudor House and Garden – provides accessible entrances and ramps, allowing wheelchair users to explore the historic Tudor building.
Osborne House – this grand palace offers ramped entrances and step-free access throughout the house, with automatic doors and a lift to the first floor. Additionally, there are specially-designed ramps to explore the stunning garden terraces and the private beach.
Furzey Gardens – provides accessible paths to soak up its divine natural beauty and peaceful ambience with ease. Accessible parking spaces, toilets and facilities ensure convenience and comfort.
Exbury Gardens – explore enchanting landscapes, vibrant floral displays and tranquil woodland walks with accessible wide, smooth paths, ramps and accessible entrances.
Mottisfont – provides accessible pathways that lead through beautiful gardens with stunning displays of flowers and plants. The main house also offers wheelchair accessible entrances and lifts for access to the historic rooms and exhibitions.
Wheelchair access at true heritage treasures
The Watercress Line – enjoy the nostalgic train journey on this historic line with accessible carriages and designated wheelchair spaces. Friendly staff are available to assist with boarding and alighting, for a seamless experience as you admire the picturesque scenery along the journey.
Eling Tide Mill – with accessible entrances, ramps and lifts, you will experience smooth access to the mill’s exhibitions and interactive displays. The boardwalks and paths are full accessible to enjoy the scenic surrounding walks.
Wheelchair access for epic adventure and activity
Paultons Park – paths and rides have been designed with accessibility in mind, offering smooth surfaces and ramps.
Calshot Activities Centre – whether it’s climbing, water sports or indoor activities, Calshot offers adaptive equipment and accessible entrances, ramps and lifts so that people with disabilities have access to the adventure activities offered. There is an accessible toilet and shower, parking and wheelchair access to The Café Bar. It’s important to note that some wheelchair users may find the uneven ground surrounding the Hangar and the Castle inaccessible, but The Hangar itself is largely accessible. You can view Calshot’s 360° tour to help you plan your visit beforehand.
Cross the Solent
Hovertravel, Wightlink, and Red Funnel Ferries – 3 ferry services connecting Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. They provide accessible boarding ramps, dedicated wheelchair spaces, and accessible facilities onboard, making island hopping an enjoyable experience. Find more information on the accessibility of the ferry services at Visit Isle of Wight, as well as information on accessible holidays on the Island.
With the right preparation, you can have a hassle-free and enjoyable visit to these attractions with wheelchair access. We hope you enjoy whatever accessible days out or trips you embark on!