WAV stands for Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle. This means you can travel in the vehicle while seat in your wheelchair

Useful contacts

Here are some specialist organisations and independent companies who give advice, assistance, and services to help disabled people get out and about in Britain.

Getting around

Action for Blind People

Action for Blind People give free and confidential support for blind and partially sighted people.

rnib.org.uk(opens in a new window)
0303 123 9999


Blue Badge Parking Map

The Blue Badge Parking Map can show you where to park in over 100 towns and cities across the UK.

parkingforbluebadges.com(opens in a new window)


Blue Badge Scheme

Information about applying for the badge and how to find Blue Badge parking bays near you.

gov.uk/blue-badge-scheme-information-council(opens in a new window)


Bus pass Scheme England

People of state pension age and disabled people are eligible for free off-peak travel on English local buses. You can get a pass from the local council. Some councils offer extra benefits like peak-time travel.

gov.uk/apply-for-disabled-bus-pass(opens in a new window)


Disabled Persons Railcard

A concessionary railcard that costs £20 yearly, but gives you one third off most standard and first-class rail fares if you have a disability (plus an adult companion, if train travel proves difficult). The website also has a useful link for booking assistance with individual rail operators.

disabledpersons-railcard.co.uk(opens in a new window)
0345 6050 525


Guide Dogs

As well as offering trained guide dogs, this organisation helps people who are blind or partially sighted to enjoy the same freedom of movement as everyone else.

guidedogs.org.uk(opens in a new window)
0800 781 1444


National Express

National Express aims to run an accessible coach network. Their adapted coaches have a wide entrance, lift access, level flooring and a large toilet. You can see the full details on their website.

(opens in a new window)
08717 818 181


National Rail

Search for any station using the ‘Stations & On Train’ page and you’ll see a handy station floor plan with images of facilities including platforms, to help with route planning.

nationalrail.co.uk(opens in a new window)


ShopMobility UK

Most towns and shopping centres have a ShopMobility scheme that lends manual wheelchairs, powered wheelchairs and scooters.

shopmobilityuk.org(opens in a new window)


Transport for London (TFL)

The TFL website provides transport accessibility information and a journey planner that allows you to find a route that suits your mobility needs. TFL also offer a range of accessibility guides and maps, including audio and large print versions, step-free tube maps and information on assisted transport services.

tfl.gov.uk(opens in a new window)


BSM Driving Lessons

Information about learning to drive with BSM.

bsm.co.uk(opens in a new window)


RAC Route Planner

To help you find your quickest way from A to B. You can also get live traffic updates along a selected journey or a specific location.

rac.co.uk(opens in a new window)


Driving Mobility

A charitable network of centres who give advice and assessments to help people achieve independent mobility as drivers, passengers and wheelchair users.

drivingmobility.org.uk(opens in a new window)


Fuel Service

This mobile app helps disabled drivers who can’t leave their cars when refuelling. It notifies the station so someone can help. Not all stations are signed up, but the number is growing. You can get it on an iPhone, Android or Windows phone.

fuelservice.org(opens in a new window)


Disabled Motoring UK

A charity and member organisation campaigning for improvements in access for disabled motorists, passengers and Blue Badge holders.

disabledmotoring.org(opens in a new window)
01508 489 449



A charity for families with disabled children that publishes a guide called ‘Holidays, play and leisure’ with advice on planning holidays. You can download the guide for free from their website.

contact.org.uk(opens in a new window)
0808 8083 555



An online directory of links to further information and services, including travel, recreation, sports, holidays and accommodation.

ableize.com(opens in a new window)


Charlotte’s Tandems

Charlotte's Tandems lend tandems and tag-along bikes for free to people with disabilities or additional needs, so that they can ride wherever, with whomever, and whenever they like.

charlottestandems.weebly.com(opens in a new window)



This website helps travellers easily compare and combine all modes of transport to the cities and towns they want to visit across the UK and Europe.

omio.co.uk(opens in a new window)



Heavily detailed access information for restaurants, hotels, cinemas, tourist attractions, pubs, train stations and more.

accessable.co.uk(opens in a new window)
01438 842 710


Disability Horizons

A disability lifestyle website with an audio version of every article. The great travel section covers practicalities, news, issues and reviews of places to visit. Not all, but plenty of the content is UK-focused.

disabilityhorizons.com(opens in a new window)


Disabled Ramblers

Disabled Ramblers organise and run a programme of supported disabled rambles each year. They campaign for better access while fully preserving the character of the countryside.

disabledramblers.co.uk(opens in a new window)



Advice on leisure activities and holidays for those with visual impairments, including a list of accessible museum and gallery events.

rnib.org.uk(opens in a new window)


Euan’s Guide

Euan's Guide has disabled access reviews by disabled people and their families and friends. The guide features hotels, restaurants, cinemas, theatres and more.

euansguide.com(opens in a new window)
0131 510 5106(opens in a new window)


National Autistic Society

Features some advice on planning holidays and days out when you have a child with autism, plus lists of holiday providers and accommodation suitable for adults with autism. It also has the extensive Autism Services Directory, which lists organisations who offer play and leisure services.

autism.org.uk(opens in a new window)



A helpful directory specialising in leisure and lifestyle, in association with HugeDomains.com (a social networking site). Useful organisations, accommodation, activity holidays and tour operators are listed and there's a particularly good section on disabled sporting associations.

wheel-life.com(opens in a new window)


Accessible Countryside

A basic website with an extensive database of things to do (not all are outdoors) and facilities to help you do it. It’s very useful if you have the time to explore it, including an impressive list of accessible sports organisations.

accessiblecountryside.org.uk(opens in a new window)


Accessible Derbyshire

Offers inspiration for places to go in Derbyshire, from scenic viewpoints to shopping centres, and farm shops, museums and gardens. It also details local accessible sporting activities, Changing Places toilet locations, and an overview of ways to travel around the county.

accessiblederbyshire.org(opens in a new window)


The Outdoor Guide

This website dedicated to walking, and fronted by Julia Bradbury, offers inspiration, information and maps for routes across the UK. It also includes sensory walks and a selection on walks that are good for wheelchairs.

theoutdoorguide.co.uk(opens in a new window)



This website offers photo tours of walking routes in the UK. It also has plenty of detail on trail lengths, gradients and facilities en route. All trails have been awarded an accessibility rating.

phototrails.org(opens in a new window)

British tourism

English Heritage

Owners of over 400 historic properties, English Heritage have an Access for All policy. Their site has an Access Guide featuring properties with good provisions for visitors with limited mobility and sensory needs.

english-heritage.org.uk(opens in a new window)


Visit England

The English tourist board runs an Access for All scheme on their website which includes mini-guides to short breaks across the country, and practical information. Their National Accessible Scheme rates the accessibility of accommodation in England. It also helps tourism businesses make improvements in access and the information they give to visitors.

visitengland.com(opens in a new window)


Experience Community CIC

A not-for-profit organisation that gives video guides, photographs and written information about tourism, attractions, facilities and walks in Yorkshire for disabled and older people. They also organise day trips using accessible vehicles, tour guides and personal assistants.

experiencecommunity.co.uk(opens in a new window)


National Trust

Essential companions of disabled visitors get free entry to National Trust properties, with an annual ‘Admit One’ card. The members’ handbook has access advice and the website has good detail about each property. You can download access statements for some larger attractions too.

Predictably with heritage sites, certain properties have some inaccessible areas, but the dedicated Access for All team is working to make improvements. For particular needs provision, call the site ahead of your visit.

nationaltrust.org.uk(opens in a new window)
0344 800 1895


The National Trust for Scotland

The largest conservation charity in Scotland looks after many places you can visit, from castles to coastlines. All their attractions have a basic level of access information on the website.

nts.org.uk(opens in a new window)
0131 458 0200


Visit Birmingham

The most useful regional tourist board website. The Accessible Birmingham section has tips on getting around Birmingham, including a link-up with Direct Enquiries to give you photo journeys of routes from the nearest public transport. Birmingham City Centre Partnership run two great schemes: Meet and Greet to help people get around, and Wayfinder Talking Signs for blind and visually impaired people.

visitbirmingham.com(opens in a new window)


Visit Lancashire

This website has an online list of accessible accommodation and some access information for attractions, but the fairly comprehensive ‘food and drink’ listings section doesn’t include access details.

visitlancashire.com(opens in a new window) 


Visit Britain

Under ‘Accessible Britain’ in the ‘Getting around Britain’ section, you’ll find an overview of useful links.

visitbritain.com(opens in a new window)


Visit Scotland

The Scottish Tourism Board runs its own quality assurance scheme for disabled access. You can search for accommodation and attractions on the website, using accessibility criteria.

visitscotland.com(opens in a new window)


Visit Wales

The website of the Welsh tourist board has links to a wide variety of accommodation and activities. When you search for accommodation or attractions, you can use the ‘provision for disabled visitors’ filter.

visitwales.com(opens in a new window)


Discover Northern Ireland

This website has suggestions for days out and itineraries, and lists of events and festivals in the different regions, plus links to accommodation and activities.

discovernorthernireland.com(opens in a new window)

Government bodies

Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)

The DWP offer a rang of allowances and services for people who are ill or disabled and their carers.

gov.uk(opens in a new window)


Department for Social Communities

Information on social security benefits in Northern Ireland.

communities-ni.gov.uk(opens in a new window)


Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)

Information about driving licenses, learning to drive, vehicle registration and car tax.

gov.uk(opens in a new window)

For Northern Ireland – nidirect.gov.uk(opens in a new window)


Veterans UK

Veterans UK give pensions, welfare and support services to members of the Armed Forces and veterans.

gov.uk(opens in a new window)

Accommodation booking

Disabled Access Holidays

An online travel agent, with a decent amount of accessible accommodation in the UK.

disabledaccessholidays.com(opens in a new window)
03333 355 615


Disabled Holidays

This holiday specialist has a user-friendly website where you can search for accommodation and filter by your access needs and region. There are plenty of UK options to choose from. They can help with booking for children and have tips on travelling with a child with autism.

disabledholidays.com(opens in a new window) 


Wallops Wood Cottages

Wallops Wood Cottages has ground-floor, accessible, self-catering holiday cottages. It’s located in the South Downs National Park in the beautiful Meon Valley.

wallopswoodcottages.co.uk(opens in a new window)

The arts


An Arts Council of Wales initiative which offers specific access information to plan a theatre trip in Wales. If you’re a cardholder, you can get a free ticket for your carer at all participating venues.

hynt.co.uk(opens in a new window)



This website offers a decent level of access information for many of the UK’s major theatres. Each venue has a seating plan, with some photos of views from seats, and an Access section.

seatplan.com(opens in a new window)



A charity who offers captioning and live subtitling services to theatres and arts venues. You can search the What’s On page by region or date.

stagetext.org(opens in a new window)
020 7377 0540


Signed Culture

An organisation that promotes the use of BSL in the arts. The What’s On page has an eclectic but limited list of events.

signedculture.org.uk(opens in a new window)


Vocal Eyes

A directory of audio-described events at theatres and museums around the UK.

vocaleyes.co.uk(opens in a new window)
020 7375 1043


Able Magazine

A disability magazine including forums, reviews and information on accessible holidays, products and test drives.

ablemagazine.co.uk(opens in a new window)


Versus Arthritis

They offer support to people affected by arthritis. The website has active discussion forums on a range of topics, and gives advice on topics like exercise and arthritis.

versusarthritis.org(opens in a new window)


BHF, Heart Matters

This free service from the British Heart Foundation offers a unique package of support and information for people looking to improve their heart health.

bhf.org.uk(opens in a new window)
0300 330 3300



A charity who gives road safety advice for children, motorcyclists and other drivers.

brake.org.uk(opens in a new window)


Carers Direct

Information, advice and support for carers from NHS Choices. It has details of services on offer, as well as step-by-step guides to everything from managing finances to young carers.

nhs.uk(opens in a new window)


Carers Trust

The UK’s largest charity supporting the nation’s seven million unpaid carers. Operating through a network of over 170 quality assured local partners, Carers Trust give practical and emotional support, as well as breaks to carers of any age.

carers.org(opens in a new window)
0844 800 4361


Changing Places

This consortium campaigns for public toilets with non-standard access features, including hoists and height-adjustable changing benches. The website has a map of Changing Places toilets.

changing-places.org(opens in a new window) 


Living Made Easy, Disabled Living Foundation

A national charity who gives advice about mobility products for disabled people, their carers and families.

livingmadeeasy.org.uk(opens in a new window)


Disability Rights UK

A campaigning network of organisations and disabled people who run the National RADAR Key Scheme for accessible toilets. They also publish a guide to the scheme listing details of the 9000 UK toilets.

disabilityrightsuk.org(opens in a new window)
0330 995 0400


Enable Magazine

The leisure category of this online magazine covers UK travel news and champions great places to visit.

enablemagazine.co.uk(opens in a new window)


Fleetwood Beach Wheelchairs

A registered charity who offers beach wheelchairs for free to allow everyone to spend time on Fleetwood Beach.

fleetwoodbeachwheelchairs.co.uk(opens in a new window)
03000 111 003



A range of very active forums on topics as diverse as special needs, style, and beauty, as well as regular articles, advice, blogs, reviews and campaigns. Mumsnet is one of the web’s biggest portals for parents.

mumsnet.com(opens in a new window)


NHS Choices: Your health, your way

The NHS guide to living with a disability or long-term condition, including practical advice on support and entitlements.

nhs.uk(opens in a new window)


Special assistance guidance from airports and airlines

This page has useful links, including airport and airline helpline numbers so you can pre-arrange special assistance and ask for extra help if you need it. It also has the location of drop off and pick up points at airports, and any potential restrictions on your travel.

caa.co.uk(opens in a new window)



Independent research charity which creates a number of useful reports for disabled people, like ‘Getting a wheelchair into a car’.

ridc.org.uk(opens in a new window)



Information and advice for disabled people of all ages, including information on what's available to you locally.

scope.org.uk(opens in a new window)


Which? Later Life Care

Free, independent and practical advice about caring for older people across the UK.

which.co.uk/reviews/later-life-care(opens in a new window)


You'reable, Living Made Easy

An online community site run by the Disabled Living Foundation. The active forums cover motoring, travel, work, parenting and many other topics, and can be an excellent source of information and advice.

livingmadeeasy.org.uk/about-us/youreable(opens in a new window)