Meet the contributors
The Rough Guide team have been hard at work travelling around the country reviewing attractions to give you a detailed and accurate account of more than 180 sights and days out in the UK. We asked them to choose a place that they especially enjoyed visiting or that particularly impressed them – here are some of their own personal favourites.
Chris Packham – Guide foreword writer
“There is no doubt at all that in the last 10 to 15 years there has been an enormous positive change when it comes to venues making themselves accessible to everyone. What's particularly exciting about the new edition is that a lot of work has gone in to putting in information that is useful for people with cognitive conditions, those invisible disabilities. Myself for instance, when I'm planning a day out I like to ensure that I'm going to avoid conflict of any kind as this can generate anxiety, and if you're anxious, you can't enjoy a day out!"
“Living in London, I have so many wonderful attractions to choose from but one of my favourites is the London Transport Museum. It takes you back in time to an era of horse-drawn trams, from the earliest Hackney carriages to mock-ups of an underground carriage. Being indoors it’s also an ideal attraction for the inclement British weather!”
“I love heading outdoors and getting as close to nature as I can. This can be difficult for disabled people, so it's great when nature reserves consider our needs and provide suitable facilities. The staff and team behind RSPB Bempton Cliffs in Yorkshire have worked really hard to get the right balance of access and conservation, and have succeeded in creating the UK's most amazing seabird cliff colony experience."
“I really loved visiting the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth. Living in Cornwall has made me passionate about the area and really appreciate how important the ocean is down here, so when I got the chance to learn more about how the sea has an impact on Cornwall I was thrilled. Everyone was incredibly accommodating and it was a wonderful day out with so much to enjoy."
“My favourite attraction so far has to Windsor Castle, as I'm a real patriot. Also an Autism Advocate, I have many great autism colleagues from the US who love visiting our royal households when they travel to the UK, so it was a real honour to be able to review and recommend Windsor Castle. I particularly love Saint George's Chapel, which has to be the most beautiful church I have ever visited."
“One of my favourite visits was the Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh. It appeals to royalists, naval enthusiasts, engineering buffs and people who just like being on the water. Accessible from bilge to bridge and bow to stern, it shows how the royals and crew lived and travelled. That a sixty-odd-year-old ship has been made accessibile for all abilities is testament to the thought that has gone into it. Don't miss the Royal Deck Tearoom – it's superb!"
“As a family we love spending days out visiting historical sites, and my two sons particularly enjoyed their outing to the Roman Baths in the beautiful city of Bath. Everything at the site captured their imaginations, from the projections and CGI reconstructions showing how the Romans lived, to tasting the spa water. A huge amount of information is available in many different formats, so that the history of the baths is really accessible to everyone."
“I liked visiting Wroxham Broads Tours in Norfolk because it was something new and rural with a good sense of history attached. Broads Tours were very welcoming and really seemed to be looking for ways to improve the services they provide. I particularly liked the way that they support special occasions for disabled people."
Gillian Scotford and Jane Carver
“We are delighted to contribute to The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain and to share our experiences of a few of the places which provide a warm and inclusive welcome. The provision of information, facilities and services for visitors with autism, such as sensory stories, quiet spaces and a more understanding, flexible approach from staff, has been particularly good to see on our travels. Our favourite place is Sandcastle Waterpark in Blackpool, which is absolutely dedicated to being accessible for all. What particularly sets them apart if their friendly, understanding and helpful staff who really do go the extra mile to provide a warm welcome to everyone. As parents of children with autism we know how challenging trips out can be, so it's great to find venues that make a special effort."