Sometimes, amid all the preparations for the big day, it’s a great idea to step back a little and indulge in some festive fun! Whether it’s a trip to a bustling Christmas market for food, festivities and fizz; or a more gentle approach with a visit to a stately home, there is lots to do across the UK.
We take a look at some of the most popular, all of which provide accessibility in different ways.
Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park, London
One of the biggest Christmas events these people have really thought about how to make it fun for all. There are access ramps, accessible toilets, allocated disabled car parks and even a wheelchair access pod on the giant wheel! It’s a great festive frenzy and with something for just about everyone much fun can be had whether you visit for an hour or the entire day.
Frankfurt Christmas Market, Birmingham
On until 23rd December, this amazing market is a cacophony of all things Christmas – food, music, drink and gifts as well as Santa too. There is an accessible route that avoids steps and accessible toilets so a visit here can be a true pleasure.
Edinburgh Christmas Market, Scotland
Whilst some of the gradients here are quite steep almost all of the market is accessible with ramps at all entrances, access parking and accessible toilets. The Christmas tree maze is wheelchair accessible as is Santa Land, and sensory back packs are available in two sizes for children and adults.
Chatsworth House, Derbyshire
One of the most popular stately homes when it comes to Christmas, this year’s theme is Amelia Earhart and Phileas Fogg. The house is accessible and, should you wish to view the gardens too, an accessible route can be provided. Eight wheelchairs are available for hire but should be booked in advance. And, for the first time this year, quiet days have been held; the second and final one will take place on 2nd January 2020.
Lapland UK, Berkshire
Yes, you read this right; there is a little bit of Lapland in a forest near Ascot! With rave reviews, it’s a wonderful experience to see just what Santa and his Elves do and what a lot of work they have to undertake each year to make Christmas magical for everyone. Whilst the experience is accessible it is worthy of note that it is in a forest environment and therefore is subject to individual requirements as to whether it is deemed suitable for your own personal needs. It is particularly recommended that you call or email ahead to determine suitability, access and facilities.
Santa’s Snowflake Grotto, Westfield Shopping Centre
What’s not to like about Santa’s Grotto and this one is simply spectacular. Visitors are transported to the Snow Factory where the Elves make all the snow in the world, and they can also visit Santa and make their own Christmas decoration. The experience is fully accessible although it is recommended that each wheelchair user has their own helper; admission for the helper is free though.
Cardiff Christmas Market, Wales
If you fancy getting a fix of a Christmas Market and are around South Wales the Cardiff Christmas Market is certainly an option. There is Blue Badge Parking and a free City Centre Mobility Scheme that takes elderly and disable passengers around the pedestrianised zones of the market. There is a number of accessible toilets although opening times should be determined prior to your visit as it does depend on the time of day and night that you are there.
Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway, Lake District
Imagine boarding a train and taking a magical Christmas journey complete with Santa and his Elves. This scenic rail route is guaranteed to put you all in the festive mood and is pretty much accessible. Stations at the beginning and end have accessible toilets and eating facilities with wheelchair accessible carriages available for pre-booking.
Wherever you visit this festive season and whatever you do we always recommend doing your own research and calling ahead to ascertain if the visit will suit your own personal needs or those of the person you’re going to surprise.
Wishing you all the happiest of Seasons!