Planning a Wheel Chair Accessible Stop in London
If you've chosen London as a stop along the way in your backpacking adventure, these attractions are ones you won't want to miss. Backpacking is meant to be about experiences, cultural and fun, so I've selected interesting items that won't break the bank, and which are easy for people of all needs to access.
The National History Museum
Free entry and a world leading collection make the NHM a great place to visit. There are always exciting exhibitions on, some of which are free, though others are reasonably ticketed. My favourite exhibitions of recent years have been on natural photography. The next wildlife photography competition exhibitions starts in October 2014, and looks set to be breath-taking. Info can be found here.
The permanent collection of fossils and specimens delights people of all ages; with dinosaurs, giant sloth skeletons, and stuffed tropical birds, as well as ancient monsters of the deep sea reconstructed, there is certain to be something for everyone, and an abundance of facts to treasure. Accessibility information can be found here.
The V&A is just next door, so it simply makes good sense to visit both these places in a row. There are always stunning exhibitions on, and usually several ones free of charge to compliment the permanent display.
Built in honour of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, the V&A houses rare, beautiful and tremendously important objects. It is a museum whose collection far, far outweighs its cabinet capacity, and so there are a seemingly endless cycle of enthralling exhibitions. A current showing is of items of civil dissent and protest called Disobedient Objects.
It can be easy to write off the London Eye as a supped-up gypsy fairground ride, a tacky tourist attraction or a needless blotch on the Southbank skyline. However, this is to misunderstand London's biggest wheel. The London Eye is a statement of millennial optimism and intent. At the time of building, 1999, it was the largest Ferris wheel in the world, and the tallest view of the city. To get on board is to climb inside the mindset of a nation that is looking to redefine its imperial past as it dives into a new century - and it is totally accessible.
There are many shopping hubs in London, but if you have access needs, then the Brunswick is a great option within central London, without having to travel out to Westfield or similar. There are the usual highstreet shops, but it tends to be much quieter and picturesque than somewhere like Oxford Street. The shops are all in one large modern courtyard, and are surrounded by tiny quaint streets of boutique goods and wares. A very pleasant way to shop.
Your Next Stop
Ticking off London is a large part of any UK trip. Getting around in London is best left to public transport due to Congestion Charges and tricky one way systems - especially for the passing visitor. However, the rest of the UK is best explored with a car. Disabled and specially modified cars can be bought or rented but are hard to find, especially if you are brand new to the country. If you are just vising, here is a good place to look for personal transport options while in the UK.