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New guide opens doors for disabled visitors in the North West

Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway

[A] series of top accessible and inclusive attractions throughout the North West have been chosen to feature in an inspiring new guide to support people with diverse needs in enjoying a day out – whatever their disability.

The revamped edition of The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain, now in its 10th year, has for the first time extended its reviews to include information for visitors with more hidden conditions such as autism and mental illness.

The North West attractions featured in the new edition of The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain include the relaxing route along Walls Drive Trail and Ravenglass and Eskdale Steam Railway, Sandcastle Waterpark, which boasts the UK’s largest indoor facilities, Lancashire’s extraordinary Brockholes Nature Reserve, thrill-seekers’ favourite iFLY Indoor Skydiving experience in Manchester, and the historic city of Chester.

As well as details of ramps, accessible toilets and parking spaces, visitors can find out well in advance whether a venue offers features such as quiet mornings, picture stories or bespoke queuing arrangements.

The guide has the enthusiastic backing of TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham, a passionate advocate of the benefits of getting out and about in the great outdoors.

Chris said: “The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain is a celebration of some of the best and most inclusive venues in the UK. From personal experience, I know that many people face particular barriers to enjoying a day out. The guide equips visitors with all the information they need to set out with confidence, so they can simply concentrate on making the most of their day.”

The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain provides clear and helpful advice to highlight the very best inclusive and accessible days out for people of all abilities, from museums and art galleries, to wildlife parks and gardens. Packed with over 180 comprehensive reviews, the guide is an ideal planning tool for anyone with access needs.

Every venue is thoroughly checked out by Rough Guides’ team of reviewers, who either have a disability themselves or visited the venue with a disabled friend or relative.

The new edition places particular focus on accessibility for people with neuro-diverse and mental health conditions, and has drawn on advice from specialist organisations such as the National Autistic Society. It showcases many examples of best practice, with venues large and small providing imaginative solutions to the challenges posed by hidden disabilities.

Tom Purser, Head of Campaigns at the National Autistic Society, said: “The National Autistic Society is delighted to be working on this new edition of The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain, which has taken into account the needs of autistic visitors. With over 700,000 autistic people in the UK, it is vital that they are able to enjoy days out, just like anyone else.

“This has been a great opportunity for us to increase awareness of autism in partnership with organisations that are proactively making leisure activities more accessible to autistic people. It has been an inspiring collaboration and the National Autistic Society welcomes the open minds and attitudes with which Rough Guides are seeking to enhance the lives of people on the autistic spectrum.”

The refreshed and enhanced edition of The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain is now available online at accessibleguide.co.uk.

Other accessible attractions in the North West include:

  1. Lake District Scenic Drive
  2. Theatre by the Lake
  3. Brockhole on Windermere
  4. Walls Drive Trail and Ravenglass and Eskdale Steam Railway
  5. Grizedale Forest Park
  6. The Blackpool Tower
  7. Sandcastle Waterpark
  8. Brockholes Nature Reserve
  9. Southport Pier
  10. iFLY Indoor Skydiving
  11. Museum of Science and Industry
  12. Cavern Club
  13. Albert Dock and the Museum of Liverpool
  14. Anderton Boat Lift
  15. Chester

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