Mobility-Friendly Towns and Cities in the UK You Need to Visit

There’s so much to see in the United Kingdom. It’s got everything you need from picturesque towns and villages to historic cities to beautiful mountains and beaches. For someone with mobility issues, however, planning a day trip or staycation can cause anxiety about being able to get around easily without missing out on all the fun.

Thankfully, hotels, attractions, and city planners are becoming more aware of accessibility, and it’s starting to get easier for people with disabilities or mobility issues to visit many of the wonderful places we’ve got here. 

Here’s my pick of the most mobility-friendly towns and cities in the UK you need to visit. 

What Are the Most Accessible Towns and Cities in the UK?

While you might think of the UK as being a small place, it’s a huge area covering four different countries, so I had a lot of places to choose from. When researching, I took into account accessible accommodation options, public transportation, and mobility-friendly attractions.

Some of the most accessible towns and cities in the UK include Edinburgh, London, Belfast, Birmingham, Lincoln, Llangollen, and Harrogate. 

It’s not an exhaustive list of accessible places to visit in the UK, but it will give you some ideas to get you started. 

Edinburgh

Edinburgh city skyline from Calton Hill., United Kingdom

Edinburgh is a city well-known for its stunning medieval castle, which houses the Crown Jewels. While Edinburgh Castle is set on a steep hill, staff can arrange for a mobility vehicle to whisk you straight up to the top if you would prefer to avoid the challenging slopes. Check the website before you visit to see which exhibits are open to the public, and call in advance if you need to book Blue Badge parking as it is limited.  

Another Edinburgh attraction you won’t want to miss is the Royal Yacht Britannia where you can see how the other half live! This ship was used by Queen Elizabeth for 40 years to entertain political figures and celebrities as well as relax with her family. You can access each of the five decks via a central lift, and you can easily navigate the paths and wide doorways using a wheelchair.

If you need to get a taxi, rest assured that the entire fleets of Edinburgh’s two main black cab firms are wheelchair accessible – all 900 of them! 

There is lots of accessible accommodation in Scotland, so you’ll have plenty of choice. 

London

Big Ben and Houses of Parliament, London, UK

You would probably assume that London, being a large bustling city, is not a mobility-friendly place. It really has something for everyone though. If visiting famous landmarks is your thing, Tower Bridge and the London Eye offer panoramic views of the Thames and London’s iconic skyline. Although the London Eye is wheelchair accessible, be aware that you need to book a slot in advance as it can only accommodate two wheelchairs per pod and eight wheelchairs total at any one time.

Are museums more your thing? The British Museum houses historic artefacts from all over the world, and the Science Museum showcases amazing technological advances that have happened throughout history. Both museums are free, wheelchair-friendly, and accessible by public transport!

Save your money to visit the theatre. Several of London’s theatres have wheelchair spaces and hearing loop systems including Shakespeare’s Globe and the Prince of Wales Theatre

You’ll definitely need more than one day in the capital, so make sure you book a few nights in a hotel to make the most of it. Chain hotels like Travelodge, Premier Inn, and Holiday Inn score well with disabled travellers. If you need accessible car parking, check out the Tower Hotel near Tower Bridge.

Belfast

Belfast Skyline in the Evening, Belfast City, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom (UK).

If you’d like to go slightly further afield, why not hop on a plane or boat to Northern Ireland’s capital, Belfast. As the birthplace of the Titanic, Belfast is steeped in history, but it’s also popular with people looking for a cosmopolitan city break. 

You can’t go to Belfast and not visit the Titanic Belfast museum where you can learn more about the ‘unsinkable’ ship through real artefacts, interactive exhibits and an up-close look at the historic Harland & Wolff slipways and the SS Nomadic, the last remaining White Star Line vessel. All circulation spaces and galleries at Titanic Belfast are fully accessible, and there are numerous accessible toilets on site. 

When you’ve had your fill of history and want to spend some time in nature, check out the Botanic Gardens, which were established in 1828 and contain exotic tree species, tropical plants, giant bird feeders and a rose garden. The gardens are located beside the Ulster Museum. Both are free to visit and are accessible to people with limited mobility. 

If you want to see more of the Northern Irish countryside, consider getting a bus tour to the UNESCO World Heritage site, Giant’s Causeway, a two-hour drive from Belfast. Make sure you check that the wheelchair accessible shuttle bus is running from the visitor centre to the stones before you go though; otherwise you might find the walk or roll to and from the stones a little difficult. Also, a heads up, the Dark Hedges made famous by Game of Thrones are located about 12 miles from Giant’s Causeway. 

There is lots more to do as well. Sylvia from Spin the Globe has a list of ten wheelchair accessible things to do in Belfast

Looking for accessible accommodation to stay in while you’re visiting Belfast? The Titanic Hotel Belfast is perfectly located beside the Titanic museum and close to the city centre. 

Birmingham

Bullring building and view of birmingham at night by moon light. famous english architecture

With shopping, entertainment, and most importantly, a chocolate factory, Birmingham has got it all!

First things first, all chocolate lovers should make a beeline to Cadbury World, which has extensive parking facilities near the entrance. Take a self-guided tour to learn how Cadbury chocolate is made and enjoy some delicious samples! The factory has been adapted with ramps throughout, lift access, accessible toilets, and a Changing Places facility. The Cadabra ride and the 4D Chocolate Adventure cinema have wheelchair spaces.

When you’ve had your fill of chocolate (if that’s possible!), head over to Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, which is fully accessible for visitors with mobility difficulties with lifts to all floors, accessible toilets on all levels, and seating areas throughout.

If music is your thing, Birmingham’s got one of the finest concert halls in the world, Symphony Hall. There’s something for everyone from pop to classical to jazz to comedy shows. The venue has wheelchair seating and step-free access in certain parts, and it’s got an infrared hearing enhancement system for hearing impaired patrons. Make sure you book your tickets early so you don’t miss out. 

When you’re ready to retire for the day, the Grand Hotel Birmingham is one option that got a good review on Euan’s Guide. 

Lincoln

East front of Lincoln Cathedral, Lincolnshire, England, UK, on a sunny winter day.

If you’re looking for a mix of history and vibrant culture, the cathedral city of Lincoln might be right up your street with its mix of historic buildings and quirky boutiques, cafés and restaurants.

When you think of a medieval town, you think of steep hills and cobblestones, and you would be right, but Lincoln has a wheelchair accessible shuttle bus that will take you straight to the Cathedral Quarter without having to struggle up the hill. You can also hire a wheelchair or scooter from Shopmobility on Melville St.

Lincoln Cathedral is the most iconic landmark in Lincoln. People have been worshipping at this cathedral for almost 1,000 years! According to its access statement, around 85% of the cathedral and its grounds are wheelchair-friendly. Hearing loops have been installed at various points and accessible toilets are available. 

Right beside the cathedral is Lincoln Castle. Built in 1068 by William the Conqueror, Lincoln Castle is one of the most impressive historical sites in England and home to one of only four surviving copies of Magna Carta. Most of the grounds and castle are wheelchair accessible; however, some areas aren’t, such as portions of the medieval wall walk and prison. Note that the East Gate entrance is accessible, and there is no car parking on site, but there are car parks in the vicinity.

If you’re there to visit the cathedral and castle, the Castle Hotel is conveniently located beside them. 

Llangollen, Wales

Castell Dinas Bran, near Llangollen, Denbigshire, Wales, UK

Cities tend to get a lot of attention, but many small towns are well worth a visit. Llangollen in North Wales offers adventurous activities like white water rafting and rock-climbing, but there are also plenty of other options for people with limited mobility who want to enjoy the scenery.

You can enjoy the picturesque Dee Valley by steam train with the Llangollen Steam Railway. The majority of these trains have specially adapted carriages for people with mobility issues, and there are ramps available to help passengers board.

If you’re looking for a unique experience, take a leisurely trip along the canal from Llangollen Wharf toward the Horseshoe Falls in a horse-drawn canal boat! The boats are wheelchair accessible via portable ramps; however, electric wheelchair users might have difficulty, so it’s best to call them first to check.  

The Bryn Howel Hotel is a family-owned hotel situated a few miles from Llangollen and the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.

Harrogate, North Yorkshire

Harrogate Prospect Place with Yorkshire Hotel, North Yorkshire,England, United Kingdom

Harrogate is a traditional spa town in Yorkshire full of old manor houses, pretty gardens, antique stores and boutique shops.

If you enjoy walking around beautiful gardens, visit RHS Garden Harlow Carr, which has lots of different types of planting from tropical flowers to tranquil woodlands. The gardens and buildings are accessible except for some sloped or pebbled areas. You can hire manual wheelchairs and mobility scooters, but they recommend booking in advance.

Don’t miss out on afternoon tea from Bettys Café Tea Rooms, which overlook the gardens and have a disabled parking bay right outside the entrance.  

The Crown Hotel is located in the centre of Harrogate, close to everything, and receives good reviews on Tripadvisor from people with reduced mobility. 

Is It Worth Exploring Mobility-Friendly Towns and Cities in the UK?

One good thing that has come out of the last couple of years is that British people are becoming more aware of what we’ve got right on our doorsteps. Foreign holidays can be amazing, and we all look forward to being able to travel freely again, but it’s also worth exploring all the mobility-friendly towns and cities the UK has to offer as well. Accessible travel is possible with a little bit of research.  

I’ve given you several years’ worth of UK holiday ideas in this post!

Images in this post are stock images of the local area and not exact locations.

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Planning a holiday in the UK but worried about being able to get around easily? Here are some of the most mobility-friendly towns and cities in the UK.

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