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Glasgow, Belfast and Chester voted top 3 accessible cities in the UK

Written by Fiona

May 02 2019

Three UK cities have been named as “the most accessible in the UK”. Glasgow, Belfast and Chester can be proud of their status among 66 other UK cities.

In 2019, the sign of a good city is how much it can offer in terms of catering for each type of visitor, including those with physical and mental disabilities. A great deal of emphasis is being made by some tourism industries to break down barriers of all kinds to make a city destination as accessible as possible to the greatest numbers of people.

Lookers, motability dealers, have picked their top three most accessible cities in the UK. They have also highlighted some of the city’s main attractions.

The River Clyde Walkway. Credit: Mary and Angus Hogg

Glasgow

Scotland’s largest city is rated as the most accessible. Although its sister, Edinburgh, can boast of it’s castle and the beautiful Royal Mile, Glasgow is is a cultural hub offering a vibrant buzz like no other.

Shopping

Glasgow has long been famous for its wealth and range of shopping. The famous Suuchiehall Street runs through the city centre and there is also Buchanan Galleries, St Enoch Centre and Princes Square offering further retail therapy. The Argyll Arcade is the place to go for jewellery retailers. With wheelchair access and smooth-covered flooring in the shopping centres, accessibility is not problem for a spot of retail therapy.

Argyll Arcade. Credit: Helen Robertson

The River Clyde

Much of the pathway along he River Clyde is wheelchair accessible, especially in Glasgow and at the Quayside.

When the weather is fine, a trip along the river offers a chance to take in some major city views and also look back in time to when ship building was at its industrial heyday in the city.

To find the River Clyde Walkway simply head towards the river and join the path on the north side of he waterway.

Accessible karting

Scotland’s only dedicated accessible karting track, The Experience, is in Glasgow and offers individuals the opportunity to race go-karts at up to 35mph.

Not only is the entire building based on the ground floor, the company has also invested in hoists and slings to assist those with access issues get into the karts. Depending on your need, they can either race you round and you be the co-driver, or alternatively you can take the wheel yourself.

The Tall Ship at Riverside

The fascinating tourist attraction, The Tall Ship at Riverside, docked on the River Clyde, has lift access on board, which allows you to reach the tea room in the deck below. Also, if you don’t have a car, there is a wheelchair accessible bus which runs throughout the day and stops less than 100m away.

How to get to Glasgow: Fly to Glasgow or Prestwick airports or catch the train to Queen Street or Glasgow Central are train stations.

Titanic Museum, Belfast.

Belfast

The Northern Irish capital has recently began to establish itself as a diverse, cosmopolitan British city.

Titanic Belfast

Fast becoming renowned as one of the must-see tourist attractions in the UK, the Titanic Museum, which takes visitors through the iconic ship’s creation, is fully wheelchair accessible.

Visitors can explore artefacts and experience the fascinating engine room replica.

Black Cab

The taxi service that runs through Belfast areas, such as the Falls and the Shankill, is the best way to learn about Belfast’s historic troubles.

All cabs have wheelchair access and do pick-ups from the major transport links at Great Victoria Street or Laganside.

The Giant’s Causeway.

Giant’s Causeway

Acclaimed as the eighth wonder of the world, the Giant’s Causeway is a geological formation on the North Antrim coastline. In recent years, a multi-million-pound visitor centre has been established, and a wheelchair accessible bus now runs, transporting people down to the amazing rocks.

Cathedral Quarter

The number of bars within the city’s bustling nightlife area, the Cathedral Quarter, has increased ten-fold in recent years. With all the bars providing wheelchair access, and live music a staple on at least six nights a week, The Dirty Onion, the Duke of York and the Thirsty Goat, all exist as top-notch watering holes.

City Walls, Chester.

Chester

In 2017, thanks to a concentrated effort on development and diversity over several years, Chester became the first UK city to win the coveted European Access City Award.

The City Walls

Undoubtedly, Chester’s most stunning piece of scenery is the City Walls. Wheelchair accessibility is possible for most of the walls, because they are surrounded by a mixture of gentle sloping paths. On occasions where wheelchair access isn’t available for heritage reasons, additional handrails have been positioned.

Two-tier shopping

Shops on top of shops might be an ever-present feature in shopping centres in the 21st century, however, the Chester Rows have been around for 700 years. Nowadays, you will find designer labels, but back in the middle ages, iron mongers and shoe makers would have made their money here.

In order to get to the second level of shops, usually visitors would take the stairs, however a ramp has now been installed, providing full wheelchair access throughout.

So, there you have it, a few popular options where you can head on your next jaunt, without having to worry about being restricted simply due to insufficient access.

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