Gardens Open for Disabled Access Day 2017

Disabled Access Day began in 2015.  The idea behind this event was to create a special day to celebrate the attractions, gardens, and other days and evenings out, that offer great accessibility for disabled visitors.

The attractions participating in Disabled Access Day 2017, could feature carefully and considerately thought out and planned, level access for disabled visitors, over smooth, wide paths, that are easy to access for visitors, whether they are using a wheelchair or walking on foot, making the garden or attraction a pleasure to visit for disabled visitors who find walking difficult.  Or it might be an enterprise offering a relaxed theatre performance, a handling or sensory experience designed for blind visitors, a signed talk created for deaf visitors, or any other inclusive venture or experience, that warmly welcomes all visitors, whatever their disability.

Disabled Access Day is sponsored by Euan’s Guide, the disabled access and review website.  On Euan’s Guide’s website, disabled visitors leave reviews of places they have visited, leaving feedback of their personal experience on the website, which helps other disabled visitors to decide whether they could access and enjoy the attraction and experience offered.

This information about disabled visitors’ own personal experiences at various attractions across the UK, enables disabled visitors to have more confidence to go out and enjoy themselves, giving them more information about the place they are visiting, so they know what to expect.  Similarly, Euan’s Guide will also help disabled people avoid attractions or other places which do not cater to their needs.  This information is just as valuable – it’s a huge waste of money, time, and effort, if you visit somewhere which you are unable to experience or enjoy, this can be a great disappointment, discouraging disabled visitors venturing on future visits and days out.

I am a huge supporter of Disabled Access Day, and of disabled access to gardens, parks and all outdoor and indoor attractions.  Disabled Access Day 2017 allows disabled visitors the chance to experience a garden, attraction, or other place that’s open to the public without charge.  I am sure this special day will enable disabled visitors to venture out with more confidence, maybe to a garden that they had hoped to visit for sometime, but were unsure as to whether the garden was accessible enough for them.

On this special day, disabled visitors can explore gardens with more confidence, which I hope will enable them to venture out more often in future.  There is nothing more wonderful than spending time in a beautiful garden, or discovering a new garden that lifts your spirits and warms your heart.

Disabled Access Day 2017 runs from the 10th March 2017, to the 12th March 2017.  Here are the details of some of the gardens that are opening for Disabled Access Day 2017:

On Friday 10th March 2017, at 2pm, Cambridge University Botanic Garden, 1 Brookside, Cambridge, CB2 1JE, in conjunction with Camsight, are offering a special guided tour of the gardens for blind or partially sighted visitors.  The tour lasts for approximately one hour and will include listening to bird song and bird calls with help identifying the birds from the sound of their call.  For all the details, please click here.

The tour itself is free, but pre booking is essential, please telephone 01223 336265 – lines are open Monday to Friday, from 9am to 1pm, and from 2pm to 4.30pm.  Admission charges to the garden do still apply on Disabled Access Day, for all the details, please click here.
Access information provided by Cambridge University Botanic Garden for disabled visitors planning to visit their garden can be found here.

On Saturday 11th March 2017, at 2.30pm, and on Sunday 12th March 2017, at 2.30pm, Cambridge University Botanic Garden, 1 Brookside, Cambridge, CB2 1JE, are offering a special guided tour of the gardens.  This guided tour will follow the most accessible paths to allow visitors to enjoy the spring colour and interest of this garden.  Test out and discover the best paths for those who have difficulty walking, whether they are on foot, in a wheelchair, or a mobility scooter.  The tour itself is free, but pre booking is essential, please telephone 01223 336265 – lines are open Monday to Friday, from 9am to 1pm, and from 2pm to 4.30pm.  Admission charges to the garden do still apply on Disabled Access Day, for all the details, please click here.
Access information provided by Cambridge University Botanic Garden for disabled visitors planning to visit their garden can be found here.

Kensington Palace, London, W8 4PX, will be taking part in Disabled Access Day 2017 hosting a range of events designed especially for their visually impaired and hearing impaired visitors.  On Friday 10th March 2017, 40 minute BSL (British Sign Language) presentations will be given about the history and the residents of Kensington Palace, focusing on Queen Victoria and Princess Diana.  BSL are free of charge and do not require a Palace Ticket.  The BSL presentations will be held at 10.15am, 11.15am, 1.15pm, 2.15pm and a special BSL presentation for children and families at 4.15pm.  BSL tours will be held at 11am, 12 noon, 2pm, and 3pm, with a special BSL tour for families at 5pm.
For all the details of Disabled Access Day 2017 at Kensington Palace, please click here.

On Saturday 11th March 2017, Kensington Palace will be holding Deaf Tours at 10.30am, 1pm, and 3pm, where visitors can experience a hour long tour of the beautiful King’s State Apartments, with an introduction to Kensington Palace’s new exhibition, ‘Diana: Her Fashion Story’.
For all the details of Disabled Access Day 2017 at Kensington Palace, please click here.

On Sunday 12th March 2017, Kensington Palace are holding 40 minute handling sessions for blind or visually impaired visitors, these sessions have a focus on stories about Queen Victoria and give an introduction to Kensington Palace’s new exhibition, ‘Diana: Her Fashion Story’.  Handling sessions are free of charge and do not require a palace ticket, they will be held at 10.15am, 1.15pm, 2.15pm, and 3.15pm, with a special handling session for children and families at 11.15am.  Describer Tours will be held at Kensington Palace on the same day, these will take place at: 11am, 2pm, 3pm, and 4pm, with a special Describer tour for children and families held at 12 noon.  Describer Tours will allow visitors to experience a hour long tour of the beautiful King’s State Apartments, with an introduction to Kensington Palace’s new exhibition, ‘Diana: Her Fashion Story’.  Kensington Palace also offer a discount to visitors booking their tickets in advance online.  Children under 16 can visit for free, advance tickets are valid for seven days from the date selected, for all the details, please click here.  For all the details of Disabled Access Day 2017 at Kensington Palace, please click here.
Information for disabled visitors to Kensington Palace can be found here.

On Friday 10th March 2017, Saturday 11th March 2017, and Sunday 12th March 2017, The Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh, Inverleith Row, Arboretum Place, Edinburgh, EH3 5LR, will be participating in Disabled Access Day 2017.  Quote ‘Disabled Access Day’ on your arrival to receive free entry to the glasshouse – last entry is at 4pm.
Access information provided by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh, with information on the accessibility of their gardens can be found here.

On Saturday 11th March 2017, Edinburgh Bus Tours will be taking part in Disabled Access Day 2017 at the John Hope Gateway of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh.  Between 1pm and 3pm, visitors can meet the bus drivers and explore one of the brand new Majestic Tour Buses and see how accessible these new buses are.  For all the details, please click here.

On Friday 10th March 2017, Saturday 11th March 2017, and Sunday 12th March 2017, Dawyck Botanic Gardens, Stobo, Peebles, EH45 9JU, will be offering free entry for disabled visitors, from 10am each day, just quote ‘Disabled Access Day’ on your arrival at the garden.  On Sunday 12th March 2017, at 2.15pm there will be a guided garden walk on the most accessible paths at Dawyck.  This tour is free to visitors with specific requirements, but is open to everyone, please book your place in advance, to do so, call 01721 760254 or email dawyck@rbge.org.uk
For all the details, please click here.
To view Dawyck Botanic Gardens accessibilty statement, please click here.

On Friday 10th March 2017, Saturday 11th March 2017, and Sunday 12th March 2017, Dobbies Garden World, Braehead, 75 Kings Inch Drive, Renfrew, Glasgow, G51 4FB, will be taking part in Disabled Access Day 2017, encouraging visitors to complete reviews of visiting their store on Euan’s Guide.  On Friday 10th March 2017, at 11am, a special free workshop held in partnership with Revive MS, will show visitors how to plant up containers and window boxes for colourful spring displays in their garden.  For all the details, please click here.

On Saturday 11th March 2017, Shuttleworth Old Warden, Biggleswade, SG18 9EP, are offering free entry to The Swiss Garden and The Collection from 9.30am onwards, for disabled visitors and their carers.  Children under 16 also enjoy free entry.  Free tours are available at 11am and again at 2pm.  For all the details, please click here.
Access information provided by Shuttleworth for disabled visitors can be found here.

On Saturday 11th March 2017, Normanby Hall Country Park, Normanby, Scunthorpe, D15 9HU, will be celebrating Disabled Access Day 2017 by holding a free multi activity day, ‘Do Something Different’, from 10am until 1pm at Normanby Hall Country Park, and from 1pm until 3pm, at the North Lincolnshire Museum.  A bus service will be provided to take visitors from Normanby Hall Country Park to North Lincolnshire Museum.  Activities include: shelter building, cooking in the wild, adapted cycling, garden games – giant jenga, croquet, dodge ball, rounders, archery etc.  For all the details, please click here.

Saturday 11th March 2017 and Sunday 12th March 2017 is Disabled Access Day at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and Gardens, 22 Cottage Lane, Shottery, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 9HH.  On Disabled Access Day, disabled visitors and their carers are invited to visit the gardens free of charge for this special day, so they can see all that the cottage and gardens have to offer.  For all the details, please click here.  To print a flyer to bring with you on the day, please click here.
Information for disabled visitors to Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and Gardens can be found here.

On Sunday 12th March 2017, at 3pm, Elizabeth Gaskells House, 84 Plymouth Grove, Manchester, M13 9LW,  will be hosting Manchester Histories as they present ‘Exploding Women’ by comedy duo LipService Theatre to explode the myth of women scientists and explore the lives of five of Manchester’s finest female masterminds: Kathleen Drew, known as the Mother of the Sea, Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw, a Maths genius and Rubik’s Cube expert, Caroline Birley a fossil hunter, Marie Stopes, a palaeobotanist and women’s rights campaigner, and Dame Margaret Beckett a metallurgist.

The performances will be BSL interpreted and audio described.  The House and Garden are fully accessible, there is wheelchair access at the side of the House, and a lift to all floors, with accessible toilets on each floor.  There are limited parking spaces for Blue Badge holders, please phone Elizabeth Gaskell’s House on 0161 2732215 to reserve a parking space.  To book tickets, please click here.  For all the details, please click here.

Other articles that may interest you………….

For more details of Disabled Access Day 2017, please click here to visit their website.

To visit Euan’s Guide’s website, please click here.

To see a calendar of 2017 Specialist Plant Fairs, Festivals, Sales and Swaps, with information on disabled access, please click here.

To read about beautiful, important, and historic gardens open to visit in Surrey, Hampshire, and West Sussex, with information on disabled access, please click here.

For information on how to make gardening easier, please click here.

For information about creating a retirement garden, please click here.

For information about terrariums and bottle gardens, please click here.

To see the results of my Peat Free Compost Trial, please click here.

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