Travellers with Disabilities
For many travellers with a disability, Wales is a strange mix of user-friendliness and unfriendliness. Most new buildings are wheelchair accessible, so large new hotels and modern tourist attractions are usually fine. However, most B&Bs and guesthouses have been converted from hard-to-adapt older buildings. This means that travellers with mobility problems may pay more for accommodation than their able-bodied fellows.
It's a similar story with public transport. Newer buses sometimes have steps that lower for easier access, as do trains, but it's always wise to check before setting out. Most tourist offices, tourist attractions and public buildings reserve parking spaces for people with disabilities near the entrance. Most tourist offices in Wales are wheelchair accessible, have counter sections at wheelchair height and provide information on accessibility in their particular area.
Many ticket offices and banks are fitted with hearing loops to assist the hearing impaired; look for the ear logo.
- Visit Wales (www.visitwales.com/explore/accessible-wales) publishes useful information on accessibility on its website.
- The National Trust (www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/visitors-with-disabilities) has information for visitors with disabilities on its website and offers free admission to all sites for companions of people with disabilities.
- Cadw allows wheelchair users and the visually impaired (and their companions) free entry to all monuments under its auspices.
- Disability Rights UK publishes Holidays in the British Isles, an annually updated guide to accessible accommodation in the UK and Ireland.
- Disability Wales, the national association of disability groups in Wales, is a good source of information.
- The Royal National Institute for the Blind offers support for people affected by sight loss.
- Shopmobility is a UK-wide scheme under which wheelchairs and electric scooters are available in some towns at central points for access to shopping areas.
- Tourism for All is a UK-based group that provides tips and information for travellers with disabilities.
- Download Lonely Planet's free Accessible Travel guide from http://lptravel.to/AccessibleTravel.