Accessible Travel London – Hotel, Hyde Park and River Thames

January 3, 2014 in Accessible Days Out, UK, Wheelchair Walks

Accessible Travel London

A wheelchair travel trip to London that was very chilled. Hanging out in Hyde Park and by the River Thames. This is a mini break we had in London in August, 5 months later here is the post!

Wheelchair Accessible Room at Copthorne Tara Hotel, London

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Thank you so much to Tourism For All for awarding me this prize (complimentary voucher for 1 night at this hotel) in their photo competition.

This accessible hotel is in a really great location just off High St Kensington. It’s only a 5-10 minute walk to Kensington Gardens, is near to bus routes and not far from Whole foods market, a massive health food supermarket with good access, lifts to all floors and disabled toilets. A great place to buy healthy gourmet snacks for the day out in London.

The Copthorne Tara Hotel has lifts to all floors and restaurants to suit different budgets. We had a double room with a spacious bathroom and accessible shower and sink. Loved the automatic push button doors on the entrance to the mezzanine floor and into the room itself. For more info on the accessible room facilities go to Copthorne Tara Website.

The Park – Wheelchair Access In Hyde Park & Kensington Gardens

Liberty Drives is a fantastic initiative which provides mobility, completely free of charge for anyone who finds it difficult to visit The Royal Parks due to advanced age, disability or poor health. The drivers are fully trained unpaid volunteers.

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We took a free tour of Hyde Park & Kensington Gardens with Liberty Drives. What a brilliant service.  We gave them a call and within half an hour they came and picked us up from where we were having lunch at the Dell cafe by the Serpentine Lake. The vehicles are electric and have a wheelchair ramp. We did have some rain showers but stayed dry under the electric buggy’s roof. Fantastic way to see the parks which are HUGE. We had a very knowledgeable driver who stopped at various monuments and gardens to give us the history of the parks. They will also drop you off at your favorite or most convenient spot at the end of the tour.

Liberty Drives welcome bookings from groups and individuals and are available 10:00 am – 4:30 pm Monday to Friday, 1 May to 31 October. Please call in advance on 07767 498096

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The River – Southbank Accessible Wheelchair Walk

The Southbank is a long car free promenade along the river Thames.  After a comfortable night at the hotel, we stocked up on snacks at Whole Foods Market and had another stroll and roll in Kensington Gardens as the sun came out. We stopped by the Serpentine Gallery to use their nice disabled toilets and check out the absolutely bonkers art. Then hopped on a bus to Trafalgar Square. Walked and rolled down to the Hungerford Bridge and got the lift onto the bridge and crossed over to the Southbank.  The Southbank area was made more accessible for the paralympic games and there are lots of galleries, museums, gardens and street performers which add to the festive atmosphere.

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Accessible Transport In London

Wheelchair Travel By Train To London

I always arrive at the train station early and head straight to the info desk to arrange the ramp and assistance. It is better to call the station in advance to arrange your assistance. For more details see the National Rail Website.  I have a Disabled Persons Railcard which saves me a third on train fares for me and my carer.

Wheelchair Travel By Bus In London

When travelling on the buses. The wheelchair ramp comes out of the double doors in the middle of the bus. Wheelchair users have priority so that mothers and buggies need to move out of the way for you to position the wheelchair in the allocated space.  The back of the wheelchair needs to be against the chair rest with the brakes on.  Don’t forget to tell the driver your destination so he knows which stop to activate the wheelchair ramp.

Wheelchair Travel By Tube

Wheelchair access to London Underground is limited. According to Transport For London there are currently 66 tube stations with step free access. You can pick up a Step Free Tube Guide at most underground stations, order an accessibilty guide on TFL website or see the online version.

More Accessible London…

More accessible travel London info can be found on the Transport For London Website and in the Time Out Open London: An inspirational guide to accessible London