It is estimated that the UK population will rise to 74 million by 2039, according to data from the Office of National Statistics, making accessibility more important than ever to ensure that we cater to the needs of all our citizens when they’re on holiday. Whether it’s an afternoon of culture you’re looking for, or an afternoon tea, knowing that everyone in the family is catered for brings peace of mind to tourists. Thanks to Access for All projects, improvements have been made to Cardiff stations, making visiting the city a more pleasurable experience for everyone.
Perhaps one of Cardiff’s best known attractions is Cardiff Castle. While there remain a few areas inaccessible to wheelchairs and pushchairs, concession tickets, Blue Badge parking, ramps and lifts make this historic site somewhere everyone can visit, with carers being admitted free of charge. There are audio guides available in ten languages, and touch tours can be booked for visitors with visual impairments.
With accessibility arrangements now being factored into cultural developments across the country, the Cardiff museums are now largely able to provide art, history and culture that everyone can access. The National Museum of Cardiff provides parking for Blue Badge holders, and there is wheelchair access to all galleries. The museum office an induction loop and audio description tours, and accessible toilets and baby changing facilities are available. The Cardiff Story is an accessible museum telling the story of Cardiff, and offers a range of facilities for visitors.
For film, international art and live performance, Chapter Arts Centre is a great place to visit, with flat access, Blue Badge parking and accessible facilities. Understanding the importance of peace of mind and comfort for people with limited mobility, the centre provides spacious seating and wheelchair access in both cinemas. Disability rights activist, John Morris, describes having only been to the cinema four times in three and a half years of being a wheelchair user, often limited by inaccessible venues.
Comfort and screen visibility is often overlooked in providing spaces for wheelchair users; Chapter aims to avoid this. The cinemas also offer dementia-friendly film screenings, audio description screenings and soft subtitle screenings, as well as relaxed atmosphere and supportive screenings. Chapter is also a part of the Hynt scheme, which endeavours to make theatres and arts centres available to anyone with specific access requirements. Schemes like this Hynt make theatre and the arts accessible across Wales.
Tours are a great way to see everything a city has to offer for visitors with reduced mobility. City Sightseeing offers a variety of tours around Cardiff, allowing everyone access to the main attractions in and around the city. Cardiff Cruises allow the whole family to enjoy a tour of Cardiff Bay by water, regardless of their accessibility requirements. The added advantage of a tour is that visitors can decide what places they’d like to visit later in their trip, allowing them to plan properly for their needs.
No one wants their holiday to be limited by venues that don’t cater to their requirements, and many of Cardiff’s top attractions understand this. With a little research, all families can access Cardiff’s rich history and vibrant culture comfortably and easily, and with everything the city has to offer, there’s sure to be something to suit everyone’s tastes.