Slimbridge Wetland Centre

Slimbridge Wetland Centre

Slimbridge Wetland Centre | 21st August 2018

Location: WWT Slimbridge
Bowditch, Slimbridge
Gloucestershire, GL2 7BT

Date of initial visit: 29th March 2017

Date of revisit: 21st August 2018

Parking

There is a large car park with 17 disabled spaces, the spaces are located close to the ramped entrance and the car park toilets which has one disabled toilet.

Accessibility

I would very much recommend a visit to Slimbridge Wetland Centre, there is something there for everybody. Majority of the park is accessible for a wheelchair due to the ramps and clear, wide pathways, the wildlife can be appreciated by children and adults making it fully inclusive.

You can hire an electric scooter or a manual wheelchair from the park, it is advised to call in advance to book one of these. Electric scooters are £6 for the day and they ask for a donation towards manual chairs to go towards maintenance costs.

For people with visual impairments there are volunteers on offer, they will aid you around the park whilst giving you some interesting facts about the fabulous surrounding wildlife. This is work in progress and training is still being given but has been greatly received. Due to this being offered by volunteers you will need to contact the park to organise this ahead of time and be flexible to work around them. The centre will also print out a large print map on request if you need one.

Slimbridge also have dates where they hire out Mobiloo to have on site, who provide extra toileting facilities including an electric hoist, adult size changing table and an assistant available. The upcoming dates are as follows:

  • Wednesday 22nd August 2018
  • Tuesday 18th September 2018
  • Wednesday 24th October 2018

Please visit the website to keep up to date with any other news.

You can read about the Slimbridge 2020 project here. Within this project are some exciting things on the horizon regarding accessibility such as a fully functioning lift at the new Holden Tower (from Autumn 2019) with a stunning view over the Estuary, current access is up two flights of stairs. The summer walkway is going to be made accessible (opening summer 2020) and they are also building a new accessible Avery and outdoor theatre which will have disabled toilet facilities inside.

During wet winter months you are required to disinfect your shoes and wheels going round certain parts of the park, there is a mat and wheel wash provided.

There is a Land Rover Safari which takes you along the banks of the River Severn with a expert warden to point out the surrounding wildlife, a lift has recently been installed which can accommodate 2 wheelchairs per journey. However, we didn’t get chance to experience this.

The centre itself is very big and you could easily spend a full day here, on entrance there is a large double automatic door leading into the venue, with a button for disabled users to press this will open the door and there is a lowered reception point on the right for disabled customers. You can collect a token from the reception for the observatory which is a viewing platform up high where you can see a 360-degree view of the Wetlands. This is accessible via the lift.

You then lead from the visitor centre directly out to Swan Lake, there is a flat, wide decking type bridge which leads over the lake with birds either side, you can get close to the water and feed the birds with grain which can be purchased at the visitor centre for £1.50

Welly boot land is just around the corner from Swan Lake, this is a great area for children, I was able to get in here and could sit comfortably around a bench but the activities are very interactive and would be no good for a child in a wheelchair. There are small bridges over water streams, roundabouts, climbing frames etc.

You can then work your way around the park in a loop, I would recommend from the left and then looping around to the right (e.g from swan lake, welly boot land, south discovery hide, Asia, otter pool, Hogarth hide, tropical guide, Kingfisher hide, playpark/toilets, North America, duck decoy, pond zone, garden of reflection, Knott hide (this pathway has some less accessible areas so you may want to end your trip before), gift shop, home!) there are lots of gates which are required to be kept shut, this is to keep certain birds in their home environment but also to keep other animals out such as foxes. Some less able-bodied people would not be able to open these gates, if you were visiting alone without any assistance then the staff are happy to help with this as much as possible.

The South Lake discovery was fantastic hide with a great view for a wheelchair user and lots of space to manoeuvre inside, there were lots of low windows I could get to and binoculars available. This was one of the best Hides for accessibility.

The otter pool has flat decking all around and a glass wall to separate so you get a good view, the otters sleep quite a bit in their cave during the day, you can also go through the cave where there is a small window to look through, this would be difficult for someone with limited sight due to the height of the windows and it was quite dark. They also do talks about the otters at 11.30am and 3.00pm.

The flamingo lagoon is also a superb hide for accessibility, there is a ramp leading down and a very large window. You are slightly underground here so the flamingos are at eyeline which is easier to see for somebody with a sight impairment. There is also a video screen in here with an audio information headset about the conservation work the WWT are doing for flamingos.

The park outlines on their map that the Stephen Kirk hide, the Holden Tower and the Summer walkway have restricted wheelchair access which is correct (no access at all) you can view some of the other hides along this route although we didn’t see much wildlife along this track so for a wheelchair user I personally avoid going any further than the pond zone.

When I visited in November I was also not able to access the Kingfisher hide as they required you to clean your feet/wheels before entering but there was no facility to do this for my wheelchair.

Café/Restaurant

There are two Kiosks around the park where you can buy drinks and confectionary, there was no lowered counter here.

The Kingfisher Kitchen is located by the entrance and had very good accessibility, there were benches outside I could comfortably fit my wheelchair underneath and lots of tables inside too. The walkways were nice and wide, and it was easy to navigate around. The menu was light but they do not offer a large print or braille menu, the PDF screen readable online menu is available here. You are required to go to the counter to place your order, the counter is at a low height.

There are vegetarian and gluten free options on the menu and they offer take away food in 100% compostable boxes.

Toilets

There are 6 disabled toilets located around the park, all four of the toilets I had time to look at had good facilities inside, with all necessary adjusting hand rails and lowered sinks etc, none of them required RADAR keys. The 6 disabled toilets are located:

  • Car park
  • Foyer by main reception x2
  • Visitor centre, downstairs
  • Near restaurant, located outside the building
  • To the side of the kiosk by the play area

Most toilets are near the entrance to the park apart from the toilets by the play area so I would advise making this your half way break point.

Lift

The lift takes you up to the observatory and is located in the visitor centre, it isn’t large enough to turn around in but it is large enough for somebody to assist a wheelchair user inside. The buttons are easy to reach and the lighting is quite dim.

Customer Service

Project Manager, Jackie Harris met with us to show us around the wetland centre. Jackie very kindly gave up her day to provide us with a taster of a guided tour around some areas of the park and was able to give us some great insight about the wildlife. She took all of our comments about areas for improvement on board and was very keen to make the park as accessible as possible. The volunteers we spoke to at the reception were also very helpful and friendly.

Visit Slimbridge Wetland Centre website for more information including ticket and membership prices.

Accessibility Rating

(image – five out of five stars)

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Blackfriars

Blackfriars

Blackfriars | 10th July 2018

Location: Ladybellegate St, Gloucester, GL1 2HS
Date of visit: 10th July 2018

Parking

There are seven disabled bays located outside the Blackfriars, in the Lady Bellegate street car park which is a council owned car park, you can park here for free with a blue badge.

There is also an NCP car park which backs directly onto this car park, there are disabled parking bays in this car park however, there is no free parking with a blue badge, so you will need to pay for a ticket.

Accessibility

There is a small curb to gain access to the main entrance, they have a temporary ramp for this which would remain in place if there was an event on. This takes you through a stone archway and down a wide pathway. There are some benches to the right of the pathway on some grass. At the bottom of the pathway is another archway which leads through to a courtyard, here you can access the North, East and South range.

  • The North Range

Turning left through the archway takes you down to the North range, this is an original priory church building and is used for events such as weddings and parties as well as theatre productions and music events. There is a small slope leading down to two sets of wide doors, these would be open during an event. There are two floors to the North range, the second floor is up 5 steps, both floors are all open plan and there is a platform lift available to the left of the stairs. All areas are accessible for wheelchair users.

  • The East Range

Heading out of the North range and turning left takes you to the East range where there are three floors. The first floor has a small room which can be used for meetings or signing of the registers for a wedding. There is a wooden ramp that has been built throughout the first floor which makes the accessibility very good. There is also another door in here via which can be accessed via the ramp, this leads to a garden and then through to the top floor of the north range. There is a piece of ramp leading down to a empty part of the building, there is not much to see down here and floor is very uneven so I would avoid going down here.

The second floor can be accessed via a platform lift, when exiting to the lift your first right takes you to a café/bar area with some small tables to sit at, these were suitable for a wheelchair, although a large wheelchair may find it difficult to find underneath. There is a fold out section of the bar which is slightly lower and an appropriate height for a wheelchair to order and pay for drinks. Next door along is access to the toilets, the disabled toilet is at the end of the corridor.

The third floor is also accessible via the lift, there is a smaller room here which can also be used for events, there is a flat entrance and is all accessible.

Lift

The two platform lifts in the North and East range are both easy to use, the buttons are at a low height. However, they do have manual doors so a wheelchair user or somebody with a visual impairment may need assistance to do this.

Toilets

The disabled toilet is located on the second floor to the East range and requires access via the lift. It is very spacious, large enough to turn around in, as it is located at the end of a corridor it is easier to turn around in here rather than reversing down the corridor which is not wide enough to turn around in. The toilet is on the back wall to the left as you enter, and the emergency cord is in corner next to the toilet. There is an adjustable handrail and wall mounted hand rail to each side for left and right-side transfer. The sink, hand dryer and soap dispenser were all at a lowered height. The toilets were very clean.

Accessibility Rating

(five out of five stars)

Visit website for bookings: http://www.gloucesterblackfriars.co.uk/

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Hallmark Hotel

Hallmark Hotel

Hallmark Hotel | 10th July 2018

Location: Robinswood Hill, Gloucester, GL4 6EA
Date of initial visit: 13th January 2017
Date of revisit: 10th July 2018

Parking

There are seven clearly signposted disabled parking bays, located outside the front of the building. Each with lots of space for manoeuvre around them. There is a pathway to the left of the parking bays which leads down to the main entrance, there is a slight slope leading down.

Accessibility

The hotel is built on a hillside therefore you are able to access both floors of the building without a lift.

The main entrance is all a flat, even surface, there are electric, double doors leading to the reception. The reception point is quite high, however the receptionist came around to speak to me. From the main reception to the hotel there are steps and no lift, however there is an accessible entrance located to the right of the building. This can only be opened from the inside so a member of staff will need to open this for you. The accessible entrance leads you through the bar and restaurant area which then leads down a wide corridor and the two guest rooms with accessible bathrooms are located right at the end. Also at the end of the corridor is the fire exit and refuge point, so in the case of an emergency you are as close as possible to the exit.

  • Guest Rooms

The two accessible rooms have clear access, there is only a small amount of room to turn around within the rooms. There is an emergency pull cord located to the right hand side of the bed (if lying in bed) and a deaf guard, vibrating pillow. Each room has a wet room with a walk in shower and seat with lifting handrails each side to transfer, along with the toilet and more hinged, adjustable handrails and another emergency pull cord to the left of the toilet (if sitting on toilet).

  • Restaurant and Merlot Suite 

The restaurant is all open plan, the bar is quite high but they offer table service. There is also a large suite which can be used for business conferences, weddings and parties. There is a flat entrance and wide door leading in, it was currently set up with large circular tables which were suitable for my wheelchair to fit underneath. Within the kitchen they will cater for dietary requirement such as liquidised foods as long you provide what is necessary.

  • Leisure Centre

There is a leisure centre which is located at the back of the building and on the lowest floor, to access this in a wheelchair you are required to go around the side of the building. If walking, there is a steep slope leading down, this could be difficult in a manual wheelchair. You can also drive around to the rear car park which may be easier, the rear car park is a new edition and there are no disabled parking bays at present but they are looking into this. The leisure centre is accessible for a wheelchair but there is no hoist facility, there is a disabled changing/wet room, this is kept locked to non disabled guests are unable to use it so you will need to get staff to open the door.

Customer Service

The hotel manager Nora, kindly took the time out of her day to show us around the hotel. She advised us how all staff are happy to assist anybody around the hotel with special requirements. There are phones in the rooms to call reception staff, which is open 24 hours a day. All staff are dressed professionally and were very helpful during our visit.

Accessibility Rating

(four out of five stars)

Visit Hallmarks hotel for bookings: https://www.hallmarkhotels.co.uk/hotels/hallmark-hotel-gloucester/

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Mercure – Bowden Hall Hotel

Mercure – Bowden Hall Hotel

Bowden Hall | 8th June 2018

Parking

There are two designated disabled parking spaces, close to the front entrance of the building with big signs stating they are for disabled guests only.

Accessibility

There is a set of double doors to the main entrance which leads through to a single manual door to enter the hotel. There is also a low reception point so that a wheelchair user could check themselves in.

Café/Lounge

There is a lounge with a bar area where you can sit and have drinks, including complimentary tea or coffee. There is plenty of space for a wheelchair user to access this lounge and accessible tables and chairs to sit at.

The kitchen will cater for dietary requirement such as liquidised foods if you provide the food to do so.

Rooms

There are 72 rooms in the hotel, two of which are disabled friendly, they are on the first floor which is accessible via a platform lift. There is one twin and one double room with a walk-in shower and seat and there are adequate handrails to transfer. The bathrooms and the rooms are a bit tight and the beds are quite high which could be difficult to transfer to from a wheelchair.

They have vibrating pillows for the deaf and there are panic alarms by the bed. There is a refuge point in case of emergencies, to get here you turn left out of the room, along the corridor and turn right and it is at the end of the corridor.

Lakeside Suite

The Lakeside Suite is fully accessible, this is used mainly for weddings or businesses conferences. The seating area is up some stairs as you enter, there is a ramp if you carry on straight which goes up the side of the building. There is disabled toilet within the Suite which is at the bottom of the stairs and to the right. It is in the female toilets which isn’t signposted.

The Conference Room

The conference room is on the 2nd floor, this is not accessible for wheelchair users or somebody using a walking aid. The hotel is looking into getting a lift installed for the future, but this hasn’t been achieved yet. The hotel is a grade 2 listed building which causes some difficulties. The conference room is often used for wedding ceremonies, so it is worth considering this if you are attending/having a wedding here and have guests who will struggle with stairs. You can however also have the ceremony in the Lakeside Suite on the first floor.

Lift

There is a platform lift which leads up the first flight of stairs to the hotel rooms, the lift must be operated by a member of staff. There is a red phone which you can use to call reception next to the lift, or you can call from your rooms and somebody will come up and assist you. The lift is large enough for a wheelchair, but not for somebody to assist in the lift whilst operating. There is a weight limit of 225g so not suitable for large, heavy wheelchairs/scooters.

Toilets

There are two disabled toilets located in the hotel, one just past reception to the left and one in the Lakeside Suite, the facilities within both of these were all adequate for a wheelchair user apart from soap dispensers being just a little too high in one.

Customer Service

The general manager, Gavin very kindly took the time out of his day to show us around the hotel and answered all of our questions.

Accessibility Rating

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Bella Italia

Bella Italia

Bella Italia | 21st March 2017

Parking

There is lots of disabled parking in Gloucester Quays car park you can park here for free for 4 hours with a disabled badge.

Accessibility

There is a large accessible double door leading into the venue. The restaurant is all wheelchair accessible. They offer a larger print menu and a braille menu for the visually impaired.

The seating plan is open with quite a few booths. There are plenty of quite corners within the venue. The 4 corners of the restaurant have adjustable speakers, for those wanting a quieter meal. If you require your food to be liquidised they can offer this facility, or if not they are happy for you to bring in your own food.

The lighting is nice and bright in the restaurant and they allow guide dogs into the building.

Toilets

There is a disabled toilet located at the back of the building. The toilet is accessible for wheelchair users. It is large enough for a wheelchair to turn around in safely and there is enough room for a PA or family member to assist a wheelchair user. The toilet has a handrail for both transfer sides. The sink, hand dryer and toilet paper dispenser are all accessible for wheelchair users.

Customer Service

The staff members were extremely friendly, very kind and well mannered. Dan the manager, was so lovely and helpful and he made our visit even more enjoyable. He was more than happy to take the time out of his day to answer our questions.

Accessibility Rating

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Nature in Art

Nature in Art

Nature in Art | 7th April 2017

Parking

There is disabled parking located at the front of the building for three cars.

Accessibility

There is a ramp leading into the front of the building making it easy for wheelchair users. You enter straight into the gift shop with a gallery to your right hand side. There is plenty of space to get about in a wheelchair.

There are three galleries within the building, two of which are upstairs. To access these galleries upstairs, there is a lift available on the ground floor. There is a ramp leading outside into the beautiful gardens, there is no gravel or path around the garden but it is easily accessible for wheelchair users especially during the summer months. Any carer with a disabled member has free entry.

There is an education centre located at the back of the gardens, they have art courses and activity days held here.

Lift

The lift is wheelchair accessible but is rather small, therefore, not large enough for a wheelchair to turn around in or enough space for a PA or family member to assist a wheelchair user. This would not be suitable for somebody that would need to be supervised to use the lift. The buttons are nice a low and easy to use for somebody that is able to use these.

Toilet

There is a disabled toilet located in the education centre. This is a large wheelchair accessible toilet, with space for a wheelchair to turn around in safely and a family member or PA to assist a wheelchair user. There are handrails for both transfer sides and the sink, hand dryer and toilet paper dispenser are all accessible for wheelchair users.

Café

There is access to the coffee shop through the main building, or you can access the coffee shop using the ramp outside. The coffee shop is wheelchair accessible with an open seating plan. They offer A4 size menus for the visually impaired.

They have three special chalk boards located above the counter, for easy viewing.

The lighting in the coffee shop is nice and bright.

Accessibility Rating

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Bills

Bills

Bill’s | 14th March 2017

Parking

There is lots of disabled parking in Gloucester Quays car park you can park here for free for 4 hours.

Accessibility

There is an accessible entrance leading into the venue, with a large double door along the side on the building.

There are a lot of tables located around the restaurant. There is one booth located to the right-hand side of the restaurant if you wanted to get away from any noise, although the restaurant wasn’t overly noisy, there was some quiet music playing in the background. There is one long seated booth and a couple quiet corners.

There are a few special chalk boards with menu choices located around the building.

If you require your food to be liquidised they can help with this facility. If not they are happy for you to bring in your own food. They currently don’t offer a larger print menu, a braille menu or a hearing loop.

Toilets

There is a disabled toilet located at the back of the building. There is a ramp needed to access these toilets, the staff will help with accessing and using this ramp.

The toilets are accessible for wheelchair users, it is large enough for a wheelchair to turn around in and large enough for a PA or family member to assist a wheelchair user. The toilet has a handrail for both transfer sides. The sink, hand dryer and toilet paper dispenser are all accessible for wheelchair users.

There is enough lighting, the toilets are nice and clean and safe to use.

Customer Service

The staff are friendly, helpful and well mannered. The manager Ella, took the time out of her day to show us around and answer our questions.

Accessibility Rating

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GL1 Leisure Centre

GL1 Leisure Centre

GL1 Leisure Centre | 22nd March 2017

Parking

There are 10 disabled parking spaces outside the front of the leisure centre.

Accessibility

There are two large, automatic doors leading into the venue.

For the swimming pool there are designated accessible toilets/changing rooms located on the ground floor. The one has a toilet, handrails for transfer sides and a walk in shower with a seat. The other changing offers exactly the same however, this one also offers a hoist, these changing rooms/toilets require a RADAR key.

The lockers and wristbands are charged at £1 each. This is the same for the ones in the gym. There are two main pools which offer a hoist. A trained member of staff will assist the wheelchair user when using the hoist. The most suitable time to use the pool for somebody with a disability is between 6.30am-9.00am which is the ‘Early Risers’ session and is the quietest time of day.

There are two disabled toilets/changing rooms for the gym, for male and female use. They are located on the first floor. The gym offers facilities to accommodate a wheelchair user and some of the machines in the gym can be operated by a wheelchair user. Once an induction has been completed by a trained member of staff, a PA or family member may assist a wheelchair user in the gym. It is advisable to book in advance for a PT session for a wheelchair user.

Lift

There is  a lift located to the right of the building, this will take you up to the gym. The lift is accessible for wheelchair users, it is not large enough for a wheelchair to turn around in but does have enough space for a PA or family member to assist a wheelchair user. The buttons are easy to reach on the outside and on the inside of the lift.

Customer Service

The staff members are very helpful, friendly and well mannered. The manager Chris took the time out of his day to show us around and answer our questions.

Restaurant/Café

The restaurant/café is accessible for wheelchair users, they serve food from 10am until 5pm. The menu choices are all up on the wall on a large board.

Accessibility Rating

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Sherborne Cinema

Sherborne Cinema

Sherborne Cinema | 11th May 2018

Parking

There is parking located to the left of the building and there is one disabled spot.

Accessibility

There is a paved ramp leading into the front of the venue and there is a large accessible double door. The ticket booth is located on the left hand side, this is where you can purchase your tickets and also some snacks and drinks.

There is one cinema screen; this is where all the films are shown. The back row has space for three wheelchair users.The aisle is wider than your average cinema and you are welcome to sit on the end of the aisle in your wheelchair if it is a smaller wheelchair, this may be more suitable for somebody with a sight impairment so they can be closer to the screen. It is advisable to turn up early if you are in a wheelchair so the most suitable. It Is advisable to turn up early if you are in a wheelchair so the most suitable seat for you can be found before everybody else arrives.

They also offer headphones for the blind, this facility offers audio description through the headphones and guide dogs are welcome into the building.

There is a small porch over the main entrance to the cinema, this was added for sound proof. It makes it a little tight getting into the cinema.

Toilets

The toilets are on the right hand side of the building, the disabled toilet or ‘easy access toilet’ as Mark has called it, is at the end of the corridor on the left. The toilet is big enough for somebody to assist a wheelchair user and has suitable hand rails for transferring, The sink, hand dryer and toilet paper dispenser are all at a suitable lowered height.

Customer Service

Mark is an extremely friendly gentleman who has an obvious passion for film and has done a great job at keeping the traditional and personal touch within his cinema, it was a pleasure to meet him and I look forward to many more cinema trips in the future.

 

https://www.sherbornecinema.co.uk/programme Take a look at the website for up to date programme times

 

 

Accessibility Rating

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Subscription Rooms

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Lansdown Hall & Gallery

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Dr Fosters

Dr Fosters

Dr Fosters | 11th May 2018

Parking

There is disabled parking located at the Herbert Warehouse or the Gloucester Docks car park where you can park for 3 hours for free with a blue badge, these spaces can be often be filled during busy times so you can also park in the Quays car park which isn’t far to walk or travel by wheelchair.

Accessibility

There are a set of stairs leading down to the entrance or a paved ramp to the left hand side, which leads to a large accessible double door. The restaurant is wheelchair accessible and the seating plan is open with lots of space and accessible tables. There are plenty of booths and quiet corners if you’d like to be out of the way.

There is an outdoor area with some benches which looks out onto the waterfront which is pleasant, there are some stairs leading out of the conservatory outdoors so this is only accessible for a wheelchair by going round the outside of the building via the front entrance. The staff are happy to show you round and help bring drinks over in this instance. The lower part to the conservatory is also accessible.

There is no lowered section of the bar which could make it a little difficult for wheelchair users to order drinks at the bar, especially if it is busy. You also need to place your food and drink order at the bar, which isn’t entirely obvious. They don’t offer a larger print menu or braille menu for the visually impaired or a hearing loop.

The lighting within the restaurant is nice and bright, there is quiet music playing in the background. They also allow guide dogs.

Toilets

There is a disabled toilet located to the left hand side as you enter the building. The toilet is wheelchair accessible, it is not large enough for a wheelchair to turn around in but there is enough room for a family member or PA to assist a wheelchair user. There are handrails for both transfer sides. The sink, hand dryer and toilet paper dispenser are all accessible for wheelchair users.

Accessibility Rating

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Gloucester Guildhall

Gloucester Guildhall

Gloucester Guildhall | 2nd May 2018

Parking

You can enter the Guildhall directly from the Kings Walk car park, which is free after 6pm. You can park in here for up to 3 hours with a blue badge but you do need to complete an application form to get the electronic tag. To enter the building via the car park there is a steel ramp.

Accessibility

If you’re not entering the Guildhall via the Kings Walk car park, the main entrance is on Eastgate street. There is a singular automatic door and straight away steps leading up to the box office on level 1 or a lift which has access to all floors. All of the hallways across the venue are nice and wide and easy to navigate with a wheelchair. Considering the Guildhall is an old building, which is often where accessibility issues can be found, the accessibility across the venue is very good – wide entrances, hallways and big rooms.

The Guildhall monitor how many wheelchair users are in the building at the same time, due to the fact it is all above the ground floor. The maximum capacity is 8 people as this is the amount of wheelchairs they can get out of the building safely in the case of an emergency.

Guide dogs are allowed in the building.

Box Office

The box office is on the first floor and has a low reception point which makes it easy for a wheelchair user to communicate with staff on reception.

Cinema

The cinema is on the second floor, the main entrance for the cinema is down a small flight of stairs which is accessible via a platform lift and then up another platform lift to get into the cinema. There is a rear entrance to the cinema which cuts out the stairs, a member of staff will be happy to open this for you as it will be easier and quicker than using the platform lifts.

If you are in a wheelchair it is advisable to arrive a little earlier than the showing time for the film so that you can find the most suitable position for you. All of the seats within the cinema can be moved so you can sit wherever you prefer.

The Hall

There is a large entertainment hall which is on the second floor, to get to the hall you are required to use the door lift and the platform lift. The hall is used for concerts and gigs etc. There is tiered seating which can be folded away or extend across the hall it is large but would still be an intimate gig.

If the gig was standing it may be a little overcrowded and busy for someone in a wheelchair as there are no cornered off sections or anywhere specifically for disabled people. If it was seated the tiered seating would be inaccessible for a wheelchair but there would be plenty of space at the front.

There is a refuge point just behind the hall in case of an emergency where the emergency services will collect people in need of help, there is a flight of stairs leading to the refuge point which is a fire exit/staff only.

Café

The café is located on the second floor which is accessible via the door lift and platform lift, there is a wide entrance into the café, the tables are suitable for my wheelchair to fit under and the walkways are nice and wide. There is also a lower section to the bar on the righthand side. The menus are nice and light however, they don’t offer a larger print menu. The café uses local and fresh produce and can accommodate for vegan and gluten free.

Studio / Meeting Rooms

There is a studio room with a mirrored wall that can be used for dance lessons, there are also several meeting rooms of different sizes across the venue that can be hired out for meetings, events, conferences etc. Each of the rooms have a wide entrance and are easy to get in and out of.

Customer Service

Chris kindly showed us around the venue at short notice and gave us lots of information about the venue. On other occasions when I have visited the Guildhall all of the staff have been polite and helpful

Lift

The door lift to all floors is easy to use and large enough for my wheelchair and somebody to assist, although a slight squeeze. However it is not large enough to turn around in. The buttons are a low height and nice and big so easy to use.

There are two platform lifts on the second floor, there is a sign to ask a staff member for help but they were easy to use.

Toilet

There are three disabled toilets in the building, two on the second floor and one of the third floor. The toilet on the third floor is a little cramped so a large wheelchair user may find it easier to use one of the toilets on the second floor. However, it still had ramps for a left and right hand transfer and the sink and other facilities were all at a lowered height.

Both toilets on the second floor are larger and again all facilities at an appropriate height.

Accessibility Rating

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Museum of Gloucester

Museum of Gloucester

Museum of Gloucester | 2nd May 2018

Parking

There are two disabled parking spaces located outside the building with two drop kerbs to get off the road however, these are hard to access once parked in the disabled spaces, you have to go along the road until the end where there is a drop kerb. There is also St Michaels Square car park close by where you can use your blue badge for 3 hours free parking.

Accessibility

There is a ramp leading into the venue, with a large accessible automatic double door. The reception point is on the right-hand side, as you enter the building. There is a lower section of the reception desk for wheelchair access. There is plenty of space to move a wheelchair around. There are lots of easy access things to see within the lower ground floor. There are also listening options with easy to reach buttons for wheelchair users. Every part of the downstairs floor is accessible, with easy to go through arches for wheelchairs.

There is another floor which is accessible via the lift and plenty of space to move around on the first floor with lots to see and look at. There are also two art galleries located on the first floor. This is all accessible and easy to view from a wheelchair.

Café / Gift Shop

There is a self-service café located on the ground floor. There is a selection of hot drinks available and cold drinks in the fridge. The seating plan is open with lots of space for wheelchair users and accessible tables. There are also a couple of quiet corners.

There is also a fantastic little gift shop with lots of gadgets, books and memorabilia.

Customer Service

All the staff at the museum are extremely friendly and helpful. Angela took the time out of her day to show us around and answer our questions.

Lift

There is a lift located at the back of the building, which will take you up to first floor. The lift is accessible for wheelchairs, there is a double sided door so you drive into the lift and drive out the other side.

It is not large enough for a wheelchair to turn around in but there is room for a family member or PA to assist the wheelchair user. The buttons are easy to reach for somebody in a wheelchair and easy to use.

There is an Evac chair available at the top of the stairs, in case of emergencies.

Toilet

There are two disabled toilets on the ground floor, they aren’t large enough for a wheelchair to turn around in but they are large enough for somebody to assist. There are handrails for right and left hand transfer, the sink and hand dryer are at an appropriate height for a wheelchair however, the toilet paper dispenser and soap dispenser are a little high. The toilets are part of the public toilet scheme and are kept nice and clean.

Accessibility Rating

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Côte Brasserie

Côte Brasserie

Côte Brasserie | 17th January 2018

Parking

The restaurant is located in Gloucester quays, therefore there is ample disabled parking in Gloucester Quays or Gloucester Docks car park.

Accessibility

There is a flat entrance with a wide manual door leading into the restaurant. There were plenty of tables I was able to fit my wheelchair underneath comfortably.

They don’t offer larger print or braille menus and the regular menus are very small print so no good for somebody with a visual impairment. The staff are very helpful and would read this out for you if requested.

The restaurant is open plan and there are no secluded booths, there was quiet music playing in the background.

The walkways through the restaurant were all wide enough to navigate my wheelchair through.

Customer Service

The service I received was excellent, the waiter held the door open for me upon arrival and gave me a choice of any table. The waitress that took our order was very helpful and the food was served quickly.

Toilets

The disabled toilet is located at the back of the building, the door is behind a curtain. The staff showed me to the toilet and held the curtain and door open for me.

The toilet was very spacious inside, the lighting was good and it was nice and clean.

The sink, toilet paper dispenser and hand dryer were all at a reasonable height for a wheelchair user.

Accessibility Rating

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Janes Pantry

Janes Pantry

Janes Pantry | 10th January 2018

Parking

Janes Pantry is located in the town centre therefore there is no customer parking. The nearest car park is Kings Walk which has plenty of disabled parking.

Accessibility

There was a wide manual door on the righthand side of the café, there were plenty of tables that were suitable to fit a wheelchair underneath however, the aisles between the tables were quite narrow. This made getting to the counter quite difficult as they don’t offer table service.

The seated area is all open and there are no secluded booths. All the menus are on a board so this is difficult for somebody who has a visual impairment.

Customer Service

The service received was average, my drink was served quickly however the staff could have been more accommodating for a wheelchair user.

Toilets

The disabled toilet is located at the back of the building, this isn’t that easy to get to due to the narrow aisles within the café. The turning point into the toilet through the door is also quite tight.

The facilities within the toilet are all fine there are handrails for a left and right-hand transfer and the sink and toilet paper dispenser were both at a reasonable height for a wheelchair user but the hand dryer was too high.

The toilets were nice and clean.

Accessibility Rating

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Lansdown Hall & Gallery

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The Orchard Trust

The Orchard Trust

The Orchard Trust | 5th January 2018

The Orchard Trust are a registered charity based in the Forest of Dean, they have two supported living homes in Lydney and four residential homes located in Lydbrook, Coleford and Ruardeen Hill. There is also a day centre facility which is located in Lydbrook, just a short distance from the home. The day centre is open to the public as well as the service users during the hours of 09.00am-03.00pm They welcome and accommodate people from all walks of life, including all physical disabilities, the elderly as well as mental health issues or even people that just need a bit support. There is no charge to visit the smallholding and sensory garden but they also offer Activities, Creativity, Engagement (A.C.E) you can read the details here on the website as well as pricing.

Parking and Location

Orchard Trust can be tricky to find as a first-time visitor, click here to view directions, my top tip would be to look out for the concrete bus shelter opposite the turning and it’s pretty easy from there.

Once you reach the top of the hill there is a car park located on the righthand side, the small car park is unmarked and there are no designated disabled spots but the accessibility from the car park to the venue is fine. There is a newly paved even pathway leading from the car park to the reception area.

Accessibility 

The Orchard Trust reached out to me and asked me to visit the site, the purpose of my visit was to advise them on how they can improve accessibility issues they have as they are looking to make continuous improvements to the site. They are located on an uneven hillside which causes some accessibility issues.

Learning Centre

The main learning centre and reception point is in a two-story converted barn with no lift, the only access point to the second story for wheelchair users is across a raised ramp which you are required to go outside for, the turning point into the building is quite tight and a little tricky to manoeuvre. All the doors across the site are manual so a wheelchair user would require assistance from somebody who is able bodied. Despite some of the accessibility issues, I was still able to access all areas of the building.#

Kitchen

Within the learning centre is a kitchen with four separate colour coded areas, in each area there is an oven, a sink and basic kitchen appliances such as chopping boards and frying pans etc. In the pink kitchen there is a height adjustable worktop at the touch of a button. There is plenty of space to navigate around the kitchen in my wheelchair.

Activity Park

There is a newly built activity park which is designed for adults with disabilities as well as children, there are also activities for the able-bodied which provides a fun day out for all families. In the park there is a swing and merry-go-round designed for wheelchairs to mount. Along side it is a standard swing to all be enjoyed at the same time and the merry-go-round has seats to be sat on as well as up to 2 wheelchairs. There is also a in ground trampoline which will also hold a wheelchair.

Activity Park

There is a newly built activity park which is designed for adults with disabilities as well as children, there are also activities for the able-bodied which provides a fun day out for all families. In the park there is a swing and merry-go-round designed for wheelchairs to mount. Along side it is a standard swing to all be enjoyed at the same time and the merry-go-round has seats to be sat on as well as up to 2 wheelchairs. There is also a in ground trampoline which will also hold a wheelchair.

Smallholding

There is a lovely smallholding which is fully accessible for wheelchair users. Here you’ll find some farm animals including Milly the pig, sheep, pygmy goats (two of which are pregnant!), chickens and ducks which you are able to pet and feed. The goats in particular are very fun and friendly!

There is a newly paved pathway which leads around the smallholding, it is wide enough for two wheelchairs to pass by each other. There are also stopping points with benches dotted along the pathway, so people can stop for a rest if needed.

At the far end of the walkway there is a sheltered wooden outdoor classroom, in here is a long bench purposely built to fit a wheelchair underneath. It’s also nice and quiet in here with a nice view and perfect for a picnic.

Sensory Garden

Even though I visited the sensory garden on a cold winter day I was still able to appreciate the surroundings, I can imagine it would be twice as lovely in the summer.

I was able to navigate around all the garden in my wheelchair, however some of the areas I wasn’t able to reach from my wheelchair due to them being too far away from the pathway.

There was however still plenty of areas I could enjoy including a xylophone, plants I could touch, feel and smell and a small water feature.

Toilets

There is a disabled toilet located round the back of the building on the ground floor in the learning centre. There is quite a tight turning point into the toilet which is hard to manoeuvre as a wheelchair user.

I was unable to transfer from my wheelchair to the toilet due to not having an appropriate hand rail. There are manual adjustable hand rails for left and right-hand transfer, however for me to be able to transfer from my wheelchair I need a static handrail attached to the wall that doesn’t move for safety purposes. I advised Phill about this and he said he would look to install a new handrail as soon as possible.

I was unable to turn the tap on by myself as it was too stiff, again Phill is aware of this and considering other options. The toilet paper and soap dispenser are also a little too high for me in my wheelchair.

There is an overhead hoist and an adjustable bed however I didn’t use these facilities, so I can’t comment any further.

There is enough room in the toilet for a wheelchair to turn around safely.

Note there is another toilet in the Leisure Centre which I was able to use.

Leisure Centre

There was a flat entrance into the leisure centre, it was accessible through a manual double door. There was also an accessible fire exit at the back of the building via a ramp.

There is an onsite fully equipped pool room, jacuzzi and floor level trampoline. I didn’t use any of these facilities however, at first glance they all looked very good. There was somebody in the swim gym, so I couldn’t look at this area, but I did view the rebound centre which has a ground level trampoline with a hoist to assist with transfer. There was plenty of soft mats around the trampoline to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

There is a disabled toilet in the leisure centre, access to the toilet is not ideal for a wheelchair user as you are required to drive the wheelchair over the mats for the trampoline and there is a danger of driving over the trampoline by mistake causing damage or injury.

Customer Service

Project manager Phill Hucks and George gave us the tour of the venue, they were both very polite and friendly and took all my comments on board with a view to take action. It is obvious that they both have a passion to give their service users the best experience possible.

Accessibility Rating

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Coffee Lab

Coffee Lab

Coffee Lab | 15th December 2017

Parking

The Coffee Lab is located in Gloucester Docks, there are plenty of disabled parking spaces either in the Gloucester Docks car park or the Gloucester Quays car park. These are both a short distance to walk  to the restaurant.

Accessibility

The Coffee Lab café is located within the restaurant the Grillshed, please read the full review here to read about accessibility and toilets within Coffee Lab/Grill Shed.

You can also order drinks to takeaway.

Customer Service

I was served by the manager Jack who was very welcoming and friendly our drinks were served quickly and efficiently.

Accessibility Rating

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Grill Shed

Grill Shed

Grill Shed | 5th April 2017

Parking

The Grill Shed is located in Gloucester Docks, there are plenty of disabled parking spaces either in the Gloucester Docks car park or the Gloucester Quays car park. These are both a short distance to walk  to the restaurant.

Restaurant

There is a large accessible entrance leading into the venue.

The staff members are all very friendly, well-mannered and helpful. Jody took the time out of his day to answers our questions.

They currently don’t offer a larger print menu or braille menu for the visually impaired however, these have been ordered and are coming soon.

They do however offer a gluten free menu, a blender if you require your food to be liquidised and a baby bottle warming facility.

The seating plan is open, with plenty of booths and quiet corners. There is quiet music playing in the background.

The restaurant lighting is nice and bright.

They allow guide dogs in to the building.

Toilets

There is a disabled toilet located at the back of the building. There is a ramp leading up to the toilet, this will take you down a corridor. The lighting is quite dim down the corridor.

The toilet is wheelchair accessible and is just large enough for a wheelchair to turn around in safely. There is enough room for a PA or family member to assist a wheelchair user.

The toilet has handrails for both transfer sides.

The sink and toilet paper dispenser are accessible for wheelchair users. However, the hand dryer is slightly too high for a wheelchair user. The lighting is nice and bright, the toilets are clean.

Accessibility Rating

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Shopmobility – Gloucester

Shopmobility – Gloucester

Shopmobility | 5th December 2017

The Shopmobility office which is located on Hampden Way just off Eastgate Street. The surrounding areas, pavements etc leading to the office were okay but a little uneven.

I originally emailed Shopmobility on an email address that I found on the Gloucestershire Gov website to enquire about their services and to get an application form to which I had no response. I went down to the office instead, there is a ramp which leads into the office which was perfectly suitable for my wheelchair. The office however was quite small and not very easy for me to navigate my wheelchair around.

The equipment is kept under a shelter outside during the day, they have mobility scooters, powered wheelchairs and manual wheelchairs available to hire. It is the responsibility of the customer and/or carer to transfer themselves into the appropriate equipment.

The shop assistant advised me that there was a transfer banana board available. However, when I asked to view this they couldn’t find it in the store room. There was also a side transfer ramp available.

Personally as a permanent wheelchair user I wouldn’t feel comfortable transferring and using the Shopmobility equipment but I would recommend this service for the elderly and less mobile to assist them with getting around.

 

Accessibility Rating

Marketing-Gloucester-Logo-2015-PNG

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Ibis Hotel

Ibis Hotel

Ibis | 28th November 2017

Parking

There are six disabled parking spaces located right at the front of the building with easy access into the hotel.

Customer Service

Shanique was very helpful and happy to show me around one of the disabled rooms. The hotel staff had to find a clean room for me to take a look at and this was no bother for them.

Accessibility

There is a flat entrance with a large automatic door into the reception area. The reception point was quite high with no low access point but the staff came round to speak with us.

Most of the rooms in the hotel are accessible due to the lift and they’re all quite spacious but there are seven specific disabled rooms with the large wet room and handrails for assistance with transfers, they also have a deaf guard facility. The room that I viewed was on the third floor, this was easy to get to in the lift.

The wet room and the bedroom are both very big and easy to navigate around. The bed was low down and not too high to make it easy to transfer from a wheelchair.

They also offer a vibrating pillow for the deaf in case of emergency.

Restaurant/Café

There was a café area on the ground floor near to the reception which was fully accessible. The restaurant is open from 6am until 10pm and the bar is open until midnight.

Lift

All floors can be accessed via the lift, the lift was large enough for the hotel assistant, my PA and I to all use at the same time. However, it was too small for me to turn the wheelchair around in. The lift buttons were all easy to reach for a wheelchair user

Accessibility Rating

(five out of five stars)

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Christmas Market at Gloucester Quays

Christmas Market at Gloucester Quays

16th November 2017 – 24th December 2017

I visited the Christmas market at Gloucester Quays where there are lots of nice stalls selling Christmas items and food. It is a great atmosphere and I would recommend a visit. There is also an ice rink next to the market, read about it here!

Parking

There are plenty of disabled parking spaces located in the Quays car park where you can park for free for up to four hours with a blue badge. It is about a five minute journey in a wheelchair from the car park down to the ice rink. Read Gloucester Quays parking review here

Accessibility

The accessibility around the market was good and I was able to access all areas in my wheelchair. All of the stalls were accessible and I was able to view the items on sale. Some of them were quite high but the stall assistants were happy to come round and help if required.

There are a few ramps around the market to help you get around and leading up to the two bar areas.

Toilets

There are some temporary portaloos with a disabled toilet however, the facilities in the toilet weren’t great and it was very small. There are also the toilets inside the Gloucester Quays shopping centre which have excellent disabled facilities. Read my full review here

Accessibility Rating

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Ice Rink at Gloucester Quays

Ice Rink at Gloucester Quays

Ice Rink | 15th November 2017

I was lucky enough to be invited to the VIP launch event for Gloucester Quays festive ice rink.

The temporary ice rink is located in the docks between 16th November-2nd January, there is also a Victorian and enchanted German market running between 16th November and 24th December.

This is a great activity for families and they are also very accommodating for people with disabilities.

Parking

There are plenty of disabled parking spaces located in the Quays car park where you can park for free for up to four hours with a blue badge. It is about a five minute journey in a wheelchair from the car park down to the ice rink.

Accessibility

My experience on the ice rink was great as a wheelchair user, you are able to use a manual wheelchair on the ice but electric wheelchairs are not permitted. If you don’t have a manual wheelchair you can hire one free of charge from Gloucester Quays.

The ice rink is a decent size and is quite safe to skate around on in a wheelchair. If you are not a confident skater they can offer supportive shoes which can be worn over the top of your own shoes instead of skates.

There is a ramp leading up to the rink entrance with easy access to the ice and there is also a spacious fitting room where you can swap your shoes for skates. There is a small step getting onto the ice this is easy to navigate with a manual wheelchair.

Customer Service

I was invited by Hazel to attend the launch night she was very friendly and helpful and answered all of my questions. Another staff member kindly pushed me around on the ice for a little while.

Toilets

There are some temporary portaloos with a disabled toilet however, the facilities in the toilet weren’t great and it was very small. There are also the toilets inside the Gloucester Quays shopping centre which have excellent disabled facilities. Read my full review here

Accessibility Rating

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So Thai

So Thai

So Thai | 21st November 2017

Parking

So Thai is located on Longsmith street just outside Gloucester city centre. The closest car park is Ladybellgate street which is a two-minute walk from the restaurant.

Accessibility

Access to the restaurant isn’t very good, there is a sharp lip in the doorway which I couldn’t get my wheelchair over without assistance from my PA and two members of staff.

The tables in the restaurant were quite tight and weren’t easy for me to get my wheelchair underneath. This made it difficult when eating my meal.

There is another seating area downstairs which is inaccessible for a wheelchair user.

Customer Service

Although the accessibility wasn’t good the staff were all willing to help and were cooperative to try and make my experience an enjoyable one. They helped lift my wheelchair into the building and brought the card machine over to my table to pay so that I was able to do this myself.

Toilets

The toilets are all downstairs so no good for a wheelchair user or somebody who is able bodied. There is also no disabled toilet.

Accessibility Rating

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Hubble Bubble

Hubble Bubble

Hubble Bubble | 15th November 2017

Parking

The café is located on Westgate street therefore there is no customer parking but there are plenty of public car parks around the city centre. I parked in the Ladybellgate street car park which is about a five minute journey in a wheelchair.

Accessibility

There is a flat entrance leading into the building with a wide accessible door. The café area was quite cramped and it was hard for me to find a suitable table for my wheelchair. They don’t operate by table service and you are required to order at the counter which wasn’t easy to get to if you are a wheelchair user.

Customer Service

The staff were friendly and polite but perhaps could have offered more help to assist someone in a wheelchair.

Toilets

There is no disabled toilet within the building.

Accessibility Rating

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Gloucester Prison

Gloucester Prison

Gloucester Prison | 3rd November 2017

Jailhouse tours organise the tour of Gloucester prison. The tours are conducted by ex-prison officers who share their interesting stories from when they worked at the prison. I found it very interesting learning all about the history of the prison and would definitely recommend a tour. They have development plans to turn this into flats in April 2018 so get booked if quick while you have the chance. Here is an artist impression of what they think the flats will look like.

Parking

There is no customer parking however there is a public car park on Ladybellegate street which is a five minute walk from the venue.

Accessibility

There is a ramp leading to the venue with double doors and there is a small reception point before entering the prison.
There are a few restricted areas due to stairs and the age of the building which I have highlighted in green on the map, I was able to access the first floor in B wing but the rest was inaccessible due to the stairs.

However, I was able to view most of the tour in my wheelchair. My guide advised me that we had to take a different route due to my wheelchair so before booking if you are in a wheelchair, advise a member of staff so they can accommodate for you.

There were quite a few tight corners and doorways, I was able to get around in my wheelchair but if you are in a wider wheelchair this may be an issue.

I was able to get a good insight into what life may have been like as a prisoner as I was able to view inside some of the cells and most areas to the prison.

Customer Service

When I emailed to enquire, Paul responded very quickly and was happy for me to assess the venue. Lucy gave me the tour of the prison on the day she was very informative polite and friendly and answered all of my questions.

Toilet

There was a disabled toilet but it was very old and there was no handrails so personally wouldn’t recommend it for a wheelchair user. The soap and hand dryer were also too high for a wheelchair user.

Accessibility Rating

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Kingsholm Rugby Stadium

Kingsholm Rugby Stadium

Kingsholm | 31st October 2017

Parking

On match days the car park is closed to the general public, they offer a park and ride bus service from St Oswalds Tesco which is organised by the stadium, which runs every 10 to 15 minutes.

Accessibility 

The disabled access gate is gate 3C, where a ramp is laid down for easy access, however you are able to use any of the gates if you wish.

There are two standing zones and two seating zones surrounding the stadium. The standing zones are inaccessible for wheelchair users, but the front rows of the seating zones are all designated disabled seats, with the row behind designated for carers and family members. The view from these seats gives a wheelchair user a great view of the action.

There is also a viewing platform for disabled fans, this was more secluded so therefore would be better for people who wanted to get away from the crowds and noise.

I was shown around all areas of the stadium including the bars, hospitality suites and corporate areas. There are also lots of food stands selling things like pasties and hot dogs. Workers on the stands are advised to go around and take an order from a disabled fan if they can’t hear over the noise of the crowds.

I was shown around the private boxes for the corporate fans the rooms were very posh with excellent views of the pitch and all accessible for wheelchair users.

Customer Service

I emailed Helen Grayer the operations co-ordinator to discuss the possibility of assessing the stadium, she responded very quickly and was very helpful. When I met Helen for the assessment she was very thorough with the tour of the stadium and explained every detail and all of the facilities they offer for the disabled.

On arrival I was greeted by Lisa at reception who was also very friendly and welcoming.

Toilets

There are lots of disabled toilets located around the stadium and on every floor. I assessed a few of them and all of were satisfactory.

They were all large enough for a wheelchair to turn around in safely and for a PA or family to assist. All of the facilities, sink, handrail etc were in a good position for a wheelchair user.

Lift

There were two sets of lifts within the stadium, both were large enough to turn around in safely. The buttons were easy to reach for a wheelchair user.

Accessibility Rating

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Spookday

Spookday

Spookday | 27th October 2017

This is a Halloween event for kids which is held every year at Over Farm Market. They also have a night time attraction for adults however this is not accessible for wheelchairs.

Spookday is a fun day out for kids and families however the accessibility was limited

Parking

There were no designated disabled parking spaces, if you speak to the car park attendants know on arrival they will assign you a spot close to the entrance.

Accessibility

The walk down from the car park wasn’t very good for a wheelchair user, it was uneven and muddy. This was to be expected considering the location is in a field. The uneven terrain continued around the rest of the attraction.
A lot of the activities were interactive and not really suitable for someone in a wheelchair, but there were some shows going on throughout the day which were more suitable and were good fun for kids.

Toilet

There was a disabled portaloo, but there was no hand rail and I would not have taken the risk to transfer using these facilities.

Accessibility Rating

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Prinknash Bird & Deer Park

Prinknash Bird & Deer Park

Prinknash | 25th October 2017

I visited Prinknash Bird and Deer park following an article I read online regarding an incident with an autistic gentleman. Melanie Meigh announced she was going to hike carer tickets up from £3 to the full ticket price. Please take a look at the article in the link below where you will see the attitude towards the disabled community is not a pleasant one.. Read the article here

Parking

There are two disabled parking spaces in the main car park, then there is a five minute journey (as a wheelchair user) down to the visitor centre. However this is down a steep road with no foot path (there is a stepped foot path).

Once I had travelled down to the visitor centre in my wheelchair I was faced with a steep gravel pathway. My wheelchair skidded on the gravel which could have potentially been dangerous.

As I was leaving, the owner advised me that I could park my car outside the visitor centre to avoid walking up the steep roadside slope however, the gravel pathway was unavoidable.

Accessibility

The park owner advised me of the following information:

“Due to the park being over 50 years old and due to the location, accessibility is an issue and wheelchair users are unable to access the park itself. There are Tree Preservation Orders on the trees limiting the amount of concrete etc that can be laid down as it would stop water getting to the roots.

A grant was requested to put a ramp inside the park but it was considered to be too large and would also damage the natural outstanding beauty, so there are lots of steps leading down to the park itself.”

However, wheelchair users can access the visitor centre which has a balcony where you can view some of the animals but the view is pretty poor for a wheelchair user as the balcony is too high. There is also a small café at the visitor centre where they serve teas, coffees and confectionary.

Accessibility Rating

Due to the fact I was unable to view any of the animals or park I can only give this a no star rating

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Unfortunately, I was unable to get onto the other balcony as there was a step, this could be easily avoided by putting a small soft edged lip over the door frame.

There is a £3 charge for a carer to assist a disabled visitor, which I haven’t come across when visiting any other attraction.

Toilets

There is a disabled toilet with enough room for someone to assist a wheelchair user. The sink, hand dryer and toilet paper dispenser were all within reach for a wheelchair user. The toilet was nice and clean and safe to use.

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Sahara Lounge

Sahara Lounge

Sahara Lounge | 24th October 2017

Parking and accessibility

There is no specific customer parking but there is a public car park just off Wellington Street which has disabled spaces. This car park is located directly behind the restaurant.

There is a flat entrance at the front of the building which leads into the restaurant but then there is a flight of stairs leading down to the bar. If you speak to a member of staff they will open the rear entrance for you which has a ramp leading into the building. You will need to go down the side alley to access this.

Toilet

There is a disabled toilet which is located to the left of the bar. There was enough room for my PA to assist but it was tight.

The toilet has handrails for both transfer sides. The sink and hand dryer were accessible for a wheelchair user. There was no toilet paper dispenser. The lock on the door also wasn’t very easy to use.

Restaurant

The restaurant is wheelchair accessible with lots of wide open space and tables which I could fit my wheelchair under.

They’re open all day offering breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The customer service I received was good, the staff were helpful and friendly.

The menu was small print and they didn’t offer anything in large print.

 

Accessibility Rating

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Caffé Nero

Caffé Nero

18th October 2017

Parking and accessibility

Caffé Nero is located in Gloucester Docks just outside The Quays shopping centre.

There is good access to the building with a flat entrance and double doors leading into the venue.

There are lots of disabled parking spaces located in The Quays car park, where you can park for free for up to four hours with a blue badge. Take the parking ticket and blue badge with you to the Customer Service desk in the mall where you will be given an exit ticket.

Cafe

The venue was spacious and there were plenty of tables I could fit my wheelchair underneath but there were no secluded booths or quieter areas.

The counter was high and it was difficult to order my own drink or pay for it due to being in a wheelchair.

The staff were polite and friendly.

Toilets

There is one disabled toilet which is located at the back of building.

The toilet was very tight for space  – there wasn’t a lot of room for my PA to assist.

The toilet paper dispenser was also a little high but the handrails, sink and soap dispenser were all at a reasonable height for a wheelchair user.

The lock on the toilet door was insecure, when I bumped against the door in my wheelchair due to the lack of space in the toilet, this caused the lock to open accidently which wasn’t very private.

Accessibility Rating

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Wetherspoons in the Docks

Wetherspoons in the Docks

18th October 2017

Parking and accessibility

The Lord High Constable of England is located in Gloucester Docks on the waterside.

There is good accessibility to the building with a flat entrance and double doors leading into the venue.

There are lots of disabled parking spaces located in The Quays car park, where you can park for free for up to four hours with a blue badge. Take the parking ticket and the blue badge with you to customer service desk in the mall where you will be given an exit ticket.

Wetherspoons don’t operate via table service you are to place your order at the bar on arrival and then find your own table. The customer service I received at the bar was good, the staff were polite and friendly and the service was reasonably quick.

Restaurant

The venue is very spacious and there are plenty of seating areas suitable for wheelchairs. There are secluded booths if you need to get away from the noise.

Wetherspoons also have a service which allows you to download an app on your phone and you can order food this way rather than queuing at the bar. This is very useful for the disabled, deaf and non-verbal.

Toilets

There is one disabled toilet which is located close to the entrance. This requires a RADAR key. The toilet was adequate with enough room for a family member or PA to assist.

The toilet has handrails for both transfer sides. The sink, hand dryer and toilet paper dispenser were all accessible for a wheelchair user.

Accessibility Rating

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Trapped Escape Rooms

Trapped Escape Rooms

4th October 2017

Escape Rooms is a real-life room escape game which requires players to work together to solve a series of riddles while locked in a themed room. There are three rooms – The Haunted Hotel, The Hangover and Prison Break of which you have 1 hour to escape.

I didn’t take part in the activities however, I could tell from the rooms that this would be a great activity to do with some friends or family.

I was unable to take any photos of the inside of the rooms as it would give away the secrets of the game!

Accessibility

There are steps to the front entrance making this inaccessible, however there is a flat entrance round the back with a small step which I was able to get my wheelchair through.

I was able to get my 600mm electric wheelchair around all three rooms although the entrances were very tight, this wouldn’t be suitable if you had a wide wheelchair. If you have a manual wheelchair I would recommend this over an electric one as this would be easier to navigate the tight entrances.

There are dim lights and flashing lights throughout the rooms therefore this would not be suitable for anybody who is sensitive to these types of things.

Customer Service

Nick was very helpful from start to finish. He responded to my e-mails very quickly and was keen for me to come and visit. He took the time to show me around the premises when the building had no bookings during the day.

Toilets

There is a spacious disabled toilet with enough room for a family member or PA to assist a wheelchair user. The sink, hand dryer and soap dispenser are all accessible for a wheelchair user. The emergency cord had been tied up out of reach, I advised Nick that this was unsafe and he assured me that he would make sure this was within reach at all times. The toilet was nice and clean.

Parking

There is no onsite parking however, there is a public car park just off Wellington street. There are also double yellow lines outside with a drop kerb which are suitable for a blue badge holder.

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Accessibility Rating

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Gloucester Park

Gloucester Park

15th September 2017

Accessibility

When arriving at Gloucester Park there is disabled parking located on Park Road which is a two minute walk from the park entrance. There is pay and display roadside parking and also double yellow lines which would have been suitable for my blue badge, however; there were no dropped kerbs so that I could safely access the pathway. St Michaels car park is also a 10 minute journey in a wheelchair however, there are uneven broken pathways which aren’t ideal for a wheelchair

There were a few entrances into the park which were even and easily accessible. The pathways around the park were fairly smooth for my wheelchair, there were a few gravelled areas but I was able to access most of the park.

There are lots of nice areas within the park including a play park for children, grassy picnic areas, monuments, flowerbeds, a bird enclosure, a ping pong table (own equipment required) and rugby posts. There is a small café within the grounds however, this wasn’t open when I visited the park and I wasn’t able to find out the opening times.

 

Toilets

There is a disabled toilet which requires a RADAR key. This is located next to the bird aviary. There is no sign outside the toilet to indicate that there is a disabled toilet and I missed it at first. I have since met with David Pritchett, the Open Spaces Strategy Officer for Gloucester Park. He advised me about the disabled toilet and informed me that they will have clearer signage in future.

The toilet was large enough for someone to assist a wheelchair user and all facilities including sink, hand dryer and toilet roll dispenser were at an appropriate height. The toilets were clean and hygienic.

David also advised me that he will also look into the parking issues within the surrounding area and speak to the relevant people to see if we can get this issue resolved by adding some disabled parking spaces and also dropped kerbs. Hopefully the Council and Gloucestershire Highways will look into these issues ASAP. I will update the site with any changes in the future.

Accessibility Rating

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The Priory Harvester At St Oswalds Retail Park

The Priory Harvester At St Oswalds Retail Park

22nd August 2017

Parking and access

There are three disabled parking spaces close to the entrance of the building. There is a flat entrance leading in with a large double door.

There are also some outside benches suitable for a wheelchair user if you wanted to sit outside for a drink on a hot summer’s day.

I received good customer service throughout my visit. I was shown quickly to my table where they had already removed a chair so I could fit my wheelchair underneath straight away. My waiter Chris was very friendly and helpful and answered all of my questions and requirements.

They had taken the time to choose my table which was close to everything I needed – for example toilets, salad bar and drinks refill station.

Toilets

There is one disabled toilet at the back of the building which requires a RADAR key. There is enough room within the toilet for a wheelchair to turn around safely. There is also enough room for a family member or PA to assist the wheelchair user.

The toilet has handrails for both transfer sides, the sink, hand dryer and toilet paper dispenser are all accessible for a wheelchair user.

The toilets are nice and clean and safe to use and the lighting is nice and bright.

Restaurant

The restaurant serves breakfast from 9.00am to11.30am. The varied menu starts at 11.30am and ends at 10.00pm.

The restaurant has an open plan seating area but there are also quiet booths. The menus were nice and clear but they do not offer braille or large print menus.They are looking into it and I will update with any changes.

If a customer requires their food to be liquidised they will do this for you, however, you need to bring in your own liquidiser. They will also let you bring in your own food if you require it to be liquidised. They are happy to host groups of less able customers.

They allow guide dogs into the building and there was also some quiet music playing in the background.

Accessibility Rating

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Stagecoach

Stagecoach

16th August 2017

I was very impressed with the customer service provided by Peter Allen, the training coordinator at Stagecoach. So firstly, a big thanks to him and also Roger who assisted.

Peter talked me through the three day training programme for staff. Day One is focused on Customer Care and Service. Day Two is specifically focused on Disability and Social Inclusion. Day Three is focused on dealing with any difficult situations the drivers may encounter. I think that all of these factors show that Stagecoach really care about their customers and in particular helping the disabled community.

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They take into consideration all aspects of disability whether this be physical or behavioural. Drivers ensure there is no discrimination and are taught how to deal with all situation. This encourages all members of the community to feel safe and comfortable on Stagecoach buses.

There is an easy-to-find contact address on the website: https://www.stagecoachbus.com/regional-help-and-contact/west  – this can be changed to any area code, I am pleased to say there is a specific disability contact line and email address which is:

Telephone: 01452 418630 – Email: west.disabilityhelpdesk@stagecoachbus.com

If you call this helpline Stagecoach will arrange an out of service bus for a disabled user to practice getting on and off the bus.This way when using a scheduled bus the customer will feel prepared and won’t feel intimidated or uncomfortable. For wheelchair or mobility scooter users or the less mobile the driver will get off the bus and assist with the ramp and also the suspension will be lowered to the curb. All wheelchair and mobility scooter users are able to use the buses free of charge with a bus pass.

Getting my 600mm wheelchair on and off the bus was fairly easy, it was slightly tight to the door of the bus but apart from that there was plenty of space. The driver made sure I was in a safe position before driving off.

Stagecoach have a policy that if a wheelchair/mobility scooter is not able to fit within the designated area due to another customer already using the space, they will call a taxi service free of charge and wait with them until the taxi arrives. The exception to this may be if it is a regular ten or twenty minute service the driver may ask if the wheelchair user doesn’t mind waiting until the next bus. However, they will never leave a wheelchair user at the side of the road without organising some type of transport.

Stagecoach were kind enough to give us their presentation slides relating to disability customers that they present in their training programmes.

Gloucester bus station is currently under major reconstruction, however the accessibility around the station is suitable. There is plenty of space and raised areas on and off the platforms

Accessibility Rating

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Gloucester Train Station

Gloucester Train Station

2nd August 2017

My overall experience of travelling in a wheelchair from Gloucester Train Station was good. The Station Master, Mike, was helpful from start to finish and advised me on how I could contact the Assisted Travel helpline. The train station and the trains are kept clean, tidy and safe to ensure a pleasant journey.

Accessibility

I called the Assisted Travel helpline a few days ahead of my journey to inform them of my requirements.

Once I got to the train station I informed the station master of my arrival. He advised me which platform my train was departing from. As the train was arriving, the station guard approached to assist me. Then he laid out the ramp and helped me on the train safely. There was a designated area for wheelchair users on the train to sit comfortably. I received the same good service when exiting the train at the other end.

There are four disabled parking spaces at the train station. However, the parking and entrance leading up to the station are the biggest downfall. The disabled parking is located on the far side of the car park and you have to cross the busy and uneven car park with no walkway.

There are two large, wide, automatic doors leading into the train station with a flat entrance. There was an easy access, low reception point where I was able to purchase my train ticket easily. There was a large electronic ticketed gate for an electric or manual wheelchair to fit through.

There was a lift to all platforms, it was large enough for my PA and me. It was also large enough for me to turn around safely in my wheelchair. The buttons for the lift are all at a height that I could reach from my wheelchair. There was a speaker inside and outside the lift to notify you of the doors opening and closing and the lift going up or down. Exiting the lift leads you to a wide footbridge which leads you over the train lines, safely to the other platforms.

All walkways are wide and there are also easy access, indoor waiting rooms.

With the loud noise of passing trains this may not be suitable for people that don’t like loud noises.

Toilets

There were two disabled toilets, one located in the male toilets and one in the female. The facilities in both were good. However, this was not ideal as my female PA would have to enter the male toilets to assist me.

There are handrails for both transfer sides. The sink and soap dispenser are both accessible for a wheelchair user but the hand dryer was too high.

There was a workable lock on the door therefore this doesn’t require a RADAR key. There was good lighting and they were clean and safe to use.

Café

There was a small café serving hot, cold drinks and sandwiches. This was located just inside the entrance to the Train Station. There were two accessible double doors and there were small round tables suitable for a wheelchair user.

There were no menus as such therefore no larger print or braille menus.

Accessibility Rating

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Cattle Country

Cattle Country

30th June 2017

Cattle country is a great day out for families. There is lots to do for young children of all ages. There are limitations for the disabled but the park can still be enjoyed. All the staff members were very friendly, helpful and well mannered. Stuart the manager took the time out of his day to find us and answer any of our questions. An on-site vet ensurse the animals are well looked after and the park is kept clean and tidy. There are no smoking areas and first aid kits located around the park to ensure a pleasant and safe trip. Overall I would recommend this as a fun day out!

Accessibility

There are designated disabled parking spaces. However these were not very clearly displayed. There was an accessible double door with a ramp leading into the venue. The reception point was accessible but it was quite high.

There were lots of accessible areas for wheelchair users although there were some restricted areas.

There was a farmyard trail that can be accessed by wheelchair users. On the farmyard there were lots of animals including pigs that you could feed. There was also an area where you could wash your hands after feeding the pigs which was also accessible.

There was an indoor animal area where you could get close and personal with the animals. This was accessible for wheelchair users including the hand wash stations.

There was also an accessible grassy area with picnic benches.

There are lots of areas around the park which are great fun for kids but are inaccessible for wheelchair users. These include a huge pillow for bouncing on, mini golf, a splash pool, climbing frames, a boating lake and two soft-play areas but it is possible to watch family and friends from a short distance away.

Toilets

The main downfall of the park was that there was only one disabled toilet. Considering the size of the park this is not ideal as there was another block of public toilets located at the bottom of the park where a second accessible loo could have been installed. The disabled toilet is located at the top of park, it has handrails for both side transfers. The sink, hand dryer and toilet paper dispenser are all accessible for wheelchair users.

It is large enough for a wheelchair to turn around in safely and there is enough room for a family member or PA to assist a wheelchair user. The toilet doesn’t require a RADAR key and unfortunately there wasn’t a workable lock on the door so it’s open to all and not very private! The lighting was poor inside the toilet when the door was shut.

Café

There is an onsite café with a ramp leading up to the double doors. The only menu was a chalk board. This wasn’t suitable for visitors who are visually impaired.

The café was light, spacious and open plan, but there were no booths. This would unsuitable for visitors sensitive to loud noises.

The food was satisfactory and served quickly and there were small round tables inside and outside that were suitable for wheelchair users.

Accessibility Rating

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Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut

21st June I visited Pizza Hut, Eastern Avenue.

Parking

There are two disabled parking spaces located at the front of the building.

There is a flat entrance leading into the venue with a large accessible, double door.

All the staff members were very helpful, friendly and well mannered. Our waitress was fantastic from start to finish and answered any of our questions.

Toilets

There are disabled toilets located at the back of the building.

They are accessible for wheelchair user and there is enough room for a wheelchair to turn around safely.There is enough room for a family member or PA to assist a wheelchair user.

The toilet has handrails for both transfer sides. The sink, hand dryer and toilet paper dispenser are all accessible for wheelchair users.

The toilet doesn’t require a RADAR key.

The lighting is nice and bright, the toilets are nice and clean and safe to use.

Restaurant

The restaurant is accessible for wheelchair users. The restaurant has an open plan seating area and lots of accessible tables.

There is a raised area of steps which is inaccessible by wheelchair users, however there is still plenty of easy access.

There are lots of booths and quiet corners to get away from the hustle and bustle.

The restaurant offer a larger print menu and braille menu for the visually impaired but they don’t offer a hearing loop for the deaf.

The menus are nice and light.

There is a moderate level of background music. This will get louder if the restaurant is full.

They allow all service dogs into the building.

 

Accessibility Rating

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The Comfy Pew

The Comfy Pew

13th June 2017

There is disabled parking located at Westgate Street Car and Coach Park.

There is a cobbled street leading up to the venue. This is quite uncomfortable for anyone in an electric wheelchair but navigable.

There is a flat entrance leading into the venue. This has a very narrow door, but it is accessible.

 

Inside there are tables and booths however, I couldn’t fit my wheelchair underneath any of them.

There are tables located outside which are a bit more accessible.

Unfortunately there are no disabled toilets located in the building.

Accessibility Rating

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The Dick Whittington

The Dick Whittington

9th June 2017

There is disabled parking located in the Westgate Street Car and Coach Park.

The pub actually has no accessible entrance. They do have portable ramps to use on the front entrance steps but these are not suitable for a power wheelchair.

We did attempt to use them to get into the building but the ramp wouldn’t take the weight of my wheelchair, which is quite compact.

The staff members were all very kind, helpful and friendly.

Also unfortunately there are no disabled toilets within the building.

To be able to ea,t we sat in the pub’s beer garden. There are a few tables outside that are wheelchair accessible. You do have to order your food at the bar. Therefore you will need someone who is able bodied to order your food for you.

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Accessibility Rating

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Hedley’s

Hedley’s

7th June 2017

There is disabled parking located at Westgate Street Car and Coach Park.

There is a flat entrance leading into the venue with a wide, accessible single door.

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All the staff members were very helpful, friendly and well mannered.

Nicola took the time out of her day to answer our questions.

Toilets

There is a disabled toilets located at the back of the back of the building. This toilet is accessible for a wheelchair user and surprisingly modern for a very old building – well done, Hedleys!

It is not large enough for a wheelchair to turn around in safely. There is room for a family member or PA to assist a wheelchair user. It was quite a tight squeeze and a little hard work to use the toilet, due to the space but they have made the effort to provide the facility.

The toilet has handrails for both transfer sides. The sink, paper towel dispenser and toilet paper dispenser are all accessible for wheelchair users.

The toilet doesn’t require a RADAR key.

The lighting is nice and bright and the toilets are nice and clean and safe to use.

 

The coffee shop is accessible for wheelchair users, there is plenty of seating inside for wheelchair users and also tables outside the front which are also accessible.

They currently don’t offer a larger print menu or a braille menu for the visually impaired. They also do not offer a hearing loop for the deaf. This is something they are looking into.

The current menu is on a clipboard so a little heavy and awkward to hold.

There is a large chalk board above the till stating which coffees they offer. This is nice and large and easy to see.

The coffee shop lighting is nice and bright. They also allow guide dogs into the building.

Accessibility Rating

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Gloucester Cathedral

Gloucester Cathedral

12th June 2017

There is disabled parking located at the Westgate Car and Coach Park.

There is a long, cobbled road leading up to the entrance of the venue.

Parts of this can be very uncomfortable if you are in a wheelchair but it is a beautiful place to visit, so worth the effort!

At the moment, the Cathedral is undergoing some construction work. This is to make the venue more accessible in the future.

Once inside the Cathedral the space is very large and open and accessible to anybody who is in a wheelchair.

 

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Once you enter the Nave you can turn right and go down the South Aisle. This will lead you up to a ramp which will take you further into the South Transept. This is as far as you can go with being in a wheelchair.

If you go along the North Aisle there is another ramp leading to the North Transept.

There is currently construction work going on in the North Transept. They are putting in an accessible lift which will make the rest of the Cathedral more accessible.

The corridors inside, famous for being a set in The Harry Potter movies, go around in a square and each area of this is completely accessible.

These are called the West Walk, East Walk, North Walk and South Walk. Please be aware that in parts, the lighting can be quite dim.

From the East Walk you are able to get outside into the gardens. These are called Cloister Garth.

These are accessible for wheelchair users however, I didn’t get the chance to go outside due to the weather.

The coffee shop and toilets are located to the left hand side in the first corridor.

The disabled toilet is on the left hand side – it is accessible for wheelchair users. It is not quite large enough for a wheelchair to turn around safely. There is space for a PA or family member to assist a wheelchair user.

The toilet has handrails for both transfer sides. The sink, hand dryer and toilet paper dispenser are all accessible for wheelchair users.

The toilet doesn’t require a RADAR key.

The lighting is nice and bright. The toilets are nice and clean and safe to use.

There is a lift which will take you down to the coffee shop; this is a single lift only large enough for the wheelchair user.

There are easy to reach buttons on the inside of the lift, for self- operation. Or there are buttons on the wall upstairs and downstairs for a PA or family member to operate the lift.

Once down and out of the lift, you follow the corridor along to find the coffee shop.

There is an outside seating area however, this has a step so care is required by the wheelchair user.

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The café has plenty of seating which is accessible for wheelchair users, the café offers teas, coffee and a good selection of light lunches and cakes.

Accessibility Rating

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The Sward Inn

The Sward Inn

31st May 2017

There is disabled parking located at the Westgate Street Car and Coach Park.

There is an accessible entrance into the venue –  however, the front door is very narrow. So this would be impossible for somebody in a large wheelchair.

 

You can sit in the section by the bar at the back of the building.

There is another seating area to the right hand side of the building however, this has a step leading down.

There is also seating available outside the pub on the street.

Toilets

Unfortunately there are no disabled toilets within the building.

They don’t have a larger print menu or braille menu for the visually impaired or a hearing loop for the deaf.

 

Accessibility Rating

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Caffetucci

Caffetucci

23rd May 2017

Access

There is disabled parking located at the Gloucester Docks car park or the Gloucester Quays outlet shopping centre.

There is a large accessible double door leading into the venue.

The staff were very helpful, friendly and well mannered.

Toilets

There is a disabled toilet located at the back of the building to the left hand side.

The toilets are accessible for wheelchair users, there is just enough room for a wheelchair to turn around in safely and there is also enough room for a family member or PA to assist a wheelchair user.

There are handrails for both transfer sides.

The sink, hand dryer and toilet paper dispenser are all accessible for wheelchair users.

The toilet doesn’t require a RADAR key.

The lighting in the toilet is nice and bright, the toilets are nice and clean and safe to use.

 

There are lots of accessible tables both, inside and outside the cafe.

Accessibility Rating

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Prezzo

Prezzo

5th May 2017

There is disabled parking located at the Ladybellegate Street car park, Blackfriars car park or the Longsmith Street car park. Theses are a short walk from the restaurant.

There is a flat entrance leading into the venue with a large accessible double door.