10 of the Best Days Out for Wheelchair Users (with changing places toilets)

 I am often asked for ideas for days out for wheelchair users or where there is access to a changing places toilet so have spent some time researching this post which I hope some of you will find useful. Please note, I am not a wheelchair user myself and do not have first hand experience.

I would love to hear from those who do so if you are a wheelchair user (or carer) and have anything to add to this post, please email sam@northeastfamilyfun.co.uk Thank you. 

10 of the Best Days Out for Wheelchair Users (with changing places toilets)


First of all, what is a changing places toilet? Standard toilets often do not fit the needs of many people with a disability and sometimes, standard accessible toilets are not enough either. Changing places toilets provide as standard: 

  • A centrally placed toilet with room either side for a wheelchair user with wall mounted support rails 
  • At least 12 square metres of space allowing enough room for a wheelchair user and two carers
  • A washbasin which is accessible for a wheelchair user with clear space below the bowl 
  • A height adjustable, adult size changing bench with ceiling hoist 
Campaigners have worked tirelessly for more venues to consider adding a changing places toilet and it is a campaign I am 100% behind. There are hardly any venues offering changing places toilets in Northumberland for example. I used the map on this website as a basis for this post. 

Beamish 

10 of the Best Days Out for Wheelchair Users (with changing places toilets)  - Beamish

Beamish is generally, a super accessible day out. There is an on-call Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle, Carers go free, Free wheelchair hire is available, motorised scooters and assistance dogs are permitted and there is accessible parking. 

Due to the historical nature of the attraction, not all of the buildings are accessible but there is certainly enough to enjoy a good day out. You can read Beamish's accessibility policy here. 


Changing Places Toilet includes: 

  • Height adjustable adult size changing bench with ceiling hoist 
  • Peninsular toilet 
  • Non-slip floor 
  • Emergency alarm 
  • Privacy screen 
  • Radar key 
  • Accessible shower 
  • See here for more info / photos 



Seven Stories 

10 of the Best Days Out for Wheelchair Users (with changing places toilets)  - Seven Stories

Seven Stories in Ouseburn is a lovely place to visit with little ones. There is a lift to all floors, guide dogs are permitted and ear defenders are available to hire. You can read Seven Stories' accessibility policy here. 

Changing Places Toilet includes: 

  • Height adjustable adult size changing bench with ceiling hoist 
  • Peninsular toilet 
  • Non-slip floor 
  • Emergency alarm 
  • Privacy screen 
  • Height adjustable wash basin
  • See here for more info / photos 


National Glass Centre 

The National Glass Centre is fully accessible in all areas. There are 8 Blue Badge parking spaces and a drop off point at reception. The building is accessible via lifts and free wheelchair hire is available. Guide dogs are welcome. You can read the National Glass Centre's accessibility policy here. 

Changing Places Toilet includes: 

Discovery Museum 

10 of the Best Days Out for Wheelchair Users (with changing places toilets) - Discovery Museum

Discovery Museum has lots of facilities in place including free wheelchair hire, large static and visual touch maps, visitor guides in various formats (including large print, braille and audio), induction loops and guide dogs are welcome. You can read the Discovery Museum's accessibility policy here. 

Changing Places Toilet includes: 

Woodhorn 

10 of the Best Days Out for Wheelchair Users (with changing places toilets)  - Woodhorn


Woodhorn is a historical attraction and some areas may be uneven, they try hard to be inclusive to all and have a variety of measure in place including access plans online, wheelchair hire and dementia training. You can read Woodhorn's accessibility policy here. 

Woodhorn is currently raising £ to add accessible play equipment to their pitman playground (find out more / donate here).

Changing Places Toilet includes: 

  • Height adjustable adult size changing bench with ceiling hoist 
  • Peninsular toilet 
  • Non-slip floor 
  • Height adjustable wash basin
  • Emergency alarm
  • Privacy screen
  • Colostomy shelf 
  • See here for more info / photos 

The Sill 

10 of the Best Days Out for Wheelchair Users (with changing places toilets)  - The Sill

The Sill on Hadrian's Wall is fully accessible with accessible parking, step-free access to the whole building, wheelchairs available to borrow, assistance dogs welcome, induction loops and large print orientation maps. You can read The Sill's accessibility policy here. 

Changing Places Toilet includes: 

  • Height adjustable adult size changing bench with ceiling hoist 
  • Peninsular toilet 
  • Non-slip floor 
  • Emergency alarm 
  • Accessible shower 
  • See here for more info / photos 

Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens 

10 of the Best Days Out for Wheelchair Users (with changing places toilets)  = Belsay Hall


Belsay Hall is a beautiful English Heritage site in Northumberland with good facilities including mobility scooter hire, wheelchair loan, disabled parking and assistance dogs welcome. You can read Belsay Hall's accessibility policy here. 

Changing Places Toilet includes: 

  • Height adjustable adult size changing bench with ceiling hoist 
  • Peninsular toilet 
  • Non-slip floor 
  • Height adjustable wash basin
  • Emergency alarm
  • Privacy screen
  • Colostomy shelf
  • See here for more info / photos 

Metrocentre 

10 of the Best Days Out for Wheelchair Users (with changing places toilets)  - Metrocentre

Sadly, I couldn't find an access page on the Metrocentre website - let me know if you spot it and I will add a link. From personal experience, it is accessible with smooth flat surfaces and lifts available throughout. 

Changing Places Toilet includes: 

Stewart Park Middlesbrough 

Again, I am sorry but I can't find an access page for Stewart Park. From images, it does seem to have smooth pathways which should be suitable for a wheelchair. Please let me know if you find a link. Here is a look at their general website. 

Changing Places Toilet includes: 

Newham Grange Farm Middlesbrough 

10 of the Best Days Out for Wheelchair Users (with changing places toilets) - Newham Grange Farm

Newham Grange Farm is a low-cost farm park with great facilities including the majority of paths being suitable for wheelchairs, clear sightlines for wheelchair users to see the animals and assistance dogs are welcome. You can read Newham Grange Farm's accessibility policy here. 

Changing Places Toilet includes: 

  • Height adjustable adult size changing bench with ceiling hoist 
  • Peninsular toilet 
  • Non-slip floor 
  • Height adjustable wash basin 
  • Privacy screen
  • Radar key
  • Accessible shower 
  • Colostomy shelf 
  • See here for more info / photos 

Thanks for reading, like I say, I am not an expert on this but have tried. Please do double check information with venues direct before making plans.

I would like to take this opportunity to signpost you to Euan's Guide - a fab website with reviews by disabled people for disabled people: https://www.euansguide.com/ 

Worth checking out! 

The following places do not offer changing places toilets, but are worth a visit if are a wheelchair user and able to visit places without a Changing Places Toilet: 

WWT Washington 

WWT Washington - they are super accessible with smooth, flat paths, mobility scooter and wheelchair hire, step-free hide access, a pond dipping area specifically for wheelchair users and disabled parking. See here for more information. 

Harestanes

Harestanes Playground in the Scottish Borders has accessible play equipment including wheelchair swings and a sensory area. Read my blog guide to visiting here. 

Bolam Lake 

Bolam Lake has a circular route running around the lake (stick to the path closest to the lake) which is suitable for wheelchair users. It is just over 1 mile in length and circular. Read my blog guide to visiting here. 

Low Hauxley Nature Reserve 

Low Hauxley Nature Reserves offers a wheelchair accessible route plus wheelchair accessible wildlife hides. Read my guide to visiting Low Hauxley Nature Reserve here. 

Rainton Meadows

Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve offers marked accessible routes around their site (circular). Read my blog guide to visiting here. 

Since publishing this post, a few readers have been in touch to say there are changing places toilets at Life Science Centre in Newcastle and Saltwell Park - I haven't been able to find much info online but they may be worth checking out. 

Serenity Boat Tours to the Farne Island 

The owner of Serenity Boat Tours (they depart from Seahouses to visit the Farne Islands) has also been in touch with the following information: 

"Serenity Farne Island Boat Tours can take wheelchairs but only when the tide is accessible to get to the slipway. We can't take extra wide wheelchairs or scooters. The best thing is to contact us direct so we can work out the tides and let the people know what time and day is best for them.

We can't land them onto the island due to it being rugged and not wheelchair accessible. Dogs are more than welcome onboard too."

You can read my review of Serenity Boat Tours here. 



Thanks for reading, please do pop my an email if you have any suggestions for me to add to this post. 


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1 comment

  1. What a great post and I imagine it being so helpful for wheelchair users. x

    ReplyDelete

I'd love you to Tweet your thoughts about this post (@nefamilyfun) or leave a comment over on my Facebook page (fb.com/NeFamilyFun) - Sam x

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