10 of the Most Wheelchair Accessible Cities in the UK
Planning a wheelchair-friendly city break, and you’re not sure where to go? Fenetic Wellbeing has uncovered the UK’s most wheelchair-accessible city.
Although lightweight wheelchairs and folding wheelchairs make travelling much easier and more accessible, if you’re a wheelchair user or have limited mobility, it can be logistically more challenging to plan a city break.
Many of the largest cities in the UK are considered to be wheelchair-friendly, with many tourist attractions, public spaces, and public transport all being easily accessible to those using a wheelchair. However, in many cities, there are certain areas that aren’t as accessible. To save you the stress, Fenetic Wellbeing has looked at multiple different factors to determine the most wheelchair-accessible cities, as well as the least wheelchair-accessible cities.
In each city, we have looked at the number of wheelchair-accessible hotels, things to do with wheelchair access, the kind of terrain across the city, how accessible is public transport and the number of car parks across the city with disabled spaces. Here are the cities that came out on top!
The city of Manchester is packed full of vibrant culture and mostly populated by trendy young professionals, but how accessible is Manchester for wheelchair users? It turns out it is the most accessible city in the UK. The expansive selection of shops, bars, and restaurants are all easily accessible as all of Manchester’s Metrolink trams and tram stops are accessible for wheelchair users.
Besides its accessible public transport, Manchester’s streets are easy for wheelchair users to navigate, in comparison to other cities a high percentage of their hotels have suitable wheelchair access and they have a significant number of car parks across the city that have disabled parking.
Top-rated hotel: Stock Exchange Hotel
Recommended activities: There are a few walking tours available to show you around the city, for example, you can choose between a street art tour or a food and drinks tour. For all football fans, there are guided stadium tours of both the Etihad Stadium and Old Trafford stadium.
Scotland’s largest city is popular among tourists because of its impressive architecture, infamous drinking culture, and the residents' Scottish charm. With the highest percentage of wheelchair-accessible hotels, there are plenty of places for you to stay. Glasgow has a range of museums and galleries with wheelchair access for all different kinds of interests, as well as other popular tourist activities such as walking tours of the city, and distillery and whiskey-tasting tours. The St Enoch Centre is Scotland's largest shopping mall and is situated in the heart of Glasgow. It has a range of your favourite high-street shops, places to eat and even a competitive gaming bar, all of which are wheelchair accessible.
Top-rated hotel: Dakota Glasgow
Recommended activity: Clydeside Distillery Tour and Whiskey Tasting
The up-and-coming city of Birmingham is quickly becoming one of the UK’s most popular cities. With one of the highest percentages of hotels with wheelchair access, you won't be short of options when it comes to looking for somewhere to stay in the city! Birmingham doesn't have an abundance of activities with wheelchair access. However, if you take the time to explore the city you'll be able to enjoy browsing its selection of independent shops and businesses, dropping in and out of different food spots and discovering some of their unique and innovative bars.
Top-rated hotel: Travelodge Birmingham Central Moor Street
Recommended activity: Winterbourne House and Garden
With the second-highest number of wheelchair-accessible hotels, there is a range of luxury and affordable hotels to choose from. Whether you want to enjoy the variety of popular bars, restaurants, and shops along the Quayside or you’re a keen historian looking to take a deeper dive into the city's past, there is something for everyone. The Castle Keep and Black Gate are both wheelchair accessible and a good place to learn all about Newcastle’s history which dates back to Roman times. Additionally, you can explore Newcastle’s diverse cultural scene by visiting museums, art galleries, and theatres - The Great North Museum: Hancock, Laing Art Gallery, and Newcastle Theatre Royal are among some of the most popular, and are all wheelchair accessible!
Top-rated hotel: Staybridge Suites Newcastle
Recommended activity: Historical Guided Tour
As the capital and largest city in Wales, Cardiff is a popular spot for tourists. The city's main tourist attractions such as Cardiff Castle, the Millennium Stadium, and the National Museum Cardiff are wheelchair-accessible, however, some of the city's older buildings and streets may be harder to navigate in a wheelchair. Although Cardiff has a relatively small number of wheelchair-accessible hotels, there is a range of more affordable options as well as more luxury stays.
Top-rated hotel: The Coal Exchange Hotel
Recommended activity: Cardiff Hop-on Hop-off Tour
All in all, cities across the UK have made significant progress in being more wheelchair accessible, however, there is always room for improvement! If you’re planning a city break anytime soon and have any activities that you want to do in mind, be sure to check their accessibility beforehand.
The full top 10 list of wheelchair-accessible cities in the UK: