The subject of disabled access has been widely debated and in the past many establishments and public places had little or no access for wheelchairs but this is now beginning to change. The topic is constantly in the news and covered in publications on a regular basis, leading to pressure for establishments, public places and transport to get their acts together to provide access for the disabled. The introduction of the Disability Discrimination Act in 1995 was a wake up call for many businesses and various establishments to stop discriminating against the disabled and to provide proper access to their premises. Shops, restaurants and hotels are just a few of the places where ramps have been installed to enable wheelchair users to gain easier access.
London is not unlike other places in the world, although there is some access for the disabled, there is a long way to go in terms of total accessibility, especially with some forms of London Transport. On a more positive note, some of London's tourist attractions provide outstanding disabled facilities and warrant a mention, these include the National Gallery, where there is lift access and even free tickets for carers of disabled visitors.
Most of the disabled toilets in Britain are permanently locked and a special key is needed to open them. There is a guide book that details the locations of all the disabled toilets in the UK - The book and the keys are available to purchase from RADAR, the keys are £2.50 each and the guidebook is £5. These prices are not inclusive of postage and packaging.
RADAR - Tel: 020 72503222
We have broken the following information down into categories to make it easier for you to find what you are looking for. We can't possibly mention every tourist attraction and establishment with disabled access, but at least you'll know where to visit and where to avoid.
London is among the best places in the world for shopping - you can take your pick from more than 30,000 shops and choose from a wealth of goods ranging from fashionable designer labels to delicious food. Many of the stores, especially the bigger ones, provide wheelchair access and are user friendly. If you need some assistance, some of the stores employ personal shoppers. These are people who will walk around the store with you and help you shop - if you tell them what you want, they will even do your shopping for you and the service is usually complimentary.
Below are just a few of the London stores where you can use the services of a personal shopper.
Knightsbridge, London, W1
Tel: 020 7730 1234
A pre-arranged appointment is needed for the personal shopper service. They will be able to help you buy everything from a small teddy to a life size yacht!
Marks & Spencer
Kensington High Street, London, W8
Tel: 020 7938 3711
A complimentary personal shopper service is available and you don't have to purchase anything. There is no need to book an appointment and you can have 2 hours of the persons time and try your choice of clothes on time and time again in your own changing room.
Oxford Street, London, W1
Tel: 020 7629 1234
Complimentary personal shopper service is available and not only does this cover clothes but items for the home as well.
Oxford Street, London, W1
Tel: 020 7580 3000
A comfortable lounge is provided in the store, where you can relax and unwind while your personal shopper hand picks your goods for you.
Accommodation in London
Getting around London
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