1. Tower of London
Discover the dark and fascinating history of the Tower of London on an accessible tour in London.
Join a monthly guided tour around the iconic London landmark with a British Sign Language interpreter. The historic fortress also offers a fascinating virtual tour of the Medieval Palace and wall walks for visitors with limited mobility. And if you’d like to hire a wheelchair for your visit, ask one of the friendly members of staff at the main entrance.
Pick up an audio guide to discover more about the 11th-century castle, or an expert-led descriptive tour of the White Tower and Jewel House. All accessible tours must be booked in advance, and registered assistance dogs are welcome.
2. Shakespeare’s Globe exhibition and tour
Learn all about the legendary 17th-century playwright during a fully accessible tour of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.
The Shakespeare’s Globe Exhibition and Tour offers step-free access to all areas of the magnificent theatre and features low-level display cases for wheelchair users. There’s also descriptive text panels and a series of recorded commentaries available throughout the exhibition, alongside braille panels for visually impaired visitors to the world-famous theatre.
3. London Taxi Tour
Join an experienced cabbie for a London Taxi Tour around the capital.
Each accessible taxi is fitted with wheelchair ramps, electric steps and swivel chairs designed to aid those with restricted mobility. For visitors travelling in a wheelchair, the taxi can accommodate up to four additional passengers, so that you can enjoy the views with your family and friends.
Take your pick from a huge range of landmark-packed London tours including the Harry Potter Tour, London by Night Tour and Royal London Tour.
4. City Cruises
Some of the boats are fully accessible for up to two wheelchair users and provide disabled toilet facilities. Ahead of your trip to London, contact the reservation team to discuss the best boat to travel on and reserve your wheelchair space.
Wheelchair users and their companion are entitled to 50% off sightseeing tickets, while registered blind passengers travel free of charge. Registered guide dogs are also welcome to travel on board.
5. National Portrait Gallery
Displaying artworks from the 16th century through to modern times, this London gallery hosts a free programme of British Sign Language interpreted tours, as well as fantastic guided tours for visually impaired visitors. Go along to one of the London gallery’s monthly Visualising Portraits sessions to learn all about different artworks through a series of descriptive talks.
You can also request gallery captions in large print for many exhibitions, plus braille documents including tactile drawings and in-depth audio guides – these are free of charge for disabled visitors.
6. Science Museum
From space travel to psychology, explore the wonderful world of science at the free-to-enter Science Museum.
Join a variety of British Sign Language and audio described tours of the museum in London. Plus, look out for the family VIscovery days which include object handling sessions, descriptive shows and immersive storytelling for visually impaired visitors. There are braille labels for tactile objects in the Who Am I? and Information Age galleries, as well as large print guides and interactive hands-on exhibitions.
You can also opt to visit during quieter hours as part of the autism-friendly morning and evening sessions held at the museum.
7. Natural History Museum
From ancient dinosaurs to faraway galaxies, drop by the Natural History Museum to discover a huge collection of delights from across the natural world.
Find out about some of the museum’s most popular exhibitions with an audio descriptive guide, and pick up braille and large print format guides at many of the gallery entrances. You can also arrange for a British Sign Language interpreter to accompany your tour during a visit to the London museum.
Children will love the autism-friendly Dawnosaurs event, which allows kids to visit the museum before opening hours and take part in an exciting lineup of activities including playtime with animals.
8. Blue Badge Tourist Guides
From walking tours to tours by public transport, London’s enthusiastic Blue Badge Tourist Guides are fully trained and qualified to escort visitors around the around the capital. The company will match your group with a suitable tour guide for a range of London tours, based on your individual interests and access requirements.
9. St Paul’s Cathedral
Step inside the breathtakingly beautiful St Paul’s Cathedral while visiting London.
The iconic London cathedral offers a range of expert-led guided tours. Pick up an audio descriptive guide or multimedia British Sign Language signed tour with subtitles, which are included within the price of your entrance ticket. If you’re travelling with a visually impaired friend, join a two-hour guided touch tour of the cathedral and crypt which can be booked in advance.
You’ll find step-free lift access to the cathedral via the south churchyard entrance and helpful handrails at the main entrance. Wheelchairs are available to borrow on request, and assistance dogs are also welcome at the cathedral.
10. Buckingham Palace
For wheelchair users, the tour includes a fully accessible visit to the magnificent State Rooms, Queen’s Gallery and the Royal Mews. You can also listen to a free audio guide or borrow a British Sign Language video guide while exploring the stunning palace.
Rollators and wheelchairs can be hired free of charge at the venue, and guide dogs are also welcome to assist visitors on the tour. On arrival, you’ll find step-free access at the front of Buckingham Palace.
11. Houses of Parliament
Blind and visually impaired visitors can sense the London landmark’s impressive architecture with a free tactile tour, which includes stops at Westminster Hall and the House of Commons. British Sign Language interpreters can also be requested in advance for your tour, plus a screen-based version of the audio tour and hearing assistance systems are available across the venue.
After your guided tour, tuck into a light bite in the Jubilee Cafe or opt for tasty afternoon tea with beautiful views of the river Thames.
12. Cutty Sark
The accessible-friendly ship offers step-free access via the main entrance, and has many spaces on board which are suitable for wheelchair users. There is also a virtual guide for areas of the historic ship that aren’t wheelchair accessible.
Look out for the historic attraction’s regular accessible events, which include guided tours with historians using British Sign Language and audio described tours.
13. Warner Bros. Studio Tour London
Immerse yourself in the wizarding world of Harry Potter with a behind-the-scenes tour at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, where you can see original sets, props and costumes from the world-famous film series.
Much of the tour is accessible to wheelchair users including the Great Hall and Privet Drive; but some areas of the venue are difficult to navigate and a small number of attractions are not accessible. British Sign Language interpreted tours can be arranged, and a host of friendly staff are on hand to help make your trip even more magical.
Ear defenders, hearing loops and audio-visual guides are available for your trip – although these are not specifically designed for visually impaired visitors. You’ll also find disabled toilets throughout the tour, and assistance dogs are permitted.
14. The Original London Sightseeing Tour
See some of London’s most famous sights from the comfort of a wheelchair-friendly bus with The Original London Sightseeing Tour. With more than 80 hop-on hop-off stops, this London bus tour can accommodate one wheelchair user per vehicle and takes you past London’s top landmarks including Tower of London, Big Ben, Trafalgar Square.
Both London galleries offer a programme of accessible tours, including British Sign Language interpreted tours, touch tours and audio described tours. To make the most of your visit, you’ll also find hearing loops, wheelchairs available to hire and fully accessible toilets across the two venues.
After exploring the first gallery, hop aboard the wheelchair-accessible Tate Boat to travel between venues and soak up the beautiful views along the river Thames. If you’re travelling to London by car, the galleries also offer disabled parking (must be booked in advance).
16. Tower Bridge
No trip to London is complete without a visit to the spectacularTower Bridge.
Join a monthly British Sign Language guided tour to discover the world-famous bridge’s towers and Victorian Engine Rooms, as well as snapping the awe-inspiring views from the glass walkways.
If you’re visiting London with kids, the exhibition also hosts quieter autism-friendly sessions for families. Little ones can explore the attraction at their own pace, before taking part in arts and crafts.
This fully accessible London landmark offers step-free access to all areas of the tower for wheelchair users, and provides five nearby Blue Badge parking spaces.
17. Design Museum
Explore the much-loved museum’s new home on a guided tour with a British Sign Language interpreter. Alternatively, blind and visually impaired visitors to London can embark on a sensory trail across the Designer Maker User exhibition during a free guided touch tour.
18. Kensington Palace
Marvel at Kensington Palace on a tour around the historic residence’s gloriously dressed State Apartments, fascinating exhibitions and picture-pretty grounds.
Explore the magnificent home with a free describer or British Sign Language tour of the King’s State Apartments or Victoria Revealed exhibition (must be booked two weeks in advance). You can also download an audio descriptive tour of the Queen’s State Apartments ahead of your visit to the London palace.
During your visit, you’ll find a range of objects suitable for handling dotted around the exhibitions. Large print format and braille guides are available, and wheelchairs or portable seating can be borrowed free of charge for visitors with limited mobility.
19. British Museum
Retrace more than two million years of human history at the widely accessible British Museum.
Discover an incredible collection of objects, from the Rosetta Stone and Egyptian mummies to Parthenon sculptures, with a British Sign Language, audio descriptive or audio guide (available in 10 different languages). Alternatively, ask about the museum’s deaf-led BSL tours which are available for a variety of special exhibitions.
The London museum holds daily handling sessions, as well as touch tours of the Egyptian Sculpture Gallery for partially sighted visitors. You can also pick up large print guides and magnifying glasses, or hire a wheelchair for friends and family exploring the museum.
20. Sports stadium tours in London
Get an inside look at some of the capital’s most impressive sports grounds with a stadium tour in London.
Follow in the footsteps of sporting legends on a tour of fully accessible Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park or explore the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum, which can arrange a step-free tour for disabled visitors.
Many tourist attractions offer free or discounted entry for assistants and carers. If you require private care during your trip to London, there are many agencies that can supply personal assistants for the duration of your stay:
- Hartwig Care provides personal assistants on a short-term and long-term basis.
- Independent Living Alternatives (ILA) provides information and support for disabled people in relation to personal assistance.
Visit the AccessAble website for comprehensive access information on attractions, buildings and venues in London.