London can be hard going. It can’t seem to strike the right balance between preserving old buildings and making sure they’re accessible to all. With the laudable exception of the Docklands Light Railway, only a slim selection of Tube stations offer lifts, and those with plenty of escalators still require passengers to climb several flights of stairs. The situation is so scrambled, and positive changes so slow, that you’ll need to do a bit of research. Your first stops should be Visit London
(www.visitlondon.com/access) and Transport for London
(www.tfl.gov.uk/accessguides). Many London hotels, museums, restaurants, Tube stations, buses, taxis, and sightseeing attractions have dedicated wheelchair access, and persons with disabilities are often granted admission discounts. Generally speaking, the more expensive a hotel is, the more likely it is to be wheelchair accessible, but not always. For £2, iPhone users can download the LDN Access app,
which reviews the accessibility of hotels, restaurants, attractions, and more across the city. The website for Nationwide Disabled Access Register
(www.directenquiries.com) tattles about the accessibility features of a wide range of facilities, from attractions to car renters.
Artsline (www.artsline.org.uk) distributes information about accessible entertainment venues, including which ones have infrared hearing devices for rental; it also welcomes calls. Blind or partially sighted travelers will find useful advice from the Royal National Institute of Blind People (www.rnib.org.uk; [tel] 0303/123-9999). Tourism for All (www.tourismforall.org.uk; [tel] 084/5124-9971) passes accessibility information to older travelers as well as to travelers with disabilities. The British agency Can Be Done (www.canbedone.co.uk; [tel] 020/8907-2400) runs tours adapted to travelers with disabilities. Wheelchair Travel (www.wheelchair-travel.co.uk; [tel] 01483/23-76-68) rents out self-drive and chauffeured chair-accessible vehicles (including ones with hand controls), provides day tours, and arranges city sightseeing in special vehicles.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.