In Hampshire, we have some excellent museums, suitable for people of all ages, and more importantly, they are accessible for everyone too. These museums are accessible for elderly people, people with disabilities, restricted mobility or other health conditions which mean you must research and plan your day out rather than be able to make spontaneous decisions and just turn up.
Below is a selection of interesting museums located throughout the county of Hampshire that you may like to consider visiting.
Historic Dockyard, Portsmouth, Hampshire
This is the UK’s premier destination for naval history and certainly a big boast for Hampshire and incorporates 10 different attractions including the Mary Rose Museum which was designed with access in mind. The site is fully accessible for wheelchairs and mobility scooters are available for hire. There are facilities to ensure visitors with visual impairments, hearing impairments and learning difficulties get the most from their visit. Across the rest of the site which includes HMS Victory, HMS Warrior, and the National Museum of the Royal Navy there is a Special Access Route in place which gives ramp access to the museums. Across the ships and museums audio transcripts and large print texts are available on request for those with a visual impairment. Hearing loops can be requested for those who are hard of hearing. Guide dogs and registered assistance dogs are permitted. There is a lot which is under cover so great for aday out even if the weather isn’t great.
Photo credit visit-hampshire.co.uk
The New Forest Heritage Centre, Lyndhurst, Hampshire
The heritage centre comprises a museum, gallery and reference library and is dedicated to sharing the history and traditions of The New Forest in the heart of Hampshire. The Centre is wheelchair accessible, and a manual wheelchair can be booked in advance if required. There is a lift between the ground and first floors. There are accessible toilets on the ground and first floors. Many of the displays have been designed to be hands-on and multi-sensory. For visitors with visual impairments, large print versions of information are available and large print versions of other information relating to temporary exhibitions are also available. There is an induction loop in the gallery for visitors with a hearing impairment. Guide, Hearing and Assistance dogs are welcome. Another bonus – admission is free! This is an interesting place to visit in Hampshire before getting out into The New Forest and seeing more.
Photo credit newforestheritage.org.uk
Army Flying Museum, Middle Wallop, Nr. Andover
This museum gives visitors a chance to explore the story of British Army flying throughout history to the present day. The museum is a Disability Confident attraction and welcomes visitors with mobility and sensory impairments. All parts of the museum are fully wheelchair accessible, and wheelchairs can be borrowed if required, on a first come, first served basis. There is a lift to the second floor and there are two accessible toilets, Guide and Assistance dogs are welcome and Carers/PAs/companions of disabled people are admitted free of charge.
Photo credit visit-hampshire.co.uk
Gilbert White’s House & Gardens Selbourne
The former residence of the 18th century naturalist, Gilbert White, it is now a museum of renowned British explorers. There are also around 5 acres of gardens to explore. Blue badge parking is in the car park 50 metres along the High Street and there is one accessible parking bay located opposite the museum. This is not bookable in advance. Entrance is free for Carers/companions of elderly or disabled visitors who require assistance. The ground floor of the house, café and gift shop have level or ramped access. There is no lift to the first floor, but upon request, there is a video which shows the less accessible parts of the museum. There is an audio descriptive tour of the house and there are portable hearing loops where there are video presentations. Guide, hearing, and assistance dogs are welcome. Manual wheelchairs are available to borrow, and these can be reserved. There is also an accessible toilet. The stunning garden is accessible with several wheelchair adapted picnic benches located throughout the garden.
Photo credit theguardian.co.uk
Milestones Museum of Living History, Basingstoke, Hampshire
Great for a rainy day as all under cover. The museum is made up of a network of streets that have been recreated to bring the past to life and it is a fascinating record of Hampshire’s social, industrial and transport history. All areas are accessible to disabled visitors with ramp and level access. There is an accessible lift to the first floor. There is plenty of suitable parking and an accessible toilet. Facilities for hearing impaired visitors include an induction loop system and assisted tours are available for visually impaired visitors if required. Guide dogs are permitted inside the museum.
My name is Jo Pinkney and I am a Client Relationship Consultant at Access Care, a recruitment and introductory agency for people looking to arrange Live-in Care in Hampshire.
One of the joys of having a Live-in Carer is that you always have a companion who can accompany you or your loved one to get out and about and explore the local area. I hope some of the above suggestions above will inspire you to visit, and if you do, I would love to hear about your experience.
I am always happy to chat and if you have any queries or general questions about accessibility, please do give me a call on 01264 319 395.
Client Relationship Consultant