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Best wheelchair friendly places to visit in Bristol, UK

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Bristol offers a lot of places worth visiting and easy to navigate for wheelchair users. We would especially like to recommend two museums: Brunel SS Great Britain, Aerospace Museum Bristol as well as Bristol Aquarium, Bristol Cathedral, Clifton Suspension Bridge, Snuff Mills, walk along the docks and watching a show in Bristol Hippodrome. Here are some more details on the trips we have made.

  1. BRUNEL SS GREAT BRITAIN, A MUSEUM ON THE SHIP

Official website: Home – SS Great Britain

Brunel SS Great Britain is a museum on a former passenger steamer, one of the most important historic ships in the world. When we saw it advertised online some time ago, we didn’t even check the wheelchair access at first, just presumed a museum on a ship was not going to be wheelchair friendly. That turned out not true. We were quite amazed by its accessibility. There are ramps and lifts that take you to all levels of the ship and disabled toilets inside. There are some narrow passages and one of the lifts to the lowest level is quite small, but we managed to get everywhere without any bigger issues in quite a large power chair and it was well worth the effort. You can not only learn a lot about history, but also experience it by various sights, sounds and smells.

Brunel’s SS Museum, Bristol
Brunel SS Great Britain, museum on a ship
Bakery on the ship, where you can also smell fresh bread

There are a few lifts on board and one of them was a bit tricky to maneuver in a long power chair – it was necessary to park on the right angle to be able to go out on the next floor. The lift doors were also quite heavy to push. The adult ticket was £22 (when we visited in 2023) and it is valid for a year since your visit, you can go back as many times as you want. Free carer’s tickets available. Tickets can be booked online. There is a pay and display car park right next to it which is free for blue badge holders, no height restriction. Strictly no dogs allowed with the exception of assistance dogs. There is a cafe on site and a nice path in the docks in front of the museum with tables and seating areas.

Brunel SS Great Britain, Bristol
Brunel SS Great Britain, Bristol
Brunel SS Great Britain, Bristol
Brunel SS Great Britain, Bristol
One of the lifts at Brunel SS Great Britain, Bristol
In the lift on board of the ship. Brunel SS Great Britain, Bristol
Disabled toilet on board of the ship. Brunel SS Great Britain, Bristol
Lift on the top deck of Brunel SS Great Britain, Bristol
Brunel SS Great Britain, top deck
Brunel SS Great Britain, lower deck
Dry dock. Brunel SS Great Britain
Brunel SS Great Britain
Brunel SS Great Britain
The weather deck. Brunel SS Great Britain.

The museum is located right by the canal. To get to the city centre from there (places like the Cathedral, Bristol Hippodrome or Bristol Aquarium), you can either have about 20 minute walk along the canal and over the bridge (the path is step free and flat, but some cobbled parts) or take a ferry that will take you across within minutes.

Step free path along the docks by Brunel SS Great Britain museum

If you decide to take the ferry, just wait at the shore right by the museum. The ramp onto the ferry is quite steep, but the staff is very helpful and make sure they can take everyone on board. The cost of the ferry is £1.20 one way (info based on our trip in October 2023) and you can pay by card while crossing.

Waiting for the ferry crossing in Bristol
Ferry crossing, Bristol

2. BRISTOL CATHEDRAL

Official website: Home – Bristol Cathedral (bristol-cathedral.co.uk)

Once you are on the other side of the canal from Brunel SS Great Britain Museum, you can have a short walk/wheel to a few great places to see. One of them is Bristol Cathedral, located by College Green. It is mostly accessible and there are disabled toilets, but you need to follow the accessible route to get to them, via the Cloister Entrance. There are steps to some parts of the cathedral, detailed access guide is available at the official website and AccessAble Bristol Cathedral | AccessAble.

Bristol Cathedral
The main entrance to Bristol Cathedral
Ramps in Bristol Cathedral
Bristol Cathedral in the evening

3. BRISTOL AQUARIUM

Official website: Home Page | Bristol Aquarium

Another great place to visit for the whole family located in the city centre, lots of different events throughout the year. Free carer’s tickets available. Inside, you can see not only a variety of marine species, but also very interesting plants. Only assistance dogs allowed. Disabled toilets are available.

Bristol Aquarium
Bristol Aquarium
Bristol Aquarium
Bristol Aquarium
Bristol Aquarium

4. BRISTOL HIPPODROME

Official website: Theatres, Arenas & Venues in London & UK | ATG Tickets

We went to watch a few shows there and were never disappointed. Accessible entry is on the side of the building, so you avoid the queue and enter very close to wheelchair spaces. Disabled toilets are also located very close to the accessible seating area. The view on the stage is really good. If you create an account with ATG tickets and send proof of disability (for example, a photo of blue badge), you can book a wheelchair seat as well as an essential companion ticket online. Thanks to the Access Membership Scheme, the tickets for wheelchair users are at a discounted price and companion tickets are often free. You can read more about the Access Scheme here: Access Membership Scheme | Access | ATG Tickets

Sign to the side access entrance, Bristol Hippodrome
Wheelchair seats located quite close to the stage, Bristol Hippodrome
Accessible toilet at Bristol Hippodrome
Having a great family day out at Bristol Hippodrome

5. AEROSPACE MUSEUM

Official website: Aerospace Bristol | Supersonic Family Fun

Another great place to visit for the whole family in Bristol is Aerospace Museum. It is a home of the last Concorde to be built and the last to fly. The journey from London to New York by that plane took less than 3 hours.

Aerospace Museum, Bristol
Aerospace Museum, Bristol

We were very impressed by the museum’s accessibility for wheelchair users. The lifts allowed us to go to the door of the Concorde and inside the Britannia plane. There were disabled toilets and a changing room available on site as well as plenty of disabled parking. Tickets are valid for unlimited visits for a year and there is a free carer’s ticket available. There is a gift shop and a cafe.

Wheelchair lift to see inside the Concorde
Inside the Concorde
Discovering the history of aviation at Aerospace Museum, Bristol
Inside Britannia plane

6. CLIFTON SUSPENSION BRIDGE

Official website: Home – Clifton Suspension Bridge (cliftonbridge.org.uk)

Clifton Suspension Bridge offers amazing views over the River Avon as well as the city. Is it a smooth ride across the bridge, there is also a step free path to the view point; however, parts of it are quite steep. There is a cafe and a Visitor Centre by the viewpoint. You can find accessibility details here Clifton Suspension Bridge and Visitor Centre | AccessAble

Clifton Suspension Bridge
Clifton Suspension Bridge
Clifton Suspension Bridge
Clifton Suspension Bridge
A path across Clifton Suspension Bridge (one way on each side of the bridge)
View over the river Avon from Clifton Suspension Bridge
Clifton Suspension Bridge, by Visitor Centre

7. Snuff Mills

Beautiful, wheelchair accessible path along the River Frome, which makes you feel very close to nature. There is a variety of wildlife to spot and the sounds of water and birds are amazing. Free blue badge parking, no height restriction. There is a lovely cafe with indoor and outdoor seating areas overlooking the river, located by the entry to the car park. Wheelchair accessible toilets also available at the car park. Paths are wide, even and mostly flat up to the stone bridge, then it gets narrower and more muddy (might get difficult at that point if using a manual chair). Great place to unwind and feel close to nature. Dogs can be off lead in most parts of the park.

Snuff Mills
Snuff Mills
Even path by the River Frome. Snuff Mills, Bristol.
Snuff Mills information board, Bristol
Snuff Mills, Cafe at the car park
Snuff Mills cafe, the menu (photo taken in February 2024)
Disabled toilets at Snuff Mills car park
Snuff Mills
Snuff Mills

More to follow…

If you want to discover more wheelchair accessible places within an hour drive from Bristol, check out our article about the Cotswolds Top wheelchair accessible, beautiful places in the Cotswolds – Wheelchair Accessible Places and Activities (wheelwithus.com)

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