Saturday, 28 March 2015

A Trip To London!

At work we have been to London for the weekend a few times now - each time the weekend has got easier with experience! (although the first weekend away was a complete failure due to every road being shut because of a marathon taking place as part of the Olympics!)

When we go to london we take the mini bus as we have special equipment such a hoists to take with us so public transport is a big no go! Not many hotels in london have parking suitable for our type of vehicle as most car parks are under ground but we discovered Travelodge in Southwark has a private parking bit next door for disabled vehicles. Its a very tight squeeze but it is doable and the car park is locked so the vehicles will be secure - you have to pop up to reception to get the key. The rooms in the hotel are not the biggest but with a bit of rearrangement of the furniture theres enough room to move around. the address for southwark travelodge is:

Travelodge London Central Southwark Hotel

202 - 206 Union Street

We was a bit worried when heading to london as the tubes are not suitable for people in wheelchairs but we discovered that all black cabs can actually be altered to fit wheelchairs in the back and they have all the clips and seatbelts to make sure you are in safe. All the taxi drivers we had were so helpful and made sure the ramp into the taxi was safe and secure and they all double checked the wheelchair was strapped in safely before driving off.

photo credit:

One of our favourite things to do in London is to see a musical! So far we have seen Mamma Mia and Dirty Dancing. Both theatres were accessible for wheelchairs with seprate entrances round the side. When we saw Mamma Mia we got taken round to the side entrance by a very helpful staff member where we used a private lift to get to where was sat but once the show was over we discovered the lift had broke! The staff were extremely helpful and quickly got a makeshift ramp sorted out - whilst all this drama was happening, the staff distracted the lady I was supporting so she didn't panic - at one point about 10 staff members were all singing Abba songs with her! (i was gutted when they sorted the ramp as we were having so much fun haha!) The seats we had for Mamma Mia were really good and the carers got free tickets.
When we saw Dirty Dancing we were taken round the side door again and into one of the boxes facing the side of the stage - at first we thought we had a really good view but once it started we realised we couldnt see half the stage. At this point we couldn't find a staff member to help us so I wrote a tweet about the show and not being able to see and randomly the bloke playing the lead in Dirty Dancing that night saw the tweet during the interval and got staff to move us! Hurrah! Once again the carers got free tickets for the show.
photo credits:
Another couple of fun attractions in London is the London Eye and the London Eye river cruise. Both of these attractions are suitable for wheelchair users with the chance for one carer to go on for free. When arriving to go on the London Eye, staff will slow down the pods or if required they will even stop it to make boarding easier. The pods on the London Eye are huge so plenty of room once on there to move round freely to take in all the stunning views. The river cruise is also incredibly easy for wheelchair users to get on and off and there is always plenty of staff on hand to help.Once on board the board there is adequate room to move around but the boats can get very busy!
The London Eye website has a very helpful page with all the information and prices for both attractions for visitors who need assistant: London Eye disabled guide
photo credits: My own / 

We have also visited Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park but I will write a separate blog for that as there is alot to tell!

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