The good news is that London’s major museums are highly accessible. There are plenty of entirely step-free routes through them, which are spacious enough for powerchairs to navigate with ease, as well as the disabled toilets and lifts you’d expect.
On the conveniently curb-free Exhibition Road, South Kensington, within easy reach of Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London, it’s a quick roll between the design-related exhibitions and objects of the V&A, the dinosaur fossils of the Natural History Museum, and the child-friendly STEM hit of the Science Museum. The Science Museum also has a Changing Places toilet – these large facilities include specialist equipment, such as a ceiling track hoist system, and allow enough space for a disabled person and up to two carers.
In the (albeit narrower) streets of Bloomsbury, another cultural big hitter, the British Museum, ensures that its collections and exhibitions are easily accessible to people of differing physical abilities. Blue Badge parking can be booked in advance, for example, as can a wheelchair loan.
Across town on the South Bank is Tate Modern, a power station-turned-contemporary arts venue that is one of Europe’s most visited galleries – including by people with a wide range of accessibility needs. Its accessibility provisions include mobility scooter loans (requiring advance notice) and facilities and resources for autistic, dyslexic, visually impaired and hearing-impaired people. For example, there’s a Visual Story resource to help autistic people know what to expect ahead of a visit.
The South Bank more generally is an accessible part of London, with many pedestrianised areas that are completely curb-free. It’s a place to relish the city’s glorious skyline, and you can pop in to any of the cultural institutions along the river for something to see, a snack or a disabled loo.
You can find detailed accessibility maps of these museums, and many more venues, at AccessAble.