England’s capital city will always draw plenty of attention, but its popularity can, in part, be put down to its wealth of amazing attractions. Enticing visitors from all over the world, London is home to some truly exciting things to see and do. But how accessible are London’s top attractions? Are they suitable for users of wheelchairs and stair lifts? We have researched and ranked 10 of London’s most popular attractions to see which locations come out on top.
Read on to discover the results and become introduced to these fantastic London attractions.
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One of the most iconic attractions in the world, let alone the UK, Buckingham Palace is on the must-visit list of many who make their way to London. The royal residence of the British monarchy, Buckingham Palace, is a vision of splendour. Visitors can look forward to touring the royal state rooms – including the Throne Room - getting a glimpse behind the curtain into the life of a royal. There are even private tours available.
Buckingham Palace is the most accessible of London’s top attractions, receiving a perfect accessibility score in our study. This famous royal residence might include opulent staircases, but there are accessible routes that allow wheelchair users to see everything that other visitors can. The palace ticks all the boxes of our study, including accessible toilets, full wheelchair access, disabled parking, and wheelchairs available to hire.
Learn more about Buckingham Palace's accessibility.
The British Museum is one of the most popular attractions in London, and it is one of the most famous museums in the world. During a visit to the museum, you can immerse yourself in two million years of human history, art and culture.
There are over 90 rooms displaying artefacts from all over the globe, ranging from objects from the Sutton Hoo ship burial to displays about Egyptian mummies and Chinese ceramics, to name just a few.
The British Museum might house artefacts that date back millions of years, but the building itself offers visitors all the latest accessibility facilities. In fact, the museum ranked joint second in our study, offering accessible toilets, on-site parking for wheelchair users, and step-free routes.
Learn more about the British Museum’s accessibility.
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At Westminster Abbey, you can discover over 10 centuries of British history, learn about its role as the coronation church since 1066, and explore the final resting place of 17 monarchs.
It isn’t just kings and queens that are buried here; the World Heritage Site is also the final resting place for some of the UK’s most famous poets, soldiers, priests, and politicians. Several guided tours are on offer to visitors, and they can be adapted for anyone with limited mobility. These tours are a great way to learn about the abbey and all of the historical events that have taken place here.
Westminster Abbey continues to hold services daily, and anybody is welcome to join. There are concerts and performances from the abbey choir that also occur throughout the year.
Westminster Abbey came joint-second in our study of accessible attractions in London. The attraction received a perfect five out of five score on Euan’s Guide, offers accessible toilets, and visitors can hire wheelchairs to use. Although Westminster Abbey dates back to 960AD, the site offers accessible routes for visitors.
Learn more about Westminster Abbey’s accessibility.
The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) is acclaimed as one of the UK’s best museums, with many making sure to visit it when in London. Named after Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert, the museum is the largest in the world for applied arts, decorative arts, and design.
The V&A houses a massive 2.27 million objects, providing plenty of interest for visitors. If you are at all interested in design and decorative arts or want to visit a top museum, you can’t go wrong with the V&A.
In terms of accessibility, the Victoria & Albert Museum is very accommodating. Ranking third in the study of top London attractions, the V&A provides all the essential accessibility requirements except for on-site parking. This isn’t uncommon for museums in London, and Exhibition Road (home to the museum) offers a number of nearby Blue Badge spaces. The museum itself offers full wheelchair access, so you can enjoy all that the attraction has to offer.
Learn more about the Victoria & Albert Museum's accessibility.
Art lovers won’t want to miss out on visiting the National Gallery. One of the most famous art galleries in the country, this old art museum is situated in a desirable location on Trafalgar Square. Founded in 1824, the National Gallery is home to a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900. Some of history’s classic pieces can be found at the National Gallery, providing a unique opportunity to experience the wealth of the world’s artistic tradition.
The National Gallery is very welcoming to those with limited mobility, offering full wheelchair access to the museum. The National Gallery did very well in our study, only failing when it comes to on-site parking for visitors with limited mobility. But with accessible entrances, accessible toilets, lifts, and wheelchairs available to hire, those of all levels of mobility will have a great time during their visit.
Learn more about the National Gallery's accessibility.
You can enjoy amazing 360-degree views over the capital from The London Eye, which is the world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel. While riding the attraction, you can see up to 25 miles on a clear day, and you’ll be able to spot some of London’s most iconic landmarks, including Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace.
The London Eye has 32 pods, each representing one of London’s 32 boroughs, and it is one of the best ways to experience the capital.
In terms of its accessibility, the London Eye is fully wheelchair accessible, there are free carer tickets available, and there are toilets on the site for wheelchair users and visitors with limited mobility. Despite being an accessible attraction, the London Eye does not offer on-site parking for wheelchair users, and you cannot hire wheelchairs.
Learn more about the London Eye’s accessibility.
St Paul’s Cathedral is a working cathedral that is steeped in history, and during a visit you can learn about how it was destroyed during the Great Fire of London in 1666 and its subsequent design and rebuild by Sir Christopher Wren. You can enjoy fantastic architecture in the cathedral, famous artworks, and tributes to some of the UK’s most famous residents.
Donna, the blogger behind What the Redhead Said, has visited St Paul’s Cathedral before and spoke about her experience:
“St Paul's Cathedral is such an iconic landmark and a really historic site, right in the centre of London. It was amazing to see it first-hand, seeing everything from the underground crypt to the stone and golden galleries up at the heights of the cathedral. Both give incredible views of London.”
Donna also found the attraction to be accessible: “The cathedral is really accessible, with step-free access via the north entrance allowing the main cathedral to be accessed by all along with the crypt. However, the stone and golden galleries are only accessed by staircases.”
St Paul’s Cathedral may not offer on-site parking for Blue Badge Holders, and some areas of the cathedral are not accessible to wheelchair users, but it does offer many facilities for visitors with limited mobility. You can hire a wheelchair at the cathedral, there are accessible toilets, and there are free carer tickets available.
Learn more about St Paul’s Cathedral’s accessibility.
When it comes to attractions to visit in London, there will be very few places higher on the to-do list than the Natural History Museum. One of the world’s most famous and renowned museums, it boasts a fascinating collection of exhibits and specimens from various points in history. There are over 80 million items at the Natural History Museum, but it is particularly famous for its dinosaur skeletons. This museum is certainly an attraction to delight both young and old alike.
Janice, from the travel blog Scots2Travel, has been to the Natural History Museum with her children. She shared her thoughts about the attraction with us:
“The Natural History Museum works well for multi-generational outings because it’s timeless and appeals to all ages. From life-size dinosaurs, animals and skeletons to life-like animatronics, the natural world lives and breathes before your eyes.
“The museum is huge, engaging, accessible, interactive and handily situated close to South Kensington tube station. Learn about the power of volcanoes and feel the earth move under your feet with a simulated earthquake.
“Another bonus is the price - it’s FREE! Be sure to pre-book tickets, and for those who are retired, consider the benefits of a quieter midweek booking. Most importantly, have a wonderful day out with your grandchildren/family.”
On paper, the Natural History Museum ticks all the boxes when it comes to accessibility. It provides full wheelchair access to all parts of the museum, and it offers lifts, accessible toilets, and even on-site disabled parking – a rarity in the world of London museums. While it is a very accessible attraction, it only fell down in our study due to its Euan’s Guide accessibility reviews from actual visitors.
Learn more about the Natural History Museum's accessibility.
The Tower of London is a World Heritage Site and one of London’s most popular attractions to visit. It is home to the Crown Jewels, and visitors can also meet the legendary Yeoman Warders and the famous ravens.
There are several tours that can show you the highlights of the Tower, and you can learn about its fascinating history, including stories from when it was a mighty fortress, royal palace and then an infamous prison.
The Tower of London is an accessible attraction, but it doesn’t offer on-site parking for visitors with limited mobility, and there are some areas of the site that are not wheelchair accessible. However, there are wheelchairs available to hire, accessible toilets, discounted tickets for wheelchair users and free tickets for an accompanying carer.
Learn more about the Tower of London’s accessibility.
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There’s no better attraction in London for science enthusiasts than the beloved Science Museum. Located on Exhibition Road, the museum was founded in 1857 and attracts around three million visitors every year. With interactive and thought-provoking exhibits that encompass the entire scientific world, the Science Museum is not only a place to observe but to get hands-on. This includes lots of fun opportunities for children to engage in science with age-appropriate experiences.
The Science Museum is very accessible for those with limited mobility, excelling in everything our study looked at, except for on-site disabled parking, although there are public blue badge parking spaces nearby. Wheelchair users can access every part of the museum, and there are all the usual accessibility facilities available, including accessible toilets and wheelchairs to borrow.
Learn more about the Science Museum's accessibility.
Looking at 10 of London’s most popular attractions as recommended by Google’s ‘things to do’ in London feature, we assigned a score out of 10 to each attraction based on how they performed against different accessibility criteria.
The criteria we looked at were:
You can see the full findings, scores, and resources used in this Google sheet.
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This guide has taken a look at the accessibility of the most popular attractions in London and has revealed the facilities they offer and those they don’t to those who live with limited mobility. If you are interested in mobility equipment like straight stairlifts and curved stairlifts, please book a free home assessment.
For more accessibility guides, data-led content, and mobility articles, make sure to visit our news page.