In this post, we’ve put together a “Top 10 List of Free and Accessible Things to do in London” for wheelchair users.
London is probably the most visited city on earth. It’s a 24-hour city, and it’s vibrant.
To help you make the most of your visit to accessible London, especially if you’re visiting in a wheelchair, we created “Free and Accessible Things to do in London” to make your trip easier and cheaper.
We haven’t visited London nearly enough. With so many exciting things to do in London, we’d be stupid not to spend more time there.
Wheelchair-Friendly Things to Do in London
Accessible London – 10 Things to Do
1. Go for a Wheelchair Walk
London’s a traffic magnet, so the best way to explore it is on foot. There are wheelchair-friendly routes in and around the city. Here are three we’ll be doing:
- Take a stroll on the South Bank of the Thames. Accessibility was improved in the run-up to the Paralympic games in 2012.
- A day out in Greenwich. At first, we thought Greenwich was all about time, but it’s a full day out and accessible.
- Our third walk is a bit predictable, but it’s got to be The Mall. Hopefully, the Queen will spot us out of the window and invite us in!
2. Visit a Park
London is home to some of the world’s most famous parks. Us, we want to visit the following:
- Hyde Park, hopefully, we’ll be there on a Sunday so we can go to speakers corner. Whilst you are in Hyde Park, why not take advantage of Liberty Drives, a charity supported by The Hyde Park Appeal?
- LIBERTY DRIVES is a seasonal initiative providing free tours and transportation in Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens for individuals with a disability or limited mobility (along with caregivers, friends and family) otherwise unable to enjoy a visit to the park’s 760 acres.
- Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill, we’ll try and get up the hill to get the best panoramic views of London.
- Kensington Gardens and Royal Park, OK, if the Queen doesn’t let us in, one of the other royals might #justsaying
3. Visit an Art Gallery
If you appreciate the beauty of a painting, marvel at the skill of a sculptor or are bemused by what people see in art, then do the right thing and visit a gallery. We fall into the last category, so we’re making an effort to learn to appreciate art:
- The National Portrait Gallery see the world’s most extensive collection of portraits.
- The National Gallery, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Gainsborough, Turner, Renoir and Van Gogh need we say more!
- The Saatchi Gallery, for something a bit more modern and possibly confusing the Saatchi, is the place to go.
4. Visit a Museum
It’s a hunch, but we’d bet London has more museums per square inch than any other city in the world. What that means for you is that whatever you’re interested in will be a museum. We have picked out the obvious ones and why not:
- The British Museum, home to some of the world’s most important relics the museum has a collection spanning over two million years.
- In the Imperial War Museum, our world as we know it has been shaped by war. The IWM tells the story and shares personal accounts of what life is like living in a conflict. We want to visit to give thanks and appreciate those who suffered for our freedom.
- We’ve never been to the Natural History Museum, and we’re both nearly dinosaurs, so we better visit it.
5. Visit a Market
OK, visiting a market usually involves spending money, but we’re wanderers and people-watchers, so a bustling marketplace is necessary.
Unfortunately, we cannot make any claims about accessibility because markets notoriously cram stuff in, hindering wheelchair access.
That said, if the market is on when we’re in London, we will be trying our luck at the:
- Covent Garden Market is as close to Aladdin’s cave as we’re going to get. It’ll be hard not spending money.
- Notting Hill and Portobello Road, we love the film, so we’ll love the market.
- Camden Lock Market, no visit to London would be complete without a visit to Camden.
6. Go Window Shopping
London is renowned for its top-end shops and boutiques, so why not go on a window-shopping tour and see how the other half live:
- Over one and a half miles of shops, restaurants, and bars, Oxford Street is the world in one place.
- Bond Street and Mayfair, this will be a window-shopping experience and hopefully a bit of celebrity spotting too!
- Regent Street is the best shopping and lifestyle destination in the west end. We’ll download the walking tour app to make the most of our visit.
7. Visit Free Events
London is a 24-hour city, and there are always events going on. The great news is many of these events are free to attend. We particularly like pomp and ceremony, so hopefully, we’ll see some.
The itinerary of events changes almost daily, so you’re never far away from a free event. The best resources to find out what’s happening when you’re in London are:
TimeOut is probably the first place you should look for up-to-date events in London
Search Visit London for free attractions and events
8. Self-Guided Sightseeing Tour
It costs nothing to look at iconic sights, and London has its fair share. Why not create your own rather than spend money on a guided tour?
You can get free travel maps here to build your list of places to see and explore at your own pace.
We’re typical sightseers, so these three need no introduction and must be on our list of places to visit:
- Buckingham Palace
- Houses of Parliament
- Tower of London
How about touring the most Instagrammable restaurants in London? You might not be able to eat in them all, but they are worth visiting to look at and to spruce up your Instagram feed.
9. Street Art, Statues, and Monuments
It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but we like looking at statues and monuments! You’re guaranteed to see loads of them if you’re walking around London, and who knows when you’ll stumble across some famous street art?
- We want to see a Banksy. Fortunately, there’s a map for that on the Visit London website.
- Trafalgar Square is an obvious choice; check out Visit London’s Statues and Monuments for a complete list.
- It’s debatable whether street performers are art, but they are a central part of London’s vibe, so we look forward to seeing them.
10. Churches and Cathedrals
When you need a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, there’s no better place for a bit of peace than a church. We’re not particularly religious, but you don’t need to be to visit these iconic buildings:
- St Paul’s Cathedral, the cathedral isn’t free to enter, but it doesn’t stop us from taking a look at it!
- Westminster Abbey, Another one which isn’t free but still a must-see to say we’ve been there.
- St Martin-in-the-Feilds, we have two reasons for visiting this church in Trafalgar Square. One is it looks nice, which isn’t very scientific, and the other is their charity helps many people in need, so it would be rude not to visit and make a small donation.
Things to do in London
2012 was a momentous year. It’s the year London hosted the Olympic and Paralympic games. The legacy for us is the Olympic Park and Village, so it would be rude not to visit it. To see what’s on the visit: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
You can find access details for all the places, buildings and things to do in Accessible London.
For a specific search or smaller venue, check out Inclusive London.
Two other valuable resources we always use are AccessAble, and Euan’s Guide and both are excellent if you love to travel.
Free London Travel Maps
Details of Public Transport and Accessible Travel in London
Find Accessible Toilets and Changing Places Toilets in London
Images Courtesy of Visit London Images special thanks to Britain on View and Pawel Libera
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