Wheelchair-Friendly Days Out in Norfolk

If you are a wheelchair user, then a WAV vehicle can bring a whole new dimension to your life. As well as making everyday tasks such as trips to work or shops easier, WAVs open up whole new avenues of tourist attractions to visit.

If, like a lot of Ransome Mobility customers, you are from Norfolk, you will know the county boasts plenty of places well worth a visit. But, with the peak spring and summer tourist seasons fast approaching, which attractions can owners of WAVs in Norfolk get the most out of? Our selection looks at the venue’s level of wheelchair accessibility as well as what it offers. However, before making a special journey to visit any attraction, it is advisable to call ahead to check that it is open and that the expected facilities are available.

WAVs Norfolk, cromer pier

Cromer Pier

This Grade II listed pier is on the north Norfolk coast, about 25 miles north of Norwich. There are disabled visitor parking bays on the promenade, although you are advised to get there early due to limited availability. The pier itself is open from 10am-5pm from Mondays to Saturdays, and from 10am-3pm on Sundays.

In the 500-seat Pavilion Theatre the pier can boast a flourishing venue which has hosted an end of the pier show for the past 40 years. A number of well-known names from the world of music and entertainment have appeared here over the years, from Julian Lloyd Webber to Jim Davidson, and some, like Bradley Walsh, developed their careers here. You can also go crab fishing, and the pier also has a gift shop, places to eat and drink and a superb view.

For the wheelchair user, there are ramps to the pier entrance itself, and wheelchair access to the Pavilion Bar and Theatre. There are limited wheelchair places in the theatre’s auditorium, so you need to tell the box office about your requirements when you book your tickets. There are also disabled toilets in the Pavilion Bar foyer and in the Tides Restaurant.

Wavs Norfolk, Banham Zoo Tiger

Banham Zoo

This south Norfolk zoo, which first opened in 1968, is signposted off the A11 and the A140. It is open for business at 9.30am daily, but closing times vary depending on the time of year. There are admission price concessions for adults and children who are registered disabled and their carers. Visitors are also encouraged to make a donation to the Zoological Society of East Anglia.

The zoo first acquired a colony of woolly monkeys about three years after opening, and still has an impressive collection of smaller primates. Its avian collection ranges from birds of prey such as the bald eagle, to reptiles and invertebrates which include the royal python snake to the inland bearded dragon.  Bactrian camels and amur tigers form part of its collection of mammals, and it also has a domestic livestock section. Specific experiences, which could include supervised help with feeding, can be pre-booked for an additional fee. There are other special events as well.

Owners of WAVs can enjoy wheelchair access to specific areas such as the Parrot Pavilion Restaurant, the Trading Post coffee shop, the gift shop and all the exhibits. Generally, path surfaces are either tarmac or crushed and rolled stone.

There are plenty of seats throughout the zoo complex, and the viewing areas set at a low level, for the benefit of wheelchair users. There is a lift to the first floor viewing area of the Giraffe House. However the Woodland Walk is not suitable for those with mobility issues. The Safari Roadtrain which goes around the site is not adapted for wheelchair use, but zoo staff will help you on and off.

The Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell
The museum is in Bridewell Alley in the city centre, five minutes from the Castle Meadow and Market Place bus stops. There are several car parks close by, and there are a number of wheelchair-accessible taxis operating in the city. Opening hours are 10am-4.30pm Tuesdays to Saturdays, and there are admission price concessions for visitors with disabilities.

The museum tells the history of Norfolk’s county town, and its major industries, from textiles to shoes, through to chocolates and mustard. It can boast audio diaries, an archive film in a recreated cinema, or the opportunity to play board games in a retro 1950s living room. There are also some multi-sensory displays with handling and listening points and smell stations. Notes explaining the exhibits for blind or visually impaired visitors are available on request, and there is a hearing loop at the main entrance. The museum has regular talks and shows for adults, and also has a link-up with Norfolk Children’s University.

Although it has ten galleries spread over two floors, the museum is fully accessible. There is a platform lift from the main entrance to the ground floor and the reception and shop. A second lift inside the museum provides access to all levels. It cannot accommodate large motorised scooters, but there is a wheelchair on site you can use. The undercroft, which was previously a house of correction and prison, is not accessible to wheelchair users when it is open for tours.

Ransome Mobility Solutions are  a leading supplier of second hand wheelchair adapted vehicles in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire and across the UK. We also supply a range of other mobility aids such as stairlifts and through floor lifts. Click on the link to find out more.

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