As the Christmas season fast approaches and decorations begin to appear, there’s no shortage of festive things to do and see in cities across the UK.
From browsing a German market in Birmingham to seeing the lights twinkle over London, we’ve found a wide selection of access-friendly events that the whole family can enjoy. Add one of our top picks to your calendar this winter.
Christmas Lights, London
The capital comes alive with dazzling displays of Christmas lights each year. Book you and your family onto an accessible Christmas Lights Taxi Tour to be whisked around the city and see the themed decorations shine over famous landmarks.
The tour takes you to popular shopping districts, including Oxford Street and Regent Street, as well as along the river and past Christmas markets where you can stop off to browse the stalls.
Admirals Ice Rink, Cardiff
Wrap up warm and head to Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland where you can get that festive feeling on ice. The Admirals Ice Rink has introduced relaxed access sessions to make it easier for wheelchair users and companions to enjoy the seasonal ice rink facilities. They also have Fun Skate Penguins available to hire for any little ones who need extra support as they skate about. Book your tickets early to make sure you don’t miss out.
Frankfurt Christmas Market, Birmingham
Discover the UK’s largest German-style Frankfurt Christmas Market right in the heart of Birmingham. Full of traditional stalls, you can shop for gifts, feast on bratwursts and pretzels, and sip on Glühwein, a winter warmer made from red wine, heated gently with sugar, cloves and cinnamon.
Both Victoria Square and New Street, where the market is located, have wheelchair routes available, making it easier to meander around without encountering any steps.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, London
With hundreds of festive market stalls, fairground rides, live performances and an ice rink, Hyde Park’s bustling Winter Wonderland is sure to spread Christmas cheer.
Shop for Christmas presents and sample the culinary delights before exploring the activities on offer. Areas with access facilities include the ice bar and circus performances, as well as the big wheel ride.
There’s free parking for blue badge holders, and nearby Green Park tube station has step-free access, making travel plans that little bit easier.
Christmas Market, Edinburgh
Featuring fairground rides and a wide selection of stalls, this Scottish Christmas Market is fun for all ages. Located in Edinburgh’s East Princes Street Gardens, stalls offer gift ideas in the form of handmade arts and crafts. There are lots of delicious snacks to sample, and the cafés and bars dotted about the market feature accessibility ramps. Enjoy a view of the market’s shimmering lights from above with a spin on the big wheel, which has accessible wheelchair pods.
Christmas Shows, London
London’s theatre scene takes on a distinctly festive feel once December comes around. Whether you’re looking for an upbeat panto with the kids, or a beautiful ballet with your partner, many are available with access performance options, including accessible seating, audio described performances and shows with captions.
Try the ultimate festive tale, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, which is showing at The Old Vic . You can book a space for wheelchair users in advance.
Whether you want to celebrate the season with a spin on the Ferris wheel, shop for unique, handmade gifts, or sit back and take in a seasonal show, there are a variety of easily accessible events out there just waiting to be explored.