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We’ve experienced a good few heatwaves in the UK so it just shows that it’s always important to be prepared for any weather conditions thrown your way.

Driving when it is warmer does come with its own considerations and there are a few things you can do to help stay safe in the sun. Here are a few tips to make your driving in hot weather easier for you and your passengers this summer:

  1. Cool your car before you enter. Park in the shade if you can, and open the windows or pop on the air-conditioning before you hop in so you can start your journey in a cooler setting
  2. Pack water for you and your passengers to keep hydrated in the warmer weather. On longer journeys in case of traffic, delays or breakdowns it would be good to be prepared with a bit of food, extra water in a cool bag, and even some handheld fans just to keep everyone that little bit cooler and more comfortable
  3. Make sure your car’s fluids are topped up. Engines can get very hot in warm weather and if you are unfortunate enough to get stuck in traffic, they can get even hotter. Make sure your coolant is topped up and turn off the engine if you’re at a standstill. Make sure your windscreen fluid is also topped up so you have a clear view
  4. Check your tyres before you leave – as the temperature rises, the air inside your tyres will expand and could cause pressure and a blowout, make sure you check the condition of the tyres – check for damage, wearing and pressure, especially if you’re off on a long road trip
  5. Don’t forget about glare – make sure you’ve got a good pair of sunglasses on hand for any trips out in the car in the sun

Hopefully, these tips will help you out when it comes to taking the car out in the glorious sunshine. Stay cool and calm on the roads and remember to pop on the sun cream if it’s a hot day, you never know if you might get stuck somewhere and need to get out of the car to wait in the sun.

If you’re looking for your next wheelchair accessible vehicle to get out and about in the sun with, why not give us a call to see how we can help you. Give us a ring on 0800 121 66 22 to speak with one of our friendly advisors today.

The post Driving in hot weather this summer appeared first on Automotive Group.

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The Easter holidays are upon us and as some of us like to get away for a bit over the break, we’ve compiled a list of accessible UK attractions for you to head out and enjoy on a short break, day trip or even a longer holiday.

Wherever in the UK that you might want to travel to, we’ve got some accessible ideas for you!

Please note: This is a long blog post; if you know where you’re heading and just want to read about some attractions near your chosen destination, click the relevant link below to skip to the section about that location:

London: Our nation’s capital is packed full of attractions and things to do, catering to UK residents as well as international tourists. Accessible features are now commonplace, with many attractions offering wheelchair solutions and step-free access for less able visitors.

Here are some great options for accessible attractions to visit if you’re heading to see the sights of London:

ZSL London Zoo –

A staple attraction within London’s Regent’s Park for the past 200 years, ZSL London is a historically significant zoo with many exotic animals and interactive enclosures to educate and engage visitors.

Wheelchair access is available throughout much of the zoo and there are specific wheelchair-friendly areas including Tiger Territory, Land of the Lions and The Aquarium, which offer lifts to viewing platforms.  With a wheelchair-friendly entrance located next to the main entrance and a disabled bay in front of the entrance to the zoo, accessibility is fairly simple.

Disabled users can also park on the main road in front of the zoo for up to four hours, and there is disabled parking in the main car park if you’re looking to park for longer. Wheelchair-accessible toilets can also be found at various locations around the zoo.

Discover over 750 animal species at this fun-filled London attraction. Find out more.

Kew Gardens –

Explore London’s World Heritage Site botanic garden at Kew Gardens. You’ll be able to experience the beauty of the open green spaces, as well as the exotic glasshouses, water lily ponds and flower displays. With art exhibitions taking place throughout the year in between the blooms, there is often much more to discover at Kew.

Wheelchair users can discover the sights with ease as the gardens are flat and the buildings and all cafes are wheelchair-accessible. The Treetop Walkway is easily reached via a lift, and there’s a Kew Explorer land train which can fit a manual wheelchair so you can travel from one side of the garden to the other in ease. Blue Badge Holders can also park in the Kew Gardens car park free of charge.

Find out what’s happening at and all information about accessibility at Kew Gardens.

Science Museum –

This museum houses a world-class collection and record of scientific, technological and medical advancement from across the world and is one of the top things to do on a visit to London. Discover science through the ages and how different places around the world approach scientific discovery.

For disabled users, there are a number of features that the museum has implemented to aid in inclusivity. There are a small number of disabled parking spaces outside the museum on Exhibition Road. Disabled visitors can park in these spaces with their Blue Badge for four hours between 08.30 and 18.30. All lifts across the museum are wheelchair accessible, meaning that disabled users can explore the museum easily, and there are wheelchair-accessible toilets are available across all levels of the museum. There are a host of exhibitions and events designed to aid deaf and hard of hearing visitors, blind and partially sighted visitors and those with special needs.

Explore some of the major scientific advances of the last 300 years. Read more.

South East: Named the UK’s sunniest region, South East England has plenty of attractions and even scenic drives to keep you entertained on a holiday or day trip. Stretching from Kent through Sussex and Hampshire and continuing through Surrey, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, the South East is vast. Here are some top wheelchair-friendly things to see or do in the South East of England:

Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire–

One for the history enthusiasts, Bletchley Park is the home of British codebreaking. Having played a major role in the Second World War producing secret intelligence which had a direct and profound influence on the outcome of the conflict, today, Bletchley Park is a museum. The attraction brings together the dramatic history of the twentieth century with the challenges we face with our rapidly-changing and technologically-complex society.

The museum welcomes all people with disabilities and aims to create a welcoming and accessible experience for all visitors. The museum entrance has step-free access and all the exhibitions are positioned at ground floor apart from Block B, which has a wheelchair lift. Ramps are also installed throughout the site for easy access. They offer British Sign Language interpreted guided tours throughout the year which are available to book online. There are also a number of allocated parking spaces for disabled visitors within the Bletchley Park car park.

Find out more about their accessibility features, as well as the museum itself here.

Kent & East Sussex Scenic Drive –

This scenic route will take you through a route of changing landscapes and beautiful countryside. Starting from the ancient seaport of Hythe – which has a long, accessible promenade overlooking the English Channel – you should drive south towards Romney Marsh.

This vast expanse of drained marshland now plays host to sheep and the odd hamlet and makes for a truly atmospheric drive. Don’t be fooled by the so-named ‘coast road’ route; you can’t see the sea beyond the large sea wall alongside the road, instead head through the small interior roads via Lympne, Burmarsh and St Mary in the Marsh.

Head inland to Lydd, where you can stop off at the local RSPB nature reserve and admire birdlife from the wheelchair accessible hides. Then travel on to the pretty medieval town of Rye and explore the harbourside area where it’s quite level and there are accessible public toilets. Continuing on towards Wittersham, you will see the landscape change and the Kent orchards, vineyards and fields appear in front of you. Iden and Wittersham are two little villages with pretty churches to stop off on the way, and if you’re for somewhere with more bustle then head to Tenterden.  The journey will end at the village of Gouldhurst, which is positioned on top of a hill and offers a great view over the Kent Weald.

Please note: this scenic drive has been researched and abbreviated from The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain, for the full route, maps and further information, please visit: Accessible Britain via Rough Guides and look for South East England.

Royal Pavilion, Brighton–

Built as a pleasure palace for the Prince Regent (later King George IV), the Royal Pavilion is a distinctive landmark in Brighton & Hove with an exotic oriental appearance, both inside and out. This former Royal Palace has a fully-accessible ground floor however, the first floor can only be accessed via a staircase.

Audio guides are available with BSL and also or visitors with visual impairment and within the audio guide is a video tour of the first floor for visitors who are unable to use the stairs. Tactile tours can be booked for groups of visually impaired visitors and sign language interpreted groups tours are also available to book.

Accessible facilities are available on site, and the dedicated Royal Pavilion website answers all manner of accessibility-related question pertaining to the attractions features.

Find out more.

South West: The South West of England is made up of Devon, Cornwall, Wiltshire, Cotswolds, Dorset, Somerset, Bristol and the Isles of Scilly. A popular holiday destination, the south west not only has a beautiful coastal region and idyllic rolling countryside but it also contains a number of fantastic cities to visit whilst in the area.

Here are some accessible attractions to explore in South West England:

Roman Baths & Pump Room, Bath –

The Roman Baths sit at the centre of the City of Bath World Heritage Site and are made up of the remarkably preserved remains of one of the greatest religious spas of the ancient world. The Romans built a temple and bathing complex on the site of Britain’s only hot spring which still provides water to both the ancient baths, as well as the adjacent Thermae Bath Spa – the only natural thermal spa in Britain. You can witness where ancient Romans would bathe and worship almost 2,000 years ago. There’s also ruins to explore, costumed characters to talk to and interactive displays to understand the site in more detail.

This historic site is 90% accessible to wheelchair users and has invested heavily over the past few years to help provide access for all. As the Roman Baths are six metres below street level, there are steps throughout the site, so to access the whole site you would need to climb steps, which isn’t going to be possible for full-time wheelchair users. Saying this, the attraction has catered to wheelchair users as much as is possible. There are a number of accessible lifts so wheelchair users can access the 18th century Pump Room, the Sun Lounge and the Terrace.

Read more about all the information on accessibility and what to see and do at the Roman Baths, here.

The Eden Project, Cornwall –

This expansive garden housed in tropical biomes sits within a huge crater in the Cornwall countryside and offers visitors the chance to get up close to tropical rainforest and discover plants that normally are only found growing on the other side of the world. Explore the relationship between humans and plants as well as learn where tea, rubber, sugar and much, much more come from. With events and workshops taking place throughout the year it’s a good idea to check to see what’s on before you like to visit.

The Eden Project has a great stance on accessibility and provides a host of services and facilities to help promote inclusivity and access for all. There are recommended routes that outline the gradient of the land so that you can make an informed decision as to what route you’d like to take, as well as a Land Train to provide added assisted transport where required. There are sensory aspects to a visit to The Eden Project which aim to engage all your senses.

Find out more about The Eden Project and it’s accessible features, here.

South Devon Railway and Totnes Rare Breeds Farm, Devon –

Run by enthusiasts this attraction owes much of its popularity to the people behind the scenes. The passionate staff and volunteers help to make this attraction a worthwhile stop on any trip to Devon. Wheelchair users are encouraged to board the steam train and relax whilst the train chugs along on a thirty-minute journey around the valley of the river Dart.

Once you arrive at Totnes Riverside station, you can head to the family-run Rare Breeds Farm where children are free to feed, pet and learn about the many animals that live there. Visitors to the farm can also enter some of the enclosures as well. Animals living at the farm include owls, squirrels, guinea pigs, chickens, pigs, alpacas, donkeys and sheep. Access is of paramount importance to the family-run team at the Rare Breeds Farm and their website states they want access for all. The entire site is wheelchair friendly, the pens have wide entry gates and have been designed so the animals can be viewed from any level.

Learn more, here.

East Midlands and East Anglia: The East Midlands and East Anglia are two very distinct regions but are fairly close to each other in terms of travel time. The East Midlands includes Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Rutland and Nottinghamshire. East Anglia is made up of Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. There’s so much to see and do in both areas so we’ve had to just narrow it down to three accessible attractions, but if you want to know about more things to see and do in these areas, check out The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain.

IWM Duxford, Cambridgeshire –

Imperial War Museum Duxford is a historic airfield and Britain’s largest aviation museum. A base for the largest pieces of the IWM collection, exhibits include almost 200 aircraft, military vehicles, and artillery as well as minor naval vessels. The museum also hosts a number of air shows, events and workshops throughout the year for aircraft and history enthusiasts.

Access for all is important to IWM Duxford. The site is approximately one mile long and so there is a free on-site mobility assistance vehicle available for visitors who require assistance around the site, but as IWM Duxford is a former airfield the ground is mainly concrete and even, making for a fairly smooth surface. Most of the site is on ground level but where there are multiple levels to the buildings there are accessible lifts for disabled visitors to use. The one place to look out for is the American Air Museum as, at the entrance to the museum there is a steep incline but the assistance vehicle can help with this, or alternatively you can gain access from the ground-level airfield side of the building. The upper level within the building, where a café is located, is accessed via a steep ramp so bear this in mind if you’d like to access the upper levels.

There are also aircraft that can only be viewed inside via steps however, Concorde in the AirSpace area of the museum has a film showing its interior based by its left wheel. If you’re travelling to IWM Duxford for an air show it may be harder to get around and the assistance vehicle does not operate as attendance is very high. However, there is a wheelchair-user viewing enclosure at air show events with courtesy seating for assisting companion, so you can enjoy the aircraft in a dedicated and non-crowded setting.

Discover more about IWM Duxford, here.

National Space Centre, Leicester –

The National Space Centre is a museum and educational resource covering space science and astronomy. With the UK’s largest planetarium and a huge 42m high Rocket Tower, the National Space Centre is a great day out for anyone with an interest in space and science – and the building is impressive too!

With a flat entrance, disabled bays and ramps to allow for easy access, the National Space Centre is committed to inclusivity. Based across four floors, wheelchair users have access across the entire site through two fully-glazed lifts and there are various features to accommodate specific needs. Displays are spacious and easy to access, though there are some interactive features that might be out of reach to wheelchair users.

Learn more information through their website here.

Norfolk Coastal Path, Norfolk–

The 45-mile-long Norfolk Coast Path runs from Hunstanton to Cromer but there is a one-mile stretch between Wells-next-the-Sea harbour to its beach and coastline which makes for an accessible path with a lot to see. Park near to the harbour – the most accessible car park being Stermans Yard on Freeman Street – and head towards the harbourmaster’s office on Beach Road.

Wheelchair users can enjoy the views of the harbour, saltmarsh and sandbar as well as the sea itself. There’s plenty of rest stops with room for wheelchairs and also places to grab a bite to eat on the way. There’s also a RADAR key-accessible toilet at the start of the path near the harbourmaster’s office, and an additional accessible toilet at the beach car park.

Find out more via the Rough Guide to Accessible Britain, here.

West Midlands & West Coventry: The second-most-populous region in England outside of London, the West Midlands contains large cities including bustling Birmingham, cultural Coventry and sporting Wolverhampton.

We’ve put together a list of just some of the accessible attractions in the region for you to visit:

Chatsworth House, Derbyshire–

The beautiful stately home Chatsworth House dates back to the seventeenth century and showcases a vast amount of British history within its grand walls. Within the house there are over 30 rooms to explore including the Painted Hall, regal State Rooms and the Sculpture Gallery. Outside there is more to explore including a grotto, artificial waterfall, nursery and assorted greenhouse as well as a farmyard to aid in sensory engagement. The house is accessible to all wheelchair users, with a lift inside the house so disabled visitors can experience everything there is to see and do. The garden and outside grounds are also accessible to visitors with wheelchairs however, there are some steeper slopes to consider and it’s important to note that the playground has a bark surface.

There are also buggy tours of the garden which are available on a first-come, first served basis. These can be caught from outside the Orangery shop and carry a small additional charge. Chatsworth House is currently holding an exhibiting about man’s best friend, and is encouraging visitors to bring their dogs along on their visit.

Find out more about accessibility, as well as what’s on at Chatsworth, here.

West Midland Safari and Leisure Park, Worcestershire –

The West Midland Safari and Leisure Park has been open since 1973 and houses some of the world’s most beautiful and endangered exotic animal species. Get up close to giraffe, zebra, rhino, deer, tigers, cheetah, elephants and buffalo at this exciting attraction.

The fact that this is a safari park means that wheelchair users can see the animals from the comfort of their wheelchair friendly vehicle, making for a simple visit. When it comes time to the Leisure Park, the natural contours of the land mean that some areas have differing gradients but these have been minimised as much as possible for wheelchair users and the enclosures are all accessible with tarmac and hard surface walkways. There is lots of disabled parking on site, queue assistance if required and a host of wheelchair-accessible toilets all over the site. Please bare in mind that not all of the 30 rides on site are accessible for wheelchair users, but if you can transfer from your wheelchair, the Venom Tower Drop and the Jumbo Parade family ride are manageable.

Learn about what to see and do, as well as accessibility at the attraction, here.

Hereford Cathedral and the Mappa Mundi, Hereford –

This stunning Norman cathedral is definitely worth visiting if you’re near Hereford. There’s much to see inside the cathedral including some beautiful stained-glass windows (with one recently installed window in tribute to the SAS) and the shrine of St Ethelber, to whom the cathedral is dedicated. What really makes this an amazing place to visit though are two unique features housed within the cathedral, the Mappa Mundi and the Chained Library.

Made from a single calfskin, the Mappa Mundi is the largest surviving medieval map of the world and dates from around 1300. It sees Jerusalem at the centre of the world and is decorated with animals, historical and biblical events as well as..

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The Easter holidays are upon us and as some of us like to get away for a bit over the break, we’ve compiled a list of accessible UK attractions for you to head out and enjoy on a short break, day trip or even a longer holiday.

Wherever in the UK that you might want to travel to, we’ve got some accessible ideas for you!

Please note: This is a long blog post; if you know where you’re heading and just want to read about some attractions near your chosen destination, click the relevant link below to skip to the section about that location:

London: Our nation’s capital is packed full of attractions and things to do, catering to UK residents as well as international tourists. Accessible features are now commonplace, with many attractions offering wheelchair solutions and step-free access for less able visitors.

Here are some great options for accessible attractions to visit if you’re heading to see the sights of London:

ZSL London Zoo –

A staple attraction within London’s Regent’s Park for the past 200 years, ZSL London is a historically significant zoo with many exotic animals and interactive enclosures to educate and engage visitors.

Wheelchair access is available throughout much of the zoo and there are specific wheelchair-friendly areas including Tiger Territory, Land of the Lions and The Aquarium, which offer lifts to viewing platforms.  With a wheelchair-friendly entrance located next to the main entrance and a disabled bay in front of the entrance to the zoo, accessibility is fairly simple.

Disabled users can also park on the main road in front of the zoo for up to four hours, and there is disabled parking in the main car park if you’re looking to park for longer. Wheelchair-accessible toilets can also be found at various locations around the zoo.

Discover over 750 animal species at this fun-filled London attraction. Find out more.

Kew Gardens –

Explore London’s World Heritage Site botanic garden at Kew Gardens. You’ll be able to experience the beauty of the open green spaces, as well as the exotic glasshouses, water lily ponds and flower displays. With art exhibitions taking place throughout the year in between the blooms, there is often much more to discover at Kew.

Wheelchair users can discover the sights with ease as the gardens are flat and the buildings and all cafes are wheelchair-accessible. The Treetop Walkway is easily reached via a lift, and there’s a Kew Explorer land train which can fit a manual wheelchair so you can travel from one side of the garden to the other in ease. Blue Badge Holders can also park in the Kew Gardens car park free of charge.

Find out what’s happening at and all information about accessibility at Kew Gardens.

Science Museum –

This museum houses a world-class collection and record of scientific, technological and medical advancement from across the world and is one of the top things to do on a visit to London. Discover science through the ages and how different places around the world approach scientific discovery.

For disabled users, there are a number of features that the museum has implemented to aid in inclusivity. There are a small number of disabled parking spaces outside the museum on Exhibition Road. Disabled visitors can park in these spaces with their Blue Badge for four hours between 08.30 and 18.30. All lifts across the museum are wheelchair accessible, meaning that disabled users can explore the museum easily, and there are wheelchair-accessible toilets are available across all levels of the museum. There are a host of exhibitions and events designed to aid deaf and hard of hearing visitors, blind and partially sighted visitors and those with special needs.

Explore some of the major scientific advances of the last 300 years. Read more.

South East: Named the UK’s sunniest region, South East England has plenty of attractions and even scenic drives to keep you entertained on a holiday or day trip. Stretching from Kent through Sussex and Hampshire and continuing through Surrey, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, the South East is vast. Here are some top wheelchair-friendly things to see or do in the South East of England:

Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire–

One for the history enthusiasts, Bletchley Park is the home of British codebreaking. Having played a major role in the Second World War producing secret intelligence which had a direct and profound influence on the outcome of the conflict, today, Bletchley Park is a museum. The attraction brings together the dramatic history of the twentieth century with the challenges we face with our rapidly-changing and technologically-complex society.

The museum welcomes all people with disabilities and aims to create a welcoming and accessible experience for all visitors. The museum entrance has step-free access and all the exhibitions are positioned at ground floor apart from Block B, which has a wheelchair lift. Ramps are also installed throughout the site for easy access. They offer British Sign Language interpreted guided tours throughout the year which are available to book online. There are also a number of allocated parking spaces for disabled visitors within the Bletchley Park car park.

Find out more about their accessibility features, as well as the museum itself here.

Kent & East Sussex Scenic Drive –

This scenic route will take you through a route of changing landscapes and beautiful countryside. Starting from the ancient seaport of Hythe – which has a long, accessible promenade overlooking the English Channel – you should drive south towards Romney Marsh.

This vast expanse of drained marshland now plays host to sheep and the odd hamlet and makes for a truly atmospheric drive. Don’t be fooled by the so-named ‘coast road’ route; you can’t see the sea beyond the large sea wall alongside the road, instead head through the small interior roads via Lympne, Burmarsh and St Mary in the Marsh.

Head inland to Lydd, where you can stop off at the local RSPB nature reserve and admire birdlife from the wheelchair accessible hides. Then travel on to the pretty medieval town of Rye and explore the harbourside area where it’s quite level and there are accessible public toilets. Continuing on towards Wittersham, you will see the landscape change and the Kent orchards, vineyards and fields appear in front of you. Iden and Wittersham are two little villages with pretty churches to stop off on the way, and if you’re for somewhere with more bustle then head to Tenterden.  The journey will end at the village of Gouldhurst, which is positioned on top of a hill and offers a great view over the Kent Weald.

Please note: this scenic drive has been researched and abbreviated from The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain, for the full route, maps and further information, please visit: Accessible Britain via Rough Guides and look for South East England.

Royal Pavilion, Brighton–

Built as a pleasure palace for the Prince Regent (later King George IV), the Royal Pavilion is a distinctive landmark in Brighton & Hove with an exotic oriental appearance, both inside and out. This former Royal Palace has a fully-accessible ground floor however, the first floor can only be accessed via a staircase.

Audio guides are available with BSL and also or visitors with visual impairment and within the audio guide is a video tour of the first floor for visitors who are unable to use the stairs. Tactile tours can be booked for groups of visually impaired visitors and sign language interpreted groups tours are also available to book.

Accessible facilities are available on site, and the dedicated Royal Pavilion website answers all manner of accessibility-related question pertaining to the attractions features.

Find out more.

South West: The South West of England is made up of Devon, Cornwall, Wiltshire, Cotswolds, Dorset, Somerset, Bristol and the Isles of Scilly. A popular holiday destination, the south west not only has a beautiful coastal region and idyllic rolling countryside but it also contains a number of fantastic cities to visit whilst in the area.

Here are some accessible attractions to explore in South West England:

Roman Baths & Pump Room, Bath –

The Roman Baths sit at the centre of the City of Bath World Heritage Site and are made up of the remarkably preserved remains of one of the greatest religious spas of the ancient world. The Romans built a temple and bathing complex on the site of Britain’s only hot spring which still provides water to both the ancient baths, as well as the adjacent Thermae Bath Spa – the only natural thermal spa in Britain. You can witness where ancient Romans would bathe and worship almost 2,000 years ago. There’s also ruins to explore, costumed characters to talk to and interactive displays to understand the site in more detail.

This historic site is 90% accessible to wheelchair users and has invested heavily over the past few years to help provide access for all. As the Roman Baths are six metres below street level, there are steps throughout the site, so to access the whole site you would need to climb steps, which isn’t going to be possible for full-time wheelchair users. Saying this, the attraction has catered to wheelchair users as much as is possible. There are a number of accessible lifts so wheelchair users can access the 18th century Pump Room, the Sun Lounge and the Terrace.

Read more about all the information on accessibility and what to see and do at the Roman Baths, here.

The Eden Project, Cornwall –

This expansive garden housed in tropical biomes sits within a huge crater in the Cornwall countryside and offers visitors the chance to get up close to tropical rainforest and discover plants that normally are only found growing on the other side of the world. Explore the relationship between humans and plants as well as learn where tea, rubber, sugar and much, much more come from. With events and workshops taking place throughout the year it’s a good idea to check to see what’s on before you like to visit.

The Eden Project has a great stance on accessibility and provides a host of services and facilities to help promote inclusivity and access for all. There are recommended routes that outline the gradient of the land so that you can make an informed decision as to what route you’d like to take, as well as a Land Train to provide added assisted transport where required. There are sensory aspects to a visit to The Eden Project which aim to engage all your senses.

Find out more about The Eden Project and it’s accessible features, here.

South Devon Railway and Totnes Rare Breeds Farm, Devon –

Run by enthusiasts this attraction owes much of its popularity to the people behind the scenes. The passionate staff and volunteers help to make this attraction a worthwhile stop on any trip to Devon. Wheelchair users are encouraged to board the steam train and relax whilst the train chugs along on a thirty-minute journey around the valley of the river Dart.

Once you arrive at Totnes Riverside station, you can head to the family-run Rare Breeds Farm where children are free to feed, pet and learn about the many animals that live there. Visitors to the farm can also enter some of the enclosures as well. Animals living at the farm include owls, squirrels, guinea pigs, chickens, pigs, alpacas, donkeys and sheep. Access is of paramount importance to the family-run team at the Rare Breeds Farm and their website states they want access for all. The entire site is wheelchair friendly, the pens have wide entry gates and have been designed so the animals can be viewed from any level.

Learn more, here.

East Midlands and East Anglia: The East Midlands and East Anglia are two very distinct regions but are fairly close to each other in terms of travel time. The East Midlands includes Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Rutland and Nottinghamshire. East Anglia is made up of Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. There’s so much to see and do in both areas so we’ve had to just narrow it down to three accessible attractions, but if you want to know about more things to see and do in these areas, check out The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain.

IWM Duxford, Cambridgeshire –

Imperial War Museum Duxford is a historic airfield and Britain’s largest aviation museum. A base for the largest pieces of the IWM collection, exhibits include almost 200 aircraft, military vehicles, and artillery as well as minor naval vessels. The museum also hosts a number of air shows, events and workshops throughout the year for aircraft and history enthusiasts.

Access for all is important to IWM Duxford. The site is approximately one mile long and so there is a free on-site mobility assistance vehicle available for visitors who require assistance around the site, but as IWM Duxford is a former airfield the ground is mainly concrete and even, making for a fairly smooth surface. Most of the site is on ground level but where there are multiple levels to the buildings there are accessible lifts for disabled visitors to use. The one place to look out for is the American Air Museum as, at the entrance to the museum there is a steep incline but the assistance vehicle can help with this, or alternatively you can gain access from the ground-level airfield side of the building. The upper level within the building, where a café is located, is accessed via a steep ramp so bear this in mind if you’d like to access the upper levels.

There are also aircraft that can only be viewed inside via steps however, Concorde in the AirSpace area of the museum has a film showing its interior based by its left wheel. If you’re travelling to IWM Duxford for an air show it may be harder to get around and the assistance vehicle does not operate as attendance is very high. However, there is a wheelchair-user viewing enclosure at air show events with courtesy seating for assisting companion, so you can enjoy the aircraft in a dedicated and non-crowded setting.

Discover more about IWM Duxford, here.

National Space Centre, Leicester –

The National Space Centre is a museum and educational resource covering space science and astronomy. With the UK’s largest planetarium and a huge 42m high Rocket Tower, the National Space Centre is a great day out for anyone with an interest in space and science – and the building is impressive too!

With a flat entrance, disabled bays and ramps to allow for easy access, the National Space Centre is committed to inclusivity. Based across four floors, wheelchair users have access across the entire site through two fully-glazed lifts and there are various features to accommodate specific needs. Displays are spacious and easy to access, though there are some interactive features that might be out of reach to wheelchair users.

Learn more information through their website here.

Norfolk Coastal Path, Norfolk–

The 45-mile-long Norfolk Coast Path runs from Hunstanton to Cromer but there is a one-mile stretch between Wells-next-the-Sea harbour to its beach and coastline which makes for an accessible path with a lot to see. Park near to the harbour – the most accessible car park being Stermans Yard on Freeman Street – and head towards the harbourmaster’s office on Beach Road.

Wheelchair users can enjoy the views of the harbour, saltmarsh and sandbar as well as the sea itself. There’s plenty of rest stops with room for wheelchairs and also places to grab a bite to eat on the way. There’s also a RADAR key-accessible toilet at the start of the path near the harbourmaster’s office, and an additional accessible toilet at the beach car park.

Find out more via the Rough Guide to Accessible Britain, here.

West Midlands & West Coventry: The second-most-populous region in England outside of London, the West Midlands contains large cities including bustling Birmingham, cultural Coventry and sporting Wolverhampton.

We’ve put together a list of just some of the accessible attractions in the region for you to visit:

Chatsworth House, Derbyshire–

The beautiful stately home Chatsworth House dates back to the seventeenth century and showcases a vast amount of British history within its grand walls. Within the house there are over 30 rooms to explore including the Painted Hall, regal State Rooms and the Sculpture Gallery. Outside there is more to explore including a grotto, artificial waterfall, nursery and assorted greenhouse as well as a farmyard to aid in sensory engagement. The house is accessible to all wheelchair users, with a lift inside the house so disabled visitors can experience everything there is to see and do. The garden and outside grounds are also accessible to visitors with wheelchairs however, there are some steeper slopes to consider and it’s important to note that the playground has a bark surface.

There are also buggy tours of the garden which are available on a first-come, first served basis. These can be caught from outside the Orangery shop and carry a small additional charge. Chatsworth House is currently holding an exhibiting about man’s best friend, and is encouraging visitors to bring their dogs along on their visit.

Find out more about accessibility, as well as what’s on at Chatsworth, here.

West Midland Safari and Leisure Park, Worcestershire –

The West Midland Safari and Leisure Park has been open since 1973 and houses some of the world’s most beautiful and endangered exotic animal species. Get up close to giraffe, zebra, rhino, deer, tigers, cheetah, elephants and buffalo at this exciting attraction.

The fact that this is a safari park means that wheelchair users can see the animals from the comfort of their wheelchair friendly vehicle, making for a simple visit. When it comes time to the Leisure Park, the natural contours of the land mean that some areas have differing gradients but these have been minimised as much as possible for wheelchair users and the enclosures are all accessible with tarmac and hard surface walkways. There is lots of disabled parking on site, queue assistance if required and a host of wheelchair-accessible toilets all over the site. Please bare in mind that not all of the 30 rides on site are accessible for wheelchair users, but if you can transfer from your wheelchair, the Venom Tower Drop and the Jumbo Parade family ride are manageable.

Learn about what to see and do, as well as accessibility at the attraction, here.

Hereford Cathedral and the Mappa Mundi, Hereford –

This stunning Norman cathedral is definitely worth visiting if you’re near Hereford. There’s much to see inside the cathedral including some beautiful stained-glass windows (with one recently installed window in tribute to the SAS) and the shrine of St Ethelber, to whom the cathedral is dedicated. What really makes this an amazing place to visit though are two unique features housed within the cathedral, the Mappa Mundi and the Chained Library.

Made from a single calfskin, the Mappa Mundi is the largest surviving medieval map of the world and dates from around 1300. It sees Jerusalem at the centre of the world and is decorated with animals, historical and biblical events as well as plants and..

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On the 8 April 2019, central London will see the ULEZ replace the current T-charge and will mean that all vehicles will need to meet exhaust emission standards (ULEZ standards) or pay a daily charge to travel in the current Congestion Charging Zone. The ULEZ area will expand from 25 October 2021, out to the inner London area bounded by the North and South Circular roads.

The ULEZ has been brought into effect to help improve air quality in central London to combat the toxic air that city-dwellers, including children, are breathing every day. The government is looking to implement measures to promote less driving and more use of public transport, as well as work on encouraging sustainable freight deliveries, cleaner taxis and private hire vehicles, as well as a low-pollution bus fleet.

Diesel engines are one of the major reasons for the high volumes of air pollution in London, and under ULEZ standards, if your vehicle doesn’t comply with the emissions standards, you’ll be required to pay the ULEZ charge of £12.50 per day to drive in the zone.

To check if your vehicle complies with the ULEZ, please click this link.

Does this affect disabled motorists and WAV vehicle users?

Keepers of vehicles registered with a ‘disabled’ or ‘disabled passenger vehicles’ tax class, such as a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) will be exempt from the ULEZ charge until 26 October 2025 as long as the vehicle doesn’t change tax class. Read more about eligibility for disabled exemption, here.

Blue Badge holders will need to pay the ULEZ charge unless their vehicle meets the standards, or is registered as a ‘disabled’ or ‘disabled passenger vehicle’ tax class.

Motability Scheme vehicles are unlikely to be affected by the ULEZ as most of the scheme vehicles are brand new vehicles leased for three years, so, therefore, they are compliant and it is unlikely that many Motability customers would have to worry about this new charge.

The best way to ensure you’re completely aware of your particular vehicle and ULEZ is to check through the TFL website, ask us when enquiring about a vehicle, or asking Motability when applying for your scheme.

The post What is the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) and will it affect disabled motorists and WAV vehicle users? appeared first on Automotive Group.

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As the UK is being battered by its third storm of 2019 it’s becoming ever-more important to prepare for the potential weather when travelling, whether that be in a Wheelchair Accessible vehicle or a standard vehicle. We’ve put together a list of things you should have to hand in your car so you’re prepared for what the wind might through at you, and things you should consider when you have to drive in less-than-great conditions.

Tips to help your driving in windy weather – if you have to:

Storm Gareth has been whipping up a windy gale across the UK this week, and it’s not entirely pleasant, whether in or out of your vehicle. If you absolutely have to travel in windy weather, then take our advice with these few tips:

  1. The RAC recommends packing provisions in case of disruption or breakdowns from severe windy conditions. Pack food and water and a charged mobile phone in case you need to call for help, or just to relay the news of delays.
  2. In case of breakdowns during windy weather, or in fact at all, as well as your pack of provisions we suggest you have these items in the vehicle at all times:

– A first aid kit full of all standard medical items, as well as any specific items or essential medications you or your passengers may require if you were to have an accident or breakdown on the road

                – A torch (in case you breakdown at night)

                – A map

                – Jump leads

                – Warm clothes and a blanket

  1. Potentially hazardous roadways and bridges tend to be shut off when it’s extremely windy, so keep your eye on your route and listen out for travel reports, but also avoid crossing high exposed bridges if you can. Also, be more cautious when driving down covered country lanes as there may be fallen branches. Keep an eye on the road and if you notice small branches in the road there could be larger trees or branches just around the corner.
  2. Take it slow. Drive a bit slower than usual and give more room and more distance between you and those vehicles around you, especially those towing caravans, larger loads, or with top boxes.
  3. When you reach where you’re going, make sure to try and park your car in a place that won’t be impacted by severe winds. So, not under trees, telephone lines or large signs that could be blown over in extreme conditions.

Also, it may sound obvious but it’s important to hold your steering wheel with both hands, firmly, especially when overtaking or driving along roads that might leave you exposed to strong winds hitting the vehicle from the side.

Hopefully, these tips will help next time you’re taking on the wind on your next journey. Stay warm and safe on the roads to weather the storms, the winter isn’t over yet. To find out how we ensure our Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles are up to European Safety Standards and see our range of adapted vehicles, please click here.

The post Weathering the windy road ahead appeared first on Automotive Group.

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Automotive Group by Adivun - 4M ago

Baby furniture
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The post House bed appeared first on Automotive Group.

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