5 Accessible Days out in Suffolk for the Elderly

5 Accessible Days out in Suffolk for the Elderly

The county of Suffolk is one of extreme natural beauty and rich heritage, with historic abbeys, rolling countryside and vibrant coastline. Many attractions throughout Suffolk have made special efforts so that they may be enjoyed all – here we list our top 5 accessible days out that can include the whole family.

For a list of National Trust properties and more cultural activities visit Cultural Delights for the Elderly in Suffolk.

Africa Alive! Zoo

Landguard Fort

Flatford and Bridge Cottage

West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village and Country Park

Easy-Going / Access Trails

Africa Alive! – Lowestoft

Africa Alive Logo - Accessible Days out in Suffolk

Set across 100 acres of Suffolk countryside, Africa Alive! (formerly Suffolk Wildlife Park), has done its utmost to allow for everyone to experience as much of their park as possible. Some of the animals in the park include rhinos, giraffes, lions, cheetahs, and reptiles.

Most of the park is accessible by wheelchair on either tarmac or crushed and rolled stone, and the viewing areas are designed with wheelchair users in mind. The lower end of the zoo is set, by its nature, in marshland and assistance is advised throughout this area for those using wheelchairs. Unfortunately, the Safari Roadtrain is not adapted to carry a wheelchair, although staff will assist visitors where possible to board and disembark the train.

Parking

Free disabled parking is available to those with a disabled parking permit.

Guide Dogs

Assistance dogs are unable to access the zoo. There is a secure environment for assistance dogs to be left in an office environment for the duration of the visit. Confirm in advance on 01502 740291.

Wheelchair and mobility scooter hire

There is a free wheelchair loan scheme (after providing bank card details) and £10 per day mobility scooter hire facility available on a first come, first served basis.

Visual and Hearing Aids

A portable hearing loop is available, as is an A3 photocopy of literature on request (or call 01502 740291 ahead of your visit)

Prices

All prices include a recommended donation. Adult prices are £14.95, Seniors are £12.95, and registered disabled adults/ carers are £7.45.

Opening Times

Open daily from 9:30am. Closing times differ throughout the year.

Telephone: 01502 740291
Africa Alive! Website

Landguard Fort, Felixstowe

Felixstowe Port, next to Landguard Fort - accessible days out in Suffolk

The current version of the fort was built in 1744, and stands on the Landguard Peninsula overlooking the Orwell and Stour rivers. However, there have been earlier fortifications watching this important trade route inland stretching back to the times of Henry VIII in 1543. Futhermore, the port has been at the centre of a few battles in the years since. The Felixstowe Museum is also in close proximity as are views of the famous Felixstowe Port.

Over 75% of the audio tour points are located on the ground floor which is fully wheelchair accessible and, although there is no lift to the first floor, staff are on hand to accommodate your family’s mobility needs as much as possible. They also show two excellent historical educational films on the ground floor. They have accessible toilets on site and other accessible provisions.

Parking

There are two designated disabled parking spaces just 10 metres from the entrance and disabled visitors can be dropped off even closer if needed.

Guide Dogs

Landguard Fort welcomes assistance dogs.

Wheelchair and mobility scooter hire

There is no facility for wheelchair or mobility scooter hire.

Prices

Adult entry costs £5.50, whilst concessions cost £4.50 (including a free audio tour).
Disabled visitors, their carers and English Heritage Members go free.

Opening Times

Opening times are season dependent but usually open from the end of March – November (10am – 5pm).

Telephone: 01394 675900
Landguard Fort Website

Flatford and Bridge Cottage

Flatford Bridge Cottage - Accessible days out Suffolk

The famous view that inspired Constable in the 1800s, Flatford Bridge Cottage and its surrounding area, dubbed Constable Country, has been beautifully preserved and exhibited by the National Trust. The cottage itself is accessible by small lightweight mobility vehicles and powered wheelchairs, in which you can see the preserved wooden-beam structural interior, and an exhibition telling the Constable Story.

There is also a Constable exhibition, adjacent to the disabled car park, a tea-room and gift shop. The National Trust have worked hard to maintain the original essence of the area, while also making it as accessible as possible – much of the routes are on level, tarmacked round and there is an accessible toilet near the Constable Exhibition. Flatford is considered to be one of the best accessible days out in Suffolk.

Parking

There are 5 designated disabled access spaces in the car park next to the Constable Exhibition on a tarmacked surface – a short distance from the Bridge Cottage. The route from the main car park into the town is down some uneven steps, however, there is a transfer vehicle that can take visitors between the car park and Bridge Cottage.

Guide Dogs

Assistance dogs are welcome throughout the property.

Wheelchair and mobility scooter hire

There is one manual wheelchair and one Tramper scooter available for loan from the shop

Visual and Hearing Aids

Braille guides and hearing induction loop facilities are available.

Prices

This is a free attraction with a £5 parking charge for non-members (free for National Trust members).

Opening Times

Closed on most Mondays and Tuesdays in the Winter season (November-March) and open during the rest of the week 10:00-16:00. Open every day 10:00-17:00 for the remainder of the year.

Telephone: 01206298260
Visit the Website

West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village and Country Park

West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village - Suffolk Accessible Days Out

One of the great English archaeological sites, West Stow is home to a recreation of an early Anglo-Saxon village and is encompassed by acres of stunning countryside.

In addition to the reconstructed village, there is a museum, visitor’s centre and café, all of which are accessible via wheelchairs, although assistance is recommended for parts of the village as it is on uneven grassland.

Parking

The car park is a short distance from the visitors centre with its own accessible toilets. Parking for the day is £1 for Blue Badge Holders.

Guide Dogs

Assistance dogs are permitted throughout the attraction and Anglo-Saxon Village although they would like you to note that livestock is present.

Wheelchair and mobility scooter hire

There are no facilities for wheelchair or mobility scooter hire.

Visual and Hearing Aids

A large-print transcript of the introductory DVD and village map are available on request. Induction loops are installed in the visitor centre and café.

Prices

Prices start at £6 for adults and £4 for concession tickets (including disabled and over 60s).

Opening Times

Open daily from 10am-5pm (last entry 3:30pm in winter and 4pm in Summer).

Telephone: 01284 728718
West Stow Village Website

Easy Going/Access Trails

Suffolk Accessible Walking Trails

If it’s exploring the countryside you’re after, Discover Suffolk has a number of “Easy Going” and “Easy Access” Trails on their website. The trails span across the county are generally on level ground and can be as short as 0.3 miles long. The trails have been assessed by a team of disabled volunteers, who have highlighted “Easy Access Trails” which are suitable for all and written guides with relevant accessibility facilities labeled. “Easy Going Trails” are often on slightly rougher ground and a bit more challenging.

Each walk starts with a car park, most with accessible toilet facilities and many with cafés or tea rooms.

You can find everything you need to know about 18 easy to follow trails on their website, Discover Suffolk.

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