12th November is Purple Tuesday, a day focusing on changing the customer experience for disabled people. Bath as a destination is home to a number of accessible attractions and accommodation options – here are a few of them…
Three Abbey Green
Occupying a Georgian townhouse on one side of the charming Abbey Green, just metres from Bath Abbey, Three Abbey Green is a guesthouse run with accessibility in mind, having won an award from VisitBritain for their efforts to make their hotel more helpful for older and less mobile guests.
They have two ground floor bedrooms with accessible bathrooms, one with original oak panelling and a historic fireplace, and another, a family room ideal for three guests, with a luxurious sofa and elegant leather club chair. Both have discreet touches allowing for enhanced mobility without compromising on style. The guesthouse also have two family suites each with an additional single room within the layout, giving privacy to those who need a carer.
Apex City of Bath Hotel
Still retaining its shine from its introduction onto the Bath hotel scene in 2017, the Apex, located in the city centre opposite Green Park Station, is more than suitable for guests with disabilities. With nine accessible bedrooms, the lifts, wide corridors and open and airy layout are certainly accessibility friendly.
Bailbrook House Hotel
Venture a little further out of the city centre to Bailbrook House Hotel, a magnificent mansion house situated on the eastern edge of Bath. Their two accessible rooms have walk-in showers, with furniture able to easily be rearranged on request. There’s a sense that accessibility needs have really been thought through, with a dedicated and comprehensive section of the hotel’s website listing their range of facilities and features catering for people of all abilities.
SACO Bath Aparthotel – St James’s Parade
For the freedom to come and go as you please, a self-catered apartment may be a good option. SACO Bath offer a range of self-serviced accommodation in the city, and within their aparthotel on St James’s Parade is a one-bedroom fully accessible flat.
Deemed suitable for people with sufficient mobility to climb a flight of steps but who would benefit from fixtures and fittings to aid balance, the apartment has a spacious living area and luxury open-plan kitchen, and you’ll be welcomed by a complimentary breakfast pack when you arrive. The bathroom has grab rail bars to assist standing and lifting, plus a toilet seat riser, alongside indulgent L’Occitane products.
Church Farm Country Cottages
For a relaxing countryside retreat in Bradford-on-Avon, just seven miles from Bath, book to stay with Church Farm. All seven of their beautiful cottages are single-storey ground floor houses with no steps. Take their Lime Kiln Cottage – with a VisitEngland M2 award for accessibility, it is wheelchair accessible with wide doorways, a level-entry shower in the bathroom and a navigable – and comfortable – double bedroom.
American Museum & Gardens
The American Museum & Gardens offers a fascinating look at the history of America, from its early settlers to the twentieth century. Located close to the University of Bath’s campus on Claverton Down, all the museum’s buildings are fully accessible via ramps, with a lift fitted in the main house.
To adapt their New American Garden, redesigned in 2018, the museum teamed up with Countryside Mobility, a South West not-for-profit vehicle hire scheme, to provide a Tramper, bookable in advance.
No.1 Royal Crescent
Go back in time to the eighteenth century to explore No.1 Royal Crescent, a fully restored Georgian townhouse decorated and furnished as it would have been for the wealthy and their servants.
Both floors of the museum, the main house and the domestic wing (both renovated in 2013) are accessible via a lift, and there are two different routes to explore the museum; one being step-free and accompanied by an iPad-enabled Virtual Tour. More information about No.1 Royal Crescent’s accessibility can be found here, when Bath-based Paralympian Ben Rushgrove visited in 2014.
The Roman Baths
Don’t feel you have to miss out on one of Bath’s most iconic attractions if you have accessibility needs. Whilst there are a number of steps throughout the site, and to access it in its entirety you will still need to climb some steps, the Roman Baths is 90% accessible to wheelchair users. There are three enclosed lifts and one platform lift, plus handrails in many places.
Visitors with visual or hearing impairments can also enjoy the site using the British Sign Language or fully descriptive audio tour and tactile models.
Liberty Car Tours
For help getting around in the city, or if you’d like to explore further afield, Liberty Car Tours offer full tours of Bath and the surrounding area. Friendly driver-guide Mike will be happy to help, with his spacious car able to fit a collapsible mobility scooter or wheelchair into the boot.
Visitor Information Centre
Make sure you pop into the Visitor Information Centre to pick up maps and leaflets, browse the souvenirs and gifts and have your questions answered by the friendly and knowledgeable staff.
Located in Bridgwater House on Terrace Walk, there is a ramp enabling access up the two steps through the door, and inside is step-free and level, with good lighting throughout, a seat, and low display units accessible from a seated position. Staff can provide information about local services such as Shopmobility and RADAR toilets.