Category Archives: Adventure

Accessible and fun days out in London

By on 04 27, 2015 in ActivitiesAdventure

With Spring officially sprung, the sun shining (somewhere!) and the desire to perhaps venture outside….  you might be wondering where you can go for a fun day out. If you have a wheelchair user with you, or are a wheelchair yourself, use a guide dog or have restricted mobility, it is helpful to know in advance how accessible some of the tourist attractions are. Here are some ideas for accessible days out in London.

1. The London Eye, one of the most popular tourist attractions in London is fully wheelchair accessible. It is the tallest observation wheel in the world.

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2. Kew Royal Botanic Gardens are fully accessible and disabled toilets are located at the entrance. Guide dogs are allowed in every part of the gardens and if you need to hire a wheelchair it can be booked in advance.

3. At the London Zoo, many exhibits are displayed at a height which is suitable for people in wheelchairs and most of the zoo will be accessible. Disabled toilets are available. Admission is free for the companion traveller of wheelchair users, but those with guide dogs should know that guide dogs cannot be admitted.  You can make arrangements to have a guide dog looked after while a zoo volunteer guides you around the zoo. ZSL London Zoo seeks to provide equal opportunity for all to enjoy the animal exhibits and visitor facilities. The Zoo is more than 170 years old and contains many old buildings, 12 of which are listed. Nevertheless, most of the Zoo is accessible for wheelchair users and those with restricted mobility.

4. The Cabinet War Rooms, used as headquarters by Winston Churchill in World War II have 21 underground rooms and are a real must-see for any history buff. All rooms are wheelchair accessible, disabled toilets are available and guide dogs are permitted in the museum. There are also some visual and hearing impaired aids available.

5. The Gothic architecture and exquisite craftsmanship of Westminster Abbey should not be missed. Steeped in history with the weddings and funerals of famous Monarchs and the 1953 Coronation of Queen Elizabeth, the Abbey has excellent wheelchair access.  Guide dogs are allowed in all parts of the building and visual and hearing resources are also available. Kings, queens, statesmen and soldiers; poets, priests, heroes and villains – the Abbey is a must-see living pageant of British history. Despite being a protected Gothic building reasonable adjustments have been made throughout the Abbey for people that have extra mobility requirements, whilst a fixed hearing loop and touch tours are available for those with sensory impairments.

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6. At St. Paul’s Cathedral only one part is inaccessible to wheelchair users – the American Chapel. Disabled access is via an elevator and assistance is available should it be required. Guide dogs are welcome and touch and audio provisions are in place for the visual and hearing impaired. “Enter St Paul’s and enjoy the cathedral’s awe-inspiring interior. Take advantage of a new touch-screen multimedia guide or join a guided tour to explore this iconic building, both now included with the sightseeing admission charge.” You can’t fail to be captivated by the grandeur and triumphant architecture of St Paul’s Cathedral. With ramp access to the south entrance and hearing loops throughout it’s a haven of tranquility in the heart of the City.

7. If you want to see some famous but waxy faces at Madame Tussauds it is strongly recommended that you book in advance as the museum has strict health and safety rules and only three wheelchairs are permitted into the museum at one time. Priority admission will be given to wheelchair users who have pre-booked their visit. Entry is free for everyone who holds a valid disability registration card.

8. The world-famous British Museum exhibits the works of man from across the globe, dating from prehistoric to modern times. Highlights include the Rosetta Stone, the Parthenon sculptures and the mummies in the Ancient Egypt collection. Entry is free but special exhibitions require tickets. With free parking for blue badge holders, audio described exhibits and lifts throughout you can be sure of a great day out at the British Museum.

9. Buckingham Palace serves as both the office and London residence of Her Majesty The Queen. It is one of the few working royal palaces remaining in the world today.”Walk in the footsteps of our reigning Monarch with a visit to Buckingham Palace. With level access, lifts, hearing loops and free of charge wheelchairs, the palace is a “must see” in the Capital. Wheelchair users are requested to pre-book so the palace can make arrangements for you.

10. Hundreds of exciting, interactive exhibits in one of London’s most beautiful landmark buildings. Despite being over 130 years old, the Natural History Museum has a whole range of access facilities including lifts and ramps throughout most exhibits and all stuff receive disability awareness and equality training, all perfect for making your journey through the ages as hassle free as possible.

With thanks to, and to find out more, visit http://www.travelingwithmj.com/

Go on, set some goals.

By on 02 09, 2015 in Adventuregoals

It can be difficult to sit and think about what we actually want from life, and it is sometimes easier to stay with what we know and within what we feel comfortable. Goal setting can be a personal way of helping you to realise where you want to go in life, and achieve the things you want, turning your (possibly unknown) desires and dreams into reality.

Goals can be as big or as small as you want, however it works better if the goals are realistic. You can have a completely different list for ‘win the lottery’. We can look at that another week!

It may be your goal to meet more people. In order to achieve this, we would need to identify the steps needed to reach this end goal. They may be:

1. To check if there is a local book group

2. Find out when and where they are meeting

3. Plan how to get to the location on time

4. Speak to at least 2 people before you leave at the end of the evening

All of these steps are achievable with a little planning, and in case you get cold feet, give yourself a deadline.  This is a very simple example, and goals will be very specific to you and what you want for life. Some of you may want to go on a tour of the world, or become a famous writer and it’s important to know that even the biggest of goals can be broken down into smaller achievable steps.

The key is taking the time to think about where you are and where you want to be, and then you can work out how to get there. Having your goals written down is a big part of achieving them. You can monitor progress, amend them depending on any changes in circumstances, and check off your steps as you complete them.

To keep you on track and accountable, you can even write to your future self! This can also be a great way of keeping track of your goals. You can write down your goals for the future in a letter to yourself and re-open it in a 1, 5 or 10 years time. There is even a website that will send you your typed letter by e-mail whenever you choose: Future Me 

So why not have a go at some goal setting – you never know where you might end up!

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Falling back with the clocks

On Sunday we saw the clocks go back. Some people will have stayed up later to take full advantage of the extra hour in bed, those with children (and dogs or cats!) will have had no change in routine at all and felt maybe a little cheated. Most of us will still be trying to figure out how to change the time on the oven, the video and in the car – unless we didn’t put the clocks forward in the spring and therefore out clocks are correct for the first time in 6 months….

The days are getting shorter and we will soon be experiencing the shortest day. On the bright side, that must mean we’re on our way to the longest day again and summer is just around the corner? In the mean time we must fight our urges to hibernate and spend all of the hours of darkness away from the world and instead keep looking forward. It is still quite mild out there, and any amount of fresh air is good for the body and the soul. Sometimes we cannot get away from routine – we have to go to work, take kids to school, go for appointments and meetings, and the changing of the seasons is purely an inconvenience. The kids may find a blessing in an occasional snow day though!

If however you do not have a regular routine to pull you out of your chair or off the sofa, wrap up and be brave. Get into the garden and take in the colours, the changes and animals scurrying around. Or wander down to the park, or a near bench and watch the world for a minute or two. You will be amazed at home good you feel getting outside and being a part of something bigger.

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Playing in the woods.

Today we share a post from The National Trust and their Outdoor Nation Blog posted on August 15, 2014.

It’s not just children who need play, argues Fiona Harrower, Visitor Experience Manager at Hatfield Forest.

Virtually all of my favourite childhood memories involve playing outdoors.  Even now, when I’m meant to be grown-up, I still can’t resist a puddle or balancing along a fallen tree.

Den building at Hatfield. © Fiona Harrower

For the last couple of years we have celebrated the national Play Day at Hatfield Forest with one goal: to encourage play with no play equipment.  With a thousand acres of woodland and grassy plains to explore this should have been a realistic challenge.

Or at least you would have thought so.

But I’ve noticed that many of our visiting parents are desperate for a trail to follow, a map to highlight where to play, actual trees and logs signposted as okay to play on.  Whereas their children, when allowed to just play freely, are quite happy to find their own spots, make their own games and use their imagination.

So our role is to teach the parents how to play in the outdoors, as the kids are experts at it already.  With a large number of veteran trees, we have an added challenge of balancing the promotion of natural play with the conservation of Hatfield Forest.

The 50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4 campaign has helped us to promote our no need for play equipment message, by giving us a tool to spark families’ imagination.  The scrapbooks, and even more so the stickers, are a big hit.  Our top play activities at Hatfield Forest are tree climbing, den building, making grass trumpets, exploring inside a tree and making mud pies.  We hold Wild Wednesdays throughout the summer holidays and have over 150 children participating each week.

Pie making during Mud Week! © Fiona Harrower

But play isn’t limited to Wednesdays only; it’s something we promote every day.

Play is one of the simplest ways to get kids outdoors.  The health benefits are clear.  Ask a child if they want to go on a five mile hike and you may get a moan, but spend hours running through long grass, climbing trees and building dens and they won’t notice they’re ‘exercising’.

Play is a universal way of connecting people to the outdoors.  It’s something children intrinsically know what to do.  We just need to give adults the permission to play too.

My 30 days of Adventure.

By on 08 26, 2014 in ActivitiesAdventure

My 30 days of Adventure.

On 25th July, along with Psychologies magazine, I started my 30 days of adventure. As of Saturday 23rd August my 30 days were complete. I must say, it was not easy. Adventure is such a big word. It is powerful and full of expectation and promise. Well, I made it work as best I could.

My 30 days of adventure included a wide range of activities, and these activities conjured up a plethora of emotions. Some activities were peaceful and led me to times of thoughtfulness and contemplation, these included paint by numbers, magnet craft and a walk in the park in the sunshine. In contrast, the result of me saying yes more meant I socialised more often, spoke more to people that I already knew, and got to know those I did not. I got involved in different running clubs and visited new places. These activities made me feel happy and gave me a sense of achievement and fulfilment.

The activities that were particularly adventurous for me were those that were right out of my comfort zone, those that made me think “really, me, oh dear!”. In this group I include driving someone else’s car, joining a new social group, driving to new places and in particular taking a new route which included an extremely small single lane track.

There are still some adventurous activities from the past 30 days to come to fruition, for example on one day I booked tickets to the Invictus Games. The Invictus Games is an international sporting event for wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women and the Games are about survival in the face of adversity and the strength of the human spirit. I’ll be going to watch the Games in a couple of weeks.

My adventures will go on, and I will continue to be more open to things which are not part of the routine, and will no doubt drag some unsuspecting individuals with me along my way. I must simply remember to keep saying yes more.

Find out how Psychologies got on here.

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My 30 days of Adventure.

By Harriett on 08 26, 2014 in ActivitiesAdventure

My 30 days of Adventure. On 25th July, along with Psychologies magazine, I started my 30 days of adventure. As of Saturday 23rd August my 30 days were complete. I must say, it was not easy. Adventure is such a big word. It is powerful and full of expectation and promise. Well, I made it [...]


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