More Accessible Attractions in Yorkshire

holidays in Yorkshire

Yorkshire is a big county and there is much to  see and do.  Many of the attractions are accessible for those with disabilities. This is a follow up from Accessible Attractions in Yorkshire with more ideas of places to visit. As always it is an idea to phone the property before visiting to check on details.

Burton Agnes Hall Burton Agnes Hall
near Driffield must rank as one of the best English family homes and has been in the same family for over 400 years. It is a delightful red brick Tudor house with a range of very interesting rooms from the great hall to the long gallery. The house has changed over the years and the different styles meld into a complete whole from the Tudor to late Georgian including a Chinese Room. The original Norman House survives next to the Hall and was used as servants’ accommodation. It is easy to spend a whole day here visiting the house and exploring the attractive gardens with a woodland walk and award winning walled garden. There is a tea room and two shops.

Staff are excellent and well aware of the needs of disabled visitors. There is disabled parking by the house and ramped entry through  a side door. All of the ground floor is accessible and there are plenty of chairs to sit on. The upper floors are accessed by staircase and there is a picture book for those unable to manage the stairs. Disable visitors pay for a ground floor only ticket and carers are admitted free. Paths around the grounds are good and there is ramped access into the walled garden. The tea room and shops are fully accessible and there is a disabled toilet. Assistance dogs are welcome.

Sledmere House Sledmere House
is just a few minutes drive from Burton Agnes Hall and is one of the few houses which is completely accessible for disabled visitors. It is an elegant Georgian building with some stunning rooms including the grand entrance hall, dining room and library. The Turkish room is definitely different. Chose a day when there are guided tours as there is very little information in the rooms. There is small museum which tells the story of the Wagoners’ Special Reserve during the First World War and the Triton Gallery with examples of modern art. There is a tea room and a small shop.

The house is popular with disabled coach tours. The coach park is across the road from the ticket office. There is disabled parking near the ticket office and it is a couple of minutes walk to the house along the driveway. The lift was installed before planning regulations would have forbidden it and gives access to the first floor rooms. There are two wheelchairs for hire and it is advisable to book these before a visit. Assistance dogs are allowed inside the house. The tea room, museum and gallery are accessible and there is a disabled toilet.

Kiplin Hall Kiplin Hall
is a lovely old house at the mouth of Swaledale that has yet to be discovered by visitors. The original house was a square brick hunting lodge which was extended in C19th by the addition of a splendid library. The house was requisitioned by the armed forces during the Second World War and only just escaped being pulled down afterwards. It has been lovingly restored. No longer a family home, it is cared for by a trust.  The ground floor rooms are the more interesting although on the first floor is an exhibition of paintings by Louisa, Marchioness of Waterford, a relation of one of the previous owners and also the officer’s flat used during the Second World War. The tea room is in the great hall on the ground floor of the house. There is a small shop by the ticket desk. The gardens are being restored and there walled garden, small rose garden and parkland with a lake.

There is disabled parking by the house and there are wheelchairs available. One is designed for slightly rougher terrain. There is ramped access into the house and all the ground floor is accessible. The staircase to the upper floors has shallow treads. There is a photo book with information about the upper floors for those who are unable to climb the stairs.  Room stewards are excellent and very aware of the needs of older visitors. There is somewhere to sit down in every room. Visitors with visual impairments can be accompanied by a room steward who will describe the details of each room.  There is good access to the walled garden and the rose garden. Woodland paths are covered with wood chippings but tree roots make them uneven. Part of the lakeside path is hard surface but the rest is a country footpath which can be difficult for a wheelchair.  There are disabled toilets.  There is reduced admission for disabled visitors and carers are admitted free.

Constable Burton Gardens Constable Burton Gardens
are lovely gardens at the mouth of Wensleydale which have yet to be discovered by visitors. The gardens are above a steeply wooded dene above the Burton Beck. A signed route takes visitors through the formal herbaceous garden at the back of the house and then through more informal gardens with mature trees and shrubs set in grassland, The lime walk with its 350 year old trees leads to the reflection ponds with their water lilies and marshland plants.

There is parking in front of the house and an honesty box. The house is not open and there is no tea room although there are toilets including disabled toilets. The route is accessible by wheelchairs.

Middleham Castle Middleham Castle
is a ruined castle at the mouth of Wensleydale which was once home of the powerful Neville Family and then Richard Duke of Gloucester, later Richard III,  who married Anne Neville. It is a splendid castle with walls and central keep standing to their original height. Inside are the remains of the service quarters with ovens and a horse mill used for grinding grain.

There is some parking outside the castle, but no dedicated disabled parking. If full, disabled visitors can be dropped off by the main gateway and there is plenty of parking in the market place,  a short walk away. There is disabled access into the castle which is neatly mown grass inside. There is ramped access into the bottom of the keep. There are benches around the site. Carers are admitted free and assistance dogs are welcome. There is a small shop. There is no tea room or toilets on the site. The nearest toilets including a disabled toilet are 75 yards away in a narrow lane off the market place.  

Rievaulx Abbey Rievaulx Abbey
is one of the best preserved of the great Yorkshire abbeys and is a lovely setting along the River Rye beneath a steep wooded hillside. The walls of the chancel and transept still stand to their original height with soaring columns and lancet windows. The layout is easy to follow on the ground with the cloisters with chapter house and abbots house behind. The walls of the infirmary cloister stand to their original height and the monks’ refectory above the undercroft is remarkably intact. On a sunny day this is a lovely spot to drop out, with plenty of seats to enjoy the surroundings.

There is allocated disabled parking and a wheelchair available for visitor’s use. The visitor centre, shop and cafe are fully accessible and there is a lift in the small museum. There are disabled toilets. There is a disabled route around the site which takes visitors round the outside of the ruins. There are steps into the chancel and refectory but a ramp into the cloisters. Access is along bonded or loose gravel paths and neatly mown grass. There is a sensory garden and there are permanent induction loops around the site. Carers are admitted free and assistance dogs are welcome.

Ripon Cathedral Ripon Cathedral
is an excellent example of Early English Decorate style of architecture, although the nave is perpendicular as it was rebuilt after the central tower fell down.  It is a splendid building both inside and out. The nave is flooded with light from plain glass clerestory windows. Pillars soar up to pointed arches with a walkway above. The beautifully carved screen between nave and choir has painted figures of kings of England and bishops. The choir stalls are C15th and are set under a fan vaulted canopy crowned with crocketed pinnacles. The seats have elaborately carved misericords.  There are more gilded statues on the reredos behind the high altar.

Disabled parking is available on the cathedral forecourt by request. The cathedral is fully accessible with the exception of the crypt and the treasury. Wheelchairs are available for visitors use. Guides and welcomers in their red or blue cloaks are on duty between 10-4.30 and are able to assist or help.

St Agatha's Church Easby St Agatha’s Church, Easby
near Richmond has some of the best wall paintings in Yorkshire and again is little visited. It is a lovely setting next to the ruined Easby Abbey (limited disabled access). It is a small simple church with a Norman font. The walls of the chancel are covered with exquisite C13th wall paintings with the Creation and rural scenes on the north wall. On the south wall are pictures of the Nativity and Passion of Christ. The paintings are very attractive with simple lines and in predominant shades of red, cream and blue black. The Easby Cross in the chancel  is a poorly made replica of the C8th original which is now in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

The church is open daily in the summer and weekends during the winter. There is a large car park. Wheelchair users are advised to use the main gate by the abbey gatehouse as there is a small step at the gate from the car park. The inside of the church is accessible apart from a small step into the sanctuary.

Outhwaites Ropemaker Outhwaites Ropemaker
is a traditional ropemaker who has been making ropes in Hawes for over 200 years. Ropes are still made traditionally by hand as well as by machine. It makes everything from shoe laces to bell ropes. Visitors can wander through the premises and watch all processes in the manufacture of ropes from winding the yarn onto bobbins to the final finishing by hand. The shop sells a wide range of items from big balls of string, to dog leads, one of the most popular items. There is an interesting short video giving more information.

There is no parking by the ropemakers but there is a public car park in the old station yard a short walk away. Disabled access is signed across a bridge from the road from the car park. There is level access throughout the ropeworks and plenty of space for wheelchairs. It is possible to watch all the operations. Entry is free. There are public toilets including a disabled toilet in the car park and plenty of places to eat in Hawes.

Hull Maritime Museum Hull Maritime Museum
is in the splendid Victorian Docks Offices in the centre of Hull and covers the maritime history of Hull from the late C18th. The ground floor covers whaling and fishing. Upstairs covers the history of the building, development of the docks as well as shipping and trade. In the early C19th, Hull had the largest whaling fleet in Britain and there are whale skeletons, examples of harpoons used, a huge blubber pot and beautiful examples of scrimshaw, the pen and ink drawings made on whale bone.  There is also a small display on Inuit culture. The fishing galleries cover the different forms of fishing with a lot of carefully made model boats. Upstairs are videos showing men at work in the docks in the 1960s. There is a small shop. There is no tea room, but there is a tea room in the Ferens Art Gallery across the road.

There is some pay and display parking, free with a blue badge, near to the museum. Failing that, visitors can be dropped off in Carr Lane adjacent to the building. There are steps up to the entrance. Disabled visitors can ring the bell to the right of the steps and a member of staff will direct them to level access to the building. There is wheelchair access to all the displays and a lift to the first floor. There is a disabled toilet and Assistance dogs are allowed in the building. Entry is free.

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