Tips for finding pubs & restaurants with disabled access

Pubs and restaurants are getting more and more requests for accessible facilities from disabled customers including adapted toilets, wider doors and ramps.  Those with poor vision, hearing impairments, learning difficulties also require special facilities when it comes to getting out and about.

Pubs and restaurants are getting more and more requests for accessible facilities from disabled customers including adapted toilets, wider doors and ramps.  Those with poor vision, hearing impairments, learning difficulties also require special facilities when it comes to getting out and about.

Chartwell Insurance, a completely independent insurance broker that offers a specialist, caring service for disabled clients, has looked at what is being done to help disabled customers enjoy the same access as the able bodied in pubs and restaurants.

Since the Disability Discrimination Act came into force in 1995 there is a much greater awareness about what measures should be taken to make life easier for disabled people. To this aim The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has produced a guide to help pubs welcome those with access problems.

Mitchells & Butlers manages 1,500 pubs in the UK and estimates that 98% of its venues have disabled toilets. However it’s also important for venues to train staff on how to deal with disabled customers such as having tables prepared in advance and making sure there is clear access. O’Neill’s in Preston has bespoke bar runners with simple sign language that help staff communicate with deaf customers.

Pubs need to give information about their accessibility so people know what to expect and where to avoid.  VisitEngland requires any business that is part of its quality assessment schemes for accommodation and attractions to have an access statement. There are now a few online guides to disabled facilities in pubs and restaurants.

  • The Good Access Guide has a comprehensive list of pubs and bars throughout the UK listing their access provisions, such as reserved parking spaces, ramps, wide door entry, ease of movement within the establishment and adapted toilet facilities.
  • Other pub chains such as Chef and Brewer and Fayre and Square have lists of their pubs which have disabled toilets.
  •  Beer In The Evening also has a huge list of pubs advertising disabled access. If you’re visiting London, View London has a good list of pubs in the capital that advertise disabled facilities.
  • For overnight trips Let’s Stay has compiled a section for wheelchair-friendly pubs and inns with accommodation.

Before setting out it’s always advisable to ring ahead and check that the facilities meet your individual requirements, not only does this avoid disappointment but also embarrassment and potential unpleasantness.

This route is wheelchair-accessible

This route is wheelchair-accessible (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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