London Planetarium with a wheelchair?

(5 Posts)
tribpot Mon 26-Aug-13 10:19:42

Bit of a long shot but has anyone been to the Royal Observatory with a wheelchair? I am going with DH and ds on Wednesday and we will have the van with us with DH's mobility scooter inside. I'm concerned about parking and the general level of accessibility at the site - have read everything on the website but could do with some reassurance that we aren't just going to be cruising the highways and byways of Greenwich all day, and/or I'll have to push DH up a massive hill in his manual chair (not gonna happen).

AnyoneButLulu Mon 26-Aug-13 19:58:49

(Not experienced with wheelchairs but I know the site). The parking is a sod in Greenwich on a weekend, might be better on Wednesday but the weather forecast is good, so perhaps not. The hill is also an absolute sod, but there is a road up from the rear and a tiny carpark so it must be possible to drive up with the right permissions.

I think you should definitely ring them tomorrow morning I'm sure they can sort something out if you talk to the right person.

tribpot Mon 26-Aug-13 20:02:01

Thanks Lulu. On Google maps it suggests there is quite a lot of parking on that road up from the rear, is that not the case?

The website suggests you don't need permission to drive through unless you're taking a coach or mini-bus (was kinda hoping a van would count as a car).

tribpot Mon 26-Aug-13 20:02:21

Oh but meant to say (sorry) I will definitely phone them tomorrow morning. Thanks for your help.

tribpot Thu 29-Aug-13 14:43:49

Just to follow up on this in case anyone is doing a search in the future.

I phoned the Observatory and they first insisted on refunding the cost of my ticket as a carer grin. They also booked the wheelchair bay for DH in the planetarium, which has a great view although you miss out on sitting on one of the laid-back seats.

Parking-wise, there was absolutely loads on Blackhealth Avenue. We got there at 11:00 so not even early. The Observatory lady had said there probably would be parking even though the car park was small (I assume she meant another car park as by no standard could this be called a small parking area) and expensive (4.80 for 4 hours? That's not expensive for where it is).

Anyway, the Observatory site is quite challenging for a wheelchair user. Cobbles and lots of rather narrow corridors. The camera obscura is not accessible at all (no indication of this in the map) and there is an outside lift to access the Flamsteed House, which was fine - you just have to ring to be let in through a locked door on the upper floor.

You certainly couldn't also visit the lower part of the site, where the Maritime Museum is, without re-parking as there's a massive, steep hill in between. I can't see any info on parking at the lower site on the website.

All in all a reasonable visit, not the greatest but not bad.

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