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I have a crazy idea to try a day trip to london. Advice please.

(25 Posts)
clumsymum Wed 07-Feb-07 12:07:23

DS really really wants to see the dinosaur exhibition at the Natural History Museum, and I'm wondering if I'm brave enough to bring him on my own during half term. As dh is self employed, we don't really want him to use a day up if possible.

I used to travel to London loads before being a mum, but 7 years and a badly broken hip later, I'm a touch nervous.

I used to drive down and park in St John's Wood, then taxi to wherever I wanted to go. Do you think a taxi driver would take my disability scooter (it is a portable one). Is the natural history museum possible (If you can get a decent pushchair round, then my scooter will too).

And is the London Eye possible? I can chain my scooter to a bike rack or similar and go on foot for a time, but can't walk or stand for very long periods.

Or should I ditch the idea altogether, or just accept that I can't do it without dh?

Any ideas/experience appreciated.

Do you have a disabled badge? If so could you not drive to the museum and park there?

edam Wed 07-Feb-07 12:14:19

There are a lot of steps up to the front door of the natural history museum and there are steps up to an elevated walkway in the dinosaur exhibition. But they must have some form of disabled access, I'm sure. Why not call them?

http://www.nhm.ac.ukmuseum

As for taxis, Computer Cab (who run a load of black cabs) say they've won an award for disabled access.

cab

clumsymum Wed 07-Feb-07 12:14:55

CD, yes I do have a badge, and apparently I can book a parking space at the museum. But I thought we might try to see something else in London if we have the time, and I imagine parking in other locations is the same nightmare it used to be.

Also as I'll be driving down from Nottingham and back, I wanted to save myself the stress of navigating round central London with an excited 7 y.o. in the car.

clumsymum Wed 07-Feb-07 12:38:22

Thanks edam, the NHM does have wheechair access apparently, so no probs there.

I have emailed the cab company to see what policy they have on small mobility scooters.

I'm just so used to being independant, and kind of want to do this to prove I can (but not if it all goes wrong and ds has a miserable time).

Cappuccino Wed 07-Feb-07 12:40:22

the London Eye is fantastic for disabled people! I took my dd1 in her wheelchair in December

firstly you don't have to queue, you have your own special desk to buy tickets with no-one at it while all the other suckers queue in huge lines

you get a free carers ticket

and they skoosh you past the queue to the actual Eye too

bargain

Cappuccino Wed 07-Feb-07 12:41:17

oh yes second the 'don't drive around london' thing

we thought we could do this and got our exemption from the congestion charge

and then spent 3 hours sitting in traffic

Cappuccino Wed 07-Feb-07 12:41:19

oh yes second the 'don't drive around london' thing

we thought we could do this and got our exemption from the congestion charge

and then spent 3 hours sitting in traffic

edam Wed 07-Feb-07 12:43:10

Check about access to the dinosaur exhibition though - the normal dinosaur bit has an elevated walkway (they also have an exhibition on what dinosaurs eat but haven't seen that as you have to pay for that bit). Ds will want to do the walkway as it has an animatronic T Rex at the end! There is a lift to that bit but worth asking if it's the right size for a scooter.

Jelley Wed 07-Feb-07 12:46:48

The lift to the dinosaur walkway is very small. You can get a wheelchair and very small child in together. How manouverable is your scooter? You have to turn 90 degrees in that small space to get out.

clumsymum Wed 07-Feb-07 12:47:03

Cappacino

Great news about the Eye. I am desperate to go on it, but as dh is scared of heights we'd probably have to miss it out if he came with us.

Anyway, it'll help explain to ds where everything is in london (got a wall chart somewhere that came with the Times last year)

clumsymum Wed 07-Feb-07 12:53:10

Looks like I might have to ditch the scooter to get up to the dinosaur walkway then.

Do you go back down to the same place, or is there a one-way system so I couldn't get back to where I'd parked the scooter.

The lift up to the dinosaur walkway was out of order last time I was there - might be worth contacting the museum and double checking the facilities for wheelchair users/similar.

The lifts to the lower floor (fab for packed lunch) and upper floors are plenty big enough for a scooter.

If you're doing the Eye and you have time, the London Aquarium is v nearby.

Have a great day!

PS No, you don't come out of the dinosaur exhibition where you would have left your scooter. Might be worth asking the museum if they have a wheelchair they could lend you, briefly?

Jelley Wed 07-Feb-07 12:54:54

It is a one way walk through, with a very gentle ramp down to ground level, and not too far to get back to the scooter.

clumsymum Wed 07-Feb-07 12:59:15

Next Question.

Is this all going to be horribly busy during half term week?

Yes, I'm afraid, it will be.

The Science Museum is next door and bigger, and I would guess has better access for wheelchair etc users.

But no dinosaurs, alas.

clumsymum Wed 07-Feb-07 14:11:13

Hmm. It has GOT TO BE the dinosaurs I'm afraid.

Is half term the same week for the whole country? W/C 19th Feb here.

edam Wed 07-Feb-07 14:15:31

it's the previous week where I am (Herts) so you may be lucky and only half half the country's schoolchildren to deal with! Maybe check on some London council websites?

Lift was working fine when we were there last week, btw.

Mercy Wed 07-Feb-07 14:32:31

I'm in London and half term starts on 19 February (but that doesn't necessarily apply to the whole of London).

I found this site accessible London which might be of some help.

Hope you have a good day!

clumsymum Wed 07-Feb-07 14:37:59

Thanks for that site Mercy, very helpful (assuming its accurate)

clumsymum Wed 07-Feb-07 16:43:05

Hmmm The cab firm have emailed back to say they don't take motorised scooters.

Damn

Lazycow Wed 07-Feb-07 17:12:33

London do a dial a ride scheme for diabledvisitors. You can become a member temporarily and then book them. You may need to check whether they can take your specific scooter though. Scroll down to the end of the page on this link and there is a question which is relevant to you
Temporary membership which is answered though I think you may need to give a pick-up address - not sure how practical that is for you. Maybe worth calling them anyway



dial a ride

clumsymum Wed 07-Feb-07 18:29:21

I'll try that Lazycow.

I'm cross tho' cos my scooter is a folding portable one, intended to be carried in a car, not one of those half-hundredweight ones.

Ye gods, even I can get it in and out of my car myself.

BeachBlue Fri 09-Mar-12 10:22:42

I went on the London eye in my wheelchair, and they actually stop the wheel moving to get you on!
Can anyone recommend any hotels that are near the wheelchair accessible tube stations in the centre if London. Aiming to try and sort a weekend there. Also which theatre's are good for wheelchair spaces, I.e. not just ground floor at the side behind a pillar!!

SunnyCarrie Tue 03-Jul-12 14:33:49

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