Northumberland attractions win awards for 'silver tourism'

Seven Northumberland tourist attractions have been cited for helping older guests enjoy stress-free days out by mature travellers

Seven of Northumberland's tourist attractions have been cited for their positive contribution to helping older and less able guests enjoy stress free days out
Seven of Northumberland's tourist attractions have been cited for their positive contribution to helping older and less able guests enjoy stress free days out

Mature travellers have given the thumbs up to seven North East attractions.

A study carried out by a travel review and advice site for older and less able travellers voted Alnwick Garden, the Laing Art Gallery, the Newbiggin Maritime Museum, Woodhorn Museum, and Howick, Belsay and Wallington Halls as top in the region.

They praised the sites for catering for those who struggle to get about easily, whether through age or disability.

Jude Leitch, general manager of Northumberland Tourism said the county is making a big effort to make sure everyone can enjoy its attractions.

“It is fantastic that Northumberland attractions are getting recognition for the effort they put in to making sure the county is accessible for all,” she said.

“We at Northumberland Tourism are making changes to our 2015 publications to ensure that attractions and accommodation providers who are accessible are highlighted, and are about to start work on an EU funded project with VisitEngland to help more businesses improve their accessibility.”

Users of the Silver Travel Advisor website particularly praised Alnwick Gardens’ level site, disabled parking, clear information, free motility scooter hire, concessions for older guests and free entry for carers.

The Laing was also singled out, with praise for its lift access to all floors, freely available seating, talking audio guides and listening posts, hearing induction loops, and gallery plans in braille and large print.

Meanwhile, Woodhorn’s disabled parking, free wheelchair and mobility scooter hire and large print and braille information was mentioned, while Howick Hall was praised for having level access, accessible toilets, disabled car parking spaces and a disability map for the grounds.

Wallington Hall was mentioned for disabled car parking, wheelchair and buggy hire, ramped and lift access, and free access map.

Belsay’s designated disabled car parking and disabled set down points, concessions to over 60’s and free access for disabled people’s carers were praised.

The large free car park with disabled parking places at Newbiggin Maritime Museum, was mentioned, as well as its ramped pathway, large print brochures, and level access.

Silver Travel Advisor managing director Debbie Marshall said: “We were incredibly impressed with the level of consideration and detail that Northumberland’s tourist attractions have gone to in order to accommodate older or less able guests.

“Many of them offer mobility scooters, lifts and ramps, and all the sites visited have gone to great lengths to ensure the comfort and welcome of the UK’s aging population.”

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