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Accessible heritage sites for all

Blog: Our Champion goes to Dublin

Date Posted: 19 June 2018

From Dorset to Dublin...

One of our Heritage Ability Champions, Andy, recently embarked on an exciting trip to Dublin! Read below what he had to say about the city, and how he found the access...

 

Getting there...

Dublin proved to be a great place for a break for a few days. I had read before that it’s great for accessibility and that proved just right. Staying at a hotel in the centre means a number of heritage sites you could well want to see (museums, galleries, parks, castles) as well as various shopping arcades, cafes and restaurants, are all within a couple of miles.

I travelled in my five year old scooter with a companion (also in a scooter), starting with a flight from Birmingham Airport to Dublin Airport. On arrival we booked in with the OCS (assistance for PRM – Passengers with Reduced Mobility) who later helped us get onto the plane - it is essential to book with the providers of extra help before any flight. At Dublin we were met by two further members of the OCS who gave us back our scooters (taken from us at the plane) and showed us where the bus stop for the No.16 bus was. A thirty five minute trip (2.30 euros) took us to O'Connell Street, and from here we scooted around 200 yards to our hotel - the fully accessible Academy Plaza hotel in Cathal Brugha Street. It should be noted that most or all buses in Dublin allow access to only one scooter/wheelchair at a time so we used separate buses, which are usually 10 or 15 minutes apart.

The first day...

We went via the shops and cafes in O’Connell Street to the fascinating Science Gallery in Trinity College and then to Merrion square to see the Oscar Wilde statue. Unfortunately his house just over the road had lots of steps outside and was therefore inaccessible. Then we went to a cafe in Grafton St (another well regarded shopping street) and onto Saint Stephens Green.

Later on we went for something to eat but then my companion’s scooter broke down as the battery ran out! Luckily, it was on our return, about 200 yards from the hotel. On telling a member of the hotel staff he immediately came out and pushed her back so she could recharge  - just a word of warning to keep an eye on your scooter's power meter!

The next day...

The next day we passed the Temple Bar, however the access in the Temple Bar area is not too good for scooters due to the many still cobbled streets in the area. We then went to Dublin Castle (mostly accessible with lifts and accessible toilets)and then onto the Chester Beatty Library (very near and fully accessible) for good grub in the cafe inside. Then we had a brief look in Georges Arcade (very busy and rather cramped so not too much accessibility). After stops at various shops and taking a photo of the James Joyce statue off O’Connell Street, we got back to the hotel. After receiving  recommendations from the hotel receptionists, I went to the bar/brasserie in the Gresham hotel (nearby) to check for accessibility. With this proving fine I made an appointment and we returned there to eat a bit later.


Going home...

Before getting back to the airport for our flight back to Birmingham we went to nearby for a friendly family run pub and not wanting to look into more shops I scooted along the Liffey River.

I stopped in a bookshop with a cafe called Dubray, followed by a return visit to a now sunny Saint Stephens Green.

 

I think Dublin is ideal for a few days as it's so easy to get to) and access to most sites is so easy. If you are willing to board one of the numerous buses then even places such as the Guiness Storehouse and Kilmainham Jail are easy to get to.

Due to the inaccessibility of most of the Temple Bar area (full of traditional pubs), I would award it an overall score of 9/10