How accessible are Northern Ireland’s top sights?
Read on for useful information on accessibility at some of Northern Ireland's most popular sights from the Giant's Causeway to the Ulster Museum
Titanic Belfast was launched 100 years after the Titanic ship left for its ill-fated maiden voyage. The ship was built in Belfast, and the city has marked its part in the story through a fantastic new museum and experience which extends over nine galleries, drawing together special effects, full-scale reconstructions and innovative interactive features to explore the Titanic story in a fresh and insightful way. The building is surrounded by a paved plaza, which is fully accessible. The new attraction is designed with wheelchair users in mind, with integrated loop systems for hearing impaired visitors on all audio, and with regular seating areas throughout.
Read more about accessibility at Titanic Belfast
The Ulster Museum tells the tale of Ireland’s evolution from Jurassic times through to recent political events, with displays of art, fine art, zoology and botany. It’s a great attraction for kids and adults, with permanent exhibits ranging from Peter the Polar Bear to a large collection of pottery from Northern Ireland’s renowned Belleek porcelain. Following its refurbishment and reopening in 2009 the museum is great for accessibility and thoroughly modernised. Parts of the building are listed and therefore difficult to access without assistance, however the majority is wheelchair accessible and exhibits are displayed at an accessible height. Visitors with sensory disabilities can call for free personalised guided tours.
Read more about accessibility at the Ulster Museum
One of the most beautiful, rugged landscapes on earth and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Giant’s Causeway mixes myth, legend and natural phenomena. The new Visitor Centre here was designed in consultation with Disability Action and other major access organisations to ensure good access for all, and features include hearing loops, an ‘interpretation area’ suitable for visually impaired and wheelchair users as well as a fully accessible clifftop path with wheelchair access.
Read more about accessibility at Giant's Causeway
The oldest theatre in Belfast puts on great shows and entertainment year-round, from plays to pantomimes. The original décor inside the building remains, so it’s a glamorous option, and since 2006 the venue has also been home to the Baby Grand, a new performance space. Most areas of the site are wheelchair accessible but it is best to get in touch before you visit to ensure staff can offer the best possible seating options. There is a café bar and a restaurant, both of which are wheelchair accessible and good options for pre-show refreshment. Assistance dogs are welcome.
Read more about accessibility at Grand Opera House
Belfast’s new arts venue has music, theatre, dance and art on the menu, with accessible seating and wheelchair access, captioned performances for deaf visitors, audio described performances and touch tours. There are MAC ‘Navigators’ – identifiable by their brightly coloured t-shirts – on hand throughout the venue to help with information and access needs.
Read more about accessibility at The MAC