Since 1983, English Heritage has been providing accessible tourist attractions that can be enjoyed by people from all walks of life. This countrywide charity manages the National Heritage Collection together with more than 400 of England’s best known historical buildings, monuments and heritage sites. Among these, Wrest Park in Bedfordshire provides a fascinating day out and offers a number of amenities for deafblind people.
An adventure through three centuries
Wrest Park offers its visitors a walk back through time, with design inspirations from three centuries. Located in Silsoe, Bedfordshire, the Grade 1 listed country house is one of the only examples of 19th Century English architecture following the style of an 18th Century chateau. The main attraction of Wrest Park however is its vast offering of formal garden landscapes, which date back to the 17th Century. Every piece of Wrest Park’s incredible history is brought to life by its wealth of on-site accessible facilities.
For the hard of hearing, Wrest Park offers portable hearing loops, audio tours and additional audio tours for younger visitors. In the exhibition area, guests can find out more about the history of the property with a short film, which also contains subtitles and an audio transcription if required.
For a more tactile experience, deafblind visitors are invited to touch the gardens’ wide variety of ornaments and sculptures, as well as the surrounding trees, roses and wildflowers. Group tours can be taken at £2 per person, and guide dogs are catered for with water bowls.
With facilities for disabled visitors, adults and children, there truly is something for everyone at Wrest Park. For more information on this English Heritage attraction, visit www.english-heritage.org.uk.
What’s on at Wrest Park this spring
Butler School – Monday 13th – Friday 17th February
Learn what it’s like to be a butler in a country house for a day.
Wallpaper Room Tours – Sunday 5th March
Enjoy a rare tour around the mysterious Chinese Room (maximum 12 guests).
Wrest Winter Wonders Tour – Monday 6th March
Closed to the general public, the Wrest Winter Wonders Tour explores the incredible Archaeological Collections Store.
Saturday Archaeology Club – Saturday 11th March
Ideal for 8 to 16-year-olds, this exclusive club will teach the little ones how to become a conservator for the day.
St George’s Festival – Saturday 22nd April – Sunday 23rd April
Join in the St George’s Day celebrations with Georgian ladies, knights and Roman soldiers.
As part of my work with Deafblind UK, I compose feature articles for their bi-monthly magazine, Open Hand. A regular feature is a review of local tourist attractions with accessible facilities for disabled people.
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