The ultimate guide to 35 disability friendly spots worth visiting in Northern Ireland
Families with disabilities can often feel left out due to the lack of accessibility, making them unable to enjoy the wide range of activities and locations that Northern Ireland has to offer.
By Deirdre MacMahon
Published 17th May 2023, 18:01 BST
However, there are lots of great places that house facilities which enable everyone to access the premises, removing the worry that locations won’t be suitable.
From locations of fabulous natural beauty to adrenaline-pumping activity spots, there are a wide variety of places to visit that accommodate everyone.
For beach spots throughout the country, The Mae Murray Foundation seeks to change the lack of accessibility, with the Larne-based charity working with beaches to add disability-friendly facilities through fundraising.
Here are some of the best disability friendly locations that are definitely worth visiting across Northern Ireland.
Additional reporting by Maisie Laughton
1. Giant’s Causeway Visitor’s Centre - 44 Causeway Road, Bushmills
Explore one of Northern Ireland's unique attractions, The Giant’s Causeway, thanks to its accessible toilets and wheelchair friendly paths.
Made up of 40,000 basal basal columns that evolved after a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago, visitors can revel in the opportunity to explore Ireland’s only UNESCO world heritage site. The Giant’s Causeway Visitor’s Centre is located by the Giant Causeway and is fully accessible, with level access to the food outlet and shop as well as ramped access to the building, and designated accessible parking spots.
One of their trails known as the Green Trail is also fully accessible, providing a 2 mile cliff top which is compliant with the disability act and is suitable for those with mobility concerns. Features include an accessible picnic area and stunning views of Scotland and the Irish peninsula, as well as glimpses of dolphins and porpoises as they are swimming around the bay. Photo: Giants Causeway Visitor Centre website
2. Tower Centre Shopping Centre - Wellington Street, Ballymena
Tower Centre shopping centre offers 50 different stores for you to choose from, including big-name brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Primark, Holland and Barrett and more. There are also food and drink options, including Costa Coffee, and Burger King, for any hungry mouths that want to grab a bite to eat whilst they’re out shopping.
Tower Centre Shopping Centre provides a changing facility on site, meaning that no family member has to miss out on a trip out. Photo: Tower Centre Shopping Centre website
3. Curry's Fun Park - 16 Eglinton Street, Portrush
Previously known as Barry’s amusement park, Curry’s Fun Park is located in the centre of Portrush. This is a popular fun park that offers many different rides and amusements for all the family to enjoy, with food and drink also on site. They now also provide a changing places facility on site, so all of the family can enjoy a fun trip out. Additionally, a changing places facility can also be found at Portrush train station, and you have the option to access this before or after your trip out. Photo: Curry's Fun Park via Facebook
4. High Rise Indoor Activity Centre - Blaris Industrial Estate, 11A Altona Road, Lisburn
High Rise is an inclusive and accessible indoor adventure centre for all the family to enjoy in Lisburn. It is a social enterprise and support parents to get into work and to stay in work. Activities located here include soft play, a Clip and Climb indoor climbing arena, sensory rooms for family members with additional sensory needs, a cafe and an accessible changing places toilet. The centre is dedicated to making the centre both inclusive and accessible for all, and they have a sensory coordinator who is available to work with families visiting the centre, to ensure that all family members get the very most out of their visit. Photo: Visit Belfast website