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Accessible UK Shopping Destinations

  • By
  • 18 November 2022

Shopping centres are a great way to pick up everything you need for the whole family. We love these malls and outlets for a one stop shopping experience and a great day out. 

Another plus of shopping centres is their accessibility. A lot of venues tend to be enclosed with plenty of lifts and ramps. Paths and walkways between shops are normally smooth and accommodating for mobility scooter users. 

If you'd prefer to leave your scooter at home, a range of on-site mobility aids are often available to hire. 

Though shopping outlets are working hard to become more inclusive, we always advise pre-planning your visit. Shopping destinations have varying levels of accessibility, so it's important to check that your chosen venue can sufficiently accommodate your visit. 

For a stress-free shopping experience look out for the below accessible features:

-    Level access, ramps and lifts
-    Accessible food and beverage options
-    Plenty of seating areas 
-    Blue Badge or disabled parking
-    Mobility equipment hire
-    Disabled toilets/Changes Places facilities 
-    Customer support/trained staff
-    ‘Quiet’ shopping times

Car boot mobility scooters are lightweight and portable. This makes them a brilliant choice when planning a shopping trip. 

Car boot scooters can be folded down into one unit, or dismantled into smaller, manageable pieces. This means you can pop them in your car or on public transport, ready to be reassembled at your shopping destination. 

If you're taking an 8mph scooter, or an all-terrain mobility scooter along with you, this will require a little more planning. We advise calling ahead to check:

-    The number and location of ramps and lifts
-    Width of walkways and shop entrances
-    How accessible the food court is for your scooter 

Don't forget that speed restrictions will be in place within shopping locations, as they are pedestrianised areas. 

Remind yourself here of the rules around off-road versus on-road scooter use, for a safe shopping experience. 

Top 4 Accessible Shopping Outlets

The Trafford Centre

The Trafford centre in Manchester is the place to be for world class shopping and top quality leisure and entertainment.

This huge shopping destination and leisure complex attracts around 35 million visitors every year. It has something for everyone and is a great day out for the whole family. 

Beyond amazing fashion and delicious dining are Trafford's many activity options. There's a fun day out to be had by all! Pick from a cinema and gaming arena, to adventure golf or bowling. 

The Trafford centre is a multi-storey complex, so there are lots of well-placed lifts to move between floors. There are smooth, wide walkways throughout - ideal for mobility scooters.

The Trafford hosts a ‘quiet hour’ every Wednesday from 10am - 11am. This is ideal for those who prefer a calmer shopping experience. 

Other accessible features include:

-    Dedicated disabled toilets 
-    Changing Places facilities
-    Dedicated disabled parking spots 
-    Free wheelchair hire
-    Mobility scooter hire (hourly fee applies) 

For more information on accessibility at the Trafford Centre see here

For more information on hiring mobility aids during your visit to the Trafford shopping centre please see here.

The Bullring

Bullring & Grand Central is the ultimate shopping destination in Birmingham. Scratch your shopping itch with designer treats at Selfridges, or brilliant bargains at high street favourites. 

If food is more your thing, then you're in luck. The Bullring has over 60 restaurants and cafes to choose from. This means that even the pickiest of eaters will be spoilt for choice.

The centre is a modern build with great accessibility for mobility scooter users. You'll find level access at every main entrance and plenty of lifts. 

Pathways between shops are wide and smooth for an effortless drive. Doors are automatic or few and far between to help you navigate the shopping centre with ease. 

The Bullring has excellent travel links, as it's located just a stone's throw from Birmingham New Street rail station. If you'd prefer to drive, the Bullring has dedicated spaces for those with mobility requirements across four car parks.  

Other great accessible features at the Bullring include:

-    Disabled toilets on every level 
-    Free mobility scooter hire (info here)
-    Changing Places facilities
-    Sign language trained staff

AccessAble has a thorough guide on the Bullring’s facilities, complete with imagery and measurements. Plan your visit using their excellent guide here

White City, London

Head to Westfield London for the ultimate family day out. Not only is the shopping world class, the venue has a state of the art cinema. 

You'll also find a substantial food and drink offering across the indoor and outdoor food courts. 

Westfield London is a light and airy indoor shopping centre. Shops are on the larger side, making it easier to navigate your mobility scooter through aisles. 

Walkways are wide, flooring is smooth and ramps are well integrated throughout. There are plenty of lifts to help you transition across the two floors using your mobility scooter. 

You'll find a good amount of seating and chill out areas dotted throughout the centre. There's even a handful of breakout areas for kids if you need you need a time out!

If you'd prefer to leave your mobility scooter at home, then you can hire a chair from Westfield’s Shopmobility service. There are a variety of mobile and electric mobility aids to choose from and hire is free.  

We always recommend booking ahead to guarantee your mobility scooter hire. See details here

Westfield London has plenty of other great accessibility features, including: 

-    Step free entrances
-    Automatic doors
-    Lifts on every level
-    Accessible bathrooms (RADAR key needed) 
-    Changing Places toilet
-    ‘Quiet Hour’ shopping periods everyday 
-    Disabled parking 
-    Free parking for Blue Badge holders

Read more about the shopping centre here

Bicester Village

Fancy a spot of designer shopping but not so keen on the crazy price tags? Grab a bargain all year-round at Bicester Village, one of the UK’s most popular designer outlet centres.

The outdoor ‘village’ is home to over 160 fashion and lifestyle brands. You'll also find plenty of fantastic cafes and restaurants to stop, refuel and relax. 

Customers love the calm atmosphere and glamorous appeal of Bicester village. This shopping destination is considerately designed and has a very accessible layout. 

All shops are equipped to welcome mobility aids, including mobility scooters. The whole village is ground level. Wide, flat walkways provide plenty of space to manoeuvre your mobility scooter. 

Shops that have a second floor are equipped with a lift for easy access. You'll also find plenty of seating areas if you need to make a shopping pit stop.

Bicester’s other accessible features include:  

-    Free, accessible parking spaces 
-    Wheelchair hire 
-    Accessible toilets throughout 
-    Hands free shopping service (for a fee)

You can visit Bicester by train from London, Oxford or Birmingham. See our guide on travelling on public transport with your mobility scooter here

To read more about accessibility at Bicester, see here.