In this article, Rough Guides writer Jo Logan recounts her family day out at Bletchley Park in Milton Keynes. Bletchley Park is best known for being the home of the World War Two Codebreakers.
We decided on a trip to Bletchley Park as our grand finale to the ‘Rough Guide to Accessible Britain’ competition and we couldn’t have picked a more inspiring yet humbling place to take our extended family to visit!
Our group ranged from seniors to youngsters and those in between, all hopeful that there’d be something for everyone and we weren’t disappointed.
This beautiful park is situated just outside Milton Keynes. Upon our arrival, there was a huge car park and plenty of disabled bays, albeit a bit tight for us wheelies. We were warmly welcomed and delighted to be advised that our tickets were valid for a further 12 months.
With a life-long passion for history, Bletchley Park, the home of the codebreakers, has been on my to-do-list for years. As with most historical places, you really do wonder how you’ll be able to see into a world that had never been intended for anyone that didn’t match the ‘one size fits all’. Within minutes of arrival, that wonder became no more.
I had a good look around to gauge how they’d made this a worthy entry into Rough Guide to Accessible Britain. There are two cafés, huge accessible toilets, a changing facility, plenty of space, accessible ramps aside each set of steps, audio headsets, guided tours and the presence of very helpful and accommodating staff. Before me, was a fully accessible vision of 1940’s Britain and our journey had just begun.
For those with mobility needs, it isn’t too far between the main entrance and the mansion and there are plenty of benches along the way. All the exhibits are evenly spaced out and accessible from a wheelchair.
The beautiful mansion is easily negotiated considering its age as I made my way around the nostalgic rooms, my only disappointment was not booking the amazing tearoom for afternoon tea.
The management and curators have really captured diversity and subsequent inclusion. It was evident that they’d given so much thought to a whole range of needs, and maybe even consulted with diversity groups.
We all had a super family day out without having to separate because of diversity issues. Instead we had a fully inclusive and enjoyable, yet thought provoking insight, into an era that really did give so much for so little – a truly audacious page in our history.