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Wheelchair accessible travel in Ireland

We are considering travel to Ireland in 2022 (assuming the Covid-19 restrictions are gone!) and are looking for any tips or recommendations for hotels and sights that are wheelchair accessible. Our adult son uses a manual wheelchair and is unable to get into a tour bus without a lift. We are thinking of flying into Dublin and spending 2 or 3 days there then renting a van to explore the rest of Ireland that we could see in the next 4 or 5 days before we head home. If needed to stay an extra day or two we could work that in. Some of the tours we've looked at don't have accessible buses and the accessible tours I've looked at didn't seem a good fit (more senior orientated). Our son is 26 and would feel more comfortable with activities aimed at twentysomethings. Thanks for any help or suggestions!

Posted by
552 posts

Heritage Ireland, https://heritageireland.ie, which oversees many of the country's historic sites, lists the facilities available at each site. For example, it shows that the Rock of Cashel is wheelchair accessible while Trim Castle does not show that icon. It seems that you would have to go to each site and click on the "Facilities" button to see whether it's accessible. In Dublin I believe that the Book of Kells at Trinity College is accessible and I think I saw a lift that provides access to the Long Room. Given it's modernization I'm pretty sure the Guiness Storehouse is accessible. Outside of Dublin I believe that most of the gardens at Powerscourt are wheelchair accessible. The visitor center at the monastic site of Glendalough is accessible but I think that getting to the actual ruins would be difficult via wheelchair.

Posted by
4752 posts

The website accessibleireland.com is a great guide for what facilities are available.

Tours over here are generally taken by pensioners and will therefore be orientated towards this age group.

Don’t ask anyone here about van rental - you will get a commercial vehicle! If you are hiring a vehicle, you need to enquire about how to get a Disabled Person’s Parking Card. In England, you need to be a resident. Ireland will have different requirements. Parking spaces are often very small here compared to the USA. Again, the above website should help.

Posted by
23 posts

I have no first hand experience with accessible travel, but have bookmarked https://www.sagetraveling.com/ for my aging parents. Here are some other links I found on internet search (you've probably already found the same, but just putting them out here for anyone else reading): https://curbfreewithcorylee.com/2019/11/27/disability-travel-agents-to-plan-your-next-trip/ , https://www.friendshipcircle.org/blog/2012/04/04/7-travel-agencies-for-special-needs-travel/ , https://www.tripability.net/blog/post.php?s=2019-09-27-accessible-ireland-accomodation , https://www.ireland.com/en-us/help-and-advice/practical-information/accessibility/ , https://www.irishexaminer.com/lifestyle/travel/arid-40270862.html . Also, since your son is young and active, are there any online communities/travel discussion forums under Special Olympics, Paraolympics, Wounded Warrior groups, etc?

Posted by
1780 posts

FWIW, there's a vlogger on Youtube called Tim Traveler. He goes to interesting and unusual places around Europe, and at the end of each report he gives an assessment of its accessibility. If there's a specific place you're going, see if he has been there.

Posted by
1 posts

Just remember the roads are very narrow in spots. Unless you are very comfortable driving on the left side of the road I’m not sure I would be renting a van. Maybe you could hire someone to drive you.