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London Calling at Christmas – Emma Bowler

Heading into London to see the festive lights and to do a spot of Christmas shopping has become a bit of a ritual for me, and this year more than ever. The capital has had a big year, what with being central to the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations and staging the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, it’s a prime destination.

Whilst there are still some access challenges in our capital, things are improving all the time and the Rough Guide to Accessible Britain is a great tool for finding the accessible bits and planning a memorable visit.

Admittedly I’m biased as I lived in London for 10 years and loved it. I found it an excellent party place before I had children and a great playground once I’d had them.

Now I live in leafy Devon, I still love to get a dose of London every now and then. It’s often madly busy but it’s worth braving the crowds to immerse yourself in all our capital has to offer – beautiful architecture, iconic [accessible] red buses and black cabs, shops galore and world renowned attractions such as the very accessible Tate Modern, the London Eye, National Gallery and Hyde Park to name just a few – check out the Rough Guide to Accessible Britain for many more ideas, including Olympic and Paralympic venues.

There’s been no avoiding the ‘L’ word this year so if you can’t beat ‘em why not join ‘em, gaze at the festive lights and even find your own London gems?

London Top Tips:

– Plan ahead and use the Rough Guide to Accessible Britain to research places to go

– Use the Transport for London journey planner to research accessible public transport options:     http://journeyplanner.tfl.gov.ukNew window icon

– Travel as light as possible

– If you are driving, book disabled parking at attractions well in advance

– Look up the rules for Blue Badge parking which are different in some central London areas

– Blue Badge holders – don’t forget to register your car details for exemption from the congestion   charge

Former BBC programme maker Emma Bowler has worked as a writer for everyone from The Times to The Practising Midwife. Emma lives in leafy Devon with her two children – eight year old Archie and six year old Ben – and her partner alongside Twiglet the dog, and loves getting out in the countryside trying everything from skiing to planning her future chicken brood


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