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10 July, 2007: NEW GUIDE TO GREAT DAYS OUT IN THE SOUTH EAST

English Heritage Offers Free Updated Access Information for Hundreds of Historic Properties -

You might love a day out at a medieval castle or historic house - but will you be to get in, or fully enjoy the site?

You might be struggling with the baby’s buggy, be visually or hearing impaired, caring for an elderly relative or hoping to delight a child with special needs.

English Heritage thinks its new Access Guide is the answer. This, it says, will help you plan a relaxing, pleasurable day out in some of the country’s most beautiful historic sites.

The new, high-quality Access Guide to English Heritage Properties launched today (Tuesday 10th July), ensures that you can plan your visit, knowing what facilities you will find when you arrive. English Heritage sites offer virtual and audio tours, tactile exhibits, scented gardens, new visitor centres, new surfaces and clear information for visitors with limited mobility or for those with pushchairs.

Rebecca Kane, Visitor Operations Director for English Heritage, said: “We are really pleased to be able to welcome all visitors to our sites. It can be daunting to go anywhere new when you don’t know what the facilities will be like. This new access guide gives you all the information you’ll need to plan your day, plus a taste of the historic highlights our sites offer.

“We welcome feedback and suggestions on what more we can do to make our properties as accessible as possible. We’d like everyone to be able to enjoy their heritage, and perhaps spend an afternoon absorbing life in a Viking village, enjoying the tranquil serenity of an Augustine priory or having a peek around Queen Victoria’s bedroom. “

Recent access improvements to English Heritage sites include:

A lift now provides access for wheelchair users and families with buggies to the first floor of Osborne House, Queen Victoria’s home on the Isle of Wight. Two of Osborne’s staff are trained in British Sign Language and the new visitor facilities in the former Petty Officer’s Quarters have lowered counters and induction loops.

Battle Abbey in East Sussex has a brand-new visitor centre which has enabled all visitors to discover the fascinating story of the battle of Hastings in 1066. There is an audio tour, hearing loop and large print interpretation book.


English Heritage also runs top-quality entertainment at its sites, with craft fairs, garden shows, open air theatre, talks and tours, family-fun days and hands-on children’s activities. The Access Guide is available on the English Heritage web site/ or from English Heritage customer services on 0870 333 1181.

The Access Guide is available in audio form - either on tape or CD, as a PDF document which can be used with Screenreader software, as a word file with all formatting removed and pictures described, in Braille and in large print format on request.

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