Tag: accessibility

Wembley Stadium Accessibility – The Complete Guide 

This guide will answer all of your Wembley Stadium accessibility questions. Note that the experiences we have written about are for someone who is still partially mobile, who can get around a little with crutches a stick.

With 90,000 seats, Wembley Stadium is the UK’s largest. It is the home of English football and the chosen for venue for the world’s largest music acts – Taylor Swift and AC/DC are due to play here soon.

There are plenty of reasons to visit Wembley. But what issues do wheelchair users face?

Underground to Wembley Park

Wembley Park is one of the few London Underground stations that is properly wheelchair accessible. This means you can wheel a chair straight off the train and onto the platform without crossing steps or gaps.

Once you have disembarked, you will have to find a lift from the platform up to the ticket hall. You must then catch another elevator down to Wembley Way. This means crossing to the right-hand corner of the station – fortunately the wider wheelchair-friendly gate is on that side of the station.

Verdict: Step-free access to trains is good – when there aren’t any crowds.

Boxpark

We like to stop at Boxpark when visiting Wembley Stadium (or the Arena) because they have a good selection of food and drink. However, the venue tends to get jam-packed quite early in the day.

Getting around the crowded food hall is impossible, so we found a quiet(ish) corner and plumped for German Doner Kebab. There’s Indian, Chinese, Jamaican, Thai and many other street food choices to consider too.


Top tip: Wheelchair users get to jump the Boxpark entrance queue.


The queues for the ladies toilets are crazy long and the cubicles are tiny. There is a disabled cubicle at the back of the ladies toilets, but you will still have to queue with everyone else. And then fight your way through the crowded toilet.

Our recommendation: Skip the toilets and wait until you get into the Stadium.

Verdict: Good food, crap accessibility.

Accessible entrance to Wembley Stadium

There are two long, sweeping ramps that flank the Stadium taking you up to the entrance level. Wheelchair users can find four elevators hidden under the front stairs next to the VIP entrance (marked with a purple X in the map below). Follow the signs for the Accessibility entrance.

A picture of Wembley showing the location of the Wembley Stadium accessibility lifts
The purple X makes the location of the Wembley Stadium Accessibility elevators

Follow the signs to the turnstile printed on your ticket. Each gate has its own disabled entrance – look for the steward standing by the door. You pass through a double airlock-style system, which includes a half-hearted security search. It is much faster and more efficient than the standard turnstiles.

Verdict: Security works quite well for wheelchair users.

Park your wheelchair

Wembley Stadium has 301 dedicated wheelchair ‘spaces’, located on Level 1. They are easy to access and well staffed – but they also have terrible views when watching concerts.

If you have booked a regular seat, you will have to climb or descend some stairs. You cannot take your wheelchair to your seat.

You will need to find one of the Information Desks on your level (we used the one opposite entrance 137). The stewards will label your wheelchair and lock it away securely in a storage room. You can ask the stewards to meet you at your gate with your chair at the end of the gig/match.

There are two Information Desks on each level (1, 2 and 5).

In theory, you could also take (and leave) a mobility scooter, but you will have a much harder time navigating the Underground.

Verdict: The Wembley Stadium accessibility team are friendly and the option to store a wheelchair securely is really helpful.

Take a RADAR key

Wembley Stadium has plenty of accessible toilets but you will need a Radar key to access them. The queues are shorter, the cubicles larger and the experience much more comfortable for wheelchair users.

Lokko Radar Key

This key grants access to thousands of accessible toilets across the UK. Wheelchair-friendly, these bathrooms tend to offer much more comfort and room for anyone experiencing mobility issues.

We believe one of these keys is a “must-have” for your accessibility travel toolkit.

Wembley Stadium accessibility stewards also have spare Radar keys if you need assistance. Just speak to the nearest person wearing a hi-vis jacket.

Be warned that as queues grow in the regular toilets, plenty of people will try and push their way into a disabled cubicle.

Getting around Wembley Stadium

It is possible to have a steward wheel you to your gate if you need help – just ask at the Information Desk.

We found the stewards to be incredibly helpful – a real credit to the Stadium.

After the gig – wheelchair recovery

This was where everything started to go wrong. We had asked to be met at our gate with our wheelchair – but it wasn’t there at the end of the gig.

It was a long walk back against the flow of the crowd to the information desk. We also had to pass through several gates that had been locked to help manage foot traffic.

Thankfully, retrieving our wheelchair was relatively straightforward.

Verdict: The first and only time the stewards failed. But with 80,000 concert-goers to look after, mistakes will happen.

Exiting the stadium

Leaving the Stadium, head back towards there front of the building.  You are looking for the accessible lifts that will take you back to ground level. Be aware that lifts are much busier after the gig.

Verdict: Going against the flow makes this particular part of the evening quite daunting.

Back to Wembley Park station

At ground level you face a choice. Head straight ahead to join the foot traffic going down Wembley Way. 

Alternatively, bear right under the stairs and keep heading along the road in front of the Stadium, then take the first road on the left. A few hundred metres down on the left you will find the Accessibility minibus which ferries wheelchairs back to the station.

A picture of Wembley Stadium showing where to meet the accessibility minibus transfer back to the station
The red X shows where to meet the accessibility minibus transfer back to Wembley Park station

The minibus only holds 10 wheelchairs, so you could be waiting for a while.


Top tip: The bus is free. If you’re not planning on a stop at Boxpark, you can use the transport to get from the station to the Stadium too.


After seeing the minibus queue we opted to walk. It took nearly half an hour to get back because of the crowd management system in place to prevent the station being overwhelmed. 


Top tip: Head for the left-hand side of Wembley Way. Otherwise you will have to try and cut across 80,000 people to reach the lift.


Verdict: Claustrophobic and uncomfortable.

Problems in the station

The lift and the wheelchair accessible ticket barrier on the left-hand side of the station. The elevator to get back down to the platforms is on the right. This means trying to cut across the crowds which may take a while (and bruise a few ankles). 


Top tip: Lift door won’t close? The problem is almost certainly caused by someone leaning against the ‘door open’ button.


There is just one lift to serve the London-bound train so you will probably have to queue for a while just to reach the platform. Whether travelling Metropolitan or Jubilee line, you will also find it incredibly hard to get onto a train because they are packed.

You may have to push and shove a little (or a lot) to get on board.


Top tip: The Jubilee line runs through the night on Fridays and Saturdays so you won’t have to rush – unless you’re planning on catching another train at a mainline station.


Verdict: Complete nightmare – as was the entire Tube ride home in the crowded carriages.

When should you NOT visit Wembley Stadium in a wheelchair?

  • You have to make a train connection elsewhere after the gig
  • You do not have an able-bodied helper

Consider staying over

The sheer volume of people heading back to the station can make the journey long, slow, tiring and stressful. There are several hotel options in the immediate vicinity of the Stadium:

Just remember to book early as prices increase dramatically nearer to the date.

Disabled parking

Another option would be to drive to Wembley. There is an official Blue Badge parking zone offering discount prices – and a connecting bridge to the Stadium entrance level. 

A picture of the official Wembley carparks. The disabled parking section is denoted by the blue square.
The blue square denotes the official Wembley Blue Badge parking section

Bear in mind that your car will be subject to the much-hated ULEZ congestion charge which could significantly increase the cost of your visit – especially if you don’t leave the charging zone until after midnight.

Did we miss anything?

Hopefully we’ve answered all of your Wembley Stadium accessibility questions. Feel free to drop us a comment if we missed anything.

Visit details

  • Date of our most recent visit: 29th June 2024
  • Gig: Green Day

Please note that we use sponsored links on this blog. Although we may earn a referral fee or bonus points on some of these products and services, we never recommend anything we wouldn’t use ourselves.

JFK Airport Transfer Adventures

The POD trip to Terminal 5 is quick, efficient and smooth, unlike our JFK airport transfer. But more about that later.

The only problem so far is that I managed to break the wheel on one of our big suitcases yesterday. That’s going to make the walk to the New York ferry terminal fun on Friday morning…

Check-in at Special Assistance desk in Heathrow Airport, isn’t particularly efficient. Despite completing all the paperwork accompanying Linda’s mobility scooter in advance, we have to go through the whole rigmarole again. On the plus side, we get to fast track the security queue when it’s done.

No lounge today

Having lost Executive Club Silver status, we no longer have access to the BA Club lounge. Although my Amex Gold card includes four free Priority Pass credits, we decide not to bother today.

Instead we find a nice quiet corner on Level 2 and sit to enjoy an early morning coffee.

A map of Heathrow Terminal 5 showing where to find some quiet seats while you wait for your flight
There is a quiet seating area located between the escalators on Level 2

Boarding the 777

People with mobility issues are allowed to board the plane first. This is particularly useful as we are sat in the very last row of the Boeing 777.

The two-seat set-up of this particular row gives us a tiny bit more room – and no neighbour’s elbows. Nice.

The buttons on my in-flight entertainment system are broken. And the in-flight mapping system goes down after an hour and never comes back.

The flight to JFK

The flight is smooth and uneventful. We even nap for an hour or so. Not that it feels like it. 

Disembarkation and immigration

We are the last off the plane – which makes sense as we’re in the last row. Once off the plane, we simply follow the other special assistance passengers. 

Normally, immigration at JFK takes us at least an hour, standing in a hot, dingy corridor waiting to have passports and visas checked. This time we are through in a matter of minutes. Nice.

Transfer from JFK to the hotel

This is the point where the journey gets “interesting”. I have pre-booked a JFK airport transfer with Booking.com in a ‘large SUV’ for just £51.40. That’s about half the price of a yellow taxi or an Uber ($100+)…

A picture of the Booking.com confirmation of our JFK airport transfer
These are the same JFK airport transfer details the driver received – but he still headed for the wrong Holiday Inn Express!

According to my confirmation email, the transfer service is provided by Carzen, a Chinese company.

After collecting our luggage I send a text as instructed and receive a response from our driver. Perfect. I told him where to meet us – and again the driver responded to say he would be with us in a few minutes.

However…

The car details supplied via the Booking.com were wrong. The confirmation email told us to expect a black GMC Denali. Instead the driver arrived in a white Volkswagen. It takes us quite a while to find our car. At least there is plenty of boot space for our luggage and the scooter.

As we headed towards Manhattan it became clear that the driver didn’t actually know which Holiday Inn Express we are staying in. It took a bit of to-and-fro to get him pointed towards Wall Street. 

That said, we didn’t make any wrong turns, double-backs or unexpected toll roads. So although somewhat mysterious (will we get there?) the journey was actually straightforward and fast.

Would I recommend a Booking.com transfer? Yes. But you may find the process smoother if you have a US data plan just in case you need to call the driver – or help point them in the right direction.

As for the Holiday Inn Express Wall Street, I’ll write the review after we finish our stay…


Please note that we use sponsored links on this blog. Although we may earn a referral fee or bonus points on some of these products and services, we never recommend anything we wouldn’t use ourselves.

Seydisfjordur waterfalls

Our final Icelandic port is also our second trip to look at the Seydisfjordur waterfalls. On our previous visit, Linda was still a bit mobile, so we had hobbled around the small, but very photogenic town.

This time, we wanted to take a look at one of the many waterfalls that cascade off the mountains and into the fjord. Happily, there is a particularly large one at the dock where the tenders land.

Not so fortuitous is the path leading up to the waterfall. Made from volcanic rock chips, the path provides good grip and drainage in wet weather. Not so good for driving a scooter. Linda has a go, but gives up after 10 metres – the scooter is struggling with the terrain.

We abandon that idea and head down the road that leads away from town. Along the way we encounter a rusted phone box sculpture poking out of the greenery. Named ‘How’s it Going?’ the sculpture commemorates the first undersea telephone cable that ran from Scotland to Iceland.

A lot of visitors completely miss the sculpture

The sculpture happens to be next to a smaller version of Seydisfjordur’s waterfalls. And like most of Iceland, it is also extremely photogenic. I spend a few minutes climbing up beside the waterfall to grab a great view across the fjord.

A picture of one of the less-famous Seydisfjordur waterfalls

The fjord road runs for another 17km or so, ending at one remote farmhouse with a spectacular view out into the Atlantic Ocean. There’s no chance the scooter battery will last that distance though!


Top tip: Scooter riders should stick to the right-hand sidewalk as they head into town. The path on the left-hand side has weathered badly, leading to a very uncomfortable ride. 


Instead, we head back into Seydisfjordur, where the sound of loud music can be heard. The LungA arts festival running throughout the week, culminating in a live music performance in the afternoon and evening. Unfortunately, this means that the famous rainbow street is mostly closed; the music festival is ticket-only, so there is a gate across the main road.

A picture of the famous rainbow road and church in Seydisfjordur
This the photo every traveller hopes to get in Seydisfjordur

Seydisfjordur is a very small town, with a population circa 700 people. The town hosts a regular ferry service to Torshavn in the Faroe Islands and on to Hirtshals in Denmark. This brings visitors in via the ‘Eastern Gateway to Iceland’. This would help to explain the surprisingly large number of hotels and guest houses in such a tiny town.

In terms of accessibility, the actual town of Seydisfjordur is pretty good (once you have disembarked the tender to shore). However, most Seydisfjordur waterfalls will be inaccessible for wheelchair and mobility scooter users.

Batteries required: 1
Battery rating: -66%

Did we get an Iceland passport stamp?

No. The ferry terminal was closed and the lady in the gift shop assured me that there are no immigration officers or passport stamps in Seydisfjordur.

Bonus

A picture of the sunset as we sail away from Seydisfjordur
Another unusual sunset to finish the day in Seydisfjordur

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