Planning a day out with someone who has ASD can be a daunting task, but fear not, as London has an abundance of ASD-friendly locations to choose from. Knowing where to go can make all the difference in ensuring a stress-free and enjoyable day out.
From touring the Houses of Parliament to visiting the Harry Potter studios, there are plenty of places that offer the necessary facilities and support for individuals on the spectrum. In this guide, we will explore some of the best ASD-friendly spots in London and provide practical tips for planning a successful day out.
- 1 ASD Friendly Locations in London
- 1.1 Visit the Harry Potter Studios
- 1.2 Climb Aboard the London Transport Museum
- 1.3 Visit the Sea Life Centre London Aquarium
- 1.4 Head to London Zoo
- 1.5 Marvel at The Natural History Museum
- 1.6 Take a Peek Inside Tower Bridge
- 1.7 Board The Cutty Sark
- 1.8 Spend an Afternoon at a City Farm
- 1.9 Stargaze at the Greenwich Planetarium
- 2 Practical Tips for Planning ASD Friendly Days Out in London
- London has many ASD-friendly locations, making it an ideal destination for a stress-free day out.
- Planning ahead and choosing the right location can make all the difference in ensuring an enjoyable experience for those with ASD.
- With our guide to practical tips and ASD-friendly spots, you can plan the perfect day out in London.
ASD Friendly Locations in London
Visit the Harry Potter Studios
The Warner Bros. Studios is a magical place to visit in London. It is also one of the most accessible places for people with ASD. They have a guide to the whole experience, which makes it easy to plan accordingly. The studio is aware that some of the exhibitions might become stressful, so they have a special sensory room with calming and interactive elements. They also have discreet ‘Hidden Disability Sunflower Lanyards’ to indicate to staff that you might need assistance.
Climb Aboard the London Transport Museum
The London Transport Museum is a great place to learn about the impact of London on modern cities. They have exhibitions about old forms of mass transit and how the city’s underground system was planned. The exhibitions have various ways to convey their information, including subtitles on audiovisual exhibitions for people who prefer to read. Carers go free at the museum, making it possibly the best ASD friendly day out in London.
Visit the Sea Life Centre London Aquarium
The Sea Life Centre, also known as the London Aquarium, is a perfect place for people with ASD to have a day out. It has a mind-boggling amount of interesting things to look at, ensuring that the person you’re with has plenty to focus on. The aquarium makes great efforts to take care of people with ASD and disabilities. Carers go free, and staff members are on hand to help out if the aquarium becomes overwhelming. They also offer an accessibility guide, and on selected dates, they open their doors an hour early for those who need a little extra quiet.
Head to London Zoo
London Zoo is an excellent place for people who thrive on information. With around 16,000 animals to learn about, it might tick a few of the right boxes. Although the zoo doesn’t provide any ASD-specific guides, they have plenty of zookeepers and assistants on hand to help out if you need them. Additionally, the zoo has plenty of car park space reserved for blue badge holders.
Marvel at The Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum is a place where it’s hard not to become engrossed in the exhibitions. The giant dino skeletons and engaging info make it the perfect place to give an overactive mind the stimulation it needs. The museum’s Dawnosaur events are perfect for little ones, and they run them early, before the big crowds arrive, so you’ve got a bit more space for yourselves. The Science Museum’s Night Owls events do something similar, just after hours.
Take a Peek Inside Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge is not only the most iconic of all London’s bridges, but it’s also an interesting place for a day out. You can check out the inside of the bridge you’d probably only recognize from the outside. There are walkways with great views of the river, machinery for lifting the bridge to take in, and even a glass floor to walk across. With so much to learn about, and so many ways of learning, they also include unique guides for people with ASD. Carers go free, and there are concessions for those with disabilities.
Board The Cutty Sark
The Cutty Sark is an excellent place for people who have taken a fascination with boats and sailing. The beautifully maintained boat that was once one of the fastest ships of its day has plenty to get excited about. You can explore above and below the deck, visit the captain’s cabin, and meet some of the characters from its colorful past at special events. They also offer free parking for blue badge holders, and carers can go free. If you’re going as a family, you might want to look into one of their family days.
Spend an Afternoon at a City Farm
City farms are a thing in London. They offer a great opportunity to experience nature in the city. Vauxhall City Farm is one of London’s biggest city farms, and they run heaps of educational activities. They have super helpful and attentive staff and even offer horse riding lessons. For a good North London spot, try Kentish Town City Farm. It’s not as big, but they’ve got a great selection of animals, including a couple of adorable, and absolutely massive, pigs.
Stargaze at the Greenwich Planetarium
Greenwich Planetarium offers several daily planetarium shows where an expert talks you through the night sky, walks you across the surface of Mars, and explains what you would be able to see in the night sky the day you visit if the stars were all visible. They offer shows for different levels of understanding, though all the shows have easy-to-access knowledge. They also don’t last too long, about half an hour each, so there’s no need to worry if someone doesn’t handle sitting down
Practical Tips for Planning ASD Friendly Days Out in London
Planning a day out in London can be a daunting task for families with children on the autism spectrum. However, with a little bit of preparation, it is possible to make the experience enjoyable for everyone. Here are some practical tips to consider:
Contact the places you plan to visit ahead of time to let them know about your visit and any additional help you may need. Many of the venues listed in this guide have a reputation for being helpful with queries like this.
Consider planning your visit around quieter times of the day or week to avoid crowds and overwhelming situations. Avoiding peak times like school holidays and weekends can be a good way to steer clear of the crowds.
Use visual aids like maps and pictures to help your child understand what to expect and to reduce anxiety.
Plan breaks and quiet spaces into your itinerary to allow your child to recharge and relax.
Pack a bag with sensory items like noise-cancelling headphones, fidget toys, and snacks to help your child cope with any unexpected situations.
By following these practical tips, families can plan enjoyable and stress-free days out in London.