The world-famous Roman Baths won a top national award in a ceremony for Visit England’s Awards for Excellence 2016 on Tuesday (8th March).
The attraction, which is run by Bath & North East Somerset Council, won the award jointly with the Calvert Trust Exmoor Barnstaple, Devon in the Access for All category at the ceremony at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool, as part of English Tourism Week.
The success is its second accessibility award this year and follows a Gold Award for Access and Inclusivity, which the Roman Baths won last month in the South West Tourism Awards.
Councillor Patrick Anketell-Jones (Conservative, Lansdown), Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “We are delighted that the Roman Baths has been recognised as one of the most accessible attractions in the country in Visit England’s prestigious Awards for Excellence.
“This award reflects the ongoing efforts of staff at the Roman Baths to provide a world-class welcome for all visitors, through excellent staff training, information provision and updates to the building, such as the recent addition of new lifts.
“It is a great challenge to make a 2,000 year old site accessible for everyone so this is an exceptional achievement.”
Despite the challenges of the attraction being a Grade One listed building and a Scheduled Ancient Monument, staff at the Roman Baths have worked hard to make the site accessible to everyone with recent improvements including four new lifts, handrails, ramps and more places to rest.
The provision for wheelchair users has been improved with the availability of wheelchairs for visitors to borrow, lowered ticket office counters and accessible toilets.
Visually impaired people now have access to tactile signage, braille and audio-description of key objects. For deaf and hard-of-hearing people there are British Sign Language (BSL) audio tours, induction loops for hearing-aid users and BSL trained staff.
As the Roman Baths has no space for push chairs, rucksack-style child carriers are provided at the entrance to enable young children to stay safe and enjoy the attraction.
Child-friendly audio guide commentary is also available for children aged between five and 11.
The site has also been made more accessible to people on the autism spectrum with detailed guidance on what to expect provided on the website.