Free accessible Southampton guided heritage tours launch this weekend

Free accessible Southampton guided heritage tours launch this weekend

by Laura Ferreira.

The first specially designed accessible city centre tour from SeeSouthampton will take place this Sunday 12 March at 11.30 am.

This tour was designed for people with learning and physical difficulties including those who use a wheelchair or a mobility scooter.

The route aims to provide a sensory walk to participants through experiencing the textures, smells and sounds around Southampton’s central parks.

The project has been created by Katie Belo dos Santos (pictured top), a city tour guide for SeeSouthampton. She felt there was “a gap in the market” which does not always include those with accessibility concerns in heritage-related activities.

This walk was made possible thanks to the Community Chest Grant awarded to See Southampton guides in 2022.

Over six months they developed the city walk map in digital and print formats, and made their website more accessible and user-friendly.

This city trail is dyslexic-friendly and includes ramps, accessible toilets and lifts.

Having undertaken the T-GUIDE course (Tourist Guides for People with Intellectual & Learning Difficulties in Europe), Katie Belo dos Santos is the only tour guide in Southampton to be a certified “Inclusive Tour Guide”.

She said: “In the ten years I have been tour guiding, I had to turn away people just because they were in a wheelchair or in a mobility scooter, so I thought I would do something about it.” 

The first of the guided tours will take place this Sunday 12 March 2023, from 11.30am to 1pm.

This tour is free of charge, and the meeting point is by the fountain outside the City Art Gallery and Library.

For more information, please head to the SeeSouthampton website.

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