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9 Of The Best UK Days Out For The Elderly

August 18th, 2022

If you have a loved one who’s living in a care home, taking them for a day out can be a lovely change of scenery for all of you, a chance to get the whole family together, and an opportunity to make new memories. Finding suitable destinations for days out for the elderly and children alike can take a little extra planning, but the UK has some brilliant attractions for all the family.

paintings in an art gallery

To find the best places in the UK for days out for elderly people, the New Care team have analysed data from TripAdvisor and Tourism For All to assess the accessibility, facilities, cost, and parking of attractions across the country. We gave a total of 36 attractions a score for:

  • Wheelchair accessibility
  • Parking cost
  • Disabled parking
  • Cafe/restaurant facilities
  • Availability of National Trust or English Heritage discount
  • Admission fee
  • Whether guide dogs are welcome
  • Accessibility for deaf and hard of hearing people
  • Seating availability
  • How long it would take to see everything at the particular attraction

Each category was given a score out of 10, before each attraction was awarded a total score out of 100. The top spot went to the Natural History Museum in London, while the top 10 also featured Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Garden, the V&A, and the Eden Project in Cornwall. 

Below, we’ve compiled a list of the UK’s best days out for the elderly within close reach of our New Care homes. Read on to find inspiration for your next day out with a loved one living in one of our care homes.

1. The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester

the whitworth art gallery, manchester

The Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester is our first recommendation (and the fourth best place in the UK for a day out for seniors, according to our list), with a total score of 93 out of 100. It has free admission, free on-site parking, it’s fully accessible, and there’s a great on-site restaurant that serves local, seasonal produce. 

Situated on Manchester’s Oxford Road and surrounded by Whitworth Park, the gallery houses more than 60,000 artworks, including historic fine art, contemporary pieces, a textile collection, and prints by the likes of Cezanne and Manet. 

The Manchester Museum is also located just down the road; it’s set to reopen in 2023, so combining a visit with a trip to the Whitworth would make a lovely day out from one of our Greater Manchester care homes.

2. National Science And Media Museum, Bradford

Next on our list of days out for elderly people is the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford, West Yorkshire, which we awarded a score of 90.6 out of 100.

Exhibitions explore topics including the history of children’s TV, women in broadcasting, and the story behind the Apollo 11 broadcast. You can explore the history of digital photography from the Victorian period to today, and there’s a fascinating selection of old TVs, cameras, games consoles, and computers on display – everyone in the family will remember different models, and you might be surprised by some of the items on display.

vintage tv

Parking is available at nearby council-owned car parks, which come with a charge, but otherwise entry is free. Bradford is around a 30-minute drive from Adel Manor Care Home in Leeds, making this an ideal destination for a day out with your loved one.

3. World Museum, Liverpool

With a total score of 90 out of 100 and 12th on the list overall, Liverpool’s World Museum is next on our list of recommended days out for older adults – although it has plenty of attractions to keep kids entertained too. 

It’s free to enter, fully accessible, and there’s so much to see, including a full-dome planetarium, aquarium, and dinosaur skeletons to rival those at London’s Natural History Museum. See mummies up close in the Ancient Egypt gallery, and visit the World Cultures exhibition to learn more about the items that came to Liverpool when it was one of the key ports of the British Empire. 

Liverpool city centre is around a 30-minute drive from our Formby Manor Care Home, making the World Museum a great option for a trip out with a loved one. It’s also next door to the Walker Art Gallery, another of our best days out for the elderly. 

4. Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds

suit of armour

The Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds is within easy reach of our Leeds care home, Adel Manor, scoring a total of 89 out of 100 against our criteria. A few points were deducted due to the lack of on-site parking, although there is city centre parking nearby – bear in mind that charges will vary. However, the museum is free to enter and fully accessible.

The Royal Armouries is the UK’s national museum of arms and armour, housing a fascinating collection of weapons and armours to bring the legends of historic battles to life. See suits of armour dating back to the 16th century up close, including pieces worn by kings and soldiers across the centuries. 

5. Museum Of Science And Industry, Manchester

Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry (also known as MOSI), gets a score of 89 out of 100. It’s fully accessible, free to enter, centrally located just off Deansgate in the city centre, and there are lots of different galleries, so you can easily spend a whole day out here. Note: the Power Hall and 1830 Station (the world’s oldest surviving passenger railway station) are currently undergoing redevelopment, so some exhibits may be closed.

museum of science and industry, manchester

The main museum building houses some brilliant interactive exhibits for big kids and little ones alike; find out how you can shake hands with yourself, and see if you can drive a Mini up a wall – seriously. There’s lots of local history here, from exhibits exploring the building of the world’s first computer in Manchester, to the Textiles Gallery, where you can learn all about the history of the city’s cotton industry.

Manchester city centre is within easy reach of several of our care homes, including Ashlands Manor, Bramhall Manor, Bridgewater Manor, and Cheadle Manor, so it’s an ideal day out for elderly residents, especially those with a passion for local history.

6. The Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

Just a few yards from Liverpool’s World Museum, you’ll find the Walker Art Gallery, which received a score of 88.4 in our list of best UK days out for the elderly. 

The gallery is free to enter, has on-site parking for Blue Badge holders, guide dogs are welcome, and there’s on-site assistance for visitors who are deaf or hard of hearing. When planning your visit, bear in mind that the gallery is closed on Mondays, except for bank holidays.

With artworks by the likes of Turner, Rembrandt, and Rossetti, exhibitions exploring Liverpool’s Black history, and a collection of antiquities dating back to 1200 BC and earlier, the Walker Art Gallery makes for a great day trip from Formby Manor Care Home in Merseyside. 

7. Imperial War Museum North, Salford

Salford is home to the Imperial War Museum North, which we awarded a total score of 86 out of 100. 

Located just a short drive from Bridgewater Manor Care Centre in Worsley, the museum houses exhibitions on the Second World War, Cold War, Falklands War, and other conflicts around the world. There’s a permanent exhibition on the Changing Faces of Wartime Britain, and you can see some of the ceramic poppies from the 2014 Tower of London display that marked the centenary of the start of the First World War.

remembrance day poppies

If you’re looking for ideas for culture-packed days out for the elderly in Greater Manchester, combine a trip to the Imperial War Museum with a visit to The Lowry, just a short walk away, where you can see some of L.S. Lowry’s finest works up close for yourself.

8. National Football Museum, Manchester

Next on our list of great days out for seniors is the National Football Museum in Manchester, which we’ve given a total score of 83.5. It loses a few points for its admission charges, but entry is free if you can prove that you’re a Manchester resident – check out the website for eligible postcodes.

The National Football Museum is located right in the heart of Manchester’s city centre, and a visit is perfect for football fans of all ages. See the shirt worn by Geoff Hurst and a boot worn by Bobby Moore at the 1966 World Cup Final, browse memorabilia from over the years, explore the rise of women’s football, and try your hand at an interactive penalty shootout to see if you’ve still got it.

9. Arley Hall And Gardens, Cheshire

arley hall in cheshire

Last but not least on our list is Arley Hall and Gardens, which received a total score of 71 – points were deducted as there are parking charges, and entry prices for both the hall and the gardens, plus the hall is only open on certain days of the year, so check the website before planning a visit. You should also be aware that there is no wheelchair access to the first floor of the hall itself, but images are available of the upstairs rooms. 

Located in the heart of Cheshire, around five miles from Northwich and a 30-minute drive from our Wilmslow Manor Care Centre, Arley Hall has made our list of top days out for the elderly due to its stunning stately home, historic Gothic-style chapel, and eight acres of formal gardens.

Coronation Street fans will recognise the hall from some of the soap’s more lavish weddings over the years, and you might also know it as Tommy Shelby’s extravagant home in Peaky Blinders.

Other Ways To Make Memories With A Care Home Resident

If you’re not able to take your loved one who’s living in a care home out for the day or away for a short break, there are still plenty of ways you can enjoy quality time together and make new memories. Simply enjoy a catch-up over a cup of tea and a slice of cake, or take along a photo album on your next visit and reminisce about old times. 

Keep your loved one involved in planning family events, and make sure you enjoy regular phone calls or virtual catch-ups over video calls. Bring them a cake on their birthday for a little tea party, or spend time in the care home gardens together – there are lots of options, even if you don’t have much time or the budget for a day trip. 

If you have any questions about our care homes or would like to arrange a visit, please contact us here

All prices correct as of August 2022.