Lovely Gardens, limitations within the grounds
wheelchair accessible cafe, although menu's only available on wall. wheelchair accessible tropical greenhouses. Disabled parking. Free maps to see what parts of the garden are accessible. lots of out door seating and picnic tables. Assistance Dogs welcome.
Transport & Parking
If driving there are 7 disabled parking spaces, car park area is graveled, then this leads on to a paved path leading to entrance. If using public transport you need to access the Bishop Auckland bus from Durham City and ask (for "Colleges" or "Hollingside Lane"), then there is a 5 minute walk from the bus stop,this is all up hill with no paths.
All access is through 2 sets of wooden doors which are not automatic , the entrance is level and this leads into cafe where you also pay to enter gardens. There are maps available to explain the areas that are accessible. On my visit i asked about any other disabled access and was told by staff that if you where to enter the Gardens from the park and ride, the access gate sometimes does not work. This would mean going back to the car and driving to the entrance by Collingwood college.
Toilets at main entrance however these are the only toilets in the grounds . Toilets were clean had grab rails with emergency pull cord. Sink was low but coat hook was high on the door. The disabled toilets were shared with baby changing unit and changing bins, so this made it quite compact and 2 people may struggle once inside.
Staff were very helpful and explained about the disabled access at the other end of the grounds. They also said that if i needed any help for future visits if i rang in advance they could help with any access problems.
Anything else you wish to tell us?
Even though the ground have limited access in parts this should not put you off. The majority of the tropical plants are in the greenhouses which are accessible but have narrow paths. The area around the entrance and out door seating area is all paved and fairly level. Once in the gardens the terrain changes from grass to soil paths and steep to flat i would not recommend going without a carer.