Great Annual Event with good access.
This review is especially helpful for those who have or use the following: Wheelchair
Cheltenham Literature Festival is an annual event which runs in October. We've been gping for years and have watched it grow in size from a few rooms in the town hall to a huge event that is now staged over two glorious small parks / gardens that are a couple of hundred yards apart. When they first started using outdoor venues (marquees) they struggled with wheelchair access but have taken feedback on board and learnt from experience. On one occasion they even changed the carer seats in one venue from fixed seating (which can be very difficult with care needs and different wheelchair sizes) to movable seats - and they did it overnight following one comment! The new arrangement has continued ever since. It's known as 'the invisible row A' ! No event staged in marquees will ever be perfect but this one goes the extra mile to provide the best access possible. Box office organises wheelchair (and other needs) booking, staff and volunters throughout the festival are really helpful and if you have feedback (because however good it gets everybody's needs are different) they will listen. Go for a day, a weekend, the whole ten days! Just book tickets for the events you want to see and enjoy! There are also Science, Jazz and Music festivals at other times of the year. (Check access for different venues at the Music Festival.)
Transport & Parking
Plenty of on street pay and display (free with blue badge) ear the site. Check the signs though as some residents only bays do exist!
Every venue is ramped, although occasionally the doorway ridge can be a pain but when this happens it is clearly marked with hazard tape and staff will help you if needed. A sturdy metal ramp was specifically made for the stone steps in the middle of one of the parks and when the book tent was near to that the staff were quick to react when it was pointed out that people were blocking the ramp by queueing up that instead of the steps! Up went the notices!
There are three disabled loos in the town hall and usually a mobile dis loo in that park. In the other park there is a council, permenant dis loo andsually mobile dis loos too.
Staff are amazing! Always willing to help and considerate of individual needs. There is no lumping of all disabilities into one scenario - individual needs are recognized and adjustments made.