Invest in ME Conference 12: First Class in Every Way
OverTheHills wraps up our series of articles on this year's 12th Invest in ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London with some reflections on her experience as a patient attending the conference for the first time.
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Accessible Hampton Court London a successful visit

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by Sallyagerharris, Mar 27, 2016.

  1. Sallyagerharris

    Sallyagerharris

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    Berkshire UK
    Having happily chosen the sunniest day of the Easter weekend we arrived as Hampton Court officially opened amongst with hordes of other people. As we were early we managed to easily park in the disabled car park right beside the ticket office. Even we left there were still a couple of empty disabled car parking spaces.

    As with many other attractions my husband went as my carer and we only paid for one adult ticket which was £19.00 but £21.00 with a £2.00 voluntary contribution which is optional but built into the ticket price.

    Lots of official guides directing people and just being kind and helpful.

    I was in my power chair but could have hired a mobility scooter there. Sorry I do not know the charge but did see a gentlemen on one who has MS. We chatted for a few minutes as he was interested in my power chair. They are a London couple and said that you can hire off road mob scooters at Hampstead Heath and also at Camden Lido.

    What turned out to be the worst bit for me was one of the large cobbled courtyards which is one of the first ones you go through and it cannot be avoided from what I saw. I had experienced past problems with ME from what before was a chopping effect from a massage which seemed in retrospect to feel similar and to affect my body as a cobbled surface. The jarring of my body sort of winds me later on. Also at Hampton Court I went over some gravel which was heavy on the chair and a bit bumpy for my body although I cut across the gravel and used the grass as a smoother surface.

    The massage chopping and bumpy cobbled effect effectively seemed to badly knock my muscles but also my lungs causing PEM. Firstly later that night my muscles across my whole body were trembling, literally over every muscle and across each and every bit of my body. The impact was also on my breathing where now 2 days later I'm still breathless with the feeling of air hunger and lots of shallow breathing and needing mouth not just nose breathing.

    I did not take the audible portable tour device as I find I get sensory overload with manoeuvring the power chair, avoiding wandering people, looking at the palace and exhibits. Lots of people did use the audio guides and said they were good.

    The staff were extremely helpful and obvious due to their bright red uniforms. They came and offered help to us and led us to the lifts. Although it was busy it was easy to travel on the powerchair both inside and outside.

    I've always loved Hampton Court from my first childhood visits but now for the first time with ME. It is one that was accessible, helpful people and I got a great deal out of it. There were a few non accessible rooms with steps but only a few.

    The larger restaurant accessible without paying to go into the main palace was a bit tricky with the number of people in there, jam packed with families and other visitors. We went to the tea and cake section with the lesser queue than the full meal option just to avoid the crowd. With no available tables we found a bench which was in a quieter spot but in lovely sunshine.

    If you visit Hampton Court during the tourist season, maybe go early but well worth a day out!! It was accessible, friendly and easy to negotiate. There is disabled parking and you can hire mobility scooters to travel in and outside the palace.

    Do ask me any questions.

    Sally
     
    Kina, AndyPR, ukxmrv and 5 others like this.

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