Unfortunately we did not get to see the gardens. Despite having a blue badge as I have extremely limited walking - I have cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and regurgitation in three heart valves - because I am unable to use a wheelchair ( I couldn't propel one and as I also have epilepsy cannot drive an electric one) or my husband able to give assisted wheelchair use due to his own health problems we were denied free access as 'there was no wheelchair involved.' Their reasoning was that it wasn't fair to wheelchair users to have to pay an entry fee as they would not be able to access all the gardens. The underlying - and incorrect - assumption was that I would be able to.
Given my limited ability to walk, wheelchair users would be able to access more of the gardens than I would have been able to .
When we decided to leave, the gardener who did not consider a blue badge an indication of extremely iimited walking, was polite and did say at the end that he was 'sorry we had missed the gardens.' He fails to miss the point in that I would have missed most of them anyway due to my limited mobility.
Individuals with mobility problems, who hold a blue badge, who wish to visit these gardens ought to check beforehand whether they are considered disabiled enough to qualify for the free entry afforded to people with disabilities ie if they have a wheelchair. Those who cannot use a wheelchair for whatever reason but have very limited mobility will not be welcome.
The little of the gardens we did see - as we were driving to the disabled parking spaces- did look nice but even they were on an incline and this would have made it inaccessible for me.
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