Find out how places across our county are accessible to everyone, including those with disabilities, and how businesses can improve.

North Yorkshire is England’s largest county with many diverse places including market towns and villages, beautiful National Parks, heritage coast and exceptional places of interest. Our vision, expressed in our council plan is: 

‘We want North Yorkshire to be a thriving county which adapts to a changing world and remains a special place for everyone to live, work and visit.’ 

We are committed to promoting equality of access to all our residents and visitors. Finding out about physical access to places within the county is extremely important. This page provides links to further information to help people with disabilities check whether places are accessible to them, according to their needs.

Our services throughout the county are accessible for all. Some provide specific services for people with disabilities. You can find out more here about some key council services.

  • North Yorkshire libraries, many of which are now community run, provide access for all residents to books in ordinary or large print, audio books on CD or cassette, ebooks and online resources. There are also provide public access computers, talks, events and signposting to other services. We also run a free home library delivery service to people who find it difficult to leave home, carry books or visit the library themselves because of ill health, disability or age.
  • Registration offices are located across the county dealing with births, deaths and marriages and civil partnerships.
  • The county record office in Northallerton collects, preserves and makes available historic and current records for the study of North Yorkshire.
  • Children’s centres are located across the county, and offer sessions, courses, activities, services and support to families across North Yorkshire. Some of our activities are free for you to drop in, others need to be booked in advance, and some are by invitation or referral only. 
  • Household waste recycling centres staff offer help if you need it. Please just ask, but be aware that you may have to wait at busy times. A neighbour, family member or friend may also dispose of your waste on your behalf at our centres if you are a resident of North Yorkshire, providing they do not advertise the service or receive any payment in connection with the waste. They will have to complete a Household Waste Declaration form (available at the site office) when they deliver the waste. 

Schools all should have a Single Equalities action plan which sets out how the school will increase access to education for disabled pupils, alongside other protected groups, in the three areas required:

  • increasing the extent to which disabled pupils can participate in the school curriculum;
  • improving the physical environment of the school to enable disabled pupils to take better advantage of education, benefits, facilities and services provided; and 
  • improving the availability of accessible information to disabled pupils.

The action plan is renewed annually and progress towards the equality objectives within it is reported on regularly to governors, and this information is published at least annually.  Schools should identify equality objectives through consultation with key stakeholders. Schools’ equality objectives are published at least once every four years.

This action plan should be available on the school website and available in different formats and in different languages on request to the school office.

If you are heading for a day out in North Yorkshire or visiting our county on holiday, it's useful to be able to plan your visit in advance to check which places are accessible.

You can share your experiences of visiting a range of shops, restaurants, hotels, venues and attractions across the UK by visiting the Euan’s guide website. Listings include information and reviews contributed by disabled people, about accessible toilets, wheelchair access, hearing loops and multiple other access features at all sorts of locations including tourist venues, restaurants and cafes. 

By sharing their experiences you can give others an idea of what to expect when they visit somewhere new for the first time. 

Tourism is a vital industry to the economy of North Yorkshire and the following websites offer information about accessibility in relation to tourist attractions and accommodation:

North Yorkshire has a lot of beautiful countryside to explore, including two National Parks and a heritage coastline. Access to green spaces can significantly improve people’s health and wellbeing, and a range of organisations are working to improve access with people with disabilities.

The National Park Authorities in North Yorkshire provide information on their website on accessibility to the Park areas for disabled visitors:

Open Country is a Harrogate-based charity that seeks to enable anyone with a disability to access the countryside. They have a range of activities and produce a number of directories providing information about accessibility.

Useful information

You may also find the following pages on our website useful:

Businesses and communities: how to improve your accessibility

The economy and local businesses can also benefit from improving accessibility. The so-called Purple Pound – the spending power of disabled people, their families and carers – is estimated at over £400m annually in North Yorkshire. 

The countywide North Yorkshire Disability Forum and local disability forums are proactive in promoting physical access in relation to streets, shops and other public access buildings. In several areas, local access projects have been carried out or are underway, designed and led by volunteers, who are experts by experience.

They are developing checklists and toolkits for access work and emphasise that solutions don’t always have to cost money.

These top tips for accessibility for businesses gives advice on making your business or community facilities more accessible for disabled people and provides links to further information.