Accessibility Review: The Tank Museum, Bovington

Home to over 300 vehicles from World War One to present day, The Tank Museum’s unique collection is considered as the best in the world.

Allied Mobility sponsored racing driver, Aaron Morgan, took a trip to the Bovington ground, renowned for once being the military training centre for tanks, to give us his venue accessibility review.  Over to you, Aaron!

First Impressions

When I first entered the Tank Museum, it was clear to see the curators have thought carefully about its accessibility.  It’s spacious, uncluttered and most of the flooring throughout is concrete which made it easy to roll my wheelchair over.  The generous amount of room around the tanks, which are clearly divided by year, means you can move freely around each.

The Tiger Display

I learned that many visitors come from far and wide to see one tank in particular – the Tiger.  In a world’s first, all of the tanks in the Tiger family are on display together until Autumn 2019.  I was blown away by the scale of the exhibition and it’s truly impressive when you see the Tiger’s in person.

The display itself features information boards which are at a suitable height to read from my wheelchair.  There’s also an interactive display that can be viewed through a small tablet-like screen with headphones attached.  It gives a 3D perspective of the tanks as they would have been while in combat and is a great use of technology – a very nice touch!

Warhorse to Horsepower

The Warhorse to Horsepower exhibit focuses on the role that horses played in combat over the years and the eventual move away from cavalry to the tank.

In this section there’s even a dissected tank that you can wheel through but it’s quite narrow in places.  Whilst my wheelchair was able to fit through, people in wider wheelchairs might struggle.

Trench Experience

The trench experience immerses visitors in the sights and sounds of life in the ditches.  Some of the concrete in this section is uneven to simulate mud on the ground but this posed no problem for me to wheel over.

Further into the exhibit, visitors experience exactly what it’d be like to live in a trench.  The path becomes a narrow trail of small wooden slats which were sadly too narrow for me to fit down in my chair and will be for most others.

Aaron in front of tankCustomer Facilities, Restaurant and Shop

In general, accessibility in the museum really is excellent.  The customer facilities are well thought out with toilets dotted in various locations throughout the site.  All are a good size and contain grab rails.

The bright and airy restaurant leads out onto an outdoor terrace with tables to eat your food outside if you wish to.  From this balcony you can see the famous tank test track and as Bovington is still an active barracks, some tanks will be driven around this during the day.  Well worth the view!

For more information on the The Tank Museum – click HERE to head over to their website.

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