Tourist header template

And the answer is a resounding YES!

When people live with dementia, they face a huge variety of challenges and can also have very specific needs. For those coming to visit this area, it is reassuring to know that the visitor experience at several local attractions is enhanced by additional help and support.

This is because they have tried to accommodate the needs of visitors, their families, friends and carers, who are all living with dementia. It can make such a difference in making a special day out even more enjoyable, knowing that there is help available if needed or that the attraction itself can offer that bit of extra support.

It’s possible that some people who are living with dementia, may find it difficult to process information and very often simple and quiet places are good destinations for a day out.

Local museums, gardens, and outdoor places with no specific structure or pressure, mean people can approach them at their own pace. The key is to find somewhere that could be considered stimulating but that doesn’t need to involve too many choices or challenges.

You may want to avoid visiting when the attraction has a very busy time – like during the school holidays, or at weekends and perhaps do a recce before you go for the day out to just get familiar with the attraction and what they can offer.

Photo credit to: Andrea Piacquadio

Here are a selection of local attractions that may be suitable for someone to visit if they are living with dementia. They all offer different choices so hopefully they will be somewhere that suits your needs but they will all want to make you feel understood and welcome.

Where Shall we go?

Arundel Museum can offer specific handling / reminiscence sessions which can be helpful for visitors living with dementia. These can be arranged via

The museum holds events that sometimes relate to the past but within living memory. For example, Arundel in the 1960’s or old photograph displays of the town. The museum contains many displays showing the history of Arundel and household equipment and tools from days gone by that some us may well remember having in our homes!

With regular talks and art displays, check with our What’s on calendar to see what is happening at Arundel Museum

Additionally, one of Arundel Museum’s strengths is the wheelchair accessibility of the gallery and shop.

Petworth House and Park organise dementia awareness courses as part of the National Trust’s Everyone Welcome programme. Several of their staff and volunteers are Dementia Friends, so they should be able to accommodate any specific needs visitors may have.

There is plenty of accessible parking and hundreds of acres with quiet areas to walk through or rest and simply admire the lovely views and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of nature all around.

The 700+ herd of fallow deer who live in the park is certainly a very special sight and you can often see them going about their daily business in the park, as they have done for over 500 years!

Petworth Park is also home to varies different species of ancient and veteran trees. Some of which are nearly 1,000 years old. What stories they could tell if only they could talk!

Arundel Lido is rightly proud of their super friendly and approachable staff. Some of them have attended their Dementia friendly sessions so they are aware and able to spot the signs of customers with dementia and help as much as possible.

Their now famous, Just water & Me sessions are for people who like to take things in their own time – just enjoying the freedom of floating, walking and feeling weightless, thanks to just the water supporting them.

Arundel Lido provides a safe environment, with easy parking and level access. You can also relax outside the pool with a drink and snack.

Also, don’t forget to pop into their Elevenses Community Cuppa – held every Monday morning at the Arundel Lido and this is very much a dementia friendly event, offering refreshments to everyone. It is a safe space to enjoy the company of others and engage in conversation.

Nikki, the Lido’s Manager who started this group, has lots of other plans for this brilliant initiative so look at their website before you visit and see what else there may be to do there.

Fontwell Park Racecourse who are also autism friendly, can provide a quiet space if needed, easy parking and plenty of theme days where visitors can engage with all the entertainment on offer.

There is always lots to see but you don’t have to be with the crowds as the centre of the course allows for parking where you can take a picnic and see the horses gallop by from a distance – or up closer if you prefer! You can just relax by your car and literally watch the racing going on all around you.

If a visitor wishes, they can visit the Parade Ring where the horses and jockeys in all their splendour are on display before each race and you can get quite close-up and experience the majesty of these beautiful horses and the lovely racing colours worn by the jockeys.

Enjoy watching them canter down to the start – then the tape is pulled back …… and they are off!

Arundel Wetland Centre make it their principle that their wetlands and wildlife are accessible to everyone so all visitors can connect with nature. They have even been awarded silver, in the Accessible & Inclusive Tourism category at the Beautiful South Awards.

Every area of the attraction is accessible along with the free car park, a boat safari, sensory garden and two accessible toilets. There is a step free entry to the ground floor of all their hides with viewing windows for wheelchairs.

A lovely café looks out over the lake which is full of resident and visiting birds all year and the friendly and helpful staff will assist with carrying a tray to a table or help open a gate – just ask them and they will be glad to assist.

The whole attraction is teeming with wildlife all year round so there is always going to be something to see.

Arundel Castle provides a lot of visitor information on their website and will gladly take telephone calls to explain further details if required. There is a separate section on Disabled Access on the Castle’s website.

They have a carers entry arrangement and guides who can chat and engage with visitors. Their staff are adept in assisting visitors who may need additional help with perhaps reduced mobility, sight or hearing issues and dementia.

Mill Road car park is across the road from the main entrance. A motorised buggy can help visitors in getting from the ticket box to the gardens and castle entrance.

Accessible toilets are available on the ground floor of the Castle and in the gardens, where the gravel footpaths are wide enough to take wheelchairs. There are moderate slopes that overcome any steps. 

Any trip to the Castle must include a visit to the Castle gardens. The colours of the flowers and plants found in The Collector Earl’s Gardens are truly something to behold whatever the time of year although for many the Tulip Festival is a firm favourite.

You can take as much time as you need to wander around the gardens and grounds at your own pace simply taking in the beautiful and varied colours of these wonderful flowers in the formal gardens, the landscape and around the Stew Ponds.

Arundel Castle, West Sussex

And Finally

We hope the above suggestions of places to visit may well be suitable but it may be, that you simply want to avoid ALL the crowds and noise so look no further!

There is beautiful scenery, beaches, countryside and walks all to be found around Arundel that can be enjoyed all year.

Have a look at these pages as they may give you some ideas of places to go that will suit your specific requirements.

Bluebell Woods Near

ARUNDEL-BY-SEA? Yes, really!

Arundel’s Surrounding Villages

Wherever you decide to go and whatever you decide to do, the most important thing of all is……… to relax and enjoy the day and quality time with your loved one.


Written by Barb Hogan