Disability History Month: accessible places to study and hang out in Exeter

Finding places that are accessible is always a struggle in any city, but particularly in hilly Exeter! Here are some of my favourite places to go to when I want to study or hang out in town, with brief details on the accessibility of each location.

Bird and Blend

a close-up of a white storefront, with ‘’Bird and Blend’’ written above the windows in dark blue. Through the windows you can see counters and displays of tea.

As a family-owned tea business, Bird and Blend never fails to offer interesting experiences. I order tea lattes with friends before going to the benches at Cathedral green for a peaceful afternoon.

Ordering tea can be a bit confusing – just go to the barista counter in the back to order your drink and pay at the main counter. You can also buy bagged tea leaves to go!

As a small store, Bird and Blend does not offer seating, though there is enough space for manual wheelchairs and most power chairs. Getting to Bird and Blend is relatively easy, as a store on the High Street.

Grow Coffee House

a close-up of a white store with ‘’Coffee House Entrance’’ at the front. On the left you can see part of the outdoor seating.

Grow Coffee House is my absolute favourite place to study or relax with friends. Their chai lattes are delicious, and the vegan banana bread is to die for!

Both the inside and outside spaces are accessible, but if the weather allows, I recommend outdoor seating as the inside can get cramped when busy. The shop is down a small slope on South Street. Most inside seating also has power outlets.

Sacred Grounds

a close-up of the café Sacred Grounds from the outside with floor to ceiling windows showing tables and plants inside. The walls are covered in panelled wood and outside the shop there are tables for outdoor seating.

If you want a place to grab lunch, Sacred Grounds in the Arcade offers amazing vegan and gluten-free drinks and dishes in a beautiful area.

The store is entirely accessible and has both indoor and outdoor seating. As a note, getting to the Arcade can be a bit of a struggle as a mobility aid user, being halfway down Fore Street.

Exeter Library

a curved path leads towards a big, red brick building in the background, with floor to ceiling windows and trees surrounding it. ‘’Exeter Library’’ is written in large white letters at the top.

When you need a calmer place to study than a coffee house, the Exeter Library is always a good choice, with a free membership, public computers and a plethora of books. The library also has a café for when you need a drink or treat.

Quiet and not too busy, it hosts accessible seating spaces and disabled parking. You can find it next to the Rougemont Gardens on Castle Street.

Clifton Road Games

If you like playing any kind of game, Clifton Road Games isa must. They have a large variety of games to both play in store or buy and host daily events (my favourites are Board Games on Tuesdays and Friday Night Magic).

The store is entirely accessible, with accessible toilets and plenty of space to get around. The staff are always attentive to peoples' needs and care greatly about making customers feel welcome. It is a bit far out on Clifton Road, 15 minutes from the High Street, but worth a visit if you can.

It is important to mention that most of these places do not provide accessible bathrooms. Your nearest ones in the centre of town will be at John Lewis or Marks and Spencer.

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