Port Lympne Accessibility Guide
Our aim is to deliver an inclusive environment so that the experience can be used by everyone, regardless of age, gender or disability.
Throughout the development of our reserve, we have sought ways to break down any unnecessary physical barriers and continue to listen to the needs of our customers. An integral part of the development process of Port Lympne addresses the need to cater for people with access requirements.
To ensure that you enjoy your visit or stay at our reserve, please read the information on this page and bear in mind the points below regarding accessibility.Which park is right for me?
Which park is right for me?
|Size of park||90 acres||600 acres|
Mostly flat (one medium gradient)
Hilly (some steep gradients)
|Accessible gift shop||✓||✓|
|Accessible safari truck||n/a||✓|
|Wheelchair available to hire||✓||✓|
|Mobility scooters permitted||✓||✓|
|Minibus assistance available||X||✓|
|Concession tickets available||✓||✓|
|Assistance dogs permitted||✓||✓|
If you require advice or assistance on your visit please call us on 01303264647 or email email@example.com and we'd be delighted to help.
Accessibility at Port Lympne
The 600 acre reserve is situated over a combination of flat and hilly ground with a safari ride on reconditioned army trucks, plus a variety of walking zones. There are four key zones in the park, Basecamp, Carnivore Territory, Dinosaur Forest and Primate Trail.
Arrival & Car Parking Facilities
The car park is very large with parking bays on grass and on hard standing. Designated disabled parking is located at the base of the footbridge on the hard standing. There are 10 disabled parking bays. Access to the main entrance (Gatehouse) and entrance to the park is via the footbridge. The ramp is steep but there are no kerbs preventing wheelchair access. A minibus with wheelchair access is available on request, if you encounter difficulties entering the park. Please call 01303 264647 in advance for assistance. Parking is free and there is plenty of space for coach parking.
Port Lympne Hotel guests can access the premises of Port Lympne Reserve and have dedicated parking bays near the Guest Services building. Please bear in mind that this car park is on an incline and is some distance from the accommodations, it is therefore our recommendation that the disabled guest is dropped off at Guest Services before the car is parked.
We do provide transport to and from the accommodation. If guests require assistance with luggage, equipment or guidance, please notify us in advance; our concierge service is available 24 hours.
The main entrance is staffed during day visit opening hours. Doors to the entrance open outwards manually with level access. The doors are suitable width to allow wheelchair access into the main entrance. The doors out of the gatehouse are suitable width for wheelchair users with a ramp to exit. The main entrance is well lit (fluorescent tube) and tiled. Every effort is made to ensure that visitors with accessibility restrictions can navigate freely through our main entrance and gift shop. The gatehouse is open plan and the ticket desks are high. The Gatehouse has accessible toilet facilities alongside male and female toilets. Baby changing tables are available.
Admission for disabled guests
As parts of Port Lympne are quite steep, we offer reduced admission for disabled guests and have selected routes for wheelchairs. Please ask for advice. This discount is not available with online tickets.
One free carer will be admitted with a disabled guest when purchasing a day ticket or the carer can purchase a concessionary annual pass which can be passed to any carer who accompanies the disabled person on any visit. One free carer will be admitted for a single day visit when a disabled guest purchases a concessionary day ticket or membership.
Concession and registered carer tickets can be purchased at our gatehouse when you arrive at Howletts or Port Lympne.
Concessionary tickets are available to purchase at the Gatehouse on arrival, they are not available to purchase online via our website. They are discounted from the standard full price admission. Annual Passes are available to book online but are not discounted.
A concessionary day ticket will permit entrance for one day. Concessionary tickets do not apply to children under 3 as they are entitled to free entry. However, if the child under 3 years old requires a registered carer, the registered carer will be required to purchase a concessionary rate adult day ticket.
A concessionary membership will permit the user entry to the park for one year from the date of purchase. Our admission policy for a concessionary membership will allow the necessary companion, or carer, of a disabled person to purchase a concessionary membership card which can subsequently be passed to any other companion or carer on future visits throughout the year of validity of the ticket.
Photo identification will not be requested on the ‘carer’ card; however, the carer can only gain admission to the wild animal park when accompanying the disabled person. Address or company details may be requested for the carer card. The companion or carer must show the following identification to qualify for concessionary rates and/or access to our carer card; Benefit Award Letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (e.g. for Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance or Incapacity Benefit), Blue Badge or Access Card.
Port Lympne Reserve is a combination of flat and hilly terrain with a variety of animal enclosures and paddocks. There is a steep hill from The Gatehouse entrance to the main park, Basecamp Café and safari truck point.
Most of the walking paths are generally tarmac; however, some are wood chipped, and some have tree roots running underneath them. The park has steep hills alongside flatter areas.
Wheelchairs and mobility scooters
Wheelchair access is available at the main entrance, Pinewood Café, Basecamp Café, Guest Services and Port Lympne Hotel. For those needing assistance, the park has an on-call minibus service for those having difficulties and can transport you to any area required. Please notify any member of staff if you require assistance and this will be arranged.
We have a wheelchair available to hire from the Gatehouse, your car keys or driver's licence will be securely held as a deposit for the duration of your visit. The wheelchair is not motorised. We recommend calling in advance to pre book the wheelchair on 01303 264647.
Mobility scooters are permitted but not for hire. If you use a mobility scooter, please contact us in advance on 01303 264647 for advice and assistance.
To protect our animals and your own, dogs and visiting pets are not permitted at Port Lympne or Howletts Wild Animal Park, except for registered assistance dogs. Please see full terms & conditions for our Assistance Dog Policy.
Whilst every effort will be made to accommodate those with a disability or learning difficulty, due to practicality and health and safety this cannot always be achieved; please contact us for advice on 01303264647 before booking.
Some of the safari trucks have been adapted to take wheelchairs and they are equipped with lifts. Each of these trucks accommodates 1 wheelchair. Please ask at the Gatehouse for more information about when these trucks are in use during the day and they will book your safari time on specific adapted truck safaris.
Some of the trucks are fitted with a lift and seats have been removed to give guests unobstructed views. Please book in advance on 01303 264647.
Safari rides last approximately 50 minutes. Visitors will embark at the safari truck pick up point at Basecamp and return to Basecamp, where you must disembark. Prams, buggies and push chairs are not permitted on the safari trucks, however there is a covered area at Basecamp where prams and push chairs can be left. Items are left at visitors' own risk. Port Lympne Reserve does not accept responsibility for loss or damage of unattended wheelchairs and pushchairs.
Toilet facilities including disabled toilets and baby changing are marked on the park maps.
There are ramps to access Pinewood Café, Basecamp Café and Port Lympne Hotel Bar. Babydoll’s Wood Fired Pizza restaurant in Carnivore Territory has steps to the entrance for the indoor restaurant, there are tables outside in the restaurant garden and further tables undercover outside. The Garden Room has level access and doors are a suitable width for wheelchair access. Different dietary needs can be catered for and bottle warming is available at Basecamp café, Pinewood Café and Babydoll’s Wood Fired Pizza. The Lookout and BBQ are seasonal catering outlets and may be closed during quieter periods. Toilets are situated close to all catering areas.
Several of our staff are trained first aiders. Please be aware that they are only equipped to assist with minor injuries. Please ask the nearest member of staff for first aid assistance.
Please be aware that staff vehicles and short break guests with golf buggies have access to most walking routes. The speed limit on park is 5mph and golf buggies are fitted with speed restrictors.
Contact and assistance
If you require advice or assistance on your visit please call us on 01303 234112 and we'd be delighted to help.
A walkthrough enclosure with wood chipped paths. Hand wash facilities are available here. Visitors must stay on the path through the enclosure and are not able to feed or touch the wallabies.
Access to the gardens is via steps only. Please note there are ponds in the gardens and some of the terraces have uneven surfaces. Children and vulnerable members of your group should be supervised.
Pathways through the three-acre walking experience vary in width with slight slopes and are wood chipped. Dinosaur models are life sized and anatomically correct. Informative signage in French and English guides the visitor through the prehistoric periods.
This is a long steep hill from the Palace of the Apes via the bottom of Port Lympne Hotel gardens. The hill levels out at Palace of the Apes and becomes level paths leading to the open-topped baboon enclosure and then a final hill to Basecamp. There are pathways off the level areas to access further primate enclosures. These pathways are sloped.
Palace of the Apes
A glass fronted enclosure with metal ramps which lead up to a raised walkway enabling visitors to view the gorilla garden. There is a steep metal ramp leading off the bridge to return to the footpath.
DETAILED ACCESSIBILITY INFORMATION FOR HOWLETTS WILD ANIMAL PARK
The AcccessAble (formerly DisabledGo) team have surveyed Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve and have produced a series of detailed access guides, covering the park, restaurants, accessible accommodation and retail outlets.
Accessible Accommodation at Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve
We offer an accessible Treehouse and an accessible Pinewood Pod with wheelchair access. If you need more information about our accessible accommodation please call 01303264647.
Visitors on the autistic spectrum
We know visitors on the autistic spectrum love our animals and we are pleased you are considering a trip to Howletts or Port Lympne.
Here are a few things to consider before visiting our parks if you are visiting with a person on the autistic spectrum:
SENSORY OVERLOAD - We are an attraction park with animals, therefore the presence of families with kids, as well as sounds and smells emitted by the animals, may cause sensory overload in very sensitive people.
HIGH VOLUME OF VISITS - Our parks have a high volume of visits during weekends and school/public holidays. If you prefer to visit when the volume of people is lower we suggest visiting during the week.
PLAN YOUR VISIT AHEAD - Knowing in advance where all the catering outlets, accessible toilets, play areas and facilities are might be helpful before you get here. Check our online map for Howletts and Port Lympne.
ANNUAL PASS - Our parks have plenty to see and offer. If you want to take your time and enjoy the parks at a slower pace why don't you upgrade your day ticket to an annual pass to have unlimited entrance to Howletts & Port Lympne? Concession prices are available at the Gatehouse and they give access to free entry for a carer.
OUR STAFF ARE TRAINED - Whatever your needs or worries, our staff are trained to assist our guests and they will help with anything you might need. Just ask for guidance at the Gatehouse.
At Howletts and Port Lympne we will always make sure that you have an amazing experience. If you wish to speak with one of our team please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Need special assistance?
If you need special assistance you can send an email to email@example.com or call us on 01303264647.