In the spirit of upcoming Purple Tuesday on 12 November – an international day calling for a better customer experience for disabled people – we’re shining a light on Bristol venues that provide stand-out accessibility.

Our venue finding service will always match you with spaces that meet your exact accessibility requirements. But for now, here are a handful of venues we work with to give you a taster of the diverse offering – from the world’s first great ocean liner to city centre hotels with first-class conference facilities.


Comprised of a large event space, cinema and seminar rooms, and a café and bar, this creative waterfront venue goes above and beyond to provide the best accessibility possible. They’ve worked with deaf artist David Ellington as part of the Agents for Change programme to improve their offering for the deaf community and their front facing staff are trained in basic BSL and deaf culture.

As well as a customer lift for access to the first floor, lifts to the back of two of the cinema rooms ensure every visitor can access both the back and front of the screens. There is an induction loop in all areas of the building for people that require it, and guiding services and welcome assistance dogs to the building can be arranged.

Venue hire at Watershed

Image credit: Watershed

Over the last year, Watershed has coined the term Horizontal Cinema after working with Raquel Maseguer, a resident in their Pervasive Media Studio who has chronic pain and chronic fatigue. They now offer the opportunity to lie down on a yoga mat or bean bag in any screenings, allowing everyone to enjoy the experience in a way that suits them. Since they actively encourage a more relaxed environment, it’s the perfect space if you want to do the same during your event.

Brunel’s SS Great Britain

A historic ocean liner might not be the first place that comes to mind for an accessible event venue, but Brunel’s SS Great Britain is renowned for its efforts to make visiting possible for everyone, whatever their needs. All areas are accessible to disabled visitors and the venue has compiled The Great Western Dockyard Companion, a handy guide with detailed plans and access information for the whole ship. There is also a Virtual Accessible Map complete with additional sensory information about the site, including sound clips, so guests can get a good feel for the space and know what to expect before they arrive.

Shakespeare Room at Being Brunel, SS Great Britain

Image credit: Brunel's SS Great Britain

Holiday Inn Bristol City Centre

The Holiday Inn City Centre is a sought-after conference venue that’s located in a central spot on Bond Street and is committed to offering a seamless experience for disabled visitors. All public areas and meeting spaces in the hotel are accessible for wheelchair users and hearing loops can be arranged in every meeting room.

Some of the other features worth noting are the fire sound and visual alarms in corridors as well as in the six spacious accessible bedrooms at the hotel; guests with hearing and/or visual impairment are given a vibrating alarm. There are lifts from concierge to all floors and a wheelchair lift from the NCP car park (which has plenty of disabled spaces) to concierge on the ground floor.

Meeting room at Holiday Inn Bristol City Centre

Image credit: Holiday Inn Bristol City Centre

Future Inns Bristol Cabot Circus

The Conference and Events Centre at Future Inns extends across the entire top floor of the hotel, delivering unbeatable views over Cabot Circus and the rest of Bristol. In spite of its 6th floor location, the centre is completely accessible, thanks to lift access, wide doors on the whole level and fully accessible toilets.

Add an overnight stay to your event here and know there is a choice of accessible double rooms, both on the ground floor and on higher floors in front of the lifts. They each have a double bed and sofa bed, a spacious layout that’s easy to move around, and a large wet room. Meanwhile, free disabled parking bays behind the hotel offer direct access to the lobby.

Future Inns Bristol Cabot Circus

Image credit: Future Inns

Bristol Accessible Venues Group 

Accessibility is ever improving at Bristol’s many arts and culture venues, and credit goes to the Bristol Accessible Venues Group for much of the progress. The group was started a few years ago between Watershed and Colston Hall and members are now made up of 13 different venues across the city including Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol Hippodrome, We The Curious, Bristol Museums, Bristol Old Vic and St George's.

Operational staff from the venues get together throughout the year to discuss accessibility in their venues, sharing best practice, challenges, contacts and organising talks and training from relevant organisations. This adds up to a more welcoming, understanding and enhanced experience in the city for any of your guests who may have access issues.  

Event in Winterstoke Hall at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery

Image credit: Bristol Museum & Art Gallery

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Watershed Conferencing
Creative & Cultural
Watershed Exterior

Watershed is the ideal venue for any event. Established in 1982, they have many years experience of organising and running events.

Brunel's SS Great Britain
Creative & Cultural
Brunel's SS Great Britain

A multi award-winning venue for non-residential conferences, corporate and private events and weddings.

Future Inns Bristol Cabot Circus Hotel
Future Inns Bristol Cabot Circus Hotel

The conference rooms span the entire top floor of the hotel offering panoramic views of Bristol's city skyline and offer flexible space.

Bristol Beacon
Creative & Cultural
Event at Colston Hall Bristol

During the transformation phase, their foyer building remains open as a contemporary versatile venue that can add the wow factor to your event.

The Bristol Hippodrome
Creative & Cultural
The Bristol Hippodrome Theatre

Ever wished to see what goes on behind closed doors when the curtain comes down. Why not have your meeting in peaceful and very different surroundings. They can tailor your event to include theatre tickets and theatrical tours of the building.

We The Curious Conferencing
Creative & Cultural
We The Curious Conferencing

Set on Bristol’s historic Harbourside, We The Curious is one of the most prestigious corporate event venues in the South West.

Bristol Museum and Art Gallery
Creative & Cultural
Bristol Museum and Art Gallery exterior

An inspirational setting for sophisticated entertaining in the heart of the city.

Bristol Old Vic Events
Creative & Cultural
Bristol Old Vic exterior

Opened in 1766, Bristol Old Vic is the country’s oldest continuously working theatre offering an historic venue, central location and flexible event spaces, ranging in capacity from 12 to 550.

St George's Bristol Venue Hire
Creative & Cultural
St George's Bristol Venue Hire

Their elegant Grand Hall and sophisticated new Glass Studio are available to hire for corporate and private events – from conferences and award ceremonies, to meetings, networking events and wedding parties.