Wonderful on Tap

Carsington Water Sensory Guide

A guide for visitors with cognitive disabilities including autism spectrum disorder.

About Carsington Water


Amenities at Carsington Water

Carsington Water has 3 car parks that I may arrive at. These are the main car park, Millfields car park, and Sheepwash car park.


Arriving at Carsington Water

When I arrive at Carsington Water, I will be in one of the car parks. From here I can decide to relax, explore the tracks, or stay near the visitor centre at the main car park.

See

In  the car park, I might see;

  • Cars, buses and other vehicles
  • Other people walking around
  • Bikes going by
  • Trees swaying in the wind
  • People with dogs

Hear

In the car park, I might hear:

  • Cars and other vehicles
  • Other people talking
  • The wind in the trees
  • Children shouting
  • Birds singing

Touch

In the car park I might touch;

  • The tarmac on the floor
  • Stone walls and ledges
  • Hedges and trees
  • Other people brushing past me
  • The wind, sun or rain

Smell

In the car park I might smell;

  • Fumes from cars driving by
  • Flowers and other plants

Inside the Visitor Centre

If I go to the visitor centre, I can go inside, where I can find the reception, helpful staff, and the exhibition. From here I can go upstairs to the restaurant, or outside to the courtyard.

See

Inside the visitor centre, I might see;

  • Automatic doors opening and closing
  • People walking around or queuing
  • Children playing in the exhibition
  • Signs with words and pictures
  • Lights on the floor and walls in the exhibition
  • A dark tunnel and objects to interact with in the exhibition

Hear

Inside the visitor centre, I might hear:

  • Automatic doors opening and closing
  • People walking up and own stairs
  • People talking and children shouting
  • A telephone ringing
  • Water sounds from the exhibition
  • Splatting game sounds from the exhibition
  • Talking from videos in the exhibition

Touch

Inside the visitor centre, I might touch;

  • A wooden bench I can sit on
  • A metal hand-rail on the staircase
  • The button for the lift
  • Moveable objects in the exhibition
  • Buttons and hard objects in the exhibition

Smell

Inside the visitor centre, I might smell;

  • Food from the restaurant or cafe

Inside the Restaurant and Cafe

If I go to the restaurant, I will find helpful staff that can guide me to a table or help me find what I need. If there is space, I can choose to sit either inside or out on the balcony.

See

In the restaurant, I might see

  • People queing or sitting at their tables
  • Staff behind the counter or carrying food and drink
  • Large windows with views of the reservoir and the courtyard

Hear

In the restaurant, I might hear

  • People talking at their tables
  • Machines from the kitchen and behind the counter
  • Music playing quietly over the speakers
  • Pots and cutlery being used
  • Chairs moving

Touch

In the restaurant, I might touch

  • Wooden tables and chairs
  • Metal ralings by the counter
  • Ceramic plates, bowls and cups
  • A glass to drink from
  • Wind if I decide to sit outside

Smell

In the restaurant, I might smell

  • Different food dishes being served

Taste

In the restaurant, I might taste

  • The food and drink that I order

In the Courtyard

If I go to the courtyard, I can look through the shops, go to the café or the toilet, or sit and enjoy the plants and birds.

See

In the courtyard, I might see

  • Staff working in and around shops
  • Other visitors walking around
  • Plants and small trees
  • Small birds flying around
  • The kugel stone turning

Hear

In the courtyard, I might hear

  • People talking
  • Auitomatic doors opening and closing
  • Children playing in the distance
  • Birds singing

Touch

In the courtyard, I might touch

  • Stone walls
  • Wooden benches
  • Cobbled and paved floors
  • Doors into shops or toilets

Smell

In the courtyard, I might smell

  • Food from the cafe

Taste

In the courtyard, I might taste

  • Food and drinks that I order from the cafe
  • Ice cream from the ice cream shop

Outside the visitor centre

Outside the visitor centre I can find fields and paths near the main car park. Here I can have a picnic, visit the play area, or start my walk around the tracks.

See

Outside the visitor centre, I might see

  • Large groups of people eating or playing
  • Dogs and children running
  • Smoke from BBQ's
  • Kites flying

Hear

Outside the visitor centre, I might hear

  • Groups of people talking
  • Children shouting
  • Dogs barking
  • Cars from the car park

Touch

Outside the visitor centre, I might touch

  • The grass in the fields
  • Wooden picnic benches
  • Play area equipment like swings or slides
  • Leaves on trees and bushes

Smell

Outside the visitor centre, I might smell

  • Smoke from BBQ's
  • Food from picnics and BBQ's

Taste

Outside the visitor centre, I might taste

  • Food I bring for a picnic
  • Food or drink I can buy from the shops

At Carsington Sports and Leisure

If I go to Carsington Sports & Leisure, I can find helpful staff to ask about renting bikes or boats.

See

At Carsington Sports and Leisure, I might see

  • Staff and groups with life jackets on
  • Bikes, boats and sports equipment
  • People riding or returning bikes

Hear

At Carsington Sports and Leisure, I might hear

  • Staff and other visitors talking
  • Voices from walkie talkies
  • Splashing in the water
  • People working behind the centre
  • Vehicles parking

Touch

At Carsington Sports and Leisure, I might touch

  • Equipment I rent such as bikes or boats
  • A life jacket If I need one
  • Leaflets or items in the shop

On the tracks

If I choose to walk or ride along the tracks, I can find bird hides, woods, fields, and wide-open spaces. If I use a map, I can choose where I would like to go and explore.

See

On the tracks, I might see;

  • Other people walking cycling or running
  • Dogs with their owners
  • Sheep in fields
  • Wildlife and countryside views

Hear

On the tracks, I might hear:

  • Other people talking
  • Dogs barking
  • Animals and wildlife
  • Bikes going by

Touch

On the tracks, I might touch;

  • Strong winds in open areas like the dam wall
  • Wooden bridge railings
  • Grass in fields
  • Wooden sculptures and bird hides

Smell

On the tracks, I might smell;

  • Plants around the track
  • Animal waste from fields

At the wildlife centre and bird hides

If I go to the wildlife centre or other bird hides, I must be quiet. These are places that I can relax and enjoy spotting wildlife, and other people might want to relax here too.

See

At the bird hides, I might see;

  • People sat quietly with binoculars
  • Volunteers who can help me spot birds
  • Posters with birds and information on walls
  • Views of islands in the water

Hear

At the bird hides, I might hear:

  • People talking quietly or whispering
  • Birds singing nearby
  • Water splashing from the reservoir

Touch

At the bird hides, I might touch;

  • Wooden benches and ledges

Smell

At the bird hides, I might smell;

  • Damp wood

Tips for a great day at Carsington Water

  • Before I come to Carsington Water, it is a good idea to think about the time I’m going to visit. If I come in the middle of the day or during school holidays, it is more likely to be busy.
  • I should stick to the rules and read the signs that are there to keep everyone safe. For example I should not swim or paddle, and I should keep my dog on a lead.
  • I should remember that the ranger team are there to help if I need them, and I can contact them at reception by calling 0330 6780 701

Sensory Guide printable version