With the weather slowly improving, now is the best time to start thinking about exploring the UK. But, where to go and what to do? Katie Richards, from Sykes Cottages (the UK’s leading holiday cottage agency) reveals the best days out for 2013.
Whether you’re travelling with the family or enjoying a weekend break with friends, planning ahead is the best way to make the most of your time away. With Easter holidays not too far away, here is our pick of the best accessible days out across the UK.
Best for adventurous families
If you’re looking for something to do with the whole family, why not try Longleat House and Safari Park in Wiltshire. There’s plenty to do there, from exploring Lord Bath’s lavish stately home to meeting the variety of animals in the grounds.
The house itself is easily accessible with wide corridors, spacious rooms and lifts to ensure you don’t miss out… although it’s advised to call before to mention your needs, especially at busy times. Wheelchair users are well catered for outside too with many flat, even pathways and access to the miniature land train and boat trip.
Some guides at Longleat are also Makaton trained, perfect for children or adults with hearing and communication difficulties. If you’re feeling brave, drive through the Safari Park where you’ll see lions, tigers and monkeys up close. Just remember to keep the windows shut! Service dogs are not allowed into the Safari Park but free kennelling is available at the entrance.
Best for outdoors lovers
One of the best ways to appreciate the dramatic beauty of the UK coastline is to make use of the 630 mile coastal path which stretches from Minehead in Somerset to Poole in Dorset. While there’s no getting away from the fact that many sections of the path are too steep or inaccessible for wheelchair users, you’ll also find gentler stretches free from steps and stiles.
Try the walk along Baggy Point in North Devon, which has a wheelchair-friendly path taking you across the headland giving you fantastic views. From there, you’ll also have great opportunities to spot seabirds up close. Use the Walkfinder Tool to find accessible walks which meet your particular needs.
2013 marks the 40th anniversary of the South West Coast Path Association and will see a number of fundraising initiatives to improve access. Stiles will be replaced with gates, drainage will be improved and sections resurfaced along the path to enable those with restricted mobility to make the most of it.
Best for history buffs
Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre is one of the iconic landmarks on the River Thames and it’s well worth venturing inside to catch one of the famous Bard’s plays.
The wheelchair platform is fantastic as it benefits from great views, plus provides you with shelter from any inclement weather! There’s also an exhibition directly below the theatre which takes you on a tour of Shakespearean London.
Visitors with hearing and visual impairments needn’t worry as there are special features throughout the exhibition to ensure no one misses out. Driving in central London can be a nightmare at the best of times, so ring in advance to reserve one of the disabled parking spaces just outside the Globe before you arrive. You might also want to take a look at these 5 top tips for using accessible travel in London.
Where to stay?
Sykes Cottages have 4000 self-catering cottages across the UK and Ireland, which may be perfect for your next holiday. Many of our cottages are laid out entirely over the ground floor and some have wide doorways, wet rooms and easy access, which could be suitable for wheelchair users.
Have a look at Partridge Cottage, near Kirkbymoorside, in the North Yorkshire Moors, which has been rated ‘Mobility Three Independent’. To find out whether one of the cottages is suitable for your next UK holiday, call Sykes Cottages on 01244 345700.
By Katie Richards
Main image by Bob The Lomond
We want to make sure that all Disability Horizons readers have as much accessible information about their chosen destination as possible. So, if you have a trip to tell us about, get in touch by emailing us at email@example.com, messaging us on Facebook, tweeting us @DHorizons or leaving your comments below.