You may have special needs, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying a great British getaway. Whether you’re after an action-packed adventure holiday, a buzzing city break or a relaxing country retreat, you’re sure to find the perfect place with these accessible UK getaways.
Bright lights, big city
Birmingham is the buzzing metropolis of the Midlands with many disabled-friendly attractions to boot. Culture vultures can take a trip to the spacious Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, which has designated parking bays, an accessible wheelchair entrance and a series of audio-visual exhibitions created by disabled artists.
York is steeped in history and rich in classical charm. Discover the city’s Scandinavian connections by visiting the Jorvik Viking Centre, which has an overhead railway with a specially adapted wheelchair carriage. See the sights from the top of the York Wheel, or explore the magnificent York Minster cathedral, both of which have designated ramps and seats for wheelchair users.
Weston-Super-Mare is great for a coastal getaway in Somerset. Soak up the sea air along the promenade and grab a bite to eat in one of the many wheelchair friendly restaurants available. Watch the donkeys trot across the beach when you visit the nearby Sea Aquarium, and if you’re travelling this summer be sure to see the Sand Sculpture Festival, which runs until 4th September 2012.
Wales may be renowned for its rolling hills and deep valleys, but the seaside town of Llandudno benefits from being totally flat. Llandudno’s charming 19th Century pier offers spectacular views of the Menai Straits, while the Great Orme Country Park has a huge array of flora and fauna for visitors to see. Travellers with sight or hearing impairments can benefit from audio/visual commentaries about their fantastic surroundings.
Nestled in the heart of Derbyshire, Dukes Barn offers adventure activities for children with autism, Down’s Syndrome, and mobility, sight or hearing difficulties. Children seeking some relaxation can stroll around the Peak District’s picturesque limestone dales, and more adventurous sorts can get stuck in with raft building, abseiling and rock-hopping activities.
Calvert Trust Kielder
Sitting amongst 40 acres of lush Northumberland woodland, Calvert Trust Kielder is an activity centre providing tailor-made adventure holidays for families and friends of all abilities and ages. Live the independent lifestyle in four star Scandinavian style lodges, which come fully equipped with self-catering kitchens and specially designed bathrooms. Water babies can get going with motor boating, kayaking and canoeing, while those who prefer to keep their feet firmly on the ground can try archery, laser clay shooting or orienteering.
The historic town of Whitchurch in Shropshire is surrounded by natural beauty, so it’s the perfect place to get some much-needed rest. Watch the canal boats drift by at Grindley Brook, or get crafty at Burwardsley’s candle making workshops. Wheelchair users might want to pay a visit to Dearnford Lake, which features a disability-friendly boat from The Wheelyboat Trust. Venture further afield to explore the beautiful gardens at Hodnet Hall, or see if you can spot the 27 species of dragonfly that inhabit the Whixall Moss National Nature Reserve.
Soak up the sea air in the sunny Cornish town of Bude, which is neighboured by many of Devon’s most charming attractions. With Bude as a base, take a trip to West Putford’s quirky Gnome Reserve, where you can don a silly hat to check out the resident gnomes! Nature lovers can travel a little further afield to Bideford, where for a concessionary fee you can watch sheep racing, dog trials and lamb feeding at the Big Sheep centre.
Kerry Harding is the Managing Director of Enjoybedandbreakfast.com.