For disabled people the countryside may seem daunting but Great Britain has some breath-taking scenery and some of the most fantastic countryside, from mountains and valleys to rolling hills and scenic coast. There are thousands of miles of public footpaths, bridleways, green lanes, trails and tracks and the UK disability discrimination legislation has gone a long way to help ensure that holiday accommodation owners provide access for wheelchair users and cater for other needs of disabled customers.
There are many types of holidays available for wheelchair users and people with disabilities. However, please bear in mind that it is important to check on the accommodation owner’s web site or contact them to ensure that the holiday accommodation meets your needs.
The Fieldfare Trust
Phototrails is an innovative concept that allows users to view countryside routes through a series of photographs and descriptions of the path features, taking in surface, path width, gradients, barriers and amenities such as seats, disabled parking, and accessible toilets, all of which, to some, is important information to know before making the decision on whether to visit a site or not. It is hoped that the website will be particularly useful to people with disabilities and will allow disabled people make up their own mind if a trail is accessible to them by using the information provided.
You might want to pick a campsite with jumbo tent pitches, camping pods or tipis, yurts or wigwams instead of normal-sized non-wheelchair friendly tents, or with caravans for hire, or alternatively one with facilities on-site such as an indoor swimming pool or an on-site restaurant/cafe.
Once you’ve found a campsite you like the look of, call or email them to double-check the facilities, and be as specific as possible about what you need. Most campsite owners who list their site as disabled access do mean well and don’t realise it might not be fully accessible in all areas – a bar or clubhouse could have a bar downstairs but the evening entertainment might be on an upper floor, for example, or a set of steep steps mightn’t have a handrail. You might also want to check specific things related to what you want to do on the site once you’re there, such as being able to get in and out of the pool or being able to get down to the lakes for fishing if you’re using your wheelchair. Also check bathroom facilities if you need help with showering, such as confirming that the disabled access bathroom is big enough for two people, or that there’s a bath if you can’t stand up in the shower.
Major festivals such as Glastonbury or V Festival are also a good bet for camping if you’re using a wheelchair or have another disability, as they’re more than likely to have disabled access than the smaller festival. You get to rock out as well, which is always an advantage!
More Than Mobility have mobility products tailored to make your travelling life easier. The TraveLite Travel Transit Wheelchair in a Bag folds up and is perfect for taking away on holiday. Check out some of our other travel products here.
More Than Mobility Team