Image (c) Meadowcroft Country Guest House
It’s a fact that we are living longer and also that old age does not mean that the desire to travel stops – indeed the wish to get away from it all for a break may be stronger than ever. There is no reason for the most Grown-up of Grown-up Travellers to be stuck at home – and the same is true for all others with reduced mobility.
All it takes is careful planning and a bit of research to ensure a problem-free holiday, choosing places that understand their needs and are accessible. I know from first-hand experience that travelling with a wheelchair, for example, makes things more complicated but solutions can usually be found.
To save you some time, we have collected together 5 excellent places to stay in the UK that tick all the boxes in terms of accessibility and provide a wonderful holiday experience to boot. You can also find some great holiday ideas in this post.
Meadowcroft Country Guest House, Cumbria
Great value and a fantastic location just a few kilometres from Windermere, Meadowcroft B&B has two ground floor rooms. The larger of the two is adapted for wheelchair users with extra wide doorways and an en suite bathroom with wheel-in shower and shower chair.
A support pole to help guests into bed can also be provided. Family members and carers can stay in direct contact during the night from one of the upstairs rooms via an intercom. If you do not use a wheelchair but would prefer not having to use the stairs, the other ground floor room is a double with a smaller en suite.
The owner can provide information about easy countryside access around the Lake District including the pub down the road which is wheelchair-friendly.
Copthorne Tara Hotel, Kensington, London
For a big-city break, try a big hotel – the Copthorne Tara has a number of dedicated rooms on the ground floor which can be used in a variety of ways.
For example, two single rooms with hoists are ideal for those unable to move unaided from a wheelchair; connecting suites enable family members to stay next door. If a hoist is unnecessary but you prefer a room more suited to guests with impaired mobility, there are ten on the ground floor with automatic doors.
You can also choose between a roll-in shower with a drop-down chair or a low bath tub, as required.
St Michaels Hotel and Spa, Falmouth, Cornwall
We all like to be beside the seaside, and Cornwall is a firm favourite. Room 53 on the ground floor of this modern hotel has sea views and tropical gardens. It also has a lovely nautical theme but more importantly features a wide door, low-handled wardrobes and low-level furniture.
The en suite, roll-in bathroom also has support rails. And don’t worry if you can’t manage the steps at the front entrance to the hotel as level entry is provided around the corner. The restaurant and lounge are both on the ground floor too.
The only stumbling block is that you need to use stairs to access the spa, but you can opt for in-room treatments if you prefer.
Moo House, Northumberland
If you are planning a family reunion or large group break with friends, this luxury five-bed barn conversion near the Northumberland coast is an enticing option.
With space for ten people, there’s plenty of room for grandparents, grandchildren and more. It’s important to note that the barn isn’t suited to those who are fully wheel-chair dependent (the showers have dips) – but those who have difficulties climbing stairs can benefit from two ground-floor bedrooms, two shower rooms and a roomy, level-floor open plan kitchen-diner and lounge.
A nice bonus is that the rental price includes use of a games room, known (of course!) as the Cow Shed, next door – which is perfect for children and teenagers who want their own space.
Cringletie House, Scottish Borders
If you fancy a break near Edinburgh, this classy romantic mansion just south of Edinburgh is hard to beat. The Traquair room is a ground floor twin suite which has been sensitively designed for visitors with wheelchairs.
Automatic doors makes access easy and both beds can be raised or lowered electronically, as can the armchairs. Whats more, lights are remote controlled and the bathroom has a roll-in shower and grab rails. For guests with hearing difficulties, the room is equipped with vibrating pillows and flashing lights in the event that the fire alarm should sound.
A chair lift has been installed so that you can avoid using the three low steps at the main entrance. There are planet of gentle walks in the woods nearby as well as excellent fishing, or you can relax with spa treatments in the privacy of your room.