With the UK boasting over 10,000 miles of coastline, it is unsurprising that there’s lots of beautiful sandy beaches to enjoy.
Unfortunately for those with mobility problems who need aids like stairlifts to get around their home and walking sticks or wheelchairs to get around outdoors, not all these beaches are accessible.
Here is a guide to some of the most accessible beaches in the UK that are perfect for visitors with mobility problems to visit this summer.
The seven-miles of award-winning golden beach combined with its own microclimate (making its sea one of the warmest in the country!) is what makes Bournemouth beach one of the most popular seaside resorts in the UK.
The beach is incredibly accessible with cliff lifts and land trains providing access to the whole of the beach and the pier. There is also flat tarmac that allows beach goers easy access to the pier and disabled toilets dotted along the front of the beach.
The beach also boasts the UK’s first dedicated accessible beach huts that are available to hire during the peak season, which is usually between May and September.
The Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum is a dramatic and flamboyant seaside Victorian villa, comprising a historic house, art gallery, museum, garden, café and gift shop, situated on Bournemouth’s stunning clifftop overlooking the sea. This unique survivor of Victorian Bournemouth was home to Annie and Merton Russell-Cotes from 1901.
The art galleries have an established permanent and temporary exhibition programme showcasing work from the collection of Annie and Merton and external organisations.
The galleries and most of the historic house have lift access, with the exception of the upper floor of East Cliff Hall, which is accessible only by stairs. The gallery is able to offer an interactive, 360° digital tour on an iPad of the upper rooms for visitors who can’t access them.
Electric and manual wheelchair users can access most of the Russell-Cotes, provided that the dimensions do not exceed those of the UK reference wheelchair size. There is a manual wheelchair for visitors to use (subject to availability) and seating areas are located throughout the house. Assistance dogs are welcome and drinking water can be provided if needed.
Milsey Bay is a sandy beach at the eastern end of North Berwick and has stunning views out over the Firth of Forth and the Bass Rock some 2 kilometres offshore.
It is a great place to swim, walk or explore rock pools, but what makes this beach really accessible is the fact that visitors can use beach wheelchairs to get out on the sand and explore. This means that older people who have mobility problems can still take part in all the fun even if they may not be able to walk very well.
The National Museum of Flight is one accessible attraction visitors should plan into their trip as the museum is fascinating.
Susan Gray, Communications Manager for National Museums Scotland, says there are many reasons to visit the museum.
“The National Museum of Flight is one of Scotland's top days out, with a whole host of things to see and do. Head off on a journey of discovery at this former airfield and explore the history of aviation from the First World War to the present day. See amazing aircraft, including Scotland's Concorde, and uncover unforgettable stories in our two transformed hangars and fill your day with interactive exhibitions, supersonic experiences and acres of green grass and fresh air. Explore the site yourself or board the Airfield Explorer to tour our hangars and discover one of Europe's best collections of aircraft.”
The museum is really accessible and disabled visitors pay a concession price for admission, with a carer accompanying for free.
There is ample car parking, with spaces for disabled visitors next to the main hangar, while the site itself is wheelchair accessible and wheelchairs can be borrowed free of charge. The attraction’s land train, the Airfield Explorer, provides accessible transport between the hangars so there is not that much walking.
The hangars also boast ramped access, but, due to the historic nature of the museum’s collection some of the aircraft, including Concorde, are not accessible to everyone.
Perranporth Beach is immediately accessible from the beach car park and the village, down a short ramp onto the sand. A small bridge crosses the river that runs across the beach, allowing access then to the rest of the three mile expanse of sand, The Watering Hole pub that's located on the sands, and the beautiful Atlantic Ocean. Manually pushed beach wheelchairs can be borrowed at no charge from Perranporth Garden Charity, these are specially designed to be all-terrain and wheel more easily across the sand and even in the sea!
Jane Swift works for Duchy Holidays, who run a wide range of self-catering accommodation, including ground floor beachside apartments, cottages within a level walk of the beach and shops, says the beach has lots of attractions.
“Perranporth boasts a stunning three-mile long beach with golden sand, a spectacular dune system, and sparkling blue waters. Enjoy the space and freedom of the vast expanse of beach: there's plenty of room for everyone to enjoy this space, from picnickers and sunbathers to walkers and surfers, and the beach is dog-friendly all year round (dogs on short leads in the peak season). The UK's only bar on a beach, The Watering Hole, offers great food and drink, regular live music, and uninterrupted beach and sea views.”
Gig tomorrow with Jools Holland is going to go off ❤️ pic.twitter.com/iszKTECM8n— The Watering Hole (@W_hole_Cornwall) June 27, 2018
The Watering Hole is the only bar on a beach in the UK, and being found in the middle of Perranporth Beach, diners will be able to catch glimpses of Holywell Bay and St Agnes.
As a licensed premises all of the pub’s events are 18+ unless stated otherwise and visitors with mobility problems can access the bar via the specialist wheelchairs that can be used on the beach.
The Watering Hole is renowned for hosting a plethora of music events and one of its most famous ones is ‘Tunes in the Dunes’. This year’s event, which took place back in May saw the likes of Jake Bugg, Pixie Lott, Gabrielle Aplin, UB40 and the Hoosiers perform.
Swansea Bay Beach is Wales' Waterfront City beach and is just minutes away from the heart of Swansea city centre.
The bay is accessible by wheelchair, has a car park nearby and lots of accessible toilets for visitors with mobility issues.
Being so close to the city centre, the beach has lots of great attractions that are close-by. The beach is safe and during peak season there are lifeguards patrolling the bay.
The National Waterfront Museum gives an insight into the industry and innovation in Wales, now and over the last 300 years.
The Industrial Revolution in Wales affected not just the local people, but the surrounding community too and this insightful museum tells this story through its various displays.
Through cutting-edge and interactive technology married with traditional displays, visitors to the museum can learn about the maritime history of Swansea, Wales and even the rest of the UK. The ‘Made in Wales’ display explores the changes in Wales and displays objects and artefacts from 1930 to the present day.
This news article is from Companion Stairlifts. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.
Image Credit: Ruth Armstrong.