With its dramatic coastlines and iconic mining and maritime history, Cornwall is a hugely popular destination to visit on holiday. For older adults, Cornwall may evoke happy memories from their childhood as they would spend seaside holiday’s here, while for others it has become a passionate affair and a destination that they visit over and over again.
Anna, a lifestyle blogger who is the author of The Cornish Life blog, loved Cornwall so much that she ended up moving to the county. She speaks about the countryside being just one of the reasons she loves the Duchy: “There are many beautiful areas of countryside around the UK, from the National Parks to the Scottish Highlands, and we are lucky that Cornwall is one of those places with a huge amount to offer! We have more National Trust/Heritage sites than I can count on two hands, and each one is stunning in its own unique way.”
With everything that Cornwall has to offer and all of its amazing attractions, it isn’t a surprise that it has become one of the UK’s most popular holiday spots. But how accessible is the county to visitors with mobility issues?
If you have mobility problems meaning you need to use stair lifts or other aids at home, then you need to read this guide about how accessible Cornwall’s most popular attractions are. Our research looked at several accessibility factors producing an accessibility score for each attraction to help you out.
Number of annual visitors: Over 1 million (visitors in 2018)
Accessibility score: 6/6
The Eden Project has been dubbed the Eighth Wonder of the World by some, with its tropical biomes being located in an old quarry that is roughly the size of 30 football pitches.
It has been recognised by the British Travel Awards as the Best UK Leisure Attraction five years running, and it isn’t just its spectacular biomes which are home to plants from all over the world that attract people. Now you can watch gigs here and take part in a variety of other activities such as ice skating and zip lining.
Lucy, the author of the On The Luce blog, loved visiting the Eden Project: “Holidaying in Britain in the spring is always going to mean taking your chances with the weather, but there’s one place in Cornwall where you’re guaranteed it’ll never be cold or raining – the Eden Project. This 35-acre patch of land has been transformed from a barren china clay quarry to an oasis of greenery.”
The research we conducted found that the Eden Project is also extremely accessible as it offered all six of the accessibility factors we looked at in our study.
Read more about the Eden Project’s accessibility here.
Number of annual visitors: 302,864
Accessibility score: 6/6
The Tate St Ives opened back in 1993 and after just six months the gallery welcomed more than 120,000 visitors and since then it has attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.
Due to its popularity, the museum underwent a huge refurbishment and was extended back in 2017 and now the gallery exhibits famous artwork from across the globe.
The Tate St Ives gallery is not only a great place to visit for art lovers, but also for visitors to Cornwall who suffer from mobility issues as it offered all six of the access facilities our study looked at.
Read more about Tate St Ives’ accessibility here.
Number of annual visitors: 354,969
Accessibility score: 5/6
Cornwall may have an abundance of beautiful gardens, but the Lost Gardens of Heligan is not only one of the best in the Duchy but is one of the best in the UK. Famed for its magical network of gardens and woodland walks, some of its most iconic sites are the moss-covered giants and the iconic rope bridge.
Kitti and Jon run the Kitti Around the World blog and they both fell in love with the Lost Gardens of Heligan during their visit: “We visited the gardens in mid-May which meant that the garden was very colourful with its seasonal flowers.
“The bluebells were still out, covering many areas of the garden. Other flowers such as rhododendrons and camellias added a pop of pink to the greenery. Although many of the petals had fallen onto the ground already, I think this just made the garden even more beautiful.”
The accessibility study we conducted discovered that the Lost Gardens of Heligan are very accessible with the only accessibility factor not offered being lifts for disabled visitors, but with many flat routes, wheelchair-users can still explore this stunning attraction.
Read more about the Lost Gardens of Heligan’s accessibility here.
Number of annual visitors: 280,467
Accessibility score: 5/6
Arguably the most unique theatre in the world, the Minack is perched on the cliffs high above the Atlantic Ocean and the stunning Porthcurno Beach.
Visitors to the theatre can watch some of the greatest love stories ever told in one of the most romantic and stunning locations you can find. That is why more than 250,000 people visit this theatre every year to either watch a performance or to look around the venue.
Sophie, a UK-based traveller who blogs at Third Eye Traveller, has visited the Minack Theatre before and was very impressed: “So, is the Minack Theatre worth visiting? It’s a hard YES from me. There are so many reasons to visit this open-air theatre in Cornwall.
“From the magnificent views from the cliff tops, the captivating story, the delightful café, shopping, performance arts, and more.”
Despite its age and having some steps at the venue, the outdoor Minack Theatre is an accessible venue for wheelchair-users and visitors with a mobility impairment, with the only facility that the Minack does not offer being a lift.
Read more about the Minack Theatre’s accessibility here.
Number of annual visitors: 347,773
Accessibility score: 3/6
From its dramatic causeway to its sub-tropical terraced garden and its stunning views of Mount’s Bay, St Michael's Mount is one of the most popular attractions in Cornwall.
The attraction has a long history and during a visit, you can learn about the St Aubyn family who lives in the castle and the small community that lives on this world-famous island. You can visit the medieval church and castle as well as the gift shops and museums.
Frankie from Meet Me By The Sea spoke about her visit to the attraction: “For some reason I thought that St Michael’s Mount was literally just a castle on the mount, but St Michael’s is so much more than that. The small town holds 30 islanders that live in, the Sail Loft Restaurant, the Island Cafe, a chapel, a harbour and sub-tropical gardens. Throughout the summer, the islanders often hold events such as children story time - make sure to check the event website before your visit.”
With St Michael's Mount being ancient and rugged, naturally, some parts of the island and castle can be very tricky to navigate for visitors with limited mobility. The research found that the attraction offers three out of the six accessibility factors we looked at.
Read more about St Michael's Mount’s accessibility here.
The research looked at how accessible Cornwall’s 10 most popular attractions are to people with limited mobility within the UK.
After compiling a list of the 10 most visited attractions in Cornwall from before the coronavirus pandemic, the study looked at their accessibility. A point was given for each facility the different attractions offered and 0 points for the facilities they didn’t. For example, if an attraction offeres accessible toilets, they received a point, but if they don’t have accessible toilets then they received 0 points.
To see how the different attractions scored for each accessibility factor, take a look at the raw data here.
If you or a loved one needs a mobility aid and wants to take a look at the different stairlifts available, from straight stairlifts to a curved stairlift you can contact Companion Stairlifts on 0800 117 0850 for free advice.
For more studies and data-led research, as well as tips and guides, make sure to visit our news page.
This news article is from Companion Stairlifts. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.