The Norfolk Broads has been named as an accessible holiday destination in a recent article. The piece, written by disabled journalist and musician Mik Scarlet for the Huffington Post, reveals the idyllic Broads as a place suitable for those with mobility issues.
In his column, Mik states he was initially apprehensive about visiting the Norfolk Broads: “Whenever I saw the Broads it seemed idyllic, but I was a little worried about the access for wheelchair users. As a key feature of the Broads is the water, and the boats that sail on it, it did seem to me that this could be one holiday destination that might prove difficult for me.”
This all changed for Mik when he was asked to present a film on the access provision provided by various attractions in the Norfolk Broads. Mik added: “I jumped at the chance. Not only was I going to visit somewhere I really wanted to go, it looked like my fears about access were unfounded. Just how unfounded, even I could never have imagined.”
On his trip, Mik visited Whitlingham Country Park, complete with a fully accessible visitor’s centre, and embarked on an accessible solar-powered boat journey through the Broads. He said: “Captain Mike took me out and he gave me a running commentary on the wildlife and the history of the Broads. It seems that wildlife is so used to seeing boats that they were fine with them coming up close, even nesting swans. It really is the only way to experience the wildlife of this area.”
After easily tackling the Broads, Mik continued on the rest of his accessible adventure through the region by testing out an all-terrain Mountain Trike wheelchair with Active Trails. He also visited Barton Boardwalk, a lottery-funded project which created a fully accessible pathway through an area of the Broads that would otherwise be closed to all visitors. Next, Mik headed to Fairhaven Gardens: “If I was falling in love with the region before Fairhaven, I became besotted after. I transferred from my wheelchair into one of the mobility scooters the gardens have for the use of people with mobility issues, and off I went into a magical landscape.”
After gaining confidence on the water, Mik braved the Broads once again in a specially-designed accessible yacht: “The freedom and excitement of taking control of the yacht was like nothing I have ever tried, and I’ve flown a hang glider. The trust has facilities to allow all abilities to experience the joys of sailing out on the water.”
Mik’s experience of the Norfolk Broads shows there is so much to see in the UK for people of all abilities, so don’t be afraid to leave behind the comfort of your home and stairlift to enjoy the great outdoors.
Image credits: Kathryn19