Access all areas for the disabled: A new curated list of holiday options for those with disabilities should ensure EVERYONE can enjoy a great British break when lockdown ends
- Tour firm Limitless Travel provides advice on accessible holidays
- UK trips include a three-night Devon Weekender and a Festive Blackpool tour
- Premier Cottages helps people find suitable self-catering accommodation
Every week our Holiday Hero Neil Simpson takes an in-depth look at a major holiday topic, doing the legwork so you don’t have to. This week: UK holidays for people with disabilities.
A new, carefully curated list of holiday options for disabled travellers should ensure everyone can enjoy a great British break when hotels and attractions reopen.
The optimism comes courtesy of tour firm Limitless Travel, launched after travel-loving founder Angus Drummond was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy in 2012.
No limits: More firms are offering carefully curated trips to allow those who are less mobile to get away
He spotted a gap in the market for advice on accessible holidays and has since helped disabled customers jet off to Iceland to see the Northern Lights, to South Africa for safaris, to theme parks in Florida and to the best beaches of the Caribbean.
This year, the focus is on UK trips and staff have spent much of lockdown re-examining tours to ensure guests with disabilities get the most suitable rooms, transfer vehicles and guides.
After discussing requirements with staff, you can test the waters with a short break such as the three-night Devon Weekender, where specially adapted coaches take guests to the best fish and chip shop in Torquay before a heritage steam train ride. There’s also a river cruise ending amid the pastel-coloured houses of Dartmouth harbour. Holidays from £699pp.
Longer holidays include a five-night Scotland Explorer trip taking in Edinburgh, Stirling, St Andrews and Loch Lomond, with stops for whisky-tasting and a haggis dinner. From £1,199. Or look ahead to a Festive Blackpool trip in December including a Tower Ballroom tour. From £895 for four nights. All the above at limitlesstravel.org.
Other firms offer an equally broad range of ‘access-all-areas’ holidays, with and disabledholidays.com offering a mix of ideas and advice. The latter has listings of everything from wheelchair-friendly barn conversions to spa breaks.
If you want qualified care in a particularly supportive environment, then holidays in centres run by charities such as Revitalise are worth a look. Its properties in Essex, Southampton and Southport offer ‘in-house’ entertainment ranging from day-time arts classes to karaoke, comedy club and ‘Viva Las Vegas’ themed events at night. Theatre trips, country house visits, sporting events and more are also on offer. Stays from £782 a week (revitalise.org.uk).
Limitless Travel is offering a Festive Blackpool trip in December, including a Tower Ballroom tour
Self-catering cottages are also raising their game, and many offer fully accessible breaks for those wanting to holiday in a bubble with roses round the door.
Rental company Premier Cottages helps people find suitable accommodation by adding the nine key categories of the National Accessible Scheme to listings. These show whether properties are suitable for part-time, independent or assisted wheelchair users, for example, or for those with visual or hearing impairments.
Good choices for less mobile travellers include Wallops Wood Cottages in Hampshire, where all en suite bedrooms are on the ground floor and there’s a heated indoor pool and Jacuzzi with hoist. Ask for meals to be delivered if you want a night off cooking and guests are promised food from Hampshire Fare, a group that supports local farmers and food producers. From £1,545 per week for up to six guests with premiercottages.co.uk.
Want an easy-access day out during your stay? Find details of parking, disabled toilets and more at hundreds of attractions in the latest Rough Guide To Accessible Britain. Flick through the latest edition online by searching ‘accessible Britain’ at motability.co.uk. The guide is published in association with the Carers Trust.
Go to carers.org for more information on holiday locations and grants that can help pay for trips.