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5 Days Out Near Changing Places to Enjoy in the Sun

young girl in wheelchair on the beach with her friend

This blog post has been written by Sarah Colley from Felgains Care Equipment & Mobility. They offer a range of mobility and independent living aids that can help you get out and about this summer. 

Hallelujah! The sun has taken its hat off and it finally feels like the long, wet winter finally might be behind us. As the days get longer and warmer, our thoughts have turned to swapping the rain coat for sunglasses and getting out there.

So, we’ve compiled 5 ideas for days out in the fresh air – all of which are accessibility-friendly and within a 15-minute drive of a Changing Places facility. Get planning those outdoor adventures and make some memories!

Scarborough Sea Front and Open Air Concert

Perhaps one of England’s most recognisable seaside towns, Scarborough conjures images of fish and chips, sandy toes and traditional amusements. And no wonder. Scarborough has been one of the UK’s most popular coastal escapes for almost 400 years. Today, Scarborough is an accessible destination that everyone can enjoy. The seafront has been awarded the maximum 5 stars for disabled access, with a three-and-a-half flat surface running parallel to the sea.

For those feeling adventurous, the sandy bay is accessible via ramp, and as the tide comes right in twice a day, the sand is reasonably compact.

If you fancy a bit of culture after your seafront stroll, Scarborough’s Open Air Theatre offers concerts with a difference. Stars topping the bill in 2018 include Lionel Richie, Gary Barlow, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and Britney Spears, to name but a few.

The venue boats a disabled area with space for wheelchairs and seats for accompanying carers, as well as accessible parking spaces, ramps, and accessible toilets.

Closest Changing Places

Castle House
Elders Street
Scarborough
YO11 1DZ
United Kingdom

(A 3-minute drive from Scarborough Open Air Theatre)

The Street
12 Lower Clark Street
Scarborough
YO12 7PW

(A 5-minute drive from the centre of South Bay Beach)

Forest Adventure at Cannock Chase

If you go down to the woods today, you might get a big surprise. No, not a teddy bears’ picnic, but all-terrain “Tramper” mobility scooters, miles of waymarked accessible routes, and stunning scenery to boot. Cannock Chase is Staffordshire’s only Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, but in this case, quality really does trump quantity. The 4.5 square mile area packs in enchanting woodland, open heathland and wonderful wildlife, including a herd of around 800 fallow deer.

There’s also plenty of history, including German and Commonwealth war cemeteries.

Closest Changing Places

Rugeley Road
Hednesford
WS12 1QR

(Around a 10-minute drive, from the centre of the Chase)

Wildlife Wetlands Trust Slimbridge, Gloucester

Perched on the banks of the River Severn, WWT Slimbridge is a watery wonderland that’s open to all. From flamboyant foreigners, such as the fuchsia-feathered flamingos, to more secretive native species – there’s lots to see and do. Get to grips with slippery characters with an amphibian handling session, check out the cheeky otters at feeding time, or relax in one of the many bird hides. Most of them are step-free, and the paths around Slimbridge are reasonably level.

There are plenty of manual wheelchairs available to loan, plus several mobility scooters. Alternatively, you could opt to board a wheelchair-accessible Land Rover safari to explore the site by car.

Closest Changing Places

The Pulse, Dursley
Castle Street
Dursey
GL11 4BS

A 15-minute drive from the WWT

Farmers Market, Aberystwyth

Nothing quite beats the hustle and bustle, sights and sounds of a famers market. However, tightly packed-in stalls and cobblestones can sometimes rule them out as accessible options for a day out. However, the home of Aberystwyth’s market, North Parade, features plat pavements with plenty of dropped curbs. Leaving you to focus on getting as many free samples as possible…

Launched 18 years ago, this bi-monthly market presents foodie heaven, with up to 30 stalls touting a wide range of local produce, from cheeses to whisky. And if you’re not too full after a few hours savouring the local fare, why not take a 45-minute drive down the coast to New Quay, where you can hop on a wheelchair-friendly pleasure boat. You might even spot a dolphin or two!

Closest Changing Places

Welsh Assembly Government
Rhodfa Padarn
Aberystwyth
SY23 3UR

(A 5-minute drive from North Parade)

Kew Gardens

Did you know that Kew Gardens is a UNESCO World Heritage Site? In fact, it’s London’s largest. The history of the gardens can be traced all the way back to 1772, when the two royal estates of Richmond and Kew were combined.

Today, Kew is recognised internationally as a leader in botanical research, and the gardens offer wonderful spaces in which to feed your curiosity or simply unwind. Blue badge holders can park free of charge, and there are several mobility scooters that are free to borrow.

If you’d like some expert assistance while exploring the gardens, there are a variety of guided tours that have been designed specifically for visitors with disabilities, including BSL walking tours, health walks for people living with dementia, and sensory tours for people who are visually impaired.

On your travels around the grounds, you’ll discover the world’s biggest Victorian glasshouse. Re-opening on the 5th May after a 5-year renovation, the temperate glasshouse houses some of our planet’s rarest and most threatened plants. There’s also a Japanese landscape, tree-top walkway, and a magnificent 17-foot structure designed to provide insight into life in a beehive.

Changing Places on site

But these are just our suggestions! There are lots of brilliant accessibility-friendly options out there. And if you ever have any questions about choosing a suitable mobility aid for your adventurers, the team at Felgains will be happy to help.

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