The UK's Top Accessible Beaches
23rd June 2014
While the world is becoming an increasingly more accessible place with mobility aids making home life and daily tasks easier for those with reduced mobility, certain places can still pose a challenge. One such place that many elderly and mobility reduced residents in the UK want to visit but can sometimes struggle as a result of reduced accessibility is the beach.
The British coastline is like no other and it is this beauty that draws so many people to the beach year after year, yet it is one place where a stair lift solution can’t make things much easier for those with reduced mobility. Which is why this guide has been created to highlight the UK’s most accessible beaches so that the coastline is available to all.
Accessibility for everyone
One of the main difficulties of getting older is the reduced mobility we all come to suffer, but with the increase in new technologies, mobility aids and resources available there is no reason that the beach can’t be a place that is easily accessible to all. One such resource that is encouraging better accessibility for all is Accessible Countryside for Everyone who are a privately run project that promote better accessibility for residents in England and Wales. Helping individuals find accessible places for all to enjoy, the website has numerous pages that help those with reduced mobility better access the countryside they live in.
Cornish beaches are among the most beautiful in the world and now, thanks to the hard work of the Cornwall Council, they are no enjoy by elderly visitors and those with reduced mobility as often as they please. Cornwall Council has worked closely with Disability Cornwall and Cornish businesses to make one of Cornwall’s best-loved
treasures, their beaches, more accessible for those with reduced mobility. This has come in the form of sand chairs, a type of all-terrain wheelchair that make accessing the soft sand of the beach easier. These special mobility aids have revolutionised beach holidays for numerous people and made beaches such as Fistral in Newquay and Porthminster in St Ives more accessible. See the Cornwall Council website for details of more beaches that provide these special mobility aids.
Cornwall aren’t the only ones providing such great mobility aids specifically for beach access as Wales has also got on board. The Pembrokeshire Access Group are an independent charity that are dedicated to improving access for the mobility restricted in Pembrokeshire and have worked with Saundersfoot Harbour Commission to provide these mobility aids, or sand chairs, on Saundersfoot beach.
Finally, and perhaps most impressive of all is the work carried out by Bournemouth Council in making Bournemouth beach more accessible. Bournemouth Borough Council have achieved a first in the UK for better beach accessibility in the form of the UK’s first purpose-built disabled accessible beach huts.
Alongside the provision of the special beach wheelchairs that are fitted with special balloon tyres that are available at the aforementioned beach locations, Bournemouth has also seen the first dedicated accessible beach huts that are available for hire at Bournemouth’s multi-award winning Boscombe seafront. The huts were designed by Peter Francis-Lewis and a:b:i:r architects in conjunction with disabled beach users and Bournemouth Borough Council themselves.
With so many great options that make beach trips more accessible to the wider public, there is no longer any reason to stay at home in the summer as Britain’s beaches become accessible for everyone. You just might be needing your walk in power shower or bath more often to get rid of all that sand!
Image Credit: Accessible Countryside for Everyone, Bournemouth Tourism
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