Holidays are essential for all of us to take a break from the usual routine and mentally and physically refresh our batteries. However, if you are a wheelchair or powerchair user, the logistics of going away can be more complicated. 

It’s obviously necessary to consider the accessibility of your travel, accommodation, and the local area, including any special attractions or places that you would like to visit. 

This does of course require some careful planning and preparation, but it can be well worth it as the UK does have plenty of beautiful and thoughtfully designed destinations that welcome wheelchair users. Here are some points to consider when planning your holiday. 

Research destinations

Some destinations are more wheelchair friendly than others. Towns and cities including Wells in Somerset, Chichester in West Sussex, Ely in Cambridge, Truro in Cornwall, and Bath in Somerset have good reputations for being accessible and inclusive places to visit.

These towns are all in areas with significant historical and cultural significance and an established tourist sector, particularly the ancient cathedral town of Wells and the UNESCO world heritage site of Bath, which can trace its history back to Roman times with original features such as the spa bathhouses still intact. 

Research accommodation

Accommodation should be specifically adapted for wheelchair users, with level step-free access, wide corridors and doorways, accessible bathrooms with walk-in showers and grab rails, and ramps or lifts as an alternative to steps and stairs. Often, you will find that a holiday let will have an accessibility rating based on the features it offers.

Plan your transport

Research potential transport methods and routes to your destination, checking on details such as step-free platforms on train stations, and the availability of wheelchair accessible taxis or buses. Consider how you will get around at your chosen destination. 

If you have someone who will be assisting you to get around in your wheelchair, it may be best to avoid places with a lot of steep and winding cobblestone streets. 

Consider what equipment to take with you

Besides your wheelchair, consider which other mobility aids and adaptations you might wish to take with you. For example, this may include portable ramps, shower chairs, or digital devices that help you to carry out remote tasks or monitor your healthcare and medication routines. 

Plan activities

Look at local guides for recommendations about accessible attractions in the area, such as coastal paths, museums, cathedrals, theme parks, and so on. It may be helpful to book tickets in advance to avoid any disappointment and help your visit go smoothly. You may be entitled to a discount or extra help during your visit. 

Check the attraction’s website for information about what facilities are available and consider the terrain and weather conditions. 

Connect with others

Reach out to local disability groups who will be able to provide you with the most detailed and up to date information about your chosen destination.