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Accessible North Devon and Cornwall by wheelchair

Robert Obey and his wife Bridget, a wheelchair consumer, have been running a blog for years, sharing their journey stories on their blog, The Bimblers. With one other financial institution holiday and the summer time just around the nook, we’ve requested them to share one their experiences of travelling to North Devon and Cornwall.

Back in January final yr, we did a quick tour of the North Devon and Cornwall coast. We did the east coast of Devon back in 2016, which was our first go to to Cornwall.

Our remaining destination for this trip was Portreath in Cornwall, the place we have been staying at Gwel an Mor accessible luxurious lodges.

I knew the drive can be too much in one go, so I decided to interrupt the journey up with two overnight stays, one at the Holiday Inn Express in Bristol and the other in the Premier Inn in Barnstable.

After a very good sleep, and as much bacon and egg as I might manage, we set off for the primary leg of our Devon and Cornwall adventure.

As you possibly can see from the photographs, the weather was garbage. But we nonetheless liked our journey.

North Devon

On route, we dropped into Ilfracombe and Woolacombe. Sadly, as suspected, many locations have been just about shut for the winter.

Ilfracombe

Ilfracombe was our first stop in North Devon. I like the best way that Ilfracombe’s vacationer board describes it as having “Curious Coastal Charm” – I wouldn’t disagree with that.

When we arrived, the wind was howling. I did assume twice about pushing Bridget in her chair, however the TGA wheelchair power pack came to our rescue and we managed to grab a couple of photographs.

Bridget in her wheelchair at windy Ilfracombe harbour

As you possibly can see, poor Bridget was getting battered by the howling wind – the things we do for The Bimblers!

Probably the most important surprise in Ilfracombe was a 66-foot bronze statue of a pregnant woman named Verity. Verity was designed by Damien Hirst and is meant to be a modern interpretation of ‘Truth and Justice’. The statue kind of seems out of place. But it doesn’t in real life if that makes any sense?

During the hotter seasons, there are lots of issues happening in Ilfracombe. Understandably, fish plays an enormous part, whether that’s catching it or eating it. Ilfracombe has had a harbour because the 12th century and it’s nonetheless touchdown fish in the present day.

For seashore lovers, the well-known Tunnels Beach is described as accessible to wheelchairs. It’s not a golden sand seashore, it’s more pure coastline, which suggests rocks. That stated, here’s what its website says about accessibility:

Is the location accessible for wheelchairs and pushchairs?

Yes, the bottom throughout the tunnels themselves is both paved or concrete, access is sweet with only a mild slope leading to the primary seashore. Access WCs and child changing amenities are also out there on website.


Details of Ilfracombe accessibility.


Woolacombe

It was late within the day once we arrived in Woolacombe and, to be trustworthy, we have been both knackered. So we didn’t spend much time exploring as a result of we needed to rest our weary heads.

Woolacombe beach

Woolacombe is dominated by miles of award-winning seashores. It is a utopia for surfers, kayakers and water sports fanatics. Sadly, we don’t match into any of these classes, however we nonetheless recognize the great thing about Woolacombe.

For these of us for whom the sea is a challenge too far, you possibly can rent a Tramper, which is principally an all-terrain mobility scooter. The tramper could be hired from Woolacombe vacationer info centre.

If you fancy using the tramper it’ll open up far more of the coast and countryside than a normal scooter or wheelchair would.


Details of Woolacombe accessibility.


I might think about both Ilfracombe and Woolacombe are beautiful in the course of the summer time months, however in January, it was freezing and not best to be pushing a wheelchair.

If you are a seashore lover, then Devon has loads of accessible beaches, some with seashore wheelchairs. Accessible Countryside has kindly put an inventory collectively of accessible beaches in Devon.

I’m not going to hassle reviewing the Premier Inn in Barnstable as a result of it was no totally different to another we’ve stayed in. I might say though that I do wish it might state on its website whether or not an accessible room has a shower or a shower.

Cornwall

Day three and we have been finally on our option to Gwel an Mor, but not before persevering with alongside the coast and crossing over into Cornwall.

Cornwall has fairly a number of accessible beaches, not that we’d be using them in January. If you fancy a day trip on the seashore, check out these two web sites:

Bude

Our first stop in Cornwall was at Crocketts Beach in Bude. The seashore was understandably abandoned because it was gale pressure winds. So I jumped out of the automotive for a quick photograph of the seashore huts.

Beach huts in Bude

Granted they appear a bit drab in the winter, but I have seen footage of a bustling seashore in a lot better weather and it appears beautiful.

I do like the fact that  Visit Bude’s website has a particular section for accessible points of interest. In reality, this appears to be a standard theme throughout Cornwall. Accessibility is clearly essential and as Britain’s most popular holiday destination this type of info makes visiting a lot easier.

It’s additionally in Bude where we encountered Cornwall’s rules around Blue Badge Parking. In order to park in a council run automotive park at no cost with a Blue Badge, you want a allow from Cornwall Council previous to your go to.

Disabled Blue Badge parking sign in Cornwall

You pays and show, but when you’re visiting as many automotive parks as we did, the price soon adds up.

If you register your car with the council you’ll be able to park at no cost in its automotive parks, so long as you display your Blue Badge and clock.

Here are the small print: Blue Badge Parking in Cornwall Council Car Parks.


Details of Accessible Attractions in Bude and accessible accommodation in Bude.


Tintagel

I really like the history and myths of Cornwall and probably the most famous have acquired to be the legend of King Arthur.

I knew prematurely that Tintagel Castle wouldn’t be accessible to us in a wheelchair. The geography of it means it’s virtually unattainable to entry when you’ve got mobility issues.

But, despite this, I didn’t really feel as if it was a waste of time visiting Tintagel as a result of typically just being in a spot is well worth the effort.

King Arthurs Seat in Tintagel

There are some amenities open in the course of the summer time months, however these are restricted. You can find out extra about entry at Tintagel Castle on the English Heritage website.

Padstow

If you’re anything like me, you realize of Padstow because of Rick Stein. We’ll come back to Rick in a minute, however first, I need to speak concerning the Camel Trail.

The Camel Trail is described as a nicely surfaced, fairly flat cycle path. It runs from Padstow to Bodmin and is an previous railway line that has been transformed to a leisure path. As you already know, I like a wheelchair stroll. So the subsequent time I’m in Cornwall the Camel Trail is excessive on my to-do record.

Padstow is a harbour city and every little thing is pretty much located round it. It’s nonetheless a working harbour with fish landed every day and it’s in style with leisure craft and sea excursions. We didn’t see it in its greatest mild, but it was nonetheless a lovely little harbour.

Bridget in her wheelchair at Padstow Harbour

So, again to Rick Stein. Rick might be Padstow’s most famous son and he has definitely made his mark on the seaside town. I’m not completely positive what number of companies he owns in Padstow, nevertheless it’s a couple of.

Rick Stein's cafe in Padstow

We wandered across the city and stuck our head within the door of his restaurant. We did take into consideration eating there, however the lure of a Cornish Pasty was too much, so we settled for the Chough Bakery as an alternative.

It’s simply dawned on me as I write this, we didn’t have a Cornish Scone the entire time we have been in Cornwall!


Details of Padstow accessibility.


Newquay

Newquay was the busiest place we visited in Cornwall. It feels a lot more business than different Cornish towns, however don’t let that put you off visiting.

I assume one of the causes Newquay is so busy is because it’s so well-liked. With that, comes a duty to maintain everybody entertained. Newquay definitely does that, and then some.

Even during our temporary visit, it was straightforward to see why Newquay has gained a number of awards and is a favorite vacation vacation spot with all generations.

Newquay headland in Cornwall

The Newquay Tourist Information website has particulars of entry on its scenic trails, seashore wheelchair rent and seashore accessibility. In reality, it has plenty of details about entry in Newquay, together with accessible locations to remain. Well accomplished Newquay.


Details of Newquay accessibility.


Finally, we arrived at our residence for the subsequent few days – Gwel an Mor Luxury Holiday Lodges in Portreath.

Wheelchair access to luxury lodge

While we have been staying in Portreath we popped right down to the seashore:

Portreath beach

St Ives

I’m going to stick my neck out here and say that I feel St Ives is my favourite town in Cornwall (you’ll be able to see it in the picture at the prime of this article). I can’t inform you why, but once I think about a Cornwall city, St Ives is it.

After navigating the quaint “cobbled” streets we sat on the harbour for about an hour, and it just felt proper, it felt like Cornwall.

The Bimblers in St Ives Cornwall

St Ives is a fishing town, a vacation city and its quintessentially Cornwall.

With multiple beaches, unbiased outlets, galleries and more fish restaurants than you’ll be able to shake a stick at, St Ives has every part you may need from a Cornwall city.


Details of St Ives accessibility.


Land’s End

The Bimblers at Lands End in Cornwall

It can be flawed to go to Cornwall without visiting Land’s End.

You get a humorous feeling in your abdomen whenever you’re heading in the direction of Land’s End. It’s not such as you’re going to fall off on the end of the street, however it’s an odd feeling.

On a sunny day, I might think about Land’s End to be spectacular. On a cold January day, the shoreline was dramatic and unforgiving.

Sea at Land's End

Most of the outlets have been closed, but the restaurant was open, so we managed to get out of the wind for a while. We’ll undoubtedly be returning to Land’s End on our subsequent journey to Cornwall.


Details of Land’s End accessibility.


I hope you enjoyed our trip round North Devon and Cornwall as much as we did. If you probably did, can you please share this submit on your social media. Happy travels.

By Robert Obey

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