As an island nation, the UK has had a long love affair with the seaside. A trip to the beach is as British as, well, fish and chips. But it’s also something that those of us who use a mobility scooter may have avoided in the past. The perception was that many beaches might not be all that accessible, and that sand or pebbles aren’t best suited to four wheels. Happily, things are changing, and here, as part of our Accessible Attractions series, Quingo Scooters is heading to the beach. Don’t forget your bucket and spade!
With over 10,000 miles of coastline in the British Isles, it’s fair to say there’s plenty of choice out there. But here are just five of the best and most accessible beaches in the UK.
- Broadhaven Beach. Pembrokeshire
Pembrokeshire is breathtakingly picturesque. In fact, many of Wales’ beaches are stunning, with the kind of wild beauty that you’d usually expect to have to fly to the south of France to see. Broadhaven is one of our favourites, not least because it is so accessible. When the tide is out, it’s big and flat, with plenty of room for you to explore on your scooter. The sand is lovely and firm, but if you’re feeling nervous about taking your scooter out onto the beach itself you can also hire all-terrain beach wheelchairs to get around in. We recommend you give Haven Sports Surf shop a call on 01437 781354 or visit their website here to book your all-terrain chair. There’s a car park with 200 spaces (although no dedicated ones for Blue Badge holders, unfortunately). If you’re travelling by car just follow the B4341 west of Haverfordwest, or you can also take a train to the nearest station at Milford Haven.
- Gyllyngvase Beach, Cornwall
Another gorgeous stretch of sand as well as rock pools that are perfect for exploring. There’s plenty of parking nearby (around 100m from the beach) with Blue Badge spaces, as well as straightforward level access onto the beach itself. Again, if you’re not too keen on taking the scooter out onto the sand then you can hire Sand Chairs from the cafe Gylly Beach Cafe. Just incidentally, they also have fantastic cakes and bread (fresh from their bakery on the beach) as well as some delicious dishes for later, after a hard day out on the sand. Gyllyngvase Beach is simple to get to: the M4, M5 and M6 will all bring you into Cornwall, and then follow the A30 to Truro, following signs for Falmouth. Once you get to Falmouth just follow the signs directing you to the beach. There are also plenty of regular rail services into Falmouth Town train station.
- North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland
Of course, one of the biggest draws for any visitor to North Berwick is that’s it’s only 25 miles or so from the beautiful city of Edinburgh. But North Berwick itself is well worth a visit, not least for its accessible beach. The town itself is very historic and was once a fashionable resort for the wealthy inhabitants of the Scottish capital up the road. Today, its harbour is still a lovely place to take in the magnificent Firth of Forth, which features some spectacular islands such as Fidra, The Lamb, Craigleith, and of course Bass Rock which is home to thousands of puffins and gannets. But you’ll also fall in love with the beach here. We recommend heading to the Beach Hut on the Harbour that belongs to Beach Wheelchairs where the team will be happy to hire you one of their all-terrain chairs for the sand. There is free parking right on the harbour (although there’s only five spaces, there are designated Blue Badge spots). Find out more here. North Berwick is easy to reach from Edinburgh, which has its own international airport and there are extensive rail connections from Edinburgh Waverley station to North Berwick. There’s an hourly train service run by Abellio Scotrail, or if you’re looking to drive then just follow the A1 east.
- Langland Bay, Gower Peninsula, Wales
Another beautiful Welsh beach, this time on the Gower Peninsula. This one is lined with colourful beach huts for that classic seaside feel, and the best thing about Langland is that is completely accessible to everyone who wants to enjoy it. The nearest parking is at Langland Bay Road, where you’ll find 265 spaces. Blue Badge holders have designated bays and a concessionary price: you can park for four hours for £1.50 or all day for £3.00, and if you want to venture out on the sand then you can also reserve an all terrain wheelchair by calling 01792 655 844 to find out more.
If you tire of the stunning beaches at Langland, we also recommend taking time to check out the gorgeous Clyne Gardens. They’re free, open all hours and contain several National Collections of plants (including the tallest Magnolia in Britain!), all within some lovely parkland. Langland Bay beach is easily accessible from Mumbles. There are hourly trains from Cardiff to Swansea and then Mumbles is a short taxi ride away. If you’re coming by car, then Langland Bay is a five-minute drive from Mumbles. Take the M4 and then junction 42 for the road to Swansea Bay.
- Bournemouth Beach
Bournemouth’s sea front is one of the most famous and most popular beaches in the UK and with good reason. One of the most accessible beaches we’ve come across, Bournemouth council have made a real effort to open the beach up for the enjoyment of all. A great place to start for more information is the dedicated accessibility page here. One of the best features of the beach is the accessible Beach Huts.
Each one has enough room for four wheelchair users, as well as an electric scooter charging point, designated Blue Badge parking bays, level wooden pathways to the beach and a Changing Places facility with a bed, toilet, sink, shower and tracking hoist. If you’d like to book one, or just find out more, give them a call on 01202 451781.
The cliff tops above the beach are also accessible to scooter users via cliff lifts. The views are spectacular and the lifts themselves are also quite an experience: the first ones were built in 1908! It’s £1.50 for an adult and any carers go free. Once you’re at the top, we really recommend you pop in to the Russell Cotes Gallery and Museum. It’s one of the last Victorian homes built in Britain and it is a fascinating time capsule.
Bournemouth is easily accessible by car. From London, take M25, M3, M27 and then the A31 and the A338 to Bournemouth. Bournemouth’s train station has regular services from London (see here for more details) and the town also has its own international airport. For more information on getting from the airport into town, read about the shuttle service here.
About Quingo Scooters
The Quingo Scooters range features six models to suit your needs and budget. New models are now available from just £22/week on our new contract hire scheme, which includes all servicing and maintenance, Insurance, Roadside Recovery, Call Outs and Consumables including Batteries and Tyres. For more information on this, or the latest Quingo Scooter range, please visit our website. Alternatively, if you have any service questions you can always contact us or call customer services on 01582 430 900.
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All Quingo Personal Mobility Vehicles are provided by Forever Active, the UK’s exclusive distributor. Forever Active is a trading name of Advantage Marketing Corporation Limited (AMC). AMC Limited is an appointed representative of First Senior Insurance Services Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. First Senior Insurance Services FSA Register number is 308478.