Emma Bowler with her Family
I’m a pretty seasoned traveller, having been to Italy, France, Spain, Russia, South Africa, Kenya, Thailand, a lot of the US (including Alaska, California and New York), plus Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, to name a few places … but what I like about going on holiday in the UK is that it’s far easier to find access information about places to stay and attractions.
Having information on access takes out all the hassle, and I always do a lot of online research before I go anywhere.
I have a rare disability called Kniest Syndrome, which means I’m only 4ft tall and I can’t walk far, so a mobility scooter is an essential part of my holiday kit, along with my blue badge.
As a family with two young children we love going for weekend breaks to London because it’s great in terms of access, with dropped kerbs everywhere, accessible buses and a whole heap of accessible attractions – Tate Modern, the London Eye and the Natural History Museum being our favourites.
Accessible hotels can be a bit pricey so it’s worth trying to get a last-minute deal, which is what we did on our last visit, when we stayed at a hotel just a stone’s throw from St Paul’s Cathedral; we simply ditched the car and scooted everywhere.
Having recently moved to Devon we felt it was almost compulsory to join the caravanning set, so we bought a caravan on eBay to explore some of the great countryside right on our doorstep. Many campsites have accessible facilities now and it’s a good option if you are on a budget.
Useful resources include the Disability Now travel pages (disabilitynow.org.uk/living/travel), and, for deals, websites such as Lastminute.com or Booking.com. I’m very much an independent traveller so can’t really recommend any of the “specialist” travel companies. The Mar y Sol Hotel in Tenerife (marysol.org, apartments for two from €91 half-board) has all-singing all-dancing access. It wouldn’t be my thing but it enabled my father-in-law, who’d had a stroke, to go on holiday independently.
Emma Bowler (emmabowler.co.uk), health and disability writer and a contributor to the Rough Guide to Accessible Britain (accessibleguide.co.uk, £6.99). To buy a copy for £5.59 go to guardianbookshop.co.uk
Source: The Guardian