Top 10 Easy Access
Our favourite accessible accommodation...
Finding good, highly-rated accommodation with easy access can be a serious task. But, England actually has a lot to offer – you just need to know where to look. Whether you're after a top-notch luxury hotel in London with excellent wheelchair access, or fully-equipped and accessible log cabins in Derbyshire, or a youth hostel in Cumbria with facilities for the hearing and visually impaired, the National Accessible Scheme (NAS) has just the place for you...
1. Hoe Grange Holidays , Matlock, Derbyshire
Offering a “real home from home” in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the heart of the Derbyshire Dales, Hoe Grange Holidays recently bagged the East Midlands Enjoy England Excellence Gold Award for "Access For All". It has four fully-equipped and accessible self-catering log cabins, each sleeping up to six or eight, on-site spa treatments and, best of all, a log-fired, outdoor Swedish hot tub – perfect for unwinding after a day exploring the Derbyshire countryside. There are even stables so you can bring your own horse (as you do).
2. The Hytte , Hexham, Northumberland
One night in the Hytte (pronounced "hutta") and you won't want to leave. This self-catering Norwegian-inspired timber lodge, complete with a grass roof, is rated “Access Exceptional” under the NAS. Sleeping eight (two bedrooms have electric beds), it boasts a large, open plan living area with vaulted ceilings, wooden floors, Norwegian log burner, DVD player, even an XBox games console. Though you'll probably spend most of your time outside on the decked verandah, with its sweeping views of the open countryside and legendary "Bingfield sunset".
3. Ellwood Cottages , Blandford Forum, Dorset
Just a fossil's throw from the Jurassic coastline, these self-catering cottages have been lovingly restored from traditionally-built barns and make for a perfect weekend break in rural Dorset . There are three in all, named after Dorset writers Hardy, Barnes and Blyton, all fully-equipped and wheelchair accessible. There is also a heated pool and on-site therapists offering pamper-tastic treatments. If you're blessed with sunshine head outside to the landscaped garden, with its comfortable seating areas and views over farmland towards Bulbarrow and Ibberton Hill.
4. Radisson Edwardian Providence Wharf , London
Looking for a luxurious and accessible hotel in central London ? Look no further than Radisson Edwardian Providence Wharf, set on the banks of the River Thames, just minutes from the O2 Arena and Canary Wharf. Many of the bedrooms are designed for wheelchair users and guests with sight impairment, and you can also expect Bang & Olufsen TVs, MP3 connectivity and laptop safes. After a day's sightseeing, kick back in the spa, reached by a glass-panelled walkway suspended above the hotel’s grand lobby. It features six treatment rooms, including one exclusively for couples.
5. Double Gate Farm , Nr. Wells, Somerset
Perched on the banks of the River Sheppey, this family-run retreat offers two types of accommodation – opt for a self-catering stay, bedding down in the barn conversion, which sleeps up to eight and has a beamed lounge featuring an inglenook fireplace and log burner, or go for a B&B stay. You can choose from rooms in the farmhouse, with its communal guest lounge and games room, or one of the riverside suites. Breakfasts are to die for: posh bangers, West Country kippers and chunky slices of homemade bread.
6. Hidelow House Cottages , Beauchamp, Worcester
Head to the grounds of Hidelow House and you'll find seven, fully-equipped self-catering cottages, sleeping between two and ten, as well as a farmhouse sleeping 12, which has several bedrooms featuring elegant four-poster beds, flagged flooring, as well as two hot tubs outside. It also offers B&B stays in the main house – check out the guests' lounge with its beautiful Bluthner grand piano, which budding pianists are welcome to play.
7. Burleigh Court , Loughborough, Leicestershire
This residential conference hotel – the 2010 “Access for All” Gold winner – is located on the grounds of Loughborough University and underwent a massive £8 million expansion in 2006. It now has 13 rooms specifically designed for accessibility needs, ten of which offer walk-in showers. There is also a pool and therapy centre offering aromatherapy massages and Reiki. Hungry? Award-winning chefs create all dishes in-house, from hearty roasts to calorific desserts, using local ingredients where possible.
8. Park House Hotel , King's Lynn, Norfolk
Housed in a beautiful Victorian country house, amidst the rolling parklands of the Sandringham Royal Estate, this hotel is operated by the charity Leonard Cheshire Disability – there are lifts, ramps and automatic doors throughout the hotel, and all bedrooms feature high-tech beds. Sign up for one of the organised excursions to nearby nature reserves and stately homes, or coincide your visit with one of the themed weeks; there is everything from a “Trains, Planes & Automobiles” week to painting and craft breaks.
9. Berwick Cottage , Nr. Norwich, Norfolk
Lin Berwick, who is blind, has cerebral palsy and is a wheelchair user, was frustrated by the difficulty of finding suitable disabled holiday accommodation, so she founded The Lin Berwick Trust in 1989. After almost 10 years of fundraising, the Trust opened its first holiday cottage for the disabled – Berwick Cottage. Sleeping six, it features everything from electric beds to board games designed for sight-impaired.
10. YHA Borrowdale , Keswick, Cumbria
Located by the River Derwent and surrounded by some of the Lake District's finest fells, this youth hostel ticks all the right boxes. It has good wheelchair facilities as well as hearing loops and braille/tactile signage throughout the hostel. After a day out (great walks for all levels leave from the front door), return to hearty, home cooked meals whipped up using local ingredients, as well as a range of local ales. Perfect.
National Accessible Scheme
Accommodation to suit everyone's needs.National Accessible Scheme
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