With Easter just around the corner, there’s still time to book a short break with your family. A few days away can be a real boost, providing the opportunity to spend some quality time together.
By Alison Dando
The key to an enjoyable Easter break is to pick a destination or activity that appeals to the whole family. You also don’t want to spend too long travelling and it all needs to be within budget. And wherever you choose, it needs to be accessible to you all. For inspiration, we’ve taken a look at six accessible short break ideas to make a family weekend away one to remember this Easter.
Beamish Living Museum
Go back in time with this immersive experience of life in the north east of England from the Industrial Revolution to the 1940s. Set in 300 acres of gorgeous Durham countryside, you get fresh air and activities you can all get involved in, from a 1900s coal mine to a 1940s farm. This award-winning attraction welcomes over 700,000 visitors each year.
Accessibility: the outdoor environment of Beamish means there are some uneven surfaces, but the venue is accessible for motorised scooters and there’s wheelchair hire on-site. Plus, there’s plenty of accessible toilets, cafes and induction loop systems on the exhibitions. Carers go free, as do under 5s with a disability and one parent. www.beamish.org.uk
Travel and accommodation: Beamish is well-served by bus services from Newcastle city centre – www.gonortheast.co.uk All buses have ramps and wheelchair spaces. The nearest railway station is Chester-le-Street, from where buses run every 15 minutes to the museum. There are plenty of hotels and B&Bs near to Beamish or you could make a city weekend of it, staying in nearby Newcastle.
North Wales coast
When the weather’s with you, you can’t beat a weekend by the sea and with 14 blue flag beaches dotted around its coastline, North Wales is a great place to go old school with a bucket and spade this Easter.
Accessibility: Many larger Blue Flag beaches have disability access and toilet facilities plus lifeguard cover during the peak season. And should the Welsh Easter weather keep you off the beach, there’s still plenty to see and do, including Caernarfon Castle, which has wheelchair access and offers free entry for disabled visitors or the RSPB nature reserve in nearby Conwy. For more on North Wales short breaks,
Travel and accommodation: The main road into North Wales is the A55 and has plenty of accessible service stations along the route. Virgin Trains runs the route into this beautiful corner of the UK, with main stops at Bangor, Llandudno Junction and Holyhead. For an accessible break, check out Haven Holidays, who have three large sites on the North Wales coast and are offering a 15% discount scheme for Motability customers – www.motability.org.uk/about/discounts/haven
Theme Park Thrills – Drayton Manor
You can’t have a guide to activities and breaks over Easter and not include a theme park! And with around 20 large theme park attractions dotted around the UK, there are plenty to choose from. We’ve picked Drayton Manor, near Tamworth, Staffordshire
Accessibility – the park has an easy access system for rides if you can’t use the main entrance as well as a ride host option. Wheelchair hire is available, and the accessible toilets also include a changing facility with hoists. There are ticket discounts for disabled people and their carers. www.draytonmanor.co.uk
Travel and accommodation: Drayton Manor is well served by transport routes, with the M6 and M42 on its doorstep. Arriva is the main bus company, with a regular accessible service from Tamworth, Birmingham and Sutton Coldfi eld.
Eden Project, Cornwall
Get your Easter nature fix at the stunning Eden Project, near the Cornish town of St Austell. These world-famous gardens are packed with exotic plants from around the globe, letting you stroll through rainforests, deserts and wild gardens as well as enjoying a host of activities, exhibitions and features, including Easter specials.
Accessibility: the Eden project provides excellent facilities, including extensive wheelchair access, hearing loops, Braille guides and tours. They also offer ‘relaxed’ versions of family activities for people with sensory or communication needs. www.edenproject.com
Travel and accommodation: Cornwall can be a long journey for some, so perhaps make a visit to the Eden Project part of a longer Cornish break. The project is accessible by car via the M5 and offers free parking. The nearest railway station is St Austell, three miles
Double up a trip to one of the UK’s largest zoos with a visit to Chester and you have a neat city break to try out this Easter. With over 21,000 animals in 125 acres of
Accessibility – Chester Zoo is a fully accessible attraction – with accessible pathways, free parking, free entry for carers and free wheelchair and scooter hire. There are also multi-sensory exhibits for people with visual impairments or those with an autistic spectrum disorder. The city of Chester itself is well established for disabled people, with wheelchair and scooter friendly walkways, and accessible public transport, including the city tour buses. www.chesterzoo.org
Travel and accommodation: Chester Zoo is off the M53 and just 50 minutes from Manchester. The nearest railway station is Chester, and you can buy a zoo and travel combo ticket, which includes a bus shuttle service from the station. All buses have
For a fun and easy break with the kids this Easter, you can’t beat going under canvas. But there’s no need to make things too hard for yourself – glamping or yurts are the
Accessibility: the rigid build of a yurt offers a good half-way between canvas and more conventional accommodation. You can get a host of add-ons, including solid
Looking for more inspiration this Easter? Check out the following websites to help you to decide:
Euans Guide – for user reviews of accessible accommodation: www.euansguide.com
Things to do in England: www.visitengland.com and Scotland: www.visitscotland.com
See more accessible travel ideas at: www.ablemagazine.co.uk/articles/ travel-guide/