If you missed your usual holiday slot, perhaps due to pandemic restrictions or shielding, you might consider changing your habits and getting away in the autumn or winter.
After this past couple of years there’ll be plenty of disabled people that have endured tight restrictions and who have had to hold themselves to the disciplines of shielding requirements. Hopefully, now that we have better protections in place, we can start to look at getting back to doing the things we love and living the life we want to lead, rather than the life we’re sometimes forced to accept.
There are also distinct advantages with winter breaks:
The peak summer season can often be more expensive than going away in winter. Furthermore, winter getaways are likely to be easier to book.
If you have the mindset that ‘it’s only bad weather if you’re badly dressed’ you’ll be fine. Actually, the cooler weather is sometimes a bit more comfortable than the harsh heat of summer.
In any case, it’s likely to be a different experience – and anyway, all holidays are what you make them.
Again, the summer does have its downsides, such as long queues of tourists outside any destination, restaurant or sometimes even shops. The autumn and winter see fewer people generally – this includes children, who may well be in school. That said, you could still find weekend or term break bookings and family friendly destinations with good availability.
Once a year
Going away in December is a fantastic Christmas treat – or you could choose to see in the New Year in style. A winter break might give you an opportunity to tie in a Christmas market or other seasonal events.
We’ve collected a few of our favourite holiday spots, ideal to consider for breaks at any time of year – including the cooler months…
Trevase Cottages, Herefordshire
Trevase Cottages are two five-star gold self-catering properties that have eight ensuite bedrooms in each property, both sleeping up to 18 guests, situated in the stunning south Herefordshire countryside. The properties are conveniently located for all major road networks.
The award-winning traditional stone buildings combine 18th century character with 21st century luxury and style with stunning views in a peaceful rural location. They are located five miles apart, therefore boast their own extensive facilities including a hydrotherapy Jacuzzi hot tub, games room (table football, pool table, table tennis and outdoor games), fully equipped kitchen, bar area, spacious dining room and two large living rooms (one lounge and one TV room). The extensive gardens and patio area offers outdoor seating for all guests, a BBQ, and a pizza oven.
The properties are rated M1, M2, V1, H1 and H2 and are therefore ideal for multi-generation family gatherings, special occasions, care home holidays and much more. Basic aids for the property can be provided on request and a much more extensive range can be hired locally for delivery and collection from either property. There are also recommendations for a range of services or activities (such as hiring a personal chef, beauty therapist or a clay modelling course and much more) that will come to the property during your stay to make your special occasion even more memorable.
Tel: 01989 730996
Croft Bungalow, Peak District, Derbyshire
Croft Bungalow is a multi-awardwinning, wheelchair friendly self-catering cottage in the heart of the Peak District.
During its partial rebuild it was specially adapted for small parties and families with access needs. It is now level access, open plan, with roll-in wetroom including WC and shower. There’s also an optional pop-up sensory room and a range of accessible equipment including a hoist and electric profile bed. Outside is private off-road parking, a private sun trap patio, open country views and a lovely wheelchair friendly sensory garden.
The property will accommodate up to four people in serene comfort.
All this is set in a fabulous country location 15 minutes from Matlock, Chatsworth and Bakewell and 30 minutes from Carsington Water, Tideswell and Buxton – or you could simply frequent the two village pubs – which both have a portable ramp and welcome wheelchair users.
Tel: 01629 650979
Newly arrived in 2021, CYP’s luxury accessible pod is situated at the foot of a garden and boasts unrivalled views of Ben Ledi. Unlike their other glamping lodges, The Crags Accessible Pod has an ensuite wetroom with shower/changing bench, height adjustable washbasin, clos-o-mat toilet and a level access shower and its own kitchenette, as well as a covered outdoor seating area.
Other features include a parking space at the rear with ramp access to the pod itself, wide doorways and a level interior, profiling single bed in the main bedroom, with ceiling (y-shape) hoist running through to the bathroom. The sofa pulls out into a double sofa bed and an additional zed-bed (fold-out) can be added to accommodate a maximum occupancy of four.
CYP are based by the River Teith, at the start of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park and less than an hour’s drive from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Perth. Set in stunning scenery, surrounded by the imposing and beautiful Ben Ledi and the Callander Crags, the hostel makes the perfect location for anyone wanting to discover all aspects of the National Park.
Callander Youth Project Trust have over 20 years of experience delivering services for young people. Their hostel and pods also work as a social enterprise, providing employment opportunities to local young people.
Tel: 01877 330141
Harriet Davis Trust Seaside Holidays, Pembrokeshire
The aim of the Harriet Davis Trust charity is to enable disabled children, their families and carers to enjoy a seaside holiday.
There are three self-catering holiday homes in the beautiful walled seaside town of Tenby in Pembrokeshire which have been suitably constructed and equipped for disabled children. Facilities include lifts, hoist systems, profile beds and special bathrooms with wetroom areas and Kingcraft baths.
The wheelchair accessible holiday homes are each unique for their sea views or locations and are available all year round for families with disabled children up to the age of 21.
Caerwen House is the Trust’s secret gem. Located in the bustling market town of Narberth, close to Pembrokeshire’s beaches and tourist attractions, it has been specially designed for families with children with autism and other additional needs (adults too – but is not suitable for wheelchairs). The house is completely enclosed with a large garden and soft playroom which visiting children absolutely love!
All four houses cater for adults with disabilities and mobility needs as well as care home residents outside of school holiday times and each house has a family helper to deal with arrival details and share local information.
Short breaks are available in November, January and February but for the rest of the year holiday bookings are weekly. As a non-profit organisation, charges are made for the use of the Trust’s properties, but these are at affordable rates.
The Rings, Cupar, Fife
Enabling holidays for all
The Rings offers flexibility, giving you the choice of various combinations of accommodation to suit your specific needs.
The Cottage can be used as one large property for up to 16 guests, or smaller apartments to suit any group. There are eight bedrooms with ensuite wetrooms, three with ceiling track hoists as well as two main lounge-kitchen-dining areas and two studio apartments.
The proprietors are acutely aware of accessibility through their own family experiences and want to provide the best possible holiday for you.
The six bespoke cabins can accommodate up to five people. You can book one individual cabin or two adjoining cabins and a central ‘link room’.
Accessible equipment can be pre-booked for your stay. (Full details on their website.) Décor takes account of people with sensory impairments, and they have flexibility to accommodate the needs of individuals with sensory or behavioural extremes.
As part of a working sheep farm, you can book to see the farm at work or simply enjoy peaceful countryside and views – with many highly acclaimed tourist attractions nearby.
Tel: 01334 828243
A choice of accessible holidays – at last!
Accessatlast has assisted numerous people who have mobility issues find suitable accessible holiday accommodation in the UK and abroad.
Accessatlast are determined to offer the widest choice possible for accessible holiday accommodation around the world. An ambitious goal but one which we aim to achieve in the coming years.
Our aim is to make life easier for disabled people wishing to holiday anywhere in the world. This opens-up opportunities to discover the delights of other countries with the peace of mind that the accommodation will be suitable.
The launch of our new website in September offers an enhanced user experience to make it easier to find suitable properties. Unlike other similar sites, Accessatlast act as the matchmaker between the property owners and visitors. Each property has detailed information to help make it easier for visitors to decide if the property is suitable for their needs. Visitors can then contact the property owners directly to arrange their booking and discuss any other requirements.
We have also introduced our ‘Travel Blog’ where users can share their holiday experiences. It’s really useful to hear about how other people have managed who have similar requirements as you. We also have some established disabled travel bloggers lined up to contribute on a regular basis.