Specialist Holidays for the Disabled


Rising demand means that one of the fastest growing sectors of the holiday market is activity holidays, and particularly those for the disabled. Just because you may use a wheelchair to get around need not prevent you from enjoying an energetic break.

Ransome Mobility has been supplying nearly new and used wheelchair access vehicles to customers in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex for more than three decades. We know just how important it is for people with mobility issues to live an independent life – and that includes having access to a car and going on holiday.

Here we look at some of the types of activity holidays which are currently available for people who may have mobility issues.

Boating

Narrowboat holidays are available on most of the UK’s canals and waterways where you can journey through the heart of England at your own leisurely pace. A lot of boats owned by narrowboat hire companies have been specially adapted so that they are wheelchair accessible. These will include ramps, hoists and lifts, as well as adapted toilets and wetroom facilities. These narrowboat companies will ensure you and whoever else you are travelling with are fully prepared for your time aboard by providing training, so everything goes smoothly.

The company Disabled Holidays offers wonderful narrowboat holidays along the Grand Union Canal in Hertfordshire and the Lee and Stort rivers in Essex and Hertfordshire.

Sailing

As with the narrowboating holidays, sailing holidays are also operated by charitable trusts as well as by travel companies.  The trusts often have able-bodied people working side-by-side with disabled people, particularly with larger boats; this helps build a greater understanding and element of teamwork while maintaining the safety of the vessel.

The Royal Yachting Association operates the ‘Sailability’ scheme which encourages clubs to offer special facilities for the disabled; in East Anglia alone, there are 24 sites which are part of the programme. Contact the East Anglian Sailing Trust, which is based in Levington, near Ipswich, to find out more.

Fishing

Many people with mobility issues are already keen anglers or are interested in taking up the sport – an afternoon by the riverbank trying to land a catch can be an ideal way to relax.

Increasing numbers of holiday and travel companies are now offering the chance to fish and stay in nearby holiday cottages which have a wide range of disabled facilities. Country Cottages Online and Disabled Holidays both offer fishing holidays right across the UK, with Norfolk and the Broads one particularly popular river fishing destination.

The British Disabled Angling Association lists every venue that provides special facilities around the country on its website, and this includes lakes and fisheries as well as rivers, so you should be able to find a convenient venue.

Cycling

High street bike retailers are now offering more bikes for people with mobility issues, as well as for the able-bodied. A huge range of bicycles can also be specially adapted to suit the specific needs of a rider. For example, if balance is an issue, they can be fitted with stabilisers, there are tandems for people with visual impairment available and handcycles where the front wheel can be powered by hand.

Get Cycling, for instance, is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company based in Leicestershire next to the National Forest and offers a full range of off-road cycle routes, all centred around a well-equipped hostel. They offer trips to disabled cyclists of all abilities and has a wide selection of adapted bikes. They recommend a pre-holiday visit or at least a conversation to ensure they have the right type of bike available for you at the venue.

Riding

The Riding for the Disabled Association is a charity which provides horse-riding and carriage driving lessons for people with physical or mental disabilities throughout the UK.

There are plenty of local riding groups run by volunteers. Check out the RDA website to see which one is the most appropriate for you. In addition, as well as regular tuition, the RDA also offers holidays for riders and carriage drivers between May and September, their holiday season. The RDA website will carry information about eligibility and availability.

Rambling

Rambling proves extremely popular as a holiday activity because you don’t necessarily need to book a packaged holiday, although there are companies which do specialise in offering specialised accommodation close to various walks or trails.

Suffolk and Norfolk are particularly good locations for rambling holidays because most of the counties are so flat. Disabled Ramblers maintain a specialist website which has all the information you may need about suitable trails, degrees of difficulty, as well as group hikes.

Ransome Mobility (link: https://www.ransomemobility.co.uk/wheelchair-access-vehicles/wavs-for-sale/) has a huge range of used wheelchair access vehicles which are perfect for use on activity holidays in Norfolk, Suffolk or around the country. We also provide a wide variety of vehicle adaptions for both disabled and able-bodied drivers. Either speak to one of our friendly team to discuss your vehicle requirements or click on the link above to find out what we currently have in stock.

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