Wheelchair-friendly beaches in the UK to visit this summer
It’s no mystery that British people love a beach day in the warm summer months at the best beaches in the UK. There’s nothing better than visiting your closest beach on a sunny day with all your family without having to set foot on a plane. However, it isn’t always as easy as this for people who have a disability. While many beaches across the country have become more accessible over time, there is still a fair number of beaches which aren’t easily accessible by wheelchair. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the top 8 wheelchair-accessible beaches across the UK for your next summer beach trip. Let’s take a look:
1. North Berwick, Edinburgh
We’re visiting Scotland first which is known for its rugged coastline and its beautiful beaches. A local Scottish charity has a Beach Hut at North Berwick and hires out beach-mobility devices so anyone can get to the sea regardless of disability or illness.
‘Beach Wheelchairs’ offers manual wheelchairs suitable for children and adults and a power wheelchair which is perfect for independent walks side by side on the beach. They also have a hoist that takes loop-style slings. Hires are always free and are available all year round. Visit their website to find out how to book https://www.beachwheelchairs.org/north-berwick.
To get from Edinburgh to North Berwick, simply hop on the train which takes just over half an over to reach the coast.
2. Boscombe Beach, Bournemouth
The English Southern coast is also known for its beautiful beaches and stunning scenery. Boscombe Beach in particular is known for its clear, clean water and accessible facilities so much so it was awarded a blue flag status. The beach also has a pier for spectacular views of the Bournemouth coast and so many water sports and activities for something to do for the whole family. This beach also features accessible parking, beach wheelchairs for hire, mobi-mats for accessible sand access, accessible toilets and even accessible beach huts for hire with showers, ceiling hoists, change beds and charging points for electric scooters.
3. Whitley Bay, Newcastle
One for the Geordies. Situated on the North East coast lies Whitley Bay in Newcastle. This beach offers gorgeous views across the lighthouse there looking over the North Sea. If you take a short drive to Blyth a little higher up the coast you can hire all-terrain mobility scooters known as ‘Hippocampes’. They also have wheelchairs and other mobility equipment available for hire. Beach Access North East is the charity supplying this part of the coast that even won Small Charity of the Year in 2021.
4. Brighton Beach, Brighton
It’s no surprise that Brighton would be somewhere on this list. This pebble beach edition has plenty to offer when it comes to accessible beaches. Brighton Beach has also been awarded a Blue Flag status with an abundance of attractions for the whole family to see and do. This includes the UK’s tallest observation deck, the oldest working electric railway and the oldest aquarium in the entire world. The beach itself features ramp access, accessible toilets, accessible changing facilities and even all-terrain beach wheelchairs available for hire. This beach is also right by the city of Brighton, so it’s easily accessible by all major forms of public transport across the UK.
5. Torre Abbey Sands, Torquay
The English Riveria is one of the most stunning coastlines in the whole of the UK. One of the main beaches on this coastline is Torre Abbey Sands situated in the town of Torquay. The beach is only a 10-minute accessible walk from Torquay train station with the beach itself also featuring disabled access to the promenade, pier and beach. The beach also features accessible toilets and even sand chairs so everyone can enjoy the beach on a nice day.
6. Broad Haven Beach, Pembrokeshire
Another beach with a Blue Flag status is Broad Haven Beach in the scenic county of Pembrokeshire in Wales. It’s a very spacious sandy beach with extremely calm waters and lots of water sports for the whole family to do such as windsurfing, sailing or canoeing. This beach also features a concrete slipway for easy access, accessible toilets and even all-terrain beach wheelchairs that you can hire for the day.
7. Whitmore Bay, Barry Island, South Wales
Not only is Barry Island known for its stardom featuring in the BBC classic sitcom Gavin and Stacey, but it’s also known for having a beautiful, accessible beach. This crescent beach has plenty of accessible facilities such as accessible toilets and changing areas and even all-terrain wheelchairs that are free of charge to hire. It’s one of Wales’s most iconic beaches.
8. Summerleaze Beach, Bude
One of the Cornish beaches had to make it to this list. This beach in particular also won the 2022 Seaside Award for its disability-friendly features and with plenty of accessible things to do for the whole family nearby. Bude itself has also won 2 British Travel awards as being one of the Best Coastal Resorts in Britain. This beach features level access across the whole beach, including a flat viewing area, accessible toilets, complete disabled access from the car park and also has sand chairs available to hire. There aren’t any direct trains to Bude however it is possible to reach them using local bus services from Exeter St David’s.
9. Balmedie Beach, Aberdeen
Another Scottish beach to add to the list, Balmedie Beach is famous for its ancient dunes. It’s also one of the most accessible beaches across the whole of Scotland. You can also access it straight from Aberdeen train station. The local charity there Balmedie Beach Wheelchairs also provides beach wheelchairs free of charge for anyone who needs one. The charity also provides a ‘Changing Place’ with a RADAR key.
Preparing for your travels with Fish Insurance
Heading out on an adventure to one of these beautiful beaches? Fish Insurance provides specialist insurance for a wide range of disability products to help you find whatever cover you may need.
Our broad range of insurance includes:
• WAV (Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles)
• Mobility Scooters
• Carers and their employers
Plus, many more. Visit our homepage to see our full range of insurance cover.