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Top five accessible beach breaks

You don’t need to go abroad this summer to enjoy a beach break; the UK is home to a number of accessible beaches, perfect for a holiday in the warmer months. With the help of The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain, we’ve rounded up our recommendations of the UK’s top five beaches for a worry-free staycation or day out this summer.

Top 5 beach breaks1

Portstewart Strand, Northern Ireland

Portstewart StrandThis Blue-flag beach and designated Area of Special Scientific Interest in Northern Ireland, is one of the most accessible in the UK as visitors are allowed to drive their cars right up to the sand. A great beach break destination for holidaymakers who enjoy being in beautiful, natural surroundings. Portstewart Strand is the perfect setting for a summer picnic, while those after a hearty meal can enjoy lunch at one of the nearby accessible restaurants. Nature-lovers can visit the accessible hide on the estuary side of the beach where they can spot a wide-range of birdlife and marine animals. For more information on visiting Northern Ireland go to www.discovernorthernireland.comOpens in new window


Bournemouth and Boscombe Beaches, Dorset

Top five accessible beach breaks - third imageBournemouth is a traditional British seaside resort with seven miles of sandy beaches which offer a number of accessibility options to make your beach break as easy and enjoyable as possible. Wheelchair users can travel free of charge by train between Bournemouth and Boscombe Piers, as well as on the cliff lifts. Additionally, ‘sand buggies’ are available to hire making getting on to the beach that little bit easier. The city has a wide range of restaurants, shops and attractions including the wheelchair-friendly Bournemouth Balloon, making this a great destination for an accessible beachside break. For more information on visiting Bournemouth go to www.visitbournemouth.comOpens in new window

Holkham Beach, Norfolk

Top five accessible beach breaks - second imagePart of the Holkham National Nature Reserve, this award-winning, unspoilt beach is a must-visit all year round. Take in the beautiful views of the surrounding pinewoods and beach along a one-mile path which is built on raised boardwalks making it easier for those in wheelchairs or who need a level surface. Make more of your beach day with a tour of the Holkham Hall and Park, an impressive and accessible stately home. Whether you are exploring historical treasures like Holkham or visiting unspoilt seaside villages and indulging in fresh seafood; with 12 beaches and 80 miles of coastline, North Norfolk is simply stunning. For more information on visiting Norfolk go to in new window

Westcliff beach, Essex

Top five accessible beach breaks - adventure islandThrill-seekers and families with children of all ages will love visiting Adventure Island, just a short distance from Southend-on-Sea’s beaches and pier. With disabled parking bays at all entrances and accessible rides clearly marked this theme park is a guaranteed fun day out. Once you’ve finished at Adventure Island head to nearby Westcliff Beach, a sandy and central beach which has good access for disabled visitors. For more information on visiting Essex go to www.visitessex.comOpens in new window

Summerleaze Beach, Cornwall

Top five accessible beach breaks - cornwallOne of the nation’s favourite spots for a staycation, Cornwall has a number of top-class accessible beaches with facilities to accommodate disabled visitors. Just a five minute walk from the town centre, Summerleaze Beach in Bude has a disability-friendly sand chair available to hire for the day through the beach office. The beach also features a salt-water tide pool, perfect for an afternoon dip. There are accessible bathrooms and changing areas available to visitors while accessible beach huts offer respite in the warmer summer months and space to relax in peace. For more information on visiting Cornwall go to www.visitcornwall.comOpens in new window

Rough Guide to Accessible Britain

With 15 beaches and coastal attractions included in the sixth edition of The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain, there are a wide range of options available for accessible beach breaks in the UK. Find out more and read the full reviews of some of these beaches and attractions in the Guide, which has been created in association with the Motability Scheme.

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Photo credits: Portstewart Beach -, Bournemouth Beach and Holkam Beach -, Westcliff Beach - Adventure Island, Summerleaze Beach - Adam Gilbbard