Thumbs up for the south west's age-friendly tourist attractions
PUBLISHED: 12:00 14 August 2014
Coming under scrutiny of the UK's mature travellers' review site, the south west certainly seems to have held its own.
There are many challenging aspects of a day out that does not occur to people with full mobility, but for the elderly and disabled even something seemingly as small as whether there is somewhere to sit has to be considered.
Devon resident, Silver Travel Advisor member and avid traveller, Kay Wiseman, visited each of the south west’s recommended age-friendly attractions on behalf of Silver Travel Advisor, and here are few of Devon’s top attractions:
1. Plymouth’s National Marine Aquarium proves visit-worthy with ramps and lifts throughout and disabled parking on site, although limited.
2. Mobility parking, accessible toilets and wheelchair access to Castle Drogo make it very accessible. There is also a volunteer operated buggy available from the visitor centre to the castle.
3. Accessible Trails include The Tarka Trail running between Meeth and Barnstaple – a haven for wildlife, and Drakes Walk in Tavistock – purpose built by a special needs group.
4. RHS Garden Rosemoor near Great Torrington offers eight manual wheelchairs for ‘on the day’ use, two powered mobility vehicles available free of charge and disabled toilets. One companion is admitted free with a wheelchair user and assistance dogs are welcome.
5. Exeter Ship Canal is a bird spotter’s paradise and Darts Farm offer nature trails and binoculars for hire from the farm shop.
6. Buckfast Abbey has good accessibility for the public; there are only two rooms out of the ones open to the public that are a little tricky for wheelchair users.
7. Perched on the hill at Totnes, Dartington Hall offers disabled toilet facilities and disabled parking spaces.
8. Those who miss being on the water have the opportunity of joining Dart Sailability during the summer where purpose-built boats enable disabled people to get afloat. A hoist is available to safely lift wheelchair users into the boats.