Beach wheelchairs

It’s summer season – so we’re looking at the places you can hire beach wheelchairs and where you can venture.

Great Yarmouth Tourism beach wheelchair
Credit: Great Yarmouth Tourism
Beach wheelchairs are available to hire around the UK – making a real difference to people who have not been able to get onto the beach for a long time. These wheelchairs have large pneumatic wheels so they can slide over sand. They may be provided by local tourism information, as in Great Yarmouth, or National Parks, as in Pembrokeshire.     The organisation Disability Grants provides a map of where these wheelchairs are available (scroll to the bottom of the page). The same page has notes on locations provided by website visitors, including Brighton, Margate and Broadstairs, Cornwall, Cleethorpes and Edinburgh. Some wheelchairs come with a charge while others a suggested donation. The amount of time they can be hired for can range from 30 minutes to the whole day. If you’re interested in hiring, you may want to check in advance whether the wheelchairs have head support, whether a hoist is available and the age the wheelchairs are suitable for. You’ll probably need someone able to push the wheelchair too. If you’re holidaying with a wheelchair, whether it’s yours or a beach wheelchair, you can look online for recommended accessible routes. Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is a good example of an organisation providing clear information. It provides 16 routes for wheelchair walks and five adventure wheelchair walks. Brighton and Hove has a beach accessible walkway at The Hove Seafront Office. A search online will hopefully reveal if the location you’re heading to provides similar information. Speaking on the increase of beach wheelchairs Julia Tyrrell, founder of the organisation Disability Grants, said: “So many of us enjoy the pleasure of sitting on the beach and paddling in the sea. “For wheelchair users this is often denied as you struggle to move through sand and stones – even with a helping hand! “More resorts are addressing this problem with improved access, slopes, wheelchair friendly beach huts and more recently beach wheelchairs.” If you know of other UK locations where beach wheelchairs are available to hire you can share this information on the Disability Grants website. Another piece in our Summer Series looks at beach facilities including moveable walkways, accessible beach huts and Changing Places toilets. 
Beach wheelchair
A beach wheelchair at Virginia State National Parks
 
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