On the beach

We continue our summer focus by looking at facilities on the beach including moveable walkways, accessible beach huts and Changing Places toilets.

Bournemouth accessible beach hut
Credit: Bournemouth Tourism
After our focus on beach wheelchairs we’re looking at other facilities available on UK beaches, sharing information from organisations Disability Grants and Changing Places. Some facilities may be limited across the UK – but hopefully they are trailblazers!

Mobi-mats

At Sandbanks beach in Poole there are Mobi-Mats to help wheelchair users move easily from the promenade onto the sand and closer to the sea. These are available between Easter and September. Poole was the first place in Britain to pilot Mobi-Mats – highly durable walkways that can be divided and moved to facilitate all beaches across Poole. The Mobi-mats create an easy path for wheelchair users, people with pushchairs and beach users who may struggle to walk on the sand. The borough introduced floating wheelchairs at the same time.

Accessible beach huts

Just along the coast at Bournemouth’s Boscombe Beach you’ll find the UK’s first purpose designed fully disabled accessible beach huts. These chalets have space for up to four wheelchairs and the space has been designed to be flexible.

Each hut features four folding chairs, a table, a split level work surface, gas stove, lockable cupboards and a shared fresh drinking water tap.

For large groups, two huts can be converted into one large space with the huts available to hire by individuals or disability groups. Bournemouth Tourism provides a lot of information on accessibility and places to go.

Changing Places toilets

As part of the Boscombe beach area’s accessible makeover the beach also has a Changing Places toilet with an overhead hoist and changing bed. To find Changing Places toilets around the UK, the website can be searched by area to see what facilities are available. For example, facilities may include a height adjustable bench, a ceiling hoist, a peninsular toilet and a washbasin with an adjustable height. With around 1,100 Changing Places toilets in the UK there should be one at the coast near you. Locations with such facilities include Penzance, Bude - Summerleaze, Weston-Super-Mare, Swansea, Llandudno, Blackpool, Arbroath, Whitley Bay, Hartlepool, North Berwick, Whitby, Bridlington, Skegness, Cleethorpes, Great Yarmouth, Felixstowe, Clacton, Southend-on-Sea, Whitstable, Margate, Broadstairs, Hastings, Brighton, Worthing, Bournemouth, Weymouth and Plymouth. Hopefully these tips will be of help – do share any other summer information with us that might interest other readers. Click here for our piece on beach wheelchairs.
Bournemouth accessible beach hut and wheelchair
Credit: Bournemouth Tourism
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