We’ve been in Plympton, Plymouth for exactly five months and one week now and we’ve fallen in love with the city. So, we decided to make a list of all the things we’ve discovered since setting up shop there and share them with you.
1. Plymouth is the best place to retire
According to Plymouth Live in their article posted on the 16th August 2019, Plymouth has been named the best place in the UK to retire. The study conducted by Profile Pensions, a retirement advice specialist, concluded that it was due to the abundance of affordable homes, parks and churches. They also assessed both typical and retirement property prices, the crime rate per capita, leisure activities and venues available by square km.
Although people rarely move when they retire and tend to remain where their family is or where they are used to, this study shows which is the best place to retire in terms of entertainment options.
"Plymouth's top offering is its large number of religious centres – but with a significant selection of parks, affordable homes, and proximity to the sea, it has a lot to offer anyone," said the firm.
Plymouth has significantly lower average house prices, retirement house prices and crime rate than many of the cities surveyed. Plymouth was also praised for its number of activities for those at retirement age, as well as cafes, pubs, parks and churches.
The study was created so that people could decide on where they would like to retire based on their preferences.
We’re inclined to agree that Plymouth is a lovely place to live.
2. Plymouth is an accessible city
The charity Access Plymouth is a local charity that helps the people of Plymouth or people visiting Plymouth gain more freedom and independence through a range of services. The access initiative includes volunteer-driven Community Cars, a Shopmobility scheme and a Dial-A-Ride bus shopping service for people who struggle with public transport.
You may have heard of the national Shopmobility Scheme, where you can rent scooters and wheelchairs to use around city centres. They are available to residents and visitors to Plymouth regardless of whether a personas disability is permanent or not. Click here to read more.
Dial-A-Ride is a door to door transport service to anywhere within Plymouth for elderly and disabled residents who find it difficult to use public transport. Dial-A-Ride provides wheelchair accessible vehicle and dedicated drivers who can help passengers on and off the bus and to and from your front door. There is space for one wheelchair. Click here to find prices and more.
Community Car is a not-for-profit car-sharing scheme to help persons with disabilities get around Plymouth. Volunteer drivers, using their vehicles, can take you to the shops, hairdressers, doctors, dentist, lunch clubs, day centres, hospital visits or practically anywhere else you need to go to Plymouth. Click here to find out more.
3. There are loads of accessible things to do
Known as Britain’s Ocean City, Plymouth is a vibrant waterfront city that is packed full of attractions and things to do. It is for these reasons that it is a brilliant place to live as there is always something on to entertain you. From the town, nearby countryside or marine environment, to a host of well-known landmarks and historical sites there’s something for everyone to explore.
Most importantly, Plymouth is an accessible city for people who need stairlifts or mobility aids. They can live in the knowledge that it is easy to get around. Here is a list of attractions that you can visit that pride themselves with being easily accessible.
The National Marine Aquarium
The National Marine Aquarium is one of Plymouth’s major attractions giving you a fascinating insight into the underwater world. It is the UK’s largest aquarium and visitors can explore all of the world’s oceans.
Get up close to 70 sharks. Enjoy the interactive dive show or get knowledge from talks about the ocean and its inhabitants. Admire the stunning views of the coastline and find it easily as it’s close to Plymouth city centre. This is the perfect day out for taking the grandchildren.
For visitors with mobility problems, you will be delighted that it is fully serviced by ramps and lifts throughout and all corridors are wide and accommodating. There is free wheelchair hire on offer and carers are eligible to enter for free.
The Plymouth Hoe Waterfront is a great place to visit for the incredible views across Plymouth Sound. Visit the iconic Smeaton’s Tower lighthouse, the war memorials, the Drake statue and the Plymouth Royal Citadel to name a few.
There are lots of places to eat in the area and every year there are numerous events taking place including the Plymouth Armed Forces Weekend and the British Firework Championships.
The Hoe is very accessible as there are Blue Badge car parks, flat access around the promenade, accessible toilets as well as slopes for wheelchair users, so everyone can enjoy a stroll by the waterfront.
Dartmoor Zoological Park
Dartmoor Zoo is just 15 minutes from Plymouth and is well worth a visit. In the 30 acres of woodland, you can see big cats, meerkats, otters, monkeys, brown bears, South American Tapir and wolves. Get involved with animal encounters, falcon displays and talks at feeding times to learn more about the different animals living at the zoo.
If you struggle to walk you can hire wheelchairs and electric mobility scooters at the zoo and by using these, you will be able to access the whole attraction. There is also disabled parking close to the entrance and accessible toilets throughout the zoo.
Plymouth Gin Distillery
Take a tour around the Plymouth Gin Distillery and learn about the history and production information. You can even enjoy some tasting and complimentary Gin and Tonic in the Cocktail Lounge after.
The Plymouth Gin Distillery has a stairlift to access the tours and a lift to access the Cocktail Lounge. It is best to let the gin distillery know if wheelchair users will be coming on a tour in advance, as there is a limit to only two wheelchair users per tour.
Plymouth Boat Trips
Plymouth Boat Trips offer scenic harbour and naval cruises which is a great way to see the city from a different angle. Trips include a dockyard and warship cruise, a Calstock cruise, a River Yealm cruise, a breakwater and coastal cruise, and mackerel and deep-sea fishing trips.
The cruise vessels, the ‘Spirit of Plymouth’ and ‘Plymouth Venturer’ are wheelchair accessible and these ships both have disabled access toilets on board. People with disabilities should check to see which vessel will be used before embarking on your trip.
The crew for every trip will be on hand to help passengers with mobility problems on board the ship and give assistance during the entire trip.
Watch a show at the Theatre Royal
The Theatre Royal Plymouth is the largest in the region with three performance spaces: The Lyric, The Drum and the Lab. Visitors can watch a wide range of productions including classic and contemporary drama, musical performances, ballet and other dance shows.
The live shows are accessible to everyone and there are spaces for wheelchair users and carers located at all three performance stages. There are also several places which are accessible to visitors who wish to transfer from their wheelchair or walking aid and into a seat, but you’ll need to inform the theatre beforehand, so a member of staff can aid you. The car park also boasts lots of disabled spaces and there are accessible toilets on all four floors.
4. We’re there!
Last but not least, the fourth-best reason for living in Plymouth is the fact that we’re there! We are dedicated to offering you a different experience when choosing your mobility equipment. We are one team, working together to go above and beyond to make a difference. We get stuck into our community by making connections and have empathy and understanding when we talk to you.
When you come into our Plymouth showroom you will be greeted by one of our experienced and knowledgeable team members who will offer to have a friendly chat with you over a cup of tea or coffee. They will get to know you and empathise with your situation.
They will then recommend the perfect product for you whether it’s a mobility scooter to get out and about in, a rise and recline chair to put your feet up in comfort, an adjustable bed so you can sleep easy again or a huge range of other mobility aids.
We think that it’s always best to test out mobility products first, so you can get a good feel for them rather than just buying them online. Buying mobility equipment online means you might not know what you’re getting, and they tend to be poor in quality. Here at Middletons Plymouth, you can sit in the beds and chairs, have a go with the handheld control and see how comfortable they are.
Try, test and find the perfect mobility scooter for you on our in-store scooter test tracks. We will also go through a safety check to make sure you’re fit to operate a mobility scooter, something you don’t get while purchasing online.
You can find our Plymouth store at this address:
Units 2/3 Strode Retail Park, Plympton, Plymouth, PL7 4AY
Read more about how to find us here. We can’t wait to meet you!