Britain's best accessible beaches

By: Helen West,

Britain's best accessible beaches

The smell of fish and chips, the sound of gently lapping waves, and the taste of sand in your sandwiches. Sounds lovely!

The UK may not be renowned for its great weather, but when the sun does make an appearance, there are few things more enjoyable than heading down to the beach and dipping your toe in the sea or enjoying an ice cream on the promenade.

If you have limited mobility and use a wheelchair or mobility scooter, these simple pleasures can feel like a thing of the past – but they don’t need to be. The UK has some of the most accessible beaches in Europe. Many have ramps for wheelchair access and some even offer beach wheelchairs for hire. These ingenious chairs have specially designed wheels to cope with sand and shallow water, so you get right down to the sea and enjoy a paddle once again.

Here are a few of our favourite accessible beaches around the country!

Summerleaze Beach, Cornwall, England

Summerleaze Beach is packed with stand-out features. It’s set against a backdrop of stunning scenery, including a beautiful river that gently flows out to the sea. On the northern tip, right below the cliffs, a part natural and part man-made salt-water swimming pool is carved into the rock.

Image of Summerleaze Beach, Cornwall

Summerleaze is renowned for its beautiful scenery and has excellent facilities for scooter and wheelchair users. © Copyright Nilfanion.

Summerleaze has a flat viewing area, and the beach itself has disabled access from the car park. Disabled toilets are available, and you can even borrow beach wheelchairs from the Summerleaze Beach Office during the school summer holidays. There are also a number of accessible cafés along the seafront. For more information, visit the Accessible Bude website.

Boscombe Pier Beach, Bournemouth, England

Boscombe Beach is an delightful place to take in the sea air thanks to its Victorian charm. It's also leading the way when it comes to accessibility. The beach features the UK’s first purpose-built accessible beach huts. Each hut has enough space for four wheelchair users, and access to an electric scooter charging point. For more information or to book yours, call 01202 451781.

There’s also a disabled toilet, accessible parking, and beach wheelchairs are available to hire from the Boscome Beach Office. If you fancy something a bit different, the Boscombe Chine Gardens are wheelchair accessible, with seating located throughout.

Beach huts at Boscombe Beach, Bournemouth

Boscombe Beach in Bournemouth is one of the most accessible beaches in the UK. © Copyright Des Blenkinsopp.

North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland

Widely considered to be Scotland’s most accessible beach, North Berwick beach is just a short distance from Edinburgh. In addition to a long stretch of sand and beautiful views out towards Bass Rock, you can rent a sand chair through the charity Beach Wheelchairs. Visit their website for more details.

Benllech Beach, Anglesey, Wales

Benllech Beach is one of Anglesey’s most popular destinations. Set in a beautiful crescent-shaped bay, the fine golden beach is a real gem. Benllech has won a Blue Flag award for its clean water, and there are plenty of cafés and shops close to the bay.

The disabled facilities are excellent and the beach itself is accessible via a ramp. For a list of other accessible beaches in Wales, take a look at the Visit Wales website.

Broad Haven Beach, Pembrokeshire, Wales

Pembrokeshire has several accessible beaches, but Broad Haven is one of the best. It’s a paradise for young children and families thanks to the numerous rock pools, and it’s easily accessible for wheelchair users.

Image of view of Broad Haven bay

The view looking back towards Broad Haven bay. © Copyright Gordon Hatton.

The beach itself is accessible via a concrete slipway and disabled toilets are available. You can even hire all-terrain beach wheelchairs, to help you make the most of everything Broad Haven has to offer. Find out more using the Pembrokeshire Coast Wales website.

Where’s your favourite accessible beach? Have we missed any off the list? Head over to our Facebook page and let us know!

Read more: Holiday ideas for wheelchair and scooter users

Read more: How to choose the right wheelchair for you


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