Is there a more quintessential British summer’s day out than a trip to the seaside? Whether you’re soaking up some sun, playing on the arcades or marvelling at the local British wildlife, a visit to the beach conjures up feelings of nostalgia and joy. But, while the UK boasts some of the best coastline in the world, they can often be tricky to navigate if you have impaired mobility or require a wheelchair.
Luckily, local councils and charities have done a fantastic job of making beaches accessible for all, by providing all-terrain wheelchairs, disabled toilets, levelled beach access and more. To celebrate this, we’ve rounded up some of the best wheelchair accessible beaches in the UK.
North Berwick, Edinburgh
The Scottish coastline is home to some of Britain’s most rugged and beautiful beaches. The local Scottish charity that operates at North Berwick hires out beach-worthy mobility devices and believes that this golden beach should be accessible to everybody. Getting to North Berwick couldn’t be easier; it’s only a short journey from Edinburgh, meaning you can get there via public transport.
Whitley Bay, Newcastle
This gem of a beach in the northeast of England has stunning views that span across the famous lighthouse on the backdrop of the North Sea. If you head over to Blyth, you’ll be able to hire an all-terrain mobility device called a ‘Hippocampe’, along with a variety of other mobility equipment for all accessibility needs. The charity providing these services is Beach Access North East , which won the Small Charity of the Year Award for 2021, so you’ll be sure to feel safe in their service.
Boscombe Pier Beach, Bournemouth
The Jurassic Coast is famous internationally for its hot summers and fantastic beaches, with many being accessible. But award-winning Boscombe Beach in Bournemouth has gone the extra mile to make this beach an experience to remember for everyone. Not only do they provide wheelchair hire, but you can also hire the UK's first purpose-designed disabled accessible beach huts. The huts have incorporated functionality and great design to accommodate four wheelchairs at once.
Torre Abbey Sands, Torquay
When it comes to the best UK beaches, the English Riviera sits at the top of most lists, with an impressive awards cabinet and beautiful coastline. At the focal point of the Riviera lies Torre Abbey Sands. Torre Abbey Sands is only a ten-minute walk from Torquay station, with excellent disabled access to the beach, pier, and promenade. Along with accessible toilets and sand chairs, this really is a suitable beach for all travellers.
Whitmore Bay on Barry Island, South Wales
A beach made famous by the UK TV series Gavin and Stacey, this beach in South Wales is a short trip from Cardiff and a favourite among British holiday goers. It may have been put on the map by the BBC, but this sweeping crescent beach is a lovely family-friendly beach. You might not see Nessa in the arcade or Stacey working in the café, but with outstanding accessibility facilities and all-terrain wheelchairs for hire that are free of charge, everyone will be able to enjoy one of Wales’s most iconic beaches.
Balmedie Beach, Aberdeen
With miles of beach surrounded by ancient sand dunes, Balmedie Beach isn’t just one of the best beaches in Scotland, but one of the best wheelchair accessible beaches in the UK. It’s only a short distance from Aberdeen station, while Balmedie Beach Wheelchairs is a volunteer-run service that hires beach wheelchairs free of charge for anyone with impaired mobility. The facilities here include an adult-length changing table with a privacy screen, portable sink, and public disabled toilet.
Gyllyngvase Beach, Falmouth
Gyllyngvase Beach is one of Cornwall’s many award-winning beaches, with a beautiful stretch of soft sand you’d expect to see in the best beaches in the Mediterranean. This Falmouth beach is the habitat for various local British wildlife, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled for dolphins. It’s popular among tourists and locals alike, and it’s been designed to be accessible for all. Disabled parking bays, disabled toilets, level access down to the shore, and sand chairs available to hire make it one of the UK’s best accessible beaches. It’s also a short 15-minute walk from Falmouth town centre.
If you’re planning a trip to one of the UK’s best wheelchair accessible beaches, don’t forget to book an Advance ticket via our website or our Train Tickets app. You can also find information on how to get cheaper train tickets via our special offers page. If you need more information, you can contact us here.
The UK is bursting with fun activities. Whether you’re visiting one of best places to find fossils in the UK, most famous landmarks in the UK, or best indoor ski slopes in the UK, you can always travel by train. CrossCountry has services running up and down the country to ensure you can get to the places you need to be.
Written by Julia