To see young people overcome adversity with such determination and in such style sent out a positive message to all. And hopefully it has raised awareness of the everyday difficulties facing those who suffer a disability.
Taking a holiday or short break can prove a major headache, so it is encouraging that many hotels are doing more to welcome less mobile guests.
With steps and stairs to climb, hard-to-negotiate corridors and tricky bathrooms, some of our finest old country house hotels were out of bounds to wheelchair users. Nowadays, however, even grand Grade 1 listed properties have created specially adapted rooms and generally made life easier.
In Suffolk, for example, 16th-century Hintlesham Hall now has a ground floor room outside the main building for guests with mobility problems.
Mortons House Hotel, an Elizabethan listed property in Corfe Castle, Dorset, has provided four very comfortable rooms within its walled garden which it calls “accessible to all.” Each has a wet room instead of a bath and space under beds for a hoist. There is designated parking near the rooms, and ramps to the main building.
A former silver award winner for Accessible Tourism, Mortons says its investment in looking after guests with a disability has paid off. “We’re getting a lot of repeat visitors and people are booking longer stays,” confirms proprietor Bev Clayton.
Rothay Manor, an elegant Regency country house hotel in the Lake District, was runner-up in the Cumbrian Tourism Access Award scheme a couple of years ago and has just refurbished its ground-floor Classic room. It also has a suite in the grounds specially adapted for wheelchair users. This has twin beds and a double bed, and a lounge – making it ideal for families.
There is designated disabled access to the hotel and registered assistance dogs are welcome. Rothay is only a ten-minute walk from the centre of Ambleside and 15 minutes in the opposite direction along good, level paths to the head of Windermere where guests can take a lake cruise.
We can’t all aspire to becoming Olympic gold medallists. But if simply getting around is a problem it’s nice to know you can at least enjoy a hassle-free break in lovely surroundings.« View all blog articles.