Wheelchair Travel Around Interlaken, Switzerland

July 24, 2012 in Accessible Days Out, Switzerland, Wheelchair Walks

This is a wheelchair travel adventure we did before I started taking notes and really looking at access, so there is not as much detail as in other posts. I hope it can still give an idea of what’s possible in Switzerland.

There is no doubt that this is a beautiful area. The Bernese Alps and their turquoise blue lakes were more wheelchair accessible than I had expected. Switzerland is expensive though, but we did it in our usual budget style by camping, bringing some food with us from the uk and only buying the fresh produce we needed in the Swiss shops. With so many beautiful natural sights to see and ‘carer goes free’ on cable cars, we still had a fantastic and affordable trip.

Wheelchair Walk at Neuhaus

We stayed a few days at Neuhaus and from there did day trips by car to Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald.
At Neuhaus there is lakeside park on Lake Thunersee where you can get close to the water. We found a lovely nature wheelchair walk by the lake. At the end was an accessible footbridge spanning the river that joins the two lakes.

Wheelchair access to Lake Thunersee, Park at Neuhaus, Interlaken
Park at Neuhaus, Lake Thunersee
Wheelchair walk in nature, disabled access, Neuhaus, Interlaken, Swiss Alps
Wheelchair access nature walk, Neuhaus
Wheelchair walk in nature, disabled access, Neuhaus, Interlaken, Swiss Alps
Wheelchair access nature walk, Neuhaus, Interlaken
Sunset over the mountains on the way back
Wheelchair walk in nature at sunset, disabled travel, Neuhaus, Interlaken, Swiss Alps
Wheelchair access nature walk, Neuhaus, Interlaken
Lake Thunersee at sunset

 

Day Trip to Lauterbrunnen

We left the car in the main car park, it was on a slope and was a bit of a push to get out of the carpark onto level ground. As we were walking through the village we were passed by a parade of decorated cows, it was part of a cheese festival celebration. Not sure how the cows felt about it but they were wearing some pretty fancy headdresses. The wheelchair walk at Lauterbrunnen was beautiful, lush green grass and cute swiss farm houses. We walked past a small waterfall, the path continues up the valley, but we turned back after the waterfall.

Old Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg road 6km

Wheelchair walk in nature at Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken, Swiss Alps
Cheese festival parade at Lauterbrunnen
Disabled access, Wheelchair walk in nature at Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken, Swiss Alps
Wheelchair accessible walk at Lauterbrunnen

Wheelchair Travel To Car Free Murren


We camped at Stechelberg and went up to Murren for the day. We left the car at Stechelberg Cable Car station. I remember that the paths in Murren were surfaced and very smooth, although there are slopes. It is on levels and the main street is fairly long and flat, but if you want a longer walk you would need a strong pusher. Also I remember there being a short uphill slope as you come out of the station. Murren is car free and has fantastic mountain views, so even if you dont move around that much, it’s a beautiful place to hang out. If you forgot your picnic there are plenty of shops and the supermarket is quite reasonable.

Murren Village Tour Wheelchair Walk – 2km
Cable Car – carer goes free

Wheelchair access in car free Murren, Interlaken, Swiss Alps, disabled travel
Car free Murren – Swiss houses up in the
mountains
Wheelchair access in car free Murren, Interlaken, Swiss Alps, disabled travel
Up in the mountains at car free Murren
Wheelchair access in car free Murren, Interlaken, Swiss Alps, disabled travel
Wheelchair access in car free Murren = Smooth
Wheelchair travel in car free Murren, Interlaken, Swiss Alps, Mountain views
Mountain views from car free Murren

Accessible Camping In The Swiss Alps


We camped at Alpenblick, Seestrasse 130 at Neuhaus. There are disabled facilities in a new toilet block. Lovely campsite, level grounds although a bit of traffic noise as it is next to the road. Good location for Thunersee Lake and the wheelchair nature walk. It was16 euros per night plus tax (2adults+tent+car) with ACSI card.

At Stechelberg we stayed at Camping Rutti, a very peaceful campsite with only basic facilites. Snow capped mountain views from the tent though. And good location for the cable car station for trips to Murren. It was16 euros per night plus tax (2adults+tent+car) with ACSI card.

Wheelchair travel resource for Interlaken area on the following link
Interlaken-Tips for wheelchair users and people with impaired mobility

General tourist info www.jungfrau.ch/en/

For another easy access walk with stunning views, check out our next stop in the Swiss Alps ……………..Weggis, Lake Lucerne…….blog post coming soon!

I hope you found this wheelchair travel information helpful. Please feel welcome to comment or add your own accessible travel tips. Thanks for reading and have a great trip :-)

 

 

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Wheelchair Mini Break in Chichester

July 9, 2012 in Accessible Days Out, UK, Wheelchair Walks

Are you planning a wheelchair mini break or disabled holiday in or near Chichester?
This post is about my recent experience in and around Chichester and is full of links and info for wheelchair users.

West Wittering Beach Wheelchair Walk

Easy Access, Disabled Travel, Wheelchair Walk on West Wittering Beach
Wheelchair Walk on West Wittering Beach
Easy Access, Disabled Travel, Wheelchair Walk on West Wittering Beach
Great to be on the beach

Although we were staying nearby, we nearly didn’t go to west wittering beach. From photos on the net I could see that it didn’t have a promenade so I mistakenly thought that it wasn’t accessible. We went to check it out and found that we could hire the wheelchair beach buggy for free (£20 returnable deposit) and it was so much fun. It’s the first time in over 5 years that I’ve had such a great beach experience! It feels great rolling over the sand on those balloon wheels, will definately be doing this again. Behind the beach is a huge grassy area where you can park and picnic, there’s a cafe too and 3 toilet blocks with disabled facilities. The car park charges were £2 for the day for blue badge holders and £7.50 normal charge, although I think it varies with time and season.

Chichester Marina Easy Access Walk

Wheelchair Travel Easy Access Walk at Chichester Marina, Sussex
Wheelchair Walk at Chichester Marina
Disabled Travel Easy Access Walk at Chichester Marina, Sussex
Wheelchair Walk Views at Chichester Marina

Chichester Marina has a circular easy access walk, all surfaced so it was a relaxing nautical wheelchair walk. It’s quite interesting going over the accessible lock crossing, after the crossing are some benches for a rest stop, there’s even the rare chance of spotting some seals. On the way back we passed Spinnakers Cafe/Bar which has a disabled toilet.

Accessible Harbour Viewing and Easy access walk at West Itchenor.

Disabled Travel, Wheelchair Access View at West Itchenor, Chichester, Sussex
Wheelchair Access View at West Itchenor, Chichester
Wheelchair Access View at West Itchenor, Chichester, Sussex
Wheelchair Access View at West Itchenor, Sussex

West Itchenor has a ramp up to this viewing platform, lovely place to sit and soak up the harbour vibes. There is also a wheelchair accessible boat Solar-Heritage (Solar powered boat with lift) Check first with www.conservancy.co.uk for times and bookings as they are limited. Apparently there is a disabled toilet near the harbour office.

The wheelchair walk starts at the far corner of the West Itchenor visitors car park, where the disabled parking bays are. There are 2 gates on this walk (large enough for most wheelchairs and small mobility scooters). It is a surfaced path that leads to a secluded viewing area looking over the harbour. Peaceful, green and wonderful marshland harbour views. The path does continue on after that but it becomes a bit “all terrain” with some gravelly bits and quite bumpy.

wheelchair travel, easy access walk gate, West Itchenor, Chichester, Sussex
Gate on wheelchair easy access walk, West Itchenor
Wheelchair Travel, Wheelchair Walk, Easy Access Walk West Itchenor, Chichester, Sussex
Enjoying the fresh air at West Itchenor
Wheelchair Travel, Wheelchair Walk, Easy Access Walk West Itchenor, Chichester, SussexWheelchair Travel, Wheelchair Walk Views, Easy Access Walk West Itchenor, Chichester, Sussex
Harbour Views on Wheelchair Walk, West Itchenor
  

Smooth surface path, Wheelchair Travel, Wheelchair Walk, Easy Access Walk West Itchenor, Chichester, Sussex

Smooth path on wheelchair walk West Itchenor

Pagham Harbour Nature Reserve Wheelchair Walk
There are interesting views over Pagham Harbour but this wasn’t my favourite walk, I found it a bit bumpy and not very peaceful. I could hear heavy traffic noise coming from the busy road nearby for half of the walk. For more detailed info please see PDF of Easy Countryside Trails


You can enjoy a more peaceful view over Pagham Harbour at Sidlesham Quay, Mill Lane, Sidlesham just near the Crab & Lobster (wheelchair accessible) pub. There is a bench on a patch of grass next to the quiet road where you can look out over the marshland harbour.


Butterflies

Disabled Travel - Wheelchair Access Info at Earnley Butterflies, Chichester, Sussex
 Earnley Butterfly – Wheelchair Access = not great

Earnley Butterflies Birds and Beasts is not ideal for wheelchairs but partly doable with assistance. The place is flat, but the problem is the gravel paths. In the nearest areas to the entrance the gravel is not too deep, so with a strong helper you can see the butterflies, birds and gardens. By the time you get to the animals at the far end the gravel is deeper and could be very tiring for whoever is pushing the wheelchair. There is a cafe and a disabled toilet. Also this could be a good place to come if its raining as most of it is undercover in glasshouses.

Wheelchair Access and Restaurants in Chichester
Chichester is quite flat, with flagstones in the central part, it is actually paved but the pavestones have slightly bumpy edges. It is only a little bumpy though, apart from that it’s actually very doable for wheelchair users.

We had tasty italian food at ASK Chichester. The Wheelchair access is at the side entrance not the front. There is a disabled toilet although sometimes getting access to it can be tricky, especially when the restaurant is busy as the tables are very close to the disabled toilet entrance.

Chichester has a local produce restaurant with wheelchair access check www.fieldandfork.co.uk for opening hours and menu.


For a long list of accessible cafes and restaurants please see this very helpful booklet (available from the tourist office) with all the access info. Here’s a link to the online pdf version www.chichesteraccessgroup.org.uk

Disabled Travel, Wheelchair Access Chichester Town Centre
Chichester Town Centre
Sunset at Elscott Park, Birdham, Sussex - Disabled Access Camping
Sunset at Elscott Park – Wheelchair Accessible Camping

Disabled Camping
We camped at www.ellscottpark.co.uk near Chichester Marina. This is a good location for being near to some of the wheelchair walks and West Wittering Beach. It’s also a good location for going into Chichester for restaurants or shopping. There is a disabled toilet and shower. It has a low step at the entrance (it is just the door ledge) so some assistance may be required, but the facilities were very clean and the owners very helpful. Will camp here again, good value for money.

www.camping-in-sussex.com Near West Wittering village, has an animal park.
Chichester-lakeside-holiday-park This place doesnt have great reviews. It’s near a busy road.

I hope you found this wheelchair mini break information helpful. Please feel welcome to comment or add your own accessible travel tips. Thanks for reading and have a great trip :-)

 

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Accessible Day Out In Sussex – Lavender, Harbour Walk & Italian Food

July 5, 2012 in Accessible Days Out, UK, Wheelchair Walks

Organic Lavender Field
Lordington Organic Lavender Field 2012 open days are 4th – 8th July 2012 entrance £2.50 (goes to charity).  Parking is available near the field on the farm.  Wheelchair users can be dropped off very close to the lavender by car. There is a wide accessible walkway at the beginning of the field as you come in, it’s hard earth and not too bumpy, although it is on a bit of a slope. It is quite manageable to get close to the lavender with a strong carer. Lovely place to sit and soak up the lavender vibes. Cake and refreshments too.
For more info go to their website www.lordingtonlavender.co.uk

accessible day out sussex, wheelchair access, lavender field.
I got my wheelchair into a lavender field!
accessible day out sussex, wheelchair access, chichester, lavender field.
Who needs provence, when you’ve got sussex lavender

Cobnor Easy Access Harbour Walk 

After the lavender field we went for a walk along the harbour at Cobnor Estate, near Chichester. This easy access path is especially for disabled people. Disabled badge holders can access the path via the private Cobnor road. There are disabled parking bays and a disabled toilet (RADAR key access). The path is mostly hard surfaced and flat. It’s peaceful and has fabulous views of the harbour.
Italian Dinner
Had pizza and pasta at Prezzo in Chichester. Wheelchair access good – step free.

I hope you found this wheelchair day out information helpful. Please feel welcome to comment or add your own accessible travel tips. Thanks for reading and have a great day out :-)

 

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Accessible Travel In France – Guest Blog Post for Travelin Wheels

July 3, 2012 in France

Accessible Travel in France

Disabled Holidays - Wheelchair Accessible Camping In France
Wheelchair Accessible Camping In France

Intro

18 years ago I set out on my first big trip. I had bought a round the world ticket and had thought to myself “I’ll explore Europe when I get back, maybe in a year or two.” Little did I know that it would be a lot later than that and in a wheelchair! Since then a lot has changed and for over 5 years I’ve been dependent on my wheelchair and a carer for mobility.

I’m Still Passionate About Travel.
Earlier this month I returned from a wonderful trip to France. We travelled by car (low MPG Citroen Berlingo) with a tent, camping gear and my wheelchair in the boot. To save on fuel and driving hours we chose destinations that were roughly in the same corner of the country. I’m a budget traveller who loves the outdoors so camping is..
Click Travelin Wheels to continue reading this guest post.

I hope you found this accessible camping in France information helpful. Please feel welcome to comment or add your own accessible travel tips. Thanks for reading and have a great trip :-)