Wheelchair Tandem Hire – Where To Rent A Wheelchair Bike In The UK

August 9, 2012 in Accessible Days Out, Adaptive Cycling, UK

Wheelchair Bicycle Hire in the UK

After 2 Wheelchair Tandem Rides In Devon, I was hooked! So, I researched other suitable (preferably near a car free cycle path) places in the UK to hire a wheelchair bike.  Here’s what I found so far:

Cornwall – Wheelchair Tandem on The Camel Trail

The Camel Trail is an 18 mile mainly traffic free route on an old railway line. Padstow Cycle Hire website offers a Duet Wheelchair Tandem for £20 per day or £9 evening ride.

Cumbria – Veloplus Wheelchair Bike near Carlisle

At Watchtree Wheelers Cycle Centre near  Wiggonby, Carlisle they have a fun range of specialist bikes including a Veloplus . They are based at Watchtree Nature Reserve in Cumbria.

Derbyshire – Range of Adapted Cycles in The Peak District

The Peak District has a network of car free cycle paths like the High Peak Trail and Tissington Trail which are both suitable for all ability cycling if you miss out the section with the incline. Wheelchair Bikes and other adapted cycle hire are available at Parsley Hay.

Devon- Wheelchair Tandem On The Tarka Trail

Braunton to Meeth, 32 miles of car free cycling.  Bideford Bicycle Hire have a Duet Wheelchair Tandem available for hire at £17 per day. Bike Trail at Fremington Quay did have a wheelchair tandem but apparently they sold it to a residential home. They have trampers now.

For detailed info see  Wheelchair Tandem & Travel in Devon.

Devon – Disability Bikes at Haldon Forest Park

The Discovery Trail is 2.5km (1.5miles). There is a fleet of disability bikes available at Forest Cycle Hire including 2 Duet Wheelchair Tandems.

Find out more at  Wheelchair Tandem & Travel in Devon.

Dorset – Wheelchair Bike in Moors Valley

Moors Valley Country Park and Forest. On the cycle hire website it says they have a wheelchair bike and that its free!

Durham and the North East

Opportunities to ride adapted bikes including a Duet wheelchair tandem at various locations in the North East. www.gatewaywheelers.org.uk

Gloucestershire – Forest of Dean

Pedalabikeaway has adapted cycles including wheelchair bikes which you can ride on the Family Cycle Trail in the Forest of Dean.

Hampshire – All Ability Cycles in the New Forest

Cycle Experience have a good selection of all ability cycles at their New Forest cycle hire shop in Brockenhurst.

Kent – Adapted Cycles at Bedgebury

According to the Rough Guide to Accessible Britain you can hire adapted cycles at Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest. Although Louise added in the comments below “ lovely forest but very hilly for a Duet or low gear bikes. We struggled a lot on the ‘easy’ trail.”

London – Special Needs Bikes in Dulwich Park

London Recumbents have the largest range of special needs bikes in England. Including the Duet wheelchair Tandem.

Somerset – All Ability Cycling on The Strawberry Line

Cheddar Cycle Store is a hire shop near The Strawberry Line.  They have a good selection of all ability cycles including a Draisin Plus wheelchair tandem according to their website.

Surrey – Adapted Cycles at Alice Holt Forest

Quench Cycles at Alice Holt Forest has a wide range of adapted cycles.

Wrexham – Wheelchair Tandem Bike at Alyn Waters

Pedal Power in Wrexham has 26 specialist bikes including a Duet Wheelchair Bike by the look of the photos on their website. They also have a special bike track which runs through an attractive part of Alyn Waters Country Park. Open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 9 am – 5 pm . Prices range from £3.00 to £6.00 per session

Other Places in the UK – Center Parcs

Duet Wheelchair Tandems are also available to hire at Center Parcs.

Do you know of any other places where it’s possible to hire a wheelchair bicycle?  And cycle on a car free path in the UK or abroad? If so, please let me know in the comments.

 

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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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Disabled Travel In The Camargue – Wheelchair Access at Les Saintes Maries de la Mer

June 16, 2012 in Accessible Days Out, France, Wheelchair Walks

Disabled Travel in the Camargue – Les Saintes Maries de la Mer

Disabled Holidays in Les Saintes Maries de la Mer, Beach Wheelchair Access
Disabled Holidays in Les Saintes Maries de la Mer
Beach Path Wheelchair Access = good
Disabled Holidays in Les Saintes Maries de la Mer- Disabled Parking
Disabled Holidays in Les Saintes Maries de la Mer
wheelchair access = good, 
disabled parking = good
Disabled Holidays in Les Saintes Maries de la Mer Beach Path Wheelchair Access
Disabled Holidays in Les Saintes Maries de la Mer
Beach Path Wheelchair Access = good
Disabled Holidays in Les Saintes Maries de la Mer Marina Path Wheelchair Access
Disabled Holidays in Les Saintes Maries de la Mer
Marina Path Wheelchair Access = good

There’s plenty of disabled parking bays at the beach and many ramps giving easy access to the beach path. The beach path is flat, smooth and hard surfaced. There are openings every so often from which you can look onto the beach out to sea. I couldn’t get onto the actual beach (soft sand) so we followed the beach path down to the marina and the town. The wind had blown some sand onto the otherwise lovely surfaced easy access path which could cause problems if it builds up, sometimes my pusher had to pull me through backwards where there was a mini sand drift. Overall it was fine. You can see that care has been taken to accomodate wheelchair users.

Disabled Holidays - Wheelchair  Access in Saintes Maries de la Mer
Saintes Maries de la Mer wheelchair access = good
Disabled Travel Saintes Maries de la Mer Church wheelchair access
Saintes Maries de la Mer wheelchair access = good
disabled parking = good

The church is open every day and according to the tourist office it is wheelchair accessible, we didn’t go in as it was the gypsy pilgrimage and very busy. The Cultural Centre (Relais Culturel) also has wheelchair access. The town is flat and most of the centre is pedestrianised so great for wheelchairs. The disabled toilets are in La Place des Gitans behind the Hotel de Ville. There is a wheelchair accessible bus (La ligne 20) between Arles and Les Saintes Maries de la Mer.

Boat Rides

Les Quatre Maries – wheelchair access
Le Tiki – wheelchair access
Le Camargue – non motorised wheelchairs only

Camping

Le Clos Du Rhone - adapted showers/toilets
La Brise – adapted showers and toilets

Things To Do For Disabled Travellers In The Camargue

For easy access walks, wildlife and more wheelchair access information for the area, please see my other blog post Disabled Holidays In The Camargue – Accessible Attractions.

For general tourist information in Les Saintes Maries de la Mer and the Camargue check out this website www.saintesmaries.com

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 :-)

Wheelchair Travel in the Ardeche – My Experience of the Route Des Gorges

June 10, 2012 in Accessible Days Out, France, Wheelchair Walks

Scenic Drive On Route Des Gorges, Ardeche, France (Wheelchair Access = Overall its very good)

 

Pont d’Arc by the river is a no go for wheelchair users – The path is very steep, then rocky and very steep, then sandy. All is not lost, there is a viewing layby on the road a bit further on. Go early if you want to stop there as its small and gets busy. There is a step up to the viewing area, I could still enjoy the view by looking through the railings athough the barrier wall doesn’t seem designed for wheelchair user viewing. Still worth a look though.

Ardeche Gorges, Pont D’Arc viewing layby
wheelchair access = 1 step

The rest of the Route Des Gorges has excellent wheelchair access lookouts or viewing areas, about 11 of them over an approx 30km stretch. With disabled parking bays, flat walkways, fantastic views of scenery and if lucky friendly goats.

Ardeche Gorges Scenic Drive 30km – fantastic viewing areas
wheelchair access & disabled parking = great
Ardeche Gorges Scenic Drive 30km – beautiful views from the
lookout areas, wheelchair access & disabled parking = great
Ardeche Gorges Scenic Drive 30km – beautiful views from the
lookout areas, wheelchair access & disabled parking = great

www.gorges-de-lardeche.com

Below are the attractions we visited on the Route Des Gorges.

Llama Park (Wheelchair Access = Dodgy, but we did it – Rock N Roll!! more Rocky than Roll actually)
They only charged me for one adult at 6 euros (carer goes free)  There are 2 steps at the entrance (these people need a ramp) and a bit of uphill rocky ground on the way to the enclosure which is also a quite a challenge. The good news is that its not very far to the enclosure and its well worth getting there. Loads of llamas and you’re right in there with them. The leaflet says petting guaranteed and it wasnt wrong.

Ardeche Gorges Llama Park
wheelchair access = dodgy but doable with help

Inside the enclosure the ground is very rocky so we didn’t move around much. The owner was very friendly and the llamas wonderful and so many of them. The wheelchair access is very dodgy but doable with a strong carer and some help at the steps.
www.ardeche-lamas.com

Lavender Museum (Wheelchair Access = Good, Disabled Parking =Good)

Ardeche Gorges Lavender Museum is wheelchair friendly

This place is very accessible, flat and easy. Most of it is indoors so it can be an interesting thing to do if its raining. There’s also a gift shop and they have their own lavender fields outside which must look wonderful in summer when in flower (end of june to august.)
www.ardechelavandes.com

Vallon Pont d’Arc  (Wheelchair Access = Ok, Disabled Parking = Good)
This is the small town near the start of the Route Des Gorges. There are plenty of disabled parking bays right in the centre of town giving close access to the main square and shopping streets. The pavements can be narrow but the main area is pedestrians only so its not too bad.

Wheelchair access = okay & disabled parking = good in
Ardeche Gorges town of Vallon Pont d’Arc tourist area

Camping

We camped off season for 16 euros a night for 2 adults, tent and car at Camping Beau Rivage, Les Mazes, Vallon Pont d’ArcThe campsite is 2km from Vallon Pont d’Arc. It’s by the river (lovely views from the tent) and away from the main road (very peaceful.) The paths around site are good, the reception, bar, shop, swimming pool are all accessible. The disabled toilet and shower are in the mens section of the toilet block (key at reception) but this didnt cause any problems, it was clean and available. The beach area by the river doesn’t have ideal wheelchair access but its doable with a strong carer. It’s probably not the most perfect site for accessibility but what I loved about this site were the natural surroundings, birdsong, relaxing under the trees with views of the river, feeding the onsite goats and the friendly and helpful owners. Will definately go back. www.beaurivage-camping.com
Ardeche Gorges Beau Rivage Camping, beautiful campsite
wheelchair friendly except for beach area

More campsites (that I havent visited) in the area with wheelchair accessible facilities include:
mondial-camping
campsite-arc-en-ciel
domaine-de-chadeyron
camping-nature-parc
campsite-des-gorges

For general tourist information check out www.ardeche-guide.com

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 :-)