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
|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 Walk at Chichester Marina|
|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.
|Wheelchair Access View at West Itchenor, Chichester|
|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.
|Gate on wheelchair easy access walk, West Itchenor|
|Enjoying the fresh air at West Itchenor|
|Harbour Views 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.
|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
|Chichester Town Centre|
|Sunset at Elscott Park – Wheelchair Accessible 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.
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