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How to plan an accessible summer holiday in the UK

Whether you’re looking for a beach holiday or a culture-filled city getaway, the UK has a lot to offer this summer. We’ve shared our tips on how to plan an enjoyable and accessible summer holiday with some added recommendations of where to visit. 

How to prepare and plan

UK locations to explore

How to prepare and plan

Choosing a location

The UK has so many exciting places to explore in summer, so you’re truly spoilt for choice of locations. Sometimes it’s easier to choose a location based on who you will be going away with.  Once you know who is coming along on your holiday, you can then decide what kind of trip you want to take that will suit everyone. 

The first thing you need to do is decide whether you want a restful break, an adventure, or a culture-packed holiday. Many locations cover a lot of these things, but if you have a preference, it’s good to keep it in mind when you’re deciding where to go. For example, if soaking up the sun is important to you, search online to check the average weather of your potential locations ahead of time. The UK weather can be unreliable, but certain parts of the country can guarantee more sun than others. Use the things that are important to you to help you decide where you would like to go.

Booking accessible accommodation 

disabled man in an accessible hotel for his summer holiday in the UK

There are many options when it comes to accommodation, including hotels, holiday parks, and self-catered accommodation. Finding accessible places within those options can feel difficult. Many businesses now offer helpful search filters so you can see the most accessible options. 

If in doubt, you can contact businesses directly, so you know what to expect. Here are a few key points you might want to ask about:

  • Bathroom accessibility

  • On-site facilities, such as swimming pools and restaurants 

  • Disabled parking 

  • Photos of the room you are likely to have

  • Space under the bed for a hoist or other equipment

  • Accessibility of family rooms

Use websites like to find accessible accommodation to best suit your needs.

Planning activities

Even on the most relaxing of holidays, you’ll want to plan some activities that everyone can enjoy. Once you’ve chosen your destination, you can start researching the best and most accessible places nearby. 

Websites like allow you to search for places like accessible restaurants, theatres, and shops by location. Look out for these accessibility points:

  • Wheelchair access

  • Changing Places toilets

  • Disabled parking

  • Carer tickets

  • Audio description guides

  • Relaxed hours and days 

  • Beach wheelchairs

If you’re looking to have an affordable trip, search for free days out like museums, parks, and beaches. You can also pack your own lunches and take activities like board games to save money. 

Parking and EV charging

Availability of disabled parking varies everywhere, so it’s one of the most important things to research. Check the parking of where you’re staying and at any destinations you plan to visit during the day. 

Always make sure you have your Blue Badge with you, as this could be helpful when you are planning activities around your accommodation. Read our parking tips for Blue Badge holders so you can be extra prepared when using your badge on your trip.

If you drive an electric vehicle (EV), you’ll know the importance of finding charging points ahead of any holidays or day trips. Think about the charging points in the area you want to visit, both at your accommodation and in the surrounding places. Route planner apps like Zapmap or PlugShare make it easy to use your smartphone to find EV charging points. 

Did you know?

If you lease your EV through the Motability Scheme, you’ll automatically receive our new solution for charging on the go, called Motability Go Charge. This electric car card and app, developed in collaboration with our partner Paua, are included in your worry-free package when you get your new EV on the Scheme. You’ll receive a welcome pack by post around the time of collecting your car, so there’s no need to request it separately. 

Preparing your vehicle

Don’t forget, before setting off on long journeys, it’s helpful to prepare your vehicle.

It’s important to check things like your tyres tread levels and fluid levels so you don’t get any unwanted surprises on your holiday. 

No one wants to worry while they’re on holiday, so it’s helpful to take comfort in knowing your car is in good shape if you’re going on a road trip or using your mobility product whilst you’re out and about. The Motability Scheme ensures a worry-free experience wherever you go, as the full lease package will always have you covered if you experience any problems along the way.

UK locations to explore

Whether you’re looking for a fun-filled summer holiday with the family or a relaxing couple’s getaway, we have five versatile options to suit different preferences.


What to do

If you’re a nature lover looking for a rural holiday, Northumberland is the place for you. Its dark skies and low level of light pollution make it the perfect place for stargazing. The summer meteor showers in July and August can be enjoyed with ease.

If you’re also feeling adventurous, Coquet Shore Base offers accessible opportunities to learn how to sail and canoe. Get in touch with them before booking to ease any concerns and help you decide whether this is the activity for you. 

Where to stay

Book self-catered accommodation with an outdoor space well in advance to take  advantage of the views. Airbnb offers a variety of options and lets you search for accessible places to stay.

Top tip: The more unique accommodation options, like cosy cabins, often get booked up first.


Content creator, Shona Louise, recently went on an accessible holiday to Bournemouth. She shares her experience with us, including some useful tips.

“My partner and I knew we wanted a summer holiday at the seaside that we could drive to. Bournemouth is an easy one-hour drive from us, making it the perfect option as we  didn’t have to worry about finding accessible public transport. 

We used to find a hotel that was close to the seafront with wheelchair accessibility and onsite parking. When booking accessible hotel rooms, I like to book at least a few months in advance. This guarantees getting a room that best suits my needs, in my first-choice hotel. 

Bournemouth seafront has smooth pavements so I was able to get very close to the sand in my wheelchair. If you’re more adventurous than me, they also offer beach wheelchairs that can go on the sand.


We visited the Bournemouth Oceanarium, an aquarium that offers discounted tickets for disabled people and a free carer ticket. The wheelchair accessibility inside was great, I was able to see all the animals up close and move around with ease.

We also kept our summer holiday affordable by exploring the Bournemouth gardens and playing mini golf there. In the future, I would definitely plan more time to rest in advance. A holiday by the sea can use a lot of energy. “


What to do

If you prefer a culture-filled city break, then Liverpool provides all of that and more. The Tate Liverpool and The Atkinson are both accessible galleries and make for an affordable day out. Both venues have a wide range of accessible features  in place for wheelchair users, autistic people, blind and visually impaired people, and more.  Make sure you check on their websites to see what performances and exhibitions will be showing around the time you are thinking of visiting. If you are thinking of attending a paid event, it could be worth checking if you or your companions could get free or discounted tickets.  

Whilst parking in cities can often be more difficult, there is plenty you can do to plan ahead. You can find disabled parking in Liverpool on the City Council website. This outlines useful information on the rules, and the best places to park when using your Blue Badge. You could also find accommodation with its own parking facilities if you’re able to explore without your car. 

Where to stay

A city centre hotel would allow you easy access to all the culture that Liverpool offers. Websites such as allow you to apply search filters so you can find hotels that offer parking for your Motability Scheme vehicle. You can also search by accessibility such as whether there is a lift or an accessible bathroom. 


What to do

For a fun family option, Cornwall offers good weather and plenty of choice for activities. Whether you’re looking to spend a week on the beach or exploring Cornwall’s scenic views, there’s something for everyone. Popular family spot Fistral Beach in Newquay works closely with Cornwall Mobility to provide free access to beach wheelchairs.  During the summer months, there is popular demand for these,  so be sure to get in touch ahead of time to book this in. 

For a family day out to suit all ages, head to Flambards. Although it’s currently closed, it will be reopening in March for the season. It’s a small theme park that isn’t as busy as some of the larger ones across the country.  If you prefer a gentler pace, there are also indoor attractions that explore life in Victorian Britain and during the Blitz. 

With over 250,000 people in the UK needing accessible toilets that include a hoist and adult changing bed, Cornwall has these available across the region. You can find one at Flambards, Newquay Zoo and two by Newquay seafront. 

Where to stay

The usual tourist spots tend to be more expensive when it comes to accommodation. Take advantage of having your car and stay somewhere a little further afield, enabling you to save money and drive to your locations. 

Perranporth is a family seaside resort that is just a 20-minute drive away from Newquay. It’s popular with families as it offers a 3-mile stretch of sandy beaches. There are plenty of restaurants and pubs nearby, so you can avoid larger crowds if you need to. 

Isle of Wight

What to do

The Isle of Wight is a popular choice for a UK summer holiday and is a good choice for an accessible location.  The beautiful summer weather makes it a great choice for those wanting the experience of a holiday without having to hop on a plane, and at more affordable prices.

Euan’s Guide has provided a breakdown of accessibility activities on the island with lots of  options to suit a variety of abilities. Monkey Haven, a rescue centre, will keep the whole family’s attention. They offer a quiet hour twice a week for disabled people who benefit from a slower and quieter environment. 

If exploring history is more your pace, then head to Brading Roman Villa. Here, you can explore what life was like in Roman Britain, including its beautifully preserved mosaic floors. The whole site has step-free access and offers free access for carers. 

Where to stay

There is a wide range of accommodation options, and driving there gives you more choice and flexibility. If you’re going on a big, family holiday then staying in a cottage for a week could be a more affordable option than separate hotel rooms. On you can search for accessible cottages that offer downstairs bedrooms and bathrooms.

If you’re looking for seafront views then head to the Sandown and Shanklin area. Hotels like Premier Inn offer reliability when it comes to accessibility, as well as affordability. Book well in advance to get the best prices.

Isle of Wight for an accessible summer holiday in the UK

If you’re looking for things to do in the summer holidays then let our guide be your starting place to book your ideal UK summer holiday. 

About the Scheme

The Motability Scheme makes leasing a car an easy, hassle-free experience. With the Scheme, you can exchange part or all of your qualifying mobility allowance to lease a brand-new vehicle of your choice. Insurance, breakdown assistance, servicing and maintenance are already arranged and included, so you can enjoy the freedom that comes with a worry-free lease.

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