A shopaholic’s guide to accessible shopping in Northamptonshire

Sarah Alexander is a 30 year old Scouser living in Northants. She is a, writer, chatterbox, bibliophile, lipstick junkie and stationery addict. As part of our days out blog, Sarah tells us about her shopping trip to Rushden Lakes.

Rushden Lakes is a retail and leisure park in Northamptonshire. At the moment there is a handful of amazing stores aside a beautiful lake that hosts canoeing, and an educational park. The development is still in progress and by 2019 there will be more shops, a multiplex cinema, adventure golf, trampolining and indoor rock climbing. It’s going to be incredible once it’s complete.

Since it is a very new site, accessibility is incredible and every time I have visited (and I’ve been quite often) I have commented on how innovative it is.

Not only are all the shops really easy to get around (there’s not an obstacle course queue line in sight), everything is level access, there’s hundreds of disabled car parking spaces and Changing Places toilets. I was really impressed when I popped into Marks and Spencer and found the disabled toilets had signs on the door that indicated which hand side transfer would be preferable for the user. I have never seen this before and often have difficulty using public bathrooms because there is not enough room to transfer on the side I find easiest. This might not seem like a big deal but as a wheelchair user I found this such a good idea and so helpful.

Another thing I really like at Rushden Lakes is the size of the elevators in some of the stores; for the most part they are large and in the middle of the store. As a shopaholic one of my pet peeves is hunting down a lift at the back of the store with rubbish access and not enough room to manoeuvre. This isn’t an issue at my new favourite place to shop.

If you’re a lover of shopping and want to do it surrounded by the most beautiful scenery, I highly suggest you check out Rushden Lakes in Northants. You won’t regret it.

Read Sarah’s blog for more on disability, beauty and lifestyle

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