Paignton beach

Oh I do like to be beside the sea side

Emma Bowler spent 10 years at the BBC and became a freelance writer in 2004 writing blogs and articles for publications, varying from The Times to The Practicing Midwife. Emma lives in leafy Devon with her two children – Archie and Ben – and her partner and two dogs. She loves getting out and about in the countryside and in this article, Emma shares her spontaneous day out to Brixham in Devon.

As the weather gets colder and the nights draw in it’s tempting to go into hibernation in the autumn and winter months. But there can be an amazing light in these seasons and I love nothing better than going out on a crisp but sunny day.

So in spite of it being a bit on the chilly side we used an opportunity to venture to Brixham in Devon. My younger son had been invited to a birthday party there and so we thought we might as well enjoy ourselves rather than just hang around waiting for him.

When you have a disability and want to go out I tend to overemphasise the importance of planning but I actually only had time for a very brief look on the internet, just time enough to pick out a few highly rated ‘things to do’ and ‘places to eat’ on Tripadviser. After jotting down a few postcodes we were off.

As the dogs always need walking I opted for Berry Head Nature reserve. Arriving at the car park I immediately knew I had made a good choice as within minutes I had spotted a wheelchair user and a few people with walking sticks!

With my husband, older son and two eager Border Terriers we did a relatively short walk, which was super accessible on a small mobility scooter, to the Northern Fort and lighthouse – reputedly the shortest lighthouse in Great Britain but one of the highest at 58m above mean sea level.

Being on a peninsula there were lovely views on both sides – across to Torquay and Paignton on one side and the cliffs next to Dartmouth on the other.

If you don’t have your own mobility scooter you can hire one from the Countryside Trust, which will enable you to explore the area more extensively and do a 1.6 mile walk on the South West Coastal path, which runs through Berry Head. I’d definitely like to go back and do a longer walk there.

There was even a wheelchair/scooter accessible bird hide, which included pictures of birds you might spot. My son got rather excited about the possibility of seeing a 14m Dunnock before quickly realising it must be a typo…

But it is possible to observe a guillemot colony here, together with fulmars, kittwakes, shags, herring and great black-backed gulls, as well as ciri buntings and whitethroats in the summer.

Unfortunately the well-rated Guardhouse Café was only serving limited drinks and cakes due to generator failure so we headed into nearby Brixham, which has rows of pretty, colourful houses overlooking a harbour full of boats, including a replica Golden Hind.

We just had time to sit and enjoy delicious takeaway fish and chips, from Rockfish, overlooking the attractive harbour before heading off to pick up the party-goer. Not bad for a spontaneous autumnal day out.

For more inspiration on days out around the UK, see other Days Out blogs

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About the Motability Scheme

The Motability Scheme exists to give customers, their families and carers greater freedom to get out and do the day-to-day things they need and want to do, by enabling them to exchange all or part of their mobility allowance for leasing a car, scooter or powered wheelchair.

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