Mother’s Day is right around the corner, so it’s time to get planning a special something for your mum on 26 March 2017. Whether you’re after a relaxed Sunday stroll or something a little more fast-paced, there are plenty of accessible days out to be had using your Motability Scheme car or scooter this Mothering Sunday.
Enjoy food and drink heaven
If your mum is a big foodie, treat her to some of her favourite food and a tipple or two…
1. A distillery tour
Gin, once known as a “mother’s ruin”, has become decidedly fashionable these days. So where better to celebrate that fact – and your mum’s hard work – than at the Bombay Sapphire Distillery in Laverstoke, Hampshire?
Opened in 2014, the distillery is a mecca for gin-lovers, with exhibitions on the distillation process and two stunning glasshouses where fragrant botanicals are grown. And, of course, there’s a bar where you can sample the stuff in a cocktail or two.
There’s lift access to all floors of the distillery via elevators and guide dogs are welcome (call in advance though). There are hosts throughout the exhibitions for a helping hand, and an induction loop is installed in the gift shop. For more detailed access information, see here.
2. Afternoon tea
For the ultimate opulence, The Orangery offers afternoon tea in an exquisite setting. This long pavilion in the grounds of Kensington Palace is a true royal treat. Eat orange-scented currant scones with rich clotted cream and strawberry jam, and wash it down with Pimm’s or your choice of loose-leaf tea.
The grounds of the palace are wheelchair accessible, and if you’re using public transport, the nearest step-free access station is Green Park (take the number 9 bus from there to Palace Gate).
Also try: Exploring the diverse history of Shoreditch through its food on Eating London’s accessible food tour. Alternatively, go for an afternoon tea on one of , which has ramped access, or at the Dreamland amusement park in Margate.
If you want a day to remember, try one of these mini adventures…
3. A road trip
Scenic drives at Cheddar Gorge
One of the UK’s greatest road trips, a drive through Cheddar Gorge is breathtaking. The precipitous 9,000-year-old cliffs loom high above the winding road that twists through the landscape.
Avoid the crowds in Cheddar and end the drive in Wells, where you can have a cuppa at the small but lovely Spinning Wheel Tea Rooms and explore the impressive Wells Cathedral (both wheelchair accessible; there’s an induction loop installed in the nave and quire). There’s disabled parking near the cathedral.
4. A garden stroll
Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Gardens make for a wonderful leisurely stroll in the spring. The splendid Victorian glasshouses are heated to mimic different climates – perfect if it gets a little chilly in the March weather – and there’s food to suit all in the Terrace Cafe, in the heart of the gardens.
The gardens are largely wheelchair accessible throughout, with tarmac paths and level or ramped access to buildings.
5. A snowy adventure
Adaptive snowsports at Chill Factore
If your mum is a bit of a thrill-seeker, Chill Factore is the place to take her this Mother’s Day. Located opposite The Trafford Centre in Manchester, you can learn to ski or snowboard in this indoor arena, or just enjoy the white stuff in their Snow Park for all ages.
Chill Factore are experienced in providing adaptive snowsports and skiing for people with physical, sensory and learning disabilities.
Also try:An extreme obstacle course in the tree-tops at one of the many Go Ape locations throughout the UK, or a drive through Black Mountain Pass in the Brecon Beacons.
Take some time to relax
If you think mum deserves a break, these therapeutic activities will do just the trick…
6. A spa day
A relaxing break at Bedruthan Spa in Cornwall
For some serious relaxation, treat mum to a spa day (or weekend break) at the Bedruthan Spa in Cornwall. There’s a hydropool with jets to soothe any aching muscles, and a quiet moment in the eucalyptus-infused steam room is bound to relax you. You could even invest in a treatment or two, with their range of luxury organic skincare products.
The whole spa is wheelchair accessible and guide dogs are permitted in the hotel.
7. Retail therapy
This single-level shopping outlet, 12.5 miles north of Oxford, is the perfect place for some retail therapy with mum. There are mobility scooters and wheelchairs for hire, which means rummaging for bargains in Bicester Village’s 130 shops, with discounts of up to 60%, is a doddle.
Also try: A spa day at Bicester Hotel and Spa, with its carers-go-free policy.
Have a cultural day out
If you want to come away with more from your day out, learn something at one of these museums and attractions&hellip
8. A film studio tour
The brand new Forbidden Forest at Harry Potter Studios
J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books are the kinds of stories that transcend age; adults and children alike have pored over these novels and most recently the series of films have brought them to life. If your mum is a Potter fan, take her to see some of the sets and props that made up the movies.
The Harry Potter Studios have excellent access, with elevators throughout, audio descriptive guides, Braille guides, folding stools, sign language trained guides and ear defenders should you wish to use them.
9. A chocolate museum
The 4D cinema at Cadbury World
There may be a no more delicious museum than Cadbury World, near Birmingham. As the home of much of Britain’s chocolate, it makes for a fascinating and tasty way to learn how the sugary brown stuff is made.
See a 4D film or get interactive with games, then finish in the gift shop where you can purchase that much-loved purple-packaged chocolate.
There are sensory exhibits throughout, as well as large print guides, and the Cadabra ride has a specially adapted mobile car for a wheelchair user and one companion.
Also try: A day at the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley, where a town of real nineteenth- and twentieth-century buildings will transport you back in time.
We would like to thank the following individuals, companies and picture libraries for their kind permission to reproduce their photographs:
Bedruthan Spa hydro pool: Bedruthan Spa/Chris Cypert
Chill Factor indoor ski centre: Alamy Stock Photo/Andrew Barker
Cadbury World 4D cinema zone: Cadbury World
Drive Cheddar Gorge: Dreamstime.com/Honourableandbold
Harry Potter Forbidden Forest: Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter/ Dan Wong Photography