Access all areas
3rd August 2022
There’s plenty of opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors this summer, whatever your mobility requirements
North Norfolk’s striking landscape and abundant wildlife are for everyone to enjoy, including disabled visitors and those with access needs. Explore the coastline aboard the recently launched Wheelyboat ‘Poppy’, the first ever wheelchair-accessible powerboat in Norfolk. Poppy has roll-on, roll-off access, as well as an open and spacious cockpit and a drive-from-wheelchair console allowing people with even the severest disabilities to drive the boat themselves. Find out more at www.bcdrbl.com
For those who like to be beside the seaside, North Norfolk District Council (www.north-norfolk.gov.uk) has introduced specially designed beach wheelchairs to Cromer East beach and Sheringham West beach. Fitted with pneumatic off-road wheels, the chairs are available to book with at least 48 hours’ notice.
Further along the coast, Wellbeing next the Sea, based at Wells Community Hospital, offers the hire of a beach wheelchair for a few hours, a day or longer. For more information call 01328 711996 or visit www.wellbeingnorfolk.co.uk. Head to Holkham for sweeping beach vistas, where a sturdy wooden track leads to a viewing platform overlooking the dunes and sea beyond.
Meanwhile, Holkham Estate will be launching a beach accessible buggy this summer, available to hire free of charge and collect from Wells Beach Road Car Park; book via www.pinewoods.co.uk or call 01328 710439. There’s also a newish boardwalk ramp to access the beach (pictured), opposite the brick toilet block in the pine woods.
Inland, get up close to nature at Sculthorpe Moor Reserve (www.hawkandowltrust.org), an 18-acre area of woodland, fen and reedbed habitats rich in wildlife. It is fully accessible to less mobile visitors, including all the hides, with a wetlands hide opening soon in a new area of the reserve.
Nearby, Pensthorpe Natural Park (www.pensthorpe.com) is home to many species of birds, mammals, invertebrates and plants across wetlands and water meadows, hedgerows and heath. Predominantly an outdoor attraction, wheelchair-friendly routes are marked on the map and there are electric scooters available for hire, as well as wheelchairs. These can be reserved in advance and are on a first come, first served basis.
For more information about accessibility to the countryside and green spaces of Norfolk, visit www.accessiblecountryside.org.uk/norfolk