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Enjoy summer fun at the beach for all the family

Day trips to the beach can create memories for families to treasure, with everyone relaxed and happy and nothing to do but enjoy yourself – but not all beaches have equal facilities which can make such days difficult, if not impossible, if you have a disabled child.

But there are beaches out there that are more accessible than others. However, the facilities offered can vary significantly, so you may need to do some research to find an accessible beach that suits your family’s needs, whether that is just level access to get you all on to the beach, disabled changing facilities or specialist beach wheelchairs you can hire.

Below is a list of places which have disabled access, to varying degrees, including some which have made changes over the last year or so to make their beaches more inclusive.

West Bay Beach in Lyme Regis has introduced a beach wheelchair scheme and features a Trail Glider Wheelchair buggy and a Mobi chair.  A path made of specially made plastic and aluminum provides wheelchair and buggy access to the beach. This will be made available during the summer season, making it accessible to all. For more information visit

Summerleaze beach in Bude, North Cornwall, has level access and a flat viewing area, changing places toilet facilities and sand wheelchairs for hire, as well as beach huts if you need somewhere in the shade or a place to change. For more information here.

Boscombe beach in Bournemouth – One of the best, which tops several accessible beach surveys, is Boscombe Beach in Bournemouth. This has a beach wheelchair fitted with balloon tyres – but it is available on a first come first basis. There are also Mobi-mats to give wheelchair users sand access, accessible toilets and accessible beach huts to hire. Find more information about this beach – and others in Bournemouth.

In Wales, Broad Haven beach in Pembrokeshire and Whitmore Bay in Barry Island both have all terrain beach wheelchairs for hire. For more information about these beaches and others in Wales, click here.

North Berwick beach in Edinburgh has a range of beach wheelchairs available along with other equipment, but you can discover more about what beaches in Scotland have to offer with ‘Scotland’s Accessible Beach’ app. This handy guide takes all the detective work out of planning a trip to the beach as it provides all the information you need. The app, available free of charge from the Apple Store and Google Play, lists locations and the facilities available there, as well as their contact and location details. You can also find out more about Scotland’s beaches here.

In the North East, BANE (Beach Access North East) promotes social inclusion, independence and choice for disabled and elderly people across the region. To discover beaches with beach wheelchairs and other accessories such as hoists and turntables available, please visit here.

In North Norfolk you can find information about accessible beaches, including Cromer East beach which has one beach wheelchair that can be pre-booked.

Things to look out for to make your beach trip a great day out include:

  • Toilets. This is an essential thing to consider when choosing a seaside spot. Is there an accessible toilet, or Changing Places facilities nearby? Do you need a RADAR key, or are there staff on hand to help?
  • Sand wheelchairs. Pushing a wheelchair across the sand is extremely hard work, so sand wheelchairs (sand buggies for wheelchair users with bigger wheels) are here to help at many of the UK’s accessible beaches – some can even get wet, too! It’s worth booking them in advance at peak season, though.

Don’t forget to consider parking too, as your chosen beach may not have safe access or be truly accessible for wheelchairs.