Camping with a disability? Here's how
We’ve been browsing through camping forums recently and a theme that’s come up again and again is the difficulty that camping or caravanning when disabled can pose. Whether you’re a wheelchair user, have other mobility issues, are visually impaired or otherwise have a health problem that impedes your daily life, finding a site that's suitable can seem like an overwhelming task. The most common complaint from campers and caravanners with disabilities is that while a site classes itself as having disabled access, this might not be true in reality. Here are some tips that should help:
First up, check out our list of campsites and caravan parks with disabled facilities - as always you can filter the list according to what your needs, such as sites that are open all year, are family-friendly, have a bath available, or with pick-up from public transport. You might also want to pick a site with jumbo tent pitches, camping pods or tipis, yurts or wigwams instead of normal-sized non-wheelchair friendly tents, or with caravans for hire, or with facilities on site such as an indoor swimming pool or an onsite restaurant/cafe.
Once you've found a site you like the look of, call or email them to double-check the facilities, and be as specific as possible about what you need. Most campsite owners who list their site as disabled access do mean well and don’t realise it might not be fully accessible in all areas – a bar or clubhouse could have a bar downstairs but the evening entertainment might be on an upper floor, for example, or a set of steep steps mightn't have a handrail. You might also want to check specific things related to what you want to do on the site once you're there, such as being able to get in and out of the pool or being able to get down to the lakes for fishing if you’re using your wheelchair. Also check bathroom facilities if you need help with showering, such as confirming that the disabled access bathroom is big enough for two people, or that there's a bath if you can’t stand up in the shower.
Major festivals such as Glastonbury are also a good bet for camping if you're using a wheelchair or have another disability, as they’re more than likely to have disabled access. And you get to rock out as well, which is always an advantage. General info on disabled facilities at Glastonbury is here, and you can also have a look at camping options at Womad or Latitude.
If you’re looking for a specific campsite or caravan park without wanting to go through our full list of sites with disabled facilities, try Tregarton Park in Cornwall, which has received good feedback from disabled users. It’s a quiet park with a heated outdoor pool and large dog walking meadow, and there’s plenty to see and do nearby. Another site with good disabled facilities reviews is Dolbryn Caravan and Camping in Carmarthenshire, which has pitches for touring caravans as well as tents.
We’d like to start a list of campsites that did what they said on the tin when it comes to disabled facilities, so if you’ve been to one that met the grade, please let us know below.