Britain's best beaches with disabled access
There are plenty of accessible beaches located throughout the country. Whether you want a beach with a level boardwalk to go along the pier, or you want to experience the sand and sea yourself with beach wheelchairs and pony traps, there are many options for all water lovers.
Beach Wheelchairs, North Berwick
Beach Wheelchairs is a free service in North Berwick which provides an accessible route along the uneven terrain of the beach. Their adapted wheelchairs have large rubber wheels which allow them to move easily over the sand. They include a hoist to help with transfer into the beach wheelchairs. One person said the wheelchairs “give an incredible smooth ride. The chairs are good on dry or wet sand, shallow water or pavement.”
Pony Axe S at West Sands Beach, St Andrews
Or if you’re interested in a more majestic ride across the beach, check out Pony Axe S at West Sands Beach in the historic town of St Andrews. Both manual wheelchairs and powerchairs can be loaded onto the trap, then you can enjoy a journey along the water and sands.
The instructor, Simon, and his pony, Obama, also travel to other beaches. Check out his website to find out where they’ll be next!
One person said that Simon brought Obama “and the trap right up to the edge of the beach to load the wheelchair so there was no sinking into the soft sand.” They also run a service at Pony Axe S at Largs Beach.
The Hamish Foundation have recently introduced beach wheelchairs if you’re looking to venture onto the sands during your visit.
You can discover some interesting facts about why St Andrews’ historic past, why it’s known as the Home of Golf, and its other accessible beaches in our Fife guide!
Saunton Sands, Braunton
For those in Devon, there are beach wheelchair opportunities at Saunton Sands. One visitor said you “can call to pre-book one of 2 beach wheelchairs for half or the whole day.” There’s an accessible loo by the café, as well as accessible parking. One person said there’s a “ramp down to the beach which is at a reasonable angle.”
Ryde Beach, Ryde
If you’re in Ryde, the largest town on the Isle of Wight, check out Ryde Beach. There were “plenty of parking spaces” according to one person, and there’s an accessible toilet on the nearby Appley Lane. One person praised the “ramps to the sand, which meant the kids could play and I could watch.”
Ryde also has hovercraft pubic transport to the Isle of Wight. Discover more about this futuristic transport method in our Hovertravel interview!
Broughty Ferry Beach, Dundee
Situated in sunny Dundee, Broughty Ferry Beach has a 5-star rating, with one person praising the beach’s “close proximity parking, great view, the option to venture onto the sand for those not on wheels, beachside walkways, and the icing on the cake for us was a Changing Places Toilet.”
If you want to know more about the Dundee’s accessible tourist hotspots and places to stay and visit, check out our Dundee guide!
Weymouth Beach, Weymouth
Along with providing great views of the harbour, Weymouth Beach doubles as an accessible beach. One visitor said the beach has “a few ramps which wheelchairs can access, there are a couple of places where there is square matting on the sand which you can drive over, enabling you to sit right on the beach.”
They added that you can “hire for free a beach wheelchair.” There’s a Changing Places Toilet at the beach, and one person said you can “get a key fob from the local council” to access the toilet.
Formby Beach, Formby
Formby Beach in Merseyside has a wheelchair accessible boardwalk which extends across the sand dunes and onto the beach. One visitor said they had a “fantastic accessible day out with easy parking.”
Ardrossan Beach, Ardrossan
If you’re in North Ayrshire, why not check out Ardrossan Beach? There’s level access along the side of the beach, as well as ramps to get to the sand. One visitor said the signage was good, and the accessible loo was “easy to find.”
Roseisle Forest, Burghead
One of the most fascinating beaches in the country is Roseisle Forest. The area includes both forest paths and sandy beaches, and even more interestingly it was used as a British defence unit during WWII! You can even see the concrete bunkers used during the war on the beach.
One visitor praised the “unexpected thought that has gone into making the forest experience and beach accessible, along with good parking and an accessible loo!” They added that it’s a “great place to go off the beaten track.”
To discover more about the deep war history of Roseisle, check out our Castles & Battlefields Guide!