Devon is a region of contrasting landscapes. It has rocky rugged beaches and high cliffs in the north, gentle beaches and turquoise waters in the south, and a charming countryside in-between. Wherever you choose to go, Euan’s Guide reviewers recommend its accessible nature, historical sights, and a selection of eating spots to catch your breath between activities.
Devon’s Wheelchair Friendly Seaside Towns
With two coasts to choose from, Devon is not short from seaside towns.
In the South you will find reviewers’ favourites sea spots. One of them is Teignmouth, a small town with a level seafront, a promenade, a beach and a traditional Victorian pier, the latter recommended for its views of the city. This place is easily reachable by train, bus or car.
Another pleasant southern location is Dawlish. With a brook running through its level city centre, this is a perfect place to relax and admire the famous black swans. Visitors keen for a stroll should head to the sea wall walk, which offers a step-free path that goes along the beach and gives you a peek at some impressive red cliffs.
In North Devon, Sauton Beach got a 4-star review on Euan’s Guide for its wheelchair accessibility. There, you can rent a beach wheelchair at ‘very reasonable’ prices. The reviewer highlighted the possibility for wheelchair users to fully enjoy this beach and ‘get on the sand’.
Inclusive Water Sports in Exeter
When visiting Devon, stop by AS Watersports in Exeter to hire canoes, kayaks, paddle boards and any other gear to go with it. A reviewer on Euan’s Guide praised their ‘qualified and experienced coaches’ who ‘can cater for all abilities’: “really helpful staff who go out of their way to make you feel comfortable and safe.”
Countryside Escapades with Disabled Access
While the ocean is usually the main attraction in Devon, the countryside can prove equally relaxing.
The Calvert Trust in Exmoor is a favourite among Euan’s Guide reviewers for being ‘one of the most accessible places’ in the county. Located in a Victorian farmhouse, you can unwind in one of its disabled friendly rooms or have a go at a range of outdoor activities, including accessible climbing and cycling.
If you’re looking for a luxury and comfortable stay, another reviewer recommends the Otter Pool Barn, a in Ilfracombe. The converted barn was described as a ‘fully accessible’ holiday house to take in the calming rural surroundings. Its six rooms have disabled access and there’s an accessible SPA pool on site.
England’s Youngest Castle
Despite it’s ancient look, Castle Drogo is only 100 years-old and it is listed on Euan’s Guide as ‘the last castle built in England’. Visitors can see the building, which has designated wheelchair friendly spaces and there’s a tramper available to explore the property’s trails, which a reviewer recommended for its ‘lovely views’.
Family Attractions with Accessible Services
Totnes Rare Breeds Farm is fun place for little ones and adults alike, where visitors can learn about and feed the endangered farm animals they house. A Euan’s Guide reviewer said there are ‘quite smooth tracks looping around the animals’.
For those seeking to discover Devon’s prehistoric past, Seaton Jurassic is listed as an accessible museum with ‘hands-on activities’, a ‘fun garden to explore’, and BSL videos available for visitors who might require them.
After enjoying Devon’s coasts, then a trip to the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth can give you a better understanding of the county’s marine life. There, you can see some unique creatures, including the aquarium’s 70 sharks. The venue’s listing says there are ‘ramps and lifts’, a ‘full disabled toilet facilities’, and ‘carers are admitted free of charge’.
Accessible Cafés and Restaurants in Devon
After spending your day outdoors, there’s nothing better than a good restaurant or coffee shop to unwind.
In Sidmouth, Selley’s is a charming café in a ‘hidden courtyard just moments from the sea front’. A reviewer recommended its ‘delicious food’ and wrote that, despite being tricky to find, it ‘is well worth seeking out’.
In Dawlish, satisfy that sweet tooth at Gay’s Creamery. This step-free family run shop is ‘highly recommended’ on Euan’s Guide for its cream teas and homemade ice creams.
If you’re feeling like a cuppa and cake, Finla Coffee in Plympton is the place to go. On its Euan’s Guide listing, this independent café says it was ‘specifically designed for access for people with reduced mobility’ and it has a ‘level double-door entrance’.
Finally, if you are looking to dine in an atmospheric place with great meal choices, head to The Puffing Billy in Exton. A reviewer particularly liked the staff’s level of attentiveness and rated the overall dining experience as ‘perfect’.
Have you been to Devon?
We’d love to read reviews and see photos of the places you’ve visited. We’re particularly keen to have more reviews of accessibility in:
• Pubs and restaurants
• Museums and art galleries
If you have something to recommend, write your review and share your experiences with others!
Last Updated - January 2019