Isle of Wight
This review is especially helpful for those who have or use the following: Powerchair, Speech Impairment
The island is a beautiful mix of hills and valleys, an undulating carpet of patchwork fields separated by mostly unkempt hedges sprinkled with trees of all shapes and sizes. Small forests and woods are dotted about as well. Its all very picturesquely rural. The Island is better seen from the buses, all of which are wheelchair accessible with drivers that appear at least , not to mind putting the ramp out. i love the buses when we can all look about and share the sights. The roads vary from dual carriageway to rural roads to country lanes. there are towns and villages, popular and secluded beaches which share a rocky and cliff face coastline. Surrounded by the sea there is a naturally a strong marine presence; the packed marina spewing out yachts of all sizes to dot the solent waters, motor boats trying to dodge them and the cargo ships and passenger liners. So much that is a pleasure just to see. Pubs and restaurants which are a bit behind the time share the island with modern first class establishments catering for the affluent yachties and most are disabled friendly, but like the mainland, some haven't bothered. For wheelchair users not all the bus platforms are accessible and quite a few drop kerbs missing on main roads and some rough footpaths, which we should all complain to the IOW Council. Wheelchair travel is manageable but sometimes with a few annoying detours, backtracking and road use. I am not sure about disabled accommodation generally as I stayed at a travel lodge which was very basic but cheap and somewhere to put my head, it did the job. I don't feel that COVID safe anywhere and IOW was no different but no worse. Lovely destination, nice people, access could be improved (like everywhere).
Transport & Parking
My visit starts with a short boat trip as I had a car with me but I could have used a fast catamaran or, a hovercraft from Portsmouth or Lymington. Cheapest ferry is as a foot passenger on a car and pedestrian ferry boat.
All buses are wheelchair accessible with drivers that appear at least , TO not to mind putting the ramp out. For wheelchair users not all the bus platforms are accessible and quite a few drop kerbs missing on main roads and some rough footpaths, which we should all complain to the IOW Council about.
Public accessible toilets scattered about but I personally could not get into them unaided as they have strong spring closers on the doors and I am a power chair user with one side out of action.(stroke) I am taking action over this. Most of the big stores have disabled toilets, Marks, Morrisons, Lidl, Sainsbury etc. Asda and Newport council offices also have a changing places room. Most pubs have disabled toilets, but not all. the one that served me without telling me that there was not an accessible toilet, I successfully sued, as well all should.
As everywhere that I find staff were good, theres always a grump somewhere but they did not find me this time.
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