We have tried to make our guest information as user-friendly as possible for our wheelchair-using guests, by giving access notes on all the restaurants, pubs and visitor attractions. However, there is probably nothing better than recommendations from other wheelchair-using guests, so here are some of their top suggestions for getting out and about in South East Cornwall:
Hire a Tramper – We learned about these from John, who is a regular at Kernock and has MS, and is a fulltime wheelchair user. These are all-terrain mobility scooters, which are available at a number of outdoor visitor attractions, and enable you to access areas that you wouldn’t be able to in your regular chair. They are available (among others) at Tamar Trails (25km of trails within the Tamar Valley AONB), Siblyback (a beautiful lake location on the edge of Bodmin Moor), Mount Edgcumbe Country Park (former home of the Earls of Mount Edgcumbe. Set in Grade I Cornish Gardens within 865 acre on the Rame Peninsula) and the Saltram Estate (National Trust Georgian house on the Plym Estuary). These are also really useful for overcoming temporary injuries – we have had several guests who have arrived with broken ankles or snapped tendons, depressed that their holiday plans have been scuppered by their injuries, and they are delighted to find that – thanks to Trampers – they can join in with family activities.
Fishing & Nature Watching – There are several locations in Cornwall and Devon that have Wheelyboats – a wheelchair-accessible boat. The South West Lakes Trust has Wheelyboats at several locations, including Siblyback, Tamar Lakes and Stithians Lake in Cornwall, and Burrator Reservoir and Roadford Lake in Devon, all of which specialise in fly fishing for trout (and just hanging around on the water!).
The Drakes Trail – we found out about the Drakes Trail from a wheelchair-using guest who has her own hand cycle, and highly recommends it. Drakes Trail is a network of walking and cycling trails, and has a new off-road section between Tavistock and Plymouth that runs along an old railway bed. You can hire a Tramper at the Plymouth end, too (though I don’t know how long the batteries last… check it will get you there and back, rather than getting stranded!).
China Fleet Country Club – we provide you with membership, and then you just pay for the facilities you use (for example, the Swim & Spa day is just £9.50 with membership, £16 without). The site is accessible throughout, including the pool, which has a water wheelchair and ramp. “The staff were brilliant. I was able to go swimming for the first time since my stroke. As I used to be a big swimmer, this was quite a milestone for me. I had a big grin on my face for the rest of the holiday!”
Pub Grub & Fine Dining – There are loads of great foodie options around here. Not all of them are accessible, and quite a few say they are accessible, but don’t have accessible loos, which limits the beer consumption somewhat… On our Pubs & Restaurants tab we give access information for all the places listed. This information is provided by the venue, so it can be worth double checking if you have a wide or electric wheelchair. I was pretty amazed at the lack of awareness when compiling this guide – I called every venue up, and the most common answer to the question “are you wheelchair accessible” was “What?”! Some of the answers were pure guesswork (“well, I suppose you could probably fit a wheelchair in the loo”…), so I have only indicated accessible WC facilities when they definitely have them. Bon appetit!