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BLACKPOOL AND THE FYLDE WITH A WHEELCHAIR

 

image of a wheelchair user at blackpool seafront

Enjoying Blackpool Seafront

The Fylde (pronounced filed) in Lancashire is an interesting area to visit with great sea views, sandy beaches, stunning promenades and both estuary and fell country parks. It is a coastal plain peninsula in western Lancashire and is roughly 13 miles square. It is bounded by Morecambe Bay to the north, the Ribble Estuary to the south, the Irish Sea to the west, and the Bowland Hills to the east.

Blackpool which is its principal town is also a place full of surprises. It does have a wealth of the typical seaside frontage and attractions that most visitors who have never been before might expect including 3 piers however it also has a wide variety of other visitor attractions to offer.

This page, like all our regional pages, can only attempt to give a snapshot of places to visit in the area and there will be many other accessible attractions and accommodation we have not included.

There is also a great deal of choice in places to stay within the area, from seaside hotels which have been purpose built or adapted with people with disabilities in mind to ‘high specification’ self catering country properties which include ground floor bedrooms with en-suite wet rooms. Consequently there is accessible accommodation to suit most budgets and as always our remit is not to grade according to quality but to comment on accessibility. For quality gradings please check out each accommodation providers own website.

For a selection of places to stay in the area that we have visited please scroll to the bottom of the page

Mobility scooters and wheelchairs are available for hire from Read Mobility Workshop a firm who are based in the local area. They will also deliver to and collect from your holiday accommodation if required.

 

BLACKPOOL

Blackpool Sea Life Centre

 

image of the water tunnel at the sea life centre

The underwater tunnel beneath the ocean tank

The Sea Life Centre is situated on the promenade near the Central Pier and is one of a chain of 28 centres throughout the UK and Europe and California. Wheelchair Access to the exhibits which are housed on the first floor is via a lift. It is extremely informative and the tunnel pictured above allows visitors to experience being under the ocean.

 

 image of hands on with a sea urchin

A hands-on encounter with a sea urchin

The touch pool is particularly good and visitors can handle a variety of sea creatures that inhabit rock pools such as sea urchins. The staff give detailed and interesting talks about the marine life and their habitats. Also on site is a designated toilet, a restaurant and shop.

For more detailed accessibility information and a link to their own website please click here

Louis Tussauds Waxworks

image of louis tussaud's waxworks

Louis Tussauds

Louis Tussauds Waxworks is also situated on the promenade not far from the Sea Life Centre. It has recently been refurbished and now displays over 200 models on five floors. There has been a waxworks in Blackpool since the 1870's and Louis Tussaud (grandson of Madame Tussaud) opened there in 1900.

image of elton john wax work

One of the excellent wax work figures

There is access for wheelchair users and other visitors with limited mobility to all the floors via a lift. Refreshments are available and there are designated toilets.

For more detailed accessibility information and a link to their own website please click here

 

Blackpool Tower

image of blackpool tower

The famous tower

Blackpool Tower was opened to the public on 14 May 1894 and was Inspired by the Eiffel Tower in Paris. It rises to 158m (518ft 9 inches) and there is wheelchair access to the top via a lift where visitors can try out the 'Walk of Faith' glass panel in the floor.

image of a view from the tower

A view from the top

It is possible to take tea in the Tower Ballroom and listen to the Wurlitzer Organ. The Tower is also home to the Circus and other attractions such as the Aquarium and Charlie Cairoli 'the Clown' exhibition.

For more detailed accessibility information and a link to their own website please click here

 

The Doctor Who Exhibition

image of the doctor who exhibition

Doctor Who Exhibition

Another of the promenades attractions is the Doctor Who Exhibition. The collection displays information about four decades of this famous science fiction drama series from it's beginnings in the 1960's to the present day. This includes the actual television props sets, along with items from the wardrobe and design departments.

image of the inside of museum

Doctors past, present and future?

There is level access throughout the museum but please note that there are no designated toilets on site, the nearest one is in the adjacent entertainment arcade.

For more detailed accessibility information and a link to their own website please click here

 

The Sandcastle Water Park

Sandcastle Water Park Entrance

The Sandcastle is situated adjacent to the South Pier and is the UK's largest indoor waterpark.  This excellent 'all weather' attraction offers a warm welcome to all visitors and prides itself on providing best practice in accessibility.

There is ramped access into the pool

Facilities on site include a separate pool-side wet-room changing facility, a quiet cool room within the first aid/triage point and step free access to the shops, cafes and main pool area. During the winter of 2012/13 there will be further refurbishments to the waterpark and when the Sandcastle re-opens in February 2013 an additional changing place with a ceiling hoist will have been installed, for an update on progress please check out their website.

For more detailed accessibility information and a link to their own website please click here.

 

Stanley Park

image of stanley park

The memorial garden in Stanley Park

Stanley Park which covers three hundred and ninety acres was opened in 1926 by the 17th Earl of Derby and Sir George Edward Villiers Stanley, who it was named after. There is excellent access throughout this beautiful park which is within wheeling distance of the town centre. Designated parking and toilets are situated near the Visitor Centre (tel :- 01253 478478 ) within the park.

It is cared for and promoted by an organisation called 'The Friends of Stanley Park' and you can find out more about its history and events by visiting their website.

 

image of art deco cafe

The art deco cafe in the park

 

The Art Deco Cafe which is adjacent to the visitor centre in the park underwent extensive refurbishment in 2003 when the present owners took over but it has been with the same family since the 1950's. It offers a great dining experience with excellent views over the park and has live music each Sunday.

For more detailed accessibility information for the park and a link to their own website please click here

 

Blackpool Zoo

image of blackpool zoo entrance

Blackpool Zoo

Blackpool Zoo covers 32 acres of parkland and lakes and is home to more than 1500 animals from over 400 species and all continents. General access around the site is good and there is a restaurant and designated toilets.

image of a kangaroo

Kangaroo's are just one of the many species at the zoo

Specific 'talking' or 'signing' tours can be arranged for groups with sensory impairment. Please note assistance dogs are not allowed to accompany visitors but can be left with the zoo staff.

For more detailed accessibility information and a link to their own website please click here

 

Blackpool Model Village

image of a model village

Blackpool Model Village

Blackpool Model Village is set in two and a half acres of gardens on the far side of Stanley Park. The village has been in existence since the 1960's and visitors are able to enjoy over 40 village scenes. Access around the gardens is on well kept, hard surfaced paths however some of these are narrow and wheelchair users might need some assistance.

image of models of gypsy caravans

The models are very detailed like this Romany Gypsy Scene

There is a small cafe with ramped access but please note the nearest designated toilets are the ones near the visitor centre in Stanley Park.

For more detailed accessibility information and a link to their own website please click here

 

Further afield on the Fylde Plain

Wyre Estuary Country Park

image of the wyre country park

Wyre Estuary Country Park

This award winning park is situated near Thornton Cleveleys and includes the whole of the Wyre Estuary from Fleetwood up to Shard Bridge. This now peaceful estuary was once a busy highway for ships carrying goods such as rum, tobacco and sugar from Russia and Barbados to the Port of Skippool (now a sleepy backwater) and by the mid 1700's the volume of traffic is believed to have exceeded the Port of Liverpool.

image of using a tramper

Using a 'Tramper' on the accessible trail

The Wyreside Ecology Centre, Rangers Office and a cafe are situated at Stannah. The Park has a network of excellent paths including accessible routes with both riverside and estuary views. For visitors with limited mobility there are all terrain 'Tramper' buggies available to loan. The buggies are part of the 'Wheels for All' project which operates from four country parks in Lancashire and it is a free service.

On the initial visit to Stannah there is a short induction and registration process for visitors wishing to loan a tramper. Once this has been carried out a membership card will be issued and successive visits can be pre-booked by phone with the Ranger Service.

For more detailed accessibility information and a link to their own website please click here

 

Farmer Parr's Animal World

image of albino wallabies at farmer parrs

These albino wallabies are two of the more unusual animals at Farmer Parrs

Farmer Parrs Animal World is a excellent visitor attraction which is suitable for all ages and set in 12 acres of paddocks and pathways on the outskirts of Fleetwood. A large section of the site is under cover which makes this a great place to visit whatever the weather. There is a cafe (which serves meals as well as light snacks), a shop and a designated toilet by the entrance.

image of museum exibits

One of the many exhibits in the museum

Also on site are The Fylde Country Life Museum with a large selection of vintage vehicles and memorabilia and The Pottery Studio (which is run by the Autism Initiatives) where visitors can 'paint a pot'.

For more detailed accessibility information and a link to their own website please click here

 

Freeport Retail Village

image of freeport retail outlet

Freeport Retail Outlet Park

Freeport Fleetwood is on the Lancashire Coast about six miles from Blackpool. There are over 50 stores at the outlet all with level access. There is also a cafe and designated toilets on site.

image of a view at freeport harbour

A viewing point over the marina at Freeport

Visitors can also enjoy the views over the adjacent marina from the outside eating area in front of the cafe.

For more detailed accessibility information and a link to their own website please click here

 

Fleetwood Promenade

 

image of the promenade at fleetwood

The Promenade at Fleetwood

The Marine Hall adjacent to the sea front in Fleetwood is the booking office for the promenade cycle hire project and their fleet includes several specifically adapted cycles for people with limited mobility. The promenade offers a great traffic free cycle route and you can cycle all the way from Fleetwood to Blackpool North Pier. For more information on the cycling or whats on in the area please contact the Marine Hall box office on 01253 887693  or check out their website.    

image of the promenade

The newly refurbished promenade at Cleveleys

On the way to Blackpool, the cycle route takes you along the promenade at Thornton Cleveleys which has undergone extensive refurbishment and is now an impressive 'work of art' in its own right. If you don't fancy cycling then there is on-street parking available in the area and it is possible to wheel up the ramped pathways and on to and along the promenade.

 

image of a wheelchair user on the promenade

The view towards Blackpool

 

Alternatively you could just sit and enjoy the stunning seascapes and if the weather is inclement you could try out one of the newly built shelters.

 

Glasform Glass Studio

image of a glass sculpture

A glass sculpture at John Dichfield's Studio

Glasform Workshop, studio and showroom is on the A585 at Singleton approximately 5 miles from Blackpool. It is the base from which John Ditchfield a master glass blower creates and sells his art glass.

image of john ditchfield giving a demonstration

John giving a demonstration of his amazing work

If John is at the studio then visitors are able to watch him working on his stunning creations. There is level access into the workshop and ramped access into the showroom where his art is displayed for sale.

For more detailed accessibility information and a link to their own website please click here

 

Myerscough Plant World and Gardens

image of plant centre at myerscough college

Myerscough Plantworld

Myerscough Plantworld is situated on the campus at Myerscough College in Bilsborrow and as well as the nursery area and plant sales, there are display greenhouses with a range of plants which are zoned from tropical through to temperate.

image of a bog garden

Checking out the bog garden

Access to the lovely gardens which cover over an acre is through the tearooms. Please note the flower beds are mainly set around large lawns and manual wheelchair users may need assistance when the ground is wet.

For more detailed accessibility information and a link to their own website please click here

 

Beacon Fell Country Park

image of beacon fell visitor centre

Beacon Fell Country Park

Bracon Fell in the Forest of Bowland AONB (area of oustanding natural beauty) has been a country park since 1969 which makes it one of the oldest in the country. The summit is 266 metres (873 feet) above sea level and offers visitors spectacular views of the surrounding countryside including the Forest of Bowland and Morecambe Bay.

It provides a variety of habitats from grassland on the lower slopes through woodland (mostly conifer) to moorland on the summit area with blanket bogs and wet heathland. The Forest of Bowland Visitor Centre has a shop, a cafe and a designated toilet.

image of a sculpture at beacon fell

The first piece of artwork on the sculpture trail

There are stile free trails and visitors with more limited mobility can loan one of the two tramper buggies on site and try out the three way-marked tramper trails available. As with Wyreside an initial visit involves a short induction course but regular users will receive a membership card and will need to ring up to book the tramper at least 24 hours in advance (01995 640557).

This a free service and is part of the 'Wheels for All' project which has been funded through the Lancashire Rural Tourism Initiative managed by the Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board.

For more detailed accessibility information and a link to their own website please click here

 

PLACES TO STAY

All accommodation included has been assessed by one of our wheelchair user researchers for accessibility. Please note however whilst we have tried to ensure that the accommodation included will meet most wheelchair users needs we strongly advise you to consult with each provider about your own specific requirements.

N.B. As previously stated our researchers assess for accessibility not quality so for accommodation inspection gradings e.g. Diamond ratings, follow the links to each providers own website.

The Shellard Hotel

image of the shellard hotel

The Shellard Hotel

The Shellard Hotel is situated within easy wheeling distance of the South Pier. It was opened in 1989 and is family run. The friendly staff provide a warm welcome and the hotel offers a more traditional seaside holiday experience. Good home cooked evening meals are served at 5pm each day which is particularly convenient for guests wishing to visit the theatre.

image of the lounge area

The lounge and bar area

There are 10 bedrooms (some of which are three bedded to provide room for a carer) on two floors, all of which have en-suite level access showers. They do vary in size so please discuss your own individual needs with the owners when booking.

For more detailed accessibility information and a link to their own website please click here

 

The Bond Hotel

 

image of the bond hotel

The Bond Hotel

The Bond Hotel is also situated in the South Shore area of Blackpool and the majority of their 65 en suite bedrooms are fully adapted and suitable for wheelchair users and people with special needs, with wheel in shower rooms. Electric raiser beds, hoists and ground floor rooms are just some of the disability related facilities available to guests.

 

image of a ground floor bedroom

One of the ground floor rooms

A care service can also be provided and pick up and return transport with a fully accessible ramp is available.

The hotel has a wealth of experience in providing holiday support and meeting individual needs. To ensure your stay is as comfortable as possible please discuss your own specific requirements fully with their friendly staff when booking.

For more detailed accessibility information and a link to their own website please click here

 

Burbage Holiday Lodge

image of burbage holiday lodge

Burbage Holiday Lodge

Burbage Holiday Lodge is situated on the Queens Promenade in Bispham, Blackpool with views over the sea. (No 2 which is the wheelchair accessible, self-catering apartment is on the lower right hand side of the photo).

image of the rear entrance

The ramped wheelchair access

Wheelchair access to the apartment is through the communal garden shown in the photo above. The apartment also has a family bedroom with a double bed and bunks.

For more detailed accessibility information and a link to their own website please click here.

 

Queens Mansions

 

image of the queens mansion apartments

Queens Mansions Apartments

Queens Mansions Apartments are situated on the promenade at Bispham, Blackpool and Apartment 2 (which is also self-catering) is on the first floor has a wet room. Access is via stairs or a small lift which would only be suitable for manual wheelchair users who could operate the lift controls themselves.

 

image of the communal living area

The communal living area

Once on the first floor, access within the apartment is level and there are excellent sea views from the lounge window. We strongly recommend that you check with the owners about the suitability of the apartment for your own specific needs.

For more detailed accessibility information and contact details please click here.

 

Bond Holiday Homes

 

image of a bond holiday home accessible caravan

One of the five mobile homes

As well as the hotel the Bond also offers a self catering option with five accessible Olympic Gold Brand holiday homes situated at Marton Mere, a popular holiday park, on the outskirts of Blackpool. Each has an identical layout and the one our researchers visited had excellent views over the Mere.

image of the lounge area

The lounge showing the view

The homes are surprisingly spacious and there is good wheelchair access especially to the twin bedroom and the shower room. The park provides a restaurant, pool, shop childrens play area and entertainment.

For more detailed accessibility information and a link to their own website please click here

 

Accommodation in and around the surrounding Fylde Countryside

Barnacre Cottages

image of woodpecker cottage exterior

Woodpecker Cottage

There are six self catering cottages at Barnacre set in attractive rural landscape with extensive views across the Fylde Plain. Two have two ground floor accessible bedrooms and Woodpecker pictured above also has four upstairs bedrooms. The cottages have been designed to be both of high specification and accessible for visitors including those with more limited mobility.

image of the verandah

The accessible verandah

Internally Woodpecker is extremely spacious and both the accessible bedrooms have en-suite wetrooms. N.B. Please note there are no grabrails to assist lateral transfer to the shower or the toilet (although there is sufficient space in one of the en-suites for both right hand and left).

Mole End also has two ground floor bedrooms (one with an en-suite level access shower and one with a bath and shower) and a further upstairs bedroom.  Again the downstairs communal living area is extremely spacious.

For more detailed accessibility information and a link to their own website please click here

 

Guy's Thatched Hamlet

 

image of guy's thatched hamlet

The entrance to reception and the restaurant

Guy's Thatched Hamlet is situated alongside the Lancaster Canal at Bilsborrow near Garstang just off the A6. There is a spacious ground floor accessible double room with a en-suite wet room. The accommodation is set within a reconstructed hamlet which includes a restaurant and pizzeria.

 

image of 'owd nell's tavern'

'Owd Nell's Tavern'

Also on site is the tavern which has level access through the front entrance and a pleasant outside eating area overlooking the canal.

For more detailed accessibility information and contact details please click here

 

Alternative Accommodations

There are other accommodations for the area listed on our accommodation search that our researchers did not have time to visit on this occasion. To check these out please go to our search page and type Backpool or Lancashire in the destination field.

 

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