We had a brilliant few days away thanks to the beautiful and very accessible Schoolhouse Fenwick. It had everything we needed as a base for our adventures.
Fabulous friends gave us recommendations for what to do in Northumberland based on their own experiences so we had lots of fun without the fuss of inaccessibility!
First up was the Heatherslaw light railway which went from Heatherslaw to Etal where we explored the castle. The train had a couple of wheelchair accessible carriages and it was great to see them both being used. The castle, which is mainly ruin, wasn’t too bad for getting Quinns around in his wheelchair.
Quinns loved the train ride of course, although he learned quickly to cover his ears when the whistle blew!
Quinns is always asking to go swimming so when we heard Berwick Leisure pool had recently been refurbished we knew we had to try it out. Sure enough it has a brilliant Changing Places toilet with access from reception straight through to pool side so no need to drip through public areas while wet!
It also has a Pool Pod Lift (https://tinyurl.com/4yk6x495 ) for accessing the pool. Although the submersible wheelchair didn’t have quite the right support we made it work (he was small enough for his head to be supported by the back of the chair.)
We had to rescue him on the way in as the chair kept going down until he was under the water so he sat on my knee on the way back up for safety.
Beach wheelchairs are a brilliant idea for inclusion!! It’s really difficult to move a wheelchair across sand so it’s great to see more and more beaches with these specifically designed wheelchairs.
We had a fabulous albeit very windy day on Beadnell Beach where Quinns could easily access the whole beach and sea where he was close to Big Sister who thinks she’s a fish!
Our holiday was complete with a sunset boat trip around the Farne Islands. It was amazing getting so close to the wildlife particularly the seals.
Quinns absolutely loved being on the boat! We phoned ahead to check the best time as it needed to be high tide for level access.
Thanks to Serenity Boats for being so helpful, friendly and knowledgeable, it made a wonderful last night for us.
No holiday story of ours is complete without a toilet tale. We managed the week despite a real lack of Changing Places toilets by careful planning and a camp bed in the back of the transit van we took to transport all Quinns’ equipment!
It was brilliant to find a Changing Places toilet in Tesco in Berwick. And one so impressively decorated! Tesco seem to be leading the way on providing these toilets but it would be great if other supermarkets followed suit.