It's important to us that many of our large and luxurious self catering holiday properties are suitable for people who are not so able bodied; we don't want anyone to feel left out of a fabulous large group stay or big celebration, whether it's a family holiday, a hen party, or a corporate gathering.
At Sleeps12 we want everyone to be able to enjoy a stay in our gorgeous large group holiday homes - and we mean everyone, including those who require certain levels of accessibility. Whether that’s elderly people who aren’t as agile as they once were, those with visual impairment, wheelchair users, or even folk who are just a little unsteady on their feet or who find stairs a bit of a task.
So where possible, we ask property owners to give this consideration; when new luxury lodges are built, or old barns redeveloped building regulations dictate that you have to make certain allowances for less abled visitors, so we liaise closely with the owners and builders and advise them of the best way to do this. We all work together to provide level footing to the property and flat patios, unobstructed ground floor areas with clear pathways around the rooms, wide hallways and doors, level floors that are tiled or wooden rather than carpeted, good lighting, and grab rails in the right places. There are usually wide steps down into swimming pools and the water is always a constant depth of 1.2m; pools and hot tubs often have grab rails. We like to have at least one ground floor bedroom with access to a shower room or wet room, and we encourage property owners to think of offering aids such as ramps, height adjustable shower stools, toilet frames and suction mounted grips. We also work with specialist organisations who hire out aids - high backed chairs and hydraulic beds for instance, and we take the view that nothing is ever a problem, so do call us if there’s something you need, and we’ll help.
Sometimes the very nature of the building means it’s not always possible to make our big group self catering accommodation access friendly – old country houses and rambling farmhouses often have uneven floors and steps up and down to different levels, but where it can be done, we’ll do it. As a result, several of our properties have increased accessibility so you can enjoy your holiday without the worry of how you’re going to get about – and we have several pet friendly properties for those with assistance dogs.
We like to think that during a Sleeps12 large group holiday, differently abled people can get out and about and enjoy the beautiful countryside around our properties. Nowadays, most tourist attractions cater for the less able bodied and for those with visual or hearing impairment, with mobility scooters for hire and the use of hearing loops. Many riding centres offer horseriding for the disabled and several nature reserves have accessible level surface tracks; some even have all terrain scooters for hire and Wheelyboats where there are lakes. The West Somerset Railway has accessible coaches so you can all have a jolly time chugging through the countryside on an old fashioned steam train.
Have a look at our swanky lodges at the foot of the unspoilt Quantock Hills - Crowcombe, Ramscombe, Thorncombe, Foxcombe and Cockercombe; all have indoor pools, big patios and ground floor bedrooms with shower rooms. Close by is Ramscombe in Great Wood with parking, toilets and picnic tables for disabled visitors, and tracks with good surfaces that take you through the forest. The Granary and Quantock Barns are just the other side of the Quantocks. Near Flossy Brook on the Blackdown Hills is Staple Hill where you’ll find wheelchair walks around wide paths through the trees and an Easy Access Viewpoint Trail.
Coat Barn sleeps 18 people and has a downstairs bedrooms with shower rooms; close by is Ham Hill Country Park where there are some resurfaced trails; the views are breath taking and it’s a lovely spot for an ice cream or a picnic on a warm day. Out on the enchanting Somerset Levels, not far from Walnut Arbour there are some wonderful nature reserves with even tracks and walkways to bird hides; Westhay Moor, Catcott Lows and Shapwick Heath. Just a few miles from Holemoor Stables is Chard Reservoir Local Nature Reserve, with wheelchair friendly paths; it’s a great place for bird watching or to feed the ducks.
Amble around the shoreline paths at Wimbleball Lake, not far from Ham Bottom and Fuzzy Orchard; you can even take a trip out on the water or try some fishing from a Wheelyboat. Bossington Hall is all geared up to be access friendly and up behind on Bossington Hill you’ll find peaceful trails of 830m and 350m ideal for wheelchairs; the views out over the Porlock Vale are incredible. There are several easy going tracks on Exmoor, allowing you to take in this beautiful and varied landscape of heather topped heaths and wooded hillsides interspersed with tiny villages where you’ll usually find a country inn or a tea shop. On the Dunster Estate there’s a Tall Trees Trail where you can see a splendid specimen of a Douglas Fir standing 61.3m high – the tallest tree in England!
We ask our property owners to provide us with Access Statements which we add to our website; you’ll see these, where we have them, on the property details, but please call us so that we can give you advice when you’re selecting your large group holiday accommodation – it’s not a case of one size fits all so we want you to book the property that caters best for your needs. Take a look at more of our fantastic access friendly holiday lets and call us on 01823 665500 to chat more.