A wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) offers wheelchair users so much freedom and there is no better time to enjoy that freedom than the summer. Whether it is the ability to get away on holiday, visit relatives or enjoy a beautiful day out for a drive there are miles and miles of stunning English landscape to appreciate and explore! Why not take your WAV out on the open road this summer and enjoy one of these lovely scenic drives?
Estimated driving time without stops: 2 hours 15 minutes Driving distance: 62 miles
You will be treated to so much variety on this enjoyable drive through Kent and East Sussex. It is truly a route of many contrasts.
Start at the ancient seaport of Hythe, which features a long, accessible promenade overlooking the English Channel. Drive south and you will soon arrive in Romney Marsh, a sweeping plain of drained marshland occupied by grazing sheep and the occasional hamlet. The scene is almost surreal as you meander down the small interior roads, via Lympne (there are excellent views from its churchyard), Burmarsh and St Mary in the Marsh.
The road along the coast (A259) is quicker but not as interesting. The sea remains hidden behind the enormous sea wall along the road. If you want to catch a sea view, stop off at Dungeness on the Southern tip of the Headland. Set along a single promontory, home to two nuclear power stations, a solitary railway station and a couple of lighthouses, it can’t be called pretty, but instead strangely fascinating.
Estimated driving time without stops: 1-hour Driving distance: 26 miles
East Anglia’s Stour Valley and Dedham Vale is known as “Constable Country” because it was here that John Constable (the great nineteenth-century landscape artist) painted some of his best-known works of art. This scenic drive will reveal he wasn’t the only English artist associated with this truly inspiring area.
The drive begins in the quaint village of Long Melford, the location of Medford Hall, set in 130 acres of parkland. Relatives of Beatrix Potter, the famed English author-illustrator. once owned the property. Beatrix frequently came to stay at Medford Hall and today you can visit her former bedroom and admire a collection of her watercolors and sketches in the Beatrix Potter Room.
Medford Hall offers disabled parking, ramped access and two wheelchair accessible toilets. There is also a stair lift available to take wheelchair users up to the first floor although only one wheelchair is permitted upstairs at a time.
Continue, driving south to the pretty market town of Sudbury. Here you can visit the birthplace and home of Thomas Gainsborough, England’s leading portrait painter back in the eighteenth century. The house is now a museum highlighting an outstanding collection of Gainsborough’s painted works.
Moving on, head east and drive through the idyllic landscape of the Stour valley. You will pass the picture- perfect village of Stoke by Nyland, featuring a collection of charming timber framed cottages, before reaching the historic town of Dedham. Here at castle House, the home of famous horse painter Alfred Munnings, is a gallery displaying the largest collection of Munnings’ paintings. There is good wheelchair access to the ground floor galleries, but not to the first-floor galleries.
Estimated driving time without stops: 40 minutes Driving Distance: 21 miles
On rugged Exmoor, windy moors make way for gentle wooded valleys. The hills and valleys roll on and eventually tumble onto the stunning coastline. This 21-mile drive highlights the absolute best of it and will have you stopping for pictures again and again.
The drive is a figure eight route, follow signposts from Lynmouth looping around through Watersmeet, Rockford, Brendon and Countisbury, back through Lynmouth and then past to Lynton, Valley of the Rocks, Woody Bay, Martinhoe, Hunters Inn Killington Lane and Barbrook, before ending right back where you started at Lynmouth.
As you drive past the Valley of the Rocks, you will understand why it is referred to as England’s “Little Switzerland”. There are staggering rock formations in all directions and even a herd of wild goats! The drive onward toward Hunters’ Inn is on a single lane road along the cliff, the sea to one side and the woods on the other making the scenery simply stunning. There is a RADAR key accessible toilet at Hunters’ Inn by the National Trust Shop. Here you will also find a Tramper (a powered all terrain mobility buggy) for hire. It is ideal for the mile long accessible trail from the National Trust Shop to the breathtaking rocky cove of Heddon’s Cove.
Explore England this summer with a nearly-new WAV. Check out Mobility Nationwide’s current vehicles or give us a call on 01824 707773.