To help you get out and about with your elderly parent, we’ve put together a list of accessible sites in Cornwall that should keep everyone happy, entertained and free from stress.
Liskeard-Looe Valley Line Train Ride
For those who like to sit back and take in the scenery, the Liskeard-Looe Valley train service offers stunning coastal views.
The more mobile can get off at Looe to explore the high street packed with art galleries, charity shops and cafes. Head towards the harbour for the best fish and chips and local catch menus, then travel back on the train.
This National Trust property close to Liskeard is a great day out for those who love historic homes and gardens. The house was requisitioned during World War I and has a small exhibition on its use then, while the family lived on upstairs.
Due to its age, the house was not built on ground level – therefore, there are several steps, ramps and slopes. However, there are wheelchairs, personal motorised vehicles and a mobility tramper available for loan during your visit.
There’s accessible parking for blue badge holders, plus accompanying carers are entitled to free entry to the house.
Royal Voluntary Service Lunch Clubs
For an easy lunch date with plenty of people of the same age, try the Royal Voluntary Service lunch clubs. This is a drop-off club, meaning you don’t need to remain, but you are also welcome if you want to stay.
The aim of the club is to bring older people together to socialise and make new friends. There are several in Cornwall, so it’s worth checking out the RVS website. Most meet once a month in a convenient and accessible location.
Royal Voluntary Service Social Centres
These social centres come in all sizes across Cornwall and offer a range of activities, from dancing to craft courses and bingo evenings. They’re also a mine of information for older parents and their children. Talks on topics such as health, exercise, and pensions are popular, and some centres also run adult education classes.
The Bodmin & Wenford Railway
This heritage railway is the only full-size railway in Cornwall, where visitors can ride steam trains. The 13-mile-long route from Bodmin Parkway to Boscarne Junction passes through Bodmin General and allows passengers to enjoy views of the Cornish countryside.
Trains run on a daily basis from May to the end of September. Parking and toilets are at Bodmin Parkway, and lifts operate where needed.
This valley garden has steep sections and steps, but the majority is accessible. Two motorised Tramper chairs are also available for hire through the Countryside Mobility scheme. You can also hire a motorised carer-controlled wheelchair if needed.
If you plan to use either, the garden recommends booking ahead, as numbers are limited. The garden offers Registered Disabled reductions, and a carer/companion ticket is half the standard rate.
Eden Project, Near St Austell
Accessibility was the model of the Eden Project from its first inception. Alongside parking spaces, adult changing toilets and rental wheelchairs, the Eden Project has specialised attractions designed to be of interest to those with sight difficulties. All experiences are accessible, and the site is suitable for any wheelchair user and their caregiver.
Penzance to Marazion
For the more adventurous, this two-mile section of the South West Coast Path is a pleasant and easy route to take with a wheelchair. Starting in Penzance, the walk skirts the splendour of Mounts Bay, with the castle on St Michael’s Mount to one side and the trains to the other, and leads to Marazion. The path is flat and well-maintained, with lots of opportunities to stop, sit down and enjoy the view.
Benefits of day trips and holidays
Day trips and excursions are a good way to spend time with your ageing parent or loved ones. Getting out and about to new places or revisiting places from the past often has a positive effect on those who need Alzheimer’s care.
A day trip is valuable for all older people, whatever type of elderly care they have, or even if they still enjoy independent living at home.
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