Owner Guide - Accessible holiday cottages - Gorgeous Cottages
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Owner Guide – Accessible Holiday Cottage Guide

The market for accessible UK holiday cottages is growing all the time. In fact it is estimated that one in six people in England and Wales have an ‘activity limiting’ health problem or disability. (Source VisitBritain).

Fortmayne Stables Holiday Cottage

What’s more we are an ageing population and this retired generation represents a huge slice of the holiday cottage market. Getting a layout that works for reduced mobility can add huge appeal to your UK holiday cottage.

In fact, it’s estimated the accessible tourism market is worth £12bn in England alone.

Ground floor bedrooms and bathrooms

If you are able to have a downstairs bedroom and bathroom in your property this can be a big plus point. For larger properties this will means your holiday home will appeal to groups with older grandparents in the party.

Downstairs bedroom and bathroom

For smaller one-bedroom holiday cottages you’ll appeal to retired couples looking for a short-break to the country.

Wet rooms are a good choice for reduced mobility. Not only can they be fit in smaller spaces they are also a very stylish option.

Yorkshire Holiday Cottages

Make sure any bathroom floor tiles are non-slip and suction hand rails are also a good idea. These are low-cost helpful additions that can be easily stored away when not required.

Add a stair rail

If there are stairs in the property then the simple addition of a handrail can help make your property suitable for people with some mobility issues.
The VisitEngland Guide One Step Ahead (which looks at accommodating older and less mobile guests) states:

“Provide at least one handrail next to the steps or stairs (both sides are better) that’s easy to grip. There should be enough space for a firm grip but your arm shouldn’t easily slip through.”

Keep floor space clear

Holiday cottages for reduced mobility

For your property to appeal to the reduced mobilty market you’ll need to give some thought to your layout. Routes through the holiday cottage should be clear from obstructions with plenty of space for your guests to easily move around.  The VisitEngland One Step Ahead Guide states:

“Ensure the bedroom provides clear space to walk around without bumping into furniture. Can the windows be easily reached by your guests and are they simple to open and close?”

Wheelchair friendly

If you are planning to go wheelchair friendly then you’ll have to think about entrance ramps and ensuring all doors are sufficiently wide. It’s also important to think about cupboard height and the height of fixtures and fittings in the bathroom and bedroom.

There are specific guidelines that must be adhered to for holiday cottages to be suitable for various disability levels which can be found here:

https://www.visitbritain.org/sites/default/files/vb-corporate/visitengland_national_accessible_scheme_serviced_standards.pdf

Outside space and Parking

Wensleydale holiday home

It’s important to ensure the outside space is also accessible. Keep any paths to the property even, clear and well-maintained and make sure there is adequate lighting.

Guests may be arriving after dark (particularly in the winter) so need to be able to see where they are going.

Outside lighting can help with mobility issues

Parking will also be important for anyone with reduced mobility so try and get this as close to the property as possible

Accessibility Guide

Writing an Accessibility Guide will help guests determine whether your holiday cottage is suitable for them. It will also help you appraise your accessibility and what accessible categories your property may be suitable for.

You’ll find help online at https://www.accessibilityguides.org/

There are step-by-step guides to help you produce your guide which will include things like measurements, steps and handrails.

Take a look at the Gorgeous Cottages range of holiday cottages for reduced mobility.

Gorgeous Cottages are the booking agents for a range of UK holiday cottages. If you are thinking of renting out your holiday home, give the team a call on 01642 263 249.

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