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Accessible accommodation makes Cotswolds stay enjoyable

One of our team, Shaun, is a wheelchair user and he recently visited The Lygon Arms in The Cotswolds to try out one of their accessible bedrooms, following the hotel’s multi-million pound refurbishment. Here is his blog about the visit.

DSCI0024_-_Copy.JPGBroadway in the Cotswolds

Although I have often passed through the pretty Cotswolds village of Broadway in Worcestershire, I have never stayed there. Perhaps in part because I never expected to find suitably adapted accommodation amongst the honey-coloured medieval buildings, with their narrow stairways, steep steps and higgledy-piggledy layout.

So, I was pleased to be invited to visit The Lygon Arms, following the final phase of a major transformation. This luxury hotel dates to the 14th century, when it was a coaching inn on the busy route between London and Wales, and has been frequented by many famous people over the years, from King Charles I and Oliver Cromwell during the English Civil War, to Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in the 1960s.

DSCI0046_-_Copy.JPGThe Lygon Arms

The Lygon Arms is situated on the popular High Street in the centre of Broadway, which at first glance made me wonder where we were going to park, but fortunately there is a convenient drop-off area in front of the hotel. Whilst there is a small step at the front entrance, this proved no problem for my powered wheelchair, and there is a fully accessible entrance at the back of the main building. We were told by reception where the car park was located, and we drove round to it, but I am sure many visitors would want to take advantage of the hotel’s valet parking service.

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We stayed in one of the two wheelchair accessible bedrooms, which was situated in a charming courtyard with a splendid chestnut tree in the centre, at the rear of the hotel. The room had clearly been recently decorated, as the décor was first class, and everything looked immaculate.

One of the biggest attractions of the room was its size. So often, for a powered wheelchair user, there is barely room to turn around. However, this room was extremely generous. The bathroom was also a very good size, with a large wheel-in shower, a conveniently high toilet and a number of grab rails. The bed was a good height for me too and clearly a great deal of thought had been put into the design of the room.

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While retaining all of its ‘olde worlde’ charm, the hotel provides accessibility without detracting from the beauty and character of the place. There are, of course, areas which can only be reached by steps and stairs, but almost all of the ground floor is wheelchair accessible, including the dining room and bar. In addition, the staff were extremely approachable and helpful. The hotel has a garden with a step down into it, which I am sure would be accessible with the aid of a ramp.

Breakfast was in the striking Great Hall and, as a wheelchair user, I welcomed having a cooked breakfast served at the table. We then enjoyed exploring Broadway. While many of the older buildings are unfortunately not wheelchair accessible, there are plenty of shops, cafés and restaurants that are, and we spent a good couple of hours sightseeing in the September sunshine.

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Broadway is the perfect base for discovering the Cotswolds, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with many other chocolate box villages close by, as well as walking routes for the more active, such as the Cotswolds Way, which runs through the village and is wheelchair accessible in parts.

While other people may have different needs and requirements, and it is always worth checking with a hotel first, I thoroughly enjoyed my stay and would recommend The Lygon Arms.

If you or your group would like to enjoy an accessible tour of England, or indeed the UK and Ireland, please do contact our friendly team today.

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