Accessing Cambridge

I recently had a lovely ‘staycation’ get away in Cambridge with my friends, we stayed in an airbnb for 4 nights which was lovely/ it was the nicest airbnb I’ve ever stayed in!

As with anywhere I go, trouble tends to follow me and we had a few major mishaps with the ol’ mobility scooter. I’ll dedicate another post to this but what with flat tyres, dead batteries and broken scooters it’s safe to say we had a dramatic trip.

So I’m going to start with a special shoutout to an absolutely wonderful man called Martin who worked for Shopmobility in Cambridge who saved my bacon. I hired 4 scooters for extended periods of time for no charge, he tried to fix dead scooter, I got rescued by Martin after a flat tyre on a scooter and more. If this service and Martin’s assistance hadn’tve been a thing, I would’ve spent my trip in the house on my own or ALOT of money on taxis. Shopmobility in Cambridge was fab and more places need to take note!!! (Free parking downstairs in the multi-storey which is a bonus too!)

ACCOMODATION:

The Airbnb we stayed in was LOVELY!It had two double beds and two king beds (ofcourse I bagsied one!) as well as a really lovely living space and small garden. We had a socially distanced check in (lockbox) and it was a much needed get away!

ACCESSIBLE ACCOMODATION:

So I didn’t stay in an accessible place as our booking was last minute and not too much was available, I also didn’t think I needed it, (although the bathing/ showering and stairs situation was definitely a big struggle! I know accessible Accommodation can be limited so I don’t want to take it away from people that need it more than me. I’ve linked a few places below that may help if you plan to visit.

DAYS OUT:

A useful guide written by Cambridge Students Union :

and accessible Cambridge.

These are absolutely exceptional accessibility guide of which would be incredibly useful for you or your carers if you wish to visit Cambridge and have concerns over access needs.

THINGS TO DO:

If you’re an outdoorsy person, there’s tonnes you can do outside in Cambridge to keep you happy.

There are two pubs near punting on the river which were both lovely.

The Mill Pub are doing takeaway drinks which you can take and walk/ roll along the river. (There’s a small gate to get through but you should fit) the route along the river is pretty flat. We also stopped at the Mill works for lunch where I was able to leave my scooter outside whilst we ate, again through a small gate. I’d really recommended doing one or both of these as the views are gorgeous!

Note the floor is pretty flat too!

We went to the Universities Botancial Gardens with a scooter it was absolutely gorgeous and we loved spending the day outside there. access yes all part from Rocks

Below has accessibility details for the gardens.

https://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk/visit-us/access/

If outdoors isn’t your idea of fun, then Cambridge Shopping centre is almost entirely accessible it really was amazing. People maintained social distance well.

THINGS TO BARE IN MIND IN THE CITY:

– Lots of cyclists

– It is a very busy

– Not all cafes and restaurants are accessible

Lots of restaurants and shops had steps up into them which is not particularly helpful!

– Some streets are very cobbly, which hurt my ears and back on my scooter.

– Sensory stuff and street noise

– Lots of narrow doorways & steps to shops

Call and ask about specific accessibility needs even if it seems obvious. Not everywhere understands what the term means!

Disabled people queues and lifts!!!

– The queues for some places such as the Regal (big wetherspoons) were absolutely huge and we queued for a really long time, I’m not sure if this was a one off or due to new covid restrictions but it was a very busy at all pubs.

– Don’t do the small outdoor market if you’re on wheels as there’s no point & you’ll probably get stuck in the gravel & break your scooter like I did !!!

Afternoon tea at the Clayton hotel was lovely! We had the whole room to ourselves and it was great, (although I spent the whole time in the being sick!)

https://www.claytonhotelcambridge.com/restaurants-bars/afternoon-tea-cambridge/

So in typical Lauren style I had a fat migraine whilst we were out at afternoon tea, I was on my scooter and couldn’t feel my arms or legs and could only see out of one eye. I was sick multiple times and did not have my migraine medication on me. I managed to get a prescription sent over to a local pharmacy and we went over to pick it up. SO IT HAD A STEP INTO A NARROW DOORWAY WITH A FIREDOOR? A PHARMACY. A PLACE WHERE PEOPLE GO WHEN THEY ARE POORLY, CHRONICALLY ILL OR DISABLED. AN INACCESSIBLE PHARMACY. I was on my scooter and had to wave to them to come and do my transaction for my meds at the door? Like seriously. If I wasn’t feeling as horrendous as I was perhaps I could’ve said something!

This seemed to be a common theme similar to how it is in Brighton.

I hope this guide helps you to have a nice day out in Cambridge!

Take care

Lauren xxxx

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