In the grand scheme of things, the UK is but a small island, scarcely troubling the world map. Peer closely and you'll spot it, lurking off the shore of mainland Europe. Make no mistake though: Britain's just a baby. You can drive from top to bottom (or vice-versa) in a day if you don't stop at too many overpriced service stations along the way. When the world's greatest road trips are being appraised, it's fair to say the UK won't be troubling the Americas.
Still, the island's diminutive stature does have its advantages. If you're plotting a UK holiday, you can generally reach any region you like within six hours. The Cornish coast? No problem. Scottish Highlands? Bring it on. If you're plotting a British break this year, we've rounded up holiday ideas that combine beautiful scenery with excellent facilities and wheelchair access. Everything you need then to enjoy an unforgettable holiday at home.
British holiday homes with wheelchair access
Wheelchair friendly holidays in Northern Ireland
The vast majority of the UK's coastline is pretty spectacular; big cliffs, big waves and unbroken stretches of sand with nary a soul upon them save for the occasional dog walker. There's something particularly striking about Northern Ireland's coast however: lush green fields that give way to white cliffs and rocky outcrops. You can't really blame the Northern Irish tourist board for banging on about its scenery appearing in Game of Thrones – it is pretty special. The 'must-watch' HBO series isn't bad either. Looking for luxury accommodation? Try the sumptuous Primrose Cottage which is set in a private gated park in the beautiful Fermanagh lakelands.
Wheelchair friendly holidays in Cornwall
Cornwall needs little by way of introduction; even if you've never set foot there, you'll have a pretty good idea of what to expect: gorgeous beaches, cheerful seaside towns and oodles of sunshine. But away from the shore, there are also some wonderful ways to spend your days. Try Carnglaze Slate Caverns and Woodland Garden for size, comprising a series of man-made caverns that defy description. Pack a picnic and make a day of it; the way the huge caverns sparkle in the low light is eerily beautiful. Searching for wheelchair-friendly Cornish accommodation? This 17th-century barn conversion, close to Bodmin Moor, is as nice as it gets.
Wheelchair friendly holidays in Edinburgh and Lothians
On the face of it, Edinburgh may not seem the most wheelchair-friendly destination: all those hills and cobbled streets. It's true, Cockburn Street and the closes that wind their way from the Royal Mile to Waverley can be hard work. Elsewhere though, Edinburgh's museums and galleries aren't just accessible – they're beautiful, venerable old buildings filled with portraits, curios and other artefacts that recount the turbulent history of the Scottish nation. Leave the capital behind and you've also got the whole of East Lothian to explore, with its spectacular coastline, castles and country pubs. Edinburgh offers a plenitude of contemporary holiday rentals, including this swish West End apartment. Moving out of town, this West Lothian cottage is as cosy as it is quiet.
Wheelchair friendly holidays in Pembrokeshire
Another British region blessed with a coastline worth shouting about, Pembrokeshire is lush. For its wildlife, beaches, cliff-top paths and outdoor adventure sports, the Welsh region is utterly idyllic. While eating out every night may be impractical, make a point of sampling one or two of Pembrokeshire's gastropubs – the local produce, fish and seafood are excellent. Away from the coastline, a plethora of unusual gardens vie for your holiday time including Dyffryn Fernant, a bog garden replete with ornamental grass, exotic plants and a fernery. A fernery? Yes, a fernery. If you're travelling in a large group, check out The Old Rectory and Retreat Cottage – you'll get a lot of 18th-century house and gardens for your money.
Wheelchair friendly holidays in the Scottish Highlands
The Highlands elicits images of mist-shrouded glens, snow-capped peaks and dense pine forests where wildcats roam and buzzards swoop. Leaving the scenery aside for a moment – beautiful as it undoubtedly is – the Malt Whisky Trail provides another incentive to head up north. Do you know your peaty island malts from your Speyside whisky? Follow the trail, stopping to visit a couple of distilleries along the way and you'll soon be talking authoritatively about the amber nectar. How do you like the idea of a snug cottage on the shores of Loch Ness? The odds of spotting the legendary monster are – sorry to break it to you – slim to non-existent, but the views of the Scottish mountains and loch should atone for the lack of mythical beasts.