Published: 1 July 2022
The first two weeks in June, we took off in our motorhome, affectionately called Zerubbabel, and went on a road trip around the south-west corner of Scotland. In general, it was an awesome holiday and we had the best time ever. However, that doesn't mean that everything ran smoothly. So here are some thoughts about doing a road trip, with accessibility in mind.
Don't expect perfection
Although most of our plans for this holiday worked out well, there were some glitches and a few places that weren't as accessible as I would have liked. The advantage of a road trip is that you move on each day, so if somewhere isn't that good, you can look forward to whatever's next.
Carlisle Castle wasn't even close to being accessible, which surprised me, as the website made me think the ground floor would be. But no. I couldn't even get in. However, the rest of the day went well, the weather was nice, the journeys worked fine and parking was good.
Brodick Castle on the Isle of Arran wasn't easy either. I did eventually get inside but we'd had bad weather, I was tired, the site is built into a hill and parking didn't go according to plan. However, a lovely member of staff went the extra mile to ensure we got to look around and helped us plan our route around the gardens to avoid some of the hills.
Roseland Holiday Park
Roseland Holiday Park is the only campsite on Bute and the lack of competition clearly shows. Not only did it look and feel like a building site but getting around in a wheelchair was nearly impossible! It was the only site of the entire holiday that we didn't like. However, we were only there for 2 nights and whilst we were there, we visited Mount Stuart which was one of the best days out, so it all balanced out in the end.
Try something new
When we bought Zerubbabel, we thought we would explore the UK mostly but may one day do road trips in Europe. Now that Covid restrictions are less, the idea of going abroad is beginning to appeal again, though ferries feel safer than flying. Before attempting an overnight ferry from Hull to Rotterdam though, I thought a shorter trip might be advisable.
So I planned a trip over to Arran. Then I got a bit carried away and planned to visit Cumbrae in the same holiday. And then I threw in Bute for good measure. We did 6 ferry crossings in a week, with 55 minutes being the longest and 5 minutes being the shortest.
It was the first time we'd been on a ferry:
- with Zerubbabel
- with Liggy (my assistance dog)
- With my wheelchair
... so it was a little bit scary and quite exciting!
Long story short, it was amazing! The staff at Calmac ferries were fantastic! They made sure we had space to unload my wheelchair and that we were near the lift. On the shorter routes, efficiency doesn't even begin to describe them! We turned up, showed tickets, boarded and were off!
Plan for all weathers
We had every extreme of weather on our road trip. We had beautiful warm sunny days, that made being outdoors a pleasant and largely relaxing experience. Then we had a tropical storm that had come over the Atlantic, bringing torrential rain, gale force winds and some very moody scenery. We had days where you couldn't even choose appropriate clothing because it changed every half hour. Some days, we started with plan A but then had to switch to plan B and sometimes even plan C.
Our day on the Isle of Great Cumbrae was like that. We had planned to walk round the entire circumference of the island and I was looking forward to that challenge so much! In reality, that day, the weather was not suitable for our plans and I was really disappointed. We ended up deciding on a much shorter walk, taking in fab photo opportunities and a really tasty lunch instead.