We recently stayed at The Stables at Elms Farm Cottages in Lincolnshire, and thought we would share with you a couple of our accessible adventures! After a crazy few months we spent most of our time just relaxing and exploring the fantastic gardens and 18 acres of private land at Elms Farm, but did venture out a couple of times.
The Stables is close to lots of family attractions such as Lincoln Castle and Cathedral, Boston Stump, RSPB sites, Tattershall Farm Park, National Trust properties, and the beaches of Skegness are within driving distance. You can also hop on a train to Lincoln or Skegness just a few minutes walk from the cottages! Lots of information on accessible attractions are available on the cottage website, and Carol can also recommend lots of lovely places.
For our first trip out, we visited the International Bomber Command Centre in Lincoln (around 25 minutes from Elms Farm), described on the website as ‘A world-class facility to serve as a point for recognition, remembrance and reconciliation for Bomber Command’. The IBCC has been established to remember the thousands of men and women who were part of Bomber Command’s efforts during WWII, and The Walls of Names in the Peace Gardens carry the names of almost 58,000 men and women who lost their lives.
Entry into the IBCC is timed at the moment and visits have to be pre-booked; social distancing signs and hand hygiene stations were evident throughout. It was really quiet and calm, with numbers kept low to enable social distancing.
It is a fascinating place to visit for all ages, with excellent accessibility. On a personal level it was a very moving experience, as we were able to find out more about a family member lost without trace in WWW 2, and find his name on The Walls of Names, where we were able to place a poppy. The Peace Gardens have a very special atmosphere and have spectacular views across to Lincoln Cathedral.
The IBCC has a drop-off point directly outside the main entrance for guests with accessibility requirements, and the blue badge parking is also close to the main doors. The main centre has level access throughout, accessible toilets, lifts to the 1st floor, and accessible paths in the peace gardens. The IBCC has a hearing loop and subtitling in the exhibition, large print guides, sensory planting, and staff are trained in dementia and autism awareness. The Hub Café has a low access counter, wheelchair-accessible tables, a hearing loop and high contrast tableware.
The exhibition is fascinating and interactive, so keeps little/medium sized people interested, and even sparked enthusiasm in our pre-teen! Not an easy feat.
Of course the shop and cafe always feature heavily in our family trips anywhere, and they were also a hit. We would definitely recommend a visit – take a look at the accessibility information on the website to find out more (link below). Just had to use this wonderful image of the Spire and Walls of Names below – so much better than our overcast images!
One of our other trips out was to Springfields Outlet Village and Adventure Land near Spalding, also around 20-25 minutes from Elms Farm Cottages. There is a good selection of high street and designer outlet shops, cafes and restaurants at this small outlet village, and the holiday money was rapidly disposed of in one of the toy shops. There is a lovely garden area with picnic benches and deckchairs where you can feed the ducks, and just beyond that is Adventure Land.
We cooled off with delicious ice-cream from Springy’s Diner, then Emily enjoyed a double run on Springy’s Railroad.
Other activities at Adventure Land include the Tree Top Village, Dino Golf, Springy’s Beach, a climbing wall and JCB Young Driver’s Zone, but these were either inaccessible or too young for Emily. Adventure Land is level and spacious, but we would recommend researching the accessibility of the actual activities in advance. Access information on the website seems limited, but the FAQ link is below.
We had a relaxing family break at The Stables, one of 9 accessible cottages at Elms Farm Cottages, and made the most of the open spaces and private land. Hopefully this will give you a few ideas for accessible adventures, but lots more information is available on the Elms Farm Cottages website!