Facilities & Activities for people with disabilities

Facilities & Activities for people with disabilities

Facilities for People with Disabilities in Suffolk

Suffolk is a part of the country that is known for its rich heritage, beautiful landscape, and wide variety of attractions and activities for the whole family to enjoy. However, Suffolk is also home to various activities and resources for visitors with disabilities like cerebral palsy, amputation, paralysis, or limited mobility that makes them wheelchair bound or require the use of mobility aids.

Keep reading to discover various activities, accommodation options, and resources for people with disabilities.

If you have any information to add to this article, please send an email to [email protected] so that your knowledge may be shared.

General Activities

Facilities & Activities for people with disabilities
Felixstowe Leisure Centre by Roger Cornfoot, CC BY-SA 2.0 | Wikimedia Commons

Avenues Group Big Splash

Avenues Group organises sports and leisure activities, day trips, and taster sessions for people with disabilities across Suffolk. They organise weekly ‘Big Splash’ supported swimming sessions at a variety of pools throughout Suffolk, including:

  • Lowestoft Leisure Centre – Every Friday from 1 PM to 2 PM (01473 836770)
  • Newmarket Leisure Centre – Every Tuesday from 2 PM to 3 PM (01638 782500)
  • Ipswich at Crown Pools – Every Thursday from 10 AM to 11:30 PM (01473 433655)
  • Bungay Swimming Pool – Every Sunday from 6 PM to 7 PM (01986 895014)
  • Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre – Every Monday from 3 PM to 4 PM. There is a chair hoist into the pool, accessible steps, and volunteer support in the water. A poolside wheelchair is also available. (+44 1449 674980)
  • Sudbury at the Kingfisher Pool – Every Monday from 11 AM to 12 PM. Nice sloped access to the pool, poolside wheelchair available for use in pool and showers, and volunteer support. (+44 1284 757473)
  • Haverhill Leisure Centre – Every Tuesday from 11 AM to 12 PM. A hoist and chair are available with volunteer support and a swimming instructor. (01284 757473)
  • Leiston Leisure Centre – Every Wednesday from 3 to 4 PM. (+44 1728 830364)
  • Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre – Every Friday from 10 AM to 12 PM. (())
  • Mildenhall Swimming Pool – Every Thursday from 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM (())

For more information about the Big Splash and the other events and activities that Avenues Group arranges, please see Big Splash Supported Swimming by Avenues Group.

Call: 020 3535 0500

E-mail: [email protected]

Facilities & Activities for people with disabilities
Cmglee, CC BY-SA 3.0 | Wikimedia Commons

Bure Valley Railway

The Bure Valley Railway is proud to be the first railway of any sort in the region to provide six carriages in which wheelchair-bound people of any age can be accommodated comfortably and securely, along with their fellow passengers, friends, and family. The Bure Valley Railway offers full access to passengers in wheelchairs or passengers with any sort of disability. Both Aylsham and Wroxham stations are all found on one level, which includes toilets, shops, platforms, a café, and even the exciting Aylsham workshops.

In addition to the standard carriage fleet, visitors will also find six specifically designed coaches that carry wheelchairs without difficulty. Every coach contains a special seating arrangement along with detachable ramps and double doors on both sides. When the ordinary seats are down, these carriages have the same carrying capacity as regular carriages, but when the seats are raised they can each accommodate four manual wheelchairs securely. Other types of wheelchairs may be carried depending on their size.

When the BVR is running a full three-train service, every train normally has two of these coaches, giving passengers with disabilities a completely free choice of which train to catch.

Bure Valley Railway Website | https://www.bvrw.co.uk/
Bure Valley Railway Website | https://www.bvrw.co.uk/

AccessAble (DisabledGo)

AccessAble (formerly DisabledGo) provides free online access guides to over 80,000 venues across the UK and Ireland.

All kinds of places are visited in person and their accessibility is assessed. You can find detailed information regarding access to various places, such as hospitals, cinemas, restaurants, hotels, parks, sports grounds, council offices, colleges, tourist attractions, and so much more.

You can also use the site to find a job, catch up on the latest disability news, promote events, post articles, and join in discussions on the forum.

For more information, visit the site, here!

AccessAble Website | https://www.accessable.co.uk/
AccessAble Website | https://www.accessable.co.uk/


Due to Suffolk’s notoriously flat terrain, many of the rambling trails and routes are fairly easy. As a result, people with disabilities or limited mobilityare able to discover and explore the beautiful Suffolk countryside with relative ease.

To find helpful information about all the best disability-accessible hikes and trails, the best organisation to get in touch with is Disabled Ramblers. This organisation consists of a group of like-minded individuals who have disabilities and enjoy experiencing the outdoors. They are true to the word “ramblers,” despite very few of them being able to walk a couple of yards.

Primarily consisting of individuals with limited mobility, they move around with the help of mobility aids, including scooters, pavement buggies, power chairs, and even wheelchairs. The group organises various ramblers ranging from very challenging to easy all throughout the UK and Wales. Friends, spouses, and volunteers all help to create events that will suit every preference.

Find more information about Disabled Ramblers, here!

Access for all in the Brecks includes 10 trails for everyone including those with restricted mobility. Call Brecks Partnership on 01842 760116.

The National Stud in Newmarket has disabled toilets/accessible toilet facilities, a coach for a tour of the Stud grounds with a ramp, and also a ramp into the restaurant. Pre-booking is essential.

Find more information on the National Stud, here!

Facilities & Activities for people with disabilities
Foals at the National Stud, Newmarket by Richard Humphrey, CC BY-SA 2.0 | Wikimedia Commons

East Anglian Sailing Trust

The East Anglian Sailing Trust (EAST) is based in Ipswich and offers individuals with disabilities as well as their carers frequent chances to enjoy exciting sailing adventures while promoting confidence, independence, and the involvement of the community.

For more details, visit the East Anglian Sailing Trust.

EAST Website | https://www.east-anglian-sailing-trust.org.uk/
EAST Website | https://www.east-anglian-sailing-trust.org.uk/

Accessible Beaches in Suffolk

Facilities & Activities for people with disabilities
Acediscovery, CC BY 4.0 | Wikimedia Commons


The beach does have ramp access and the Pier is accessible too. One end of the beach is shingle but the Gun Hill end is a wide, open, sandy stretch down to Southwold Harbour.


Lowestoft South Beach promenade is recommended because of how flat it is, making it ideal for people in wheelchairs or those who require mobility assistance, and there are toilet facilities near the beach.


While the beach at Felixstowe is home to access ramps, visitors may find that the beach itself is not suitable for wheelchairs. The shingle can make it difficult to manoeuvre a wheelchair once you reach the bottom of the ramp.

However, the local TIC does have a beach wheelchair that can be used free of charge on a daily basis and it can be booked by calling 01394 276770.

Facilities & Activities for people with disabilities
Felixstowe Suffolk 14 August 2008

Accessible Accommodation in Suffolk

Kelsale Holiay Cottages Website | http://www.kelsaleholidaycottages.co.uk/
Kelsale Holiay Cottages Website | http://www.kelsaleholidaycottages.co.uk/

Kelsale Holiday Cottages

Kelsale Holiday Cottages offers a beautiful new, lavish, self-catering holiday cottage sleeping between four and six people, set in the heart of the Suffolk Heritage Coast area. There are both luxury bedrooms and suites available worthy of a boutique hotel, and the bedrooms each have one double walk-in shower and one free-standing bath with a waterfall tap. A delightful private garden containing comfortable patio furniture can be enjoyed by going through big sliding doors, making it effortless to go outside and enjoy the fresh air.

It has been furnished to a very high standard with all modern conveniences incorporated including ground-level disability-friendly access. Underfloor heating throughout the cottage makes it a cosy all year round – the ideal getaway from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

Find more accessible accommodation options in Suffolk, here!

Equipment Hire

Facilities & Activities for people with disabilities

Hadleigh Mobility Scooter hire

Hadleigh Mobility Centre provides Mobility Scooter and Wheelchair Hire. The scooters and wheelchairs are made with lightweight aluminium frames and can fold fully. They deliver on a daily or weekly basis, up to a thirty kilometre radius.

Address: 11 Market Pl, Hadleigh, Ipswich IP7 5DL, United Kingdom

Call: 01473 823235

Facilities & Activities for people with disabilities

British Red Cross, Suffolk

The British Red Cross provides short-term loans of medical equipment such as wheelchairs and walking frames at a number of Red Cross Centres around Suffolk.

Call the Medical Loan Service: 01473 219261

For more information, see the Medical Equipment Service listed at British Red Cross, Suffolk.

Red Cross Website | https://www.redcross.org.uk/
Red Cross Website | https://www.redcross.org.uk/

The Hearing Care Centre Ltd

The Hearing Care Centre is Suffolk’s Only Multi-Award Winning, Private, Independent Hearing Aid Audiologists.

Hearing assessments and the fitting of digital hearing instruments are the core business, but they also offer other services including custom-made earplugs, repairs, batteries, accessories, and tinnitus management. Additionally, they organise several fundraising events across Suffolk for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.

There are thirteen centres available across Suffolk.

Some of the centres include:

  • Ipswich: 691 Woodbridge Rd, Ipswich IP4 4NA, United Kingdom (+44 1473 230330)
  • Aldeburgh: Aldeburgh & District Community Hospital, Park Rd, Aldeburgh IP15 5ES, United Kingdom (+44 1728 448723)
  • Halesworth: Pear Tree Centre, Bungay Rd, Halesworth IP19 8SG, United Kingdom (+44 1986 807459)
  • Bury St Edmunds: Park Farm Business Centre, Unit 2, Bury St Edmunds IP28 6TS, United Kingdom (+44 800 096 2637)
  • Bungay: Daniel Evans and Associates, 57A Lower Olland St, Bungay NR25 1BY, United Kingdom (+44 1473 230330)
  • Sudbury: Sudbury Community Health Centre, Church Field Rd, Sudbury CO10 2DZ, United Kingdom (+44 1473 230330)
  • Woodbridge: Wickham Market Medical, Chapel Lane, Woodbridge IP13 0SB, United Kingdom (+44 1728 448723)

Find more details, here!

Hearing Care Centre Website | https://www.hearingcarecentre.co.uk/
Hearing Care Centre Website | https://www.hearingcarecentre.co.uk/

Other Resources

Free A Group of Volunteers Assisting an Elderly Person on a Black Wheelchair For Charity Stock Photo
Free A Group of Volunteers Assisting an Elderly Person on a Black Wheelchair For Charity Stock Photo

Tourism for All

Tourism for All UK is the UK Voice for Accessible Tourism. They are a national charity dedicated to making tourism welcoming to all.

Call: 0303 303 0146

Find more details, here!

Accessible Travel

Accessible Travel and Leisure offers tailor-made holiday and travel service for people with disabilities.

Call: 01452 729739

Holiday Care

Holiday Care provides holiday information for people with disabilities and their carers.

Call: 01293 773716

RNIB Holiday Service

RNIB offers holiday Information and advice for people with a visual impairment.

Call: 020 7388 1266

East Coast Mobility

ECM are suppliers of a wide range of mobility scooters and other equipment.

Call: 01502 514500


Shopmobility offers electric and manual wheelchairs, as well as scooters are available for hire.

Call: 01502 588857

Social Services

Social Services offer a variety of services for blind and partially sighted people.

Call: 01502 405000

British Red Cross

The British Red Cross provides short-term loans of medical equipment such as wheelchairs and walking frames at a number of Red Cross Centres around Suffolk.

Call: 01284 767215

For more information, visit the Medical Equipment Service, here!

Area-Specific Information

Facilities & Activities for people with disabilities
John Fielding from Norwich, UK, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

North Suffolk

The following restaurants/pubs have disabled access and disabled toilets:

  • The Sole Bay, Southwold
  • The Five Bells, Wrentham
  • The Plough, Wangford
  • The Eels Foot, Eastbridge
  • The Racehorse, Westhall
Facilities & Activities for people with disabilities
The Sole Bay Inn by Steve Daniels, CC BY-SA 2.0 | Wikimedia Commons

Lowestoft Area

For general information on disability matters and wheelchair hire in the Lowestoft area, call: 01502 511333

The following eateries are accessible for wheelchair users:

  • Lowestoft Brewers Fair – wheelchair accessible with adapted toilet facilities (01502 733073)
  • Carlton Manor – wheelchair-accessible toilets (01502 566511)
  • Potters Kiln (01502 733073)
  • East Point Pavilion Restaurant – fully accessible with adapted toilets (01502 538902)
  • Hotel Victoria – wheelchair accessible toilets and rooms (01502 574433)
  • Number One Pizza and Pancake Co. (01502 501880)
  • Thatched Roof Restaurant – no adapted toilets (01502 566310)
  • The Library, Godfrey’s Store – adapted toilet (01502 516298)
  • The Ship Inn – fully accessible with adapted toilets (01502 562592)
  • Pakefield Fishers Hotel and Restaurant – no adapted toilets (01502 569805)
  • Southwold Five Bells Inn, Wrentham – wheelchair-accessible toilets and rooms (01502 675249)
  • The Plough – adapted toilet (01502 578239)
  • The Randolph, Reydon – no adapted toilets (01502 723603)

Note that some of these also provide accommodation.

Public conveniences specially equipped to cater for wheelchair users are situated in the following locations in Lowestoft:

  • Pakefield St
  • Claremont Pier South Beach
  • Triangle Market
  • Kirkley Cliff Road
  • South of South Beach
  • East Point Pavilion Visitor Centre
  • Town Hall High St
  • 161 Rotterdam Rd
  • Oulton Broad
  • The Boulevard Kessingland
  • Near the Beach Southwold
  • Church Green, Harbour Car Park
  • North Pier Halesworth
  • Thoroughfare Car Park Bungay
  • Bus Station St Mary’s St Beccles
  • The Quay Toilets
  • Blyburgate car park

Lowestoft South Beach promenade is also recommended as is considered flat with toilet facilities.

A blue or orange badge functions as a disabled parking permit, both in a main car park or a dedicated disabled car park. Orange or blue badge holders may park their vehicle free of charge on all Council-operated car parks for up to three hours, providing a current badge is displayed and the clock is correctly set.

Facilities & Activities for people with disabilities
Beach huts, Lowestoft by Richard Law, CC BY-SA 2.0 | Wikimedia Commons


There are many things to do in Ipswich in a wheelchair, a mobility scooter, or other kinds of mobility aids.

Ipswich Shopmobility provides free hand-propelled and electric wheelchairs, as well as electric scooters to help people who have suffered temporary or permanent disablement, accidents, illness, or old age that led to limited mobility. These mobility aids are designed to help people with disabilities to shop and use other facilities in Ipswich town centre.

The Shopmobility Centre is located inside the Buttermarket Shopping Centre, on the Lower Ground level. When arriving by car use the Falcon Street entrance to the Buttermarket Car Park.

Address: Level, Buttermarket Shopping Centre, LG, Ipswich IP1 1DT, United Kingdom

Opening Times: Monday to Saturday 10 AM to 4 PM (Closed Sundays and Bank Holidays)

Call: 01473 222225

Find more information, here!

Facilities & Activities for people with disabilities

Bury St Edmunds Area

The Theatre Royal offers accessibility for people with disabilities or impaired movement.

A signal from the induction loop should be received from every seat in the auditorium. There are four wheelchair-accessible seats available in Dress Circle Boxes F, H, K and M. Visitors are advised to book online in advance for these seats. In the unlikely event that they are not available, the theatre staff will do their best to accommodate you elsewhere in the Theatre, or on an alternative date.

On arrival, all wheelchair users are kindly requested to make themselves known to the duty manager who will be pleased to help them to their seat. There is ramped access to both foyers and a ground-floor adapted toilet in the Theatre foyer. Please note that there is no level access to the Pit and the Upper Circle seating areas. All Dress Circle boxes have level access. Guide Dogs are admitted to Dress Circle Boxes. To receive any of the theatre’s publications in a large print format please contact the Box Office.

There are British Sign Language Interpreted Events at the Colchester and Ipswich Museums.

The Colchester and Ipswich Museums Service strives to make its museums, exhibitions and events accessible to all kinds of visitors and the provision of British Sign Language Interpretation at many of its summer events is a testament to this aim. The museum service is a leader in the field of disability access and in 2007 was awarded a commendation for excellence at the Jodi Awards for ‘Excellence in Accessible Technology’.

Facilities & Activities for people with disabilities
Abbeygate Street, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk by Christine Matthews, CC BY-SA 2.0 | Wikimedia Commons

How was your stay in Suffolk? Please send all comments and reviews to [email protected].

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