As much as I love some winter warmth abroad, I do love a British cottage. To come into a warm room from a crisp country st/roll is a beautiful feeling. So when the guys at Wallops Wood in Hampshire invited us down this November, there was no hesitation.
After packing the suitcase and food, the drive took 3 hours from Cambridgeshire. Darkness fell before arriving, but the narrow windy country roads were exhilarating. Sat nav directed us straight to the destination. The very helpful team had prepped us on the correct postcode for sat nav.
The gravel car park was broken by a fully accessible pathway. The key fob opened with the correct pin number, and the door swung to reveal a glorious open-plan cottage. Named Teal.
It had 3 bedrooms, a large lounge and dining area, leading into the kitchen. The accessible bedroom had space under the bed for the hoist, with good room for manoeuvring my chair. This opened into the accessible bathroom, which had both a bath and wetroom. Fantastic.
Despite knowing that loads of mobility equipment was available, I brought my own shower chair and hoist with me. I find other shower chairs uncomfortable, and the hoist was at an extra cost. So my molift hoist, with its fancy soft travel case always does the job.
Having travelled umpteen times, one can get complacent. I was sure everything had been packed. Although there is always so much to remember. Unfortunately I’d forgotten the battery and hand control for the molift. Meaning there was no way to operate it.
At 7.30pm it was too late to rent the one nearby. So Kasia managed to take my armrest off my wheelchair, and slide me on the bed to sleep. Thank God I’d already showered and been on the toilet. At 8.30am Solent mobility called back to say they could help.
By 10.30 all was ok and I had a hoist for the stay 🙂
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Once I was up and ready, we had a delicious breakfast overlooking the beautiful scenery. The view stretched to the South coast and apparently the Isle of White is visible on a clear day.
As much as the cottage was awesome, we needed some fresh air. Not wanting to go in the car, Liz who works there advised a route that would take 45 minutes or so. Coat and gloves on. Off we went.
The route was very accessible. It was more of a narrow road than a foot path. However there were few cars, and those that appeared were slow and cautious. Even the rain didn’t stop us having a good time. Taking photos. Chatting. Relaxing in the fresh air.
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On our second and last full day, we took the car out. We knew that the stunning New Forest and fun South coast were only 30/40 minutes away. However we’d been to both recently, and discovered the South Downs was even closer.
We parked at the Queen Elizabeth Country Park. The visitor centre lady showed us a map and route. Through no fault of their own, it was tough. When I get cold I struggle to balance and drive. The route was a bit bumpy in places. Then we took a wrong turn! Luckily we found out from a kind BMXer and avoided total disaster.
Despite the less accessible route, I’m glad we did it. It was a fresh crisp type of cold. The scenery over the downs was breathtaking. Plus that feeling of achievement when we returned was like no other.
Afterwards we ate a nearby pub recommended by the centre. The warm cup of tea, and fish and chips was a just reward.
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So you may not fancy the blue route at Queen Elizabeth Country Park. That’s understandable. But you’ll definitely love the cottage and the general area. They’re even building an accessible swimming pool at the moment. So it’s only going to get better.
If you like breaks in the UK, want to have friends and family join you, and explore this part of the world – Wallops Wood is the perfect choice.
We really enjoyed the views and walks. But most of all we loved the comfort and relaxation in the cottage. We even tore through 3 of the Harry Potter box set. One per evening. Which was great with dinner and a wind down.
Let me know if you have any questions and do check out their website anytime https://www.
See you soon.
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