Accessible glamping in Yorkshire and Cumbria

Wheelchair user Karla Baker tries out one of the fully accessible glamping units at Cayton Village Club site in North Yorkshire which has been designed specifically to be suitable for people with disabilities to use with wheelchair ramps, spacious interior and adapted kitchen, wetroom and sleeping facilities.

Whether you stay in a tent, caravan, campervan or motorhome, Club sites are designed to be enjoyed by everyone. But as a wheelchair user and travel enthusiast, I was thrilled to learn that Experience Freedom (the alternative accommodation provider from the Caravan and Motorhome Club) has expanded its options for guests even further by introducing universally accessible glamping units at two Club sites – Cayton Village in North Yorkshire and Cumbria’s Troutbeck Head. 

Situated just one mile from the beach at Cayton Bay on Yorkshire’s picturesque coastline near Scarborough, Cayton Village underwent major redevelopment in 2020. This modern site now boasts beautifully- manicured pitches with a fresh road layout, two brand new shower blocks (including impressive accessible facilities), a new reception and shop, electric vehicle charging points, an enclosed playground, a games room and a multi-use sports court – perfect for all the family. 

Nestled in the impressive glamping area, the two new universally accessible units – one pod (sleeping two adults and one child) and one cabin (designed for three adults and two children) – are both designed and manufactured by experts in the field, Omni Access. I am familiar with this company as I have done some work on its digital media, so I couldn’t wait to try out Experience Freedom’s offering.

The location of the accommodation has been carefully thought out. The units are conveniently sited close to the site entrance and each has its own designated parking bay. A short asphalt path leads to an entry ramp, making wheelchair access from your vehicle straightforward. The units have been positioned so that their spacious decking makes the most of the sun, while large canopies create shelter so you can enjoy the outdoors in all weather – that’s what I think camping is all about.  

Once you have entered via the wide door, even the smaller pod feels spacious, the tall, arched ceiling and large windows letting in a huge amount of light. It’s not just an illusion though – I was able to turn around anywhere in my large electric wheelchair (there are generous 1.5m turning circles where you need them). Top marks. 

The main living space is comfortably equipped with two remote-controlled orthopaedic beds, a small futon, a dining table and chairs, underfloor heating and plenty of storage for luggage. 

There are no hoists, but there is ample space if you want to bring your own, and there is room under the beds for hoist legs when transferring to and from a wheelchair. 

One of the main appeals of glamping here is that (unlike with traditional tent camping) you have everything you need to hand, and that includes access to a kitchen and wetroom. Both the smaller pod and larger cabin boast a compact kitchen, including a reduced-height worktop, fridge, microwave, two-burner hob and a sink with space for your wheelchair beneath it. 

There is another sink (again with space for a wheelchair) in the sizeable wetroom, as well as an adjustable-angle mirror, a fold-out shower seat and grab handles in all the appropriate places. 

From the larger fixtures and fittings to smaller things such as remote-controlled blinds, an easy-pour kettle, vibrating fire alarm pad for people with hearing difficulties and an adjustable-height barbecue station, it’s clear that every little detail has been carefully considered. 

And although the pod and cabin are designed with people who have access needs in mind, the additional features are sleek and discreet, adding a level of luxury that anyone can enjoy. 

I think they make a great addition to the Club’s fantastic network of sites, giving people of any age and ability the opportunity to enjoy a touring holiday.