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broken foot

We are heading to England Aug 11 and my niece broke her foot last week. She will be in a walking cast/boot.. I am rethinking cornwall as a destination since most places seem to have stairs and I suspect it might be challenging for her to get around to the sites. (Please tell me if this is not the case). Also I was not sure about going to Amsterdam (another option) since we had planned on riding bikes. Any one have any suggestions?

I thought about just extending time in London and maybe taking day trips. Was thinking about Cardiff also.

Posted by
1868 posts

It seems to me that she would probably not wish to do too much walking. You could argue that London might not be such a good option as it might involve a fair bit of walking about. On the other hand, hiring a car and just driving about areas such as the Cotswolds/ Wales or the south-west - and nipping out of the car to take photos, might be a better option.

Cornwall could still be considered. You will find that many of the small fishing villages such as Polperro, have car parks as you enter them. From these car parks, you walk into the narrow streets of the villages. I don't know what places you actually plan to stay so can't comment on access. (The Travelodge chain can usually provide ground floor accommodation or they have lifts - www.travelodge.co.uk). If choosing Travelodge (or other accommodation), try and ensure that they have free parking outside so that it would be just a few steps for niece to get into building. Downtown hotels usually do not have free parking adjoining their premises.

In the south-west, the A39 between Minehead & Lynmouth would offer a scenic drive without leaving the car. (You could visit the thatched village of Selworthy). Dunster is also worth a visit in this area.

Regarding Cardiff: the city centre is compact, flat & largely traffic free in the main shopping area. The exterior of the Castle can be easily viewed but the Norman keep in the middle would be impossible to climb with the foot broken. Likewise for the other 3 castles that are within 7 miles of the city centre = Castell Coch, Caerphilly Castle & St.Fagans. The first 2 can be easily viewed from outside but inside, they have steep spiral staircases. St.Fagans Castle is set within extensive grounds - which have ornamental gardens & buildings such as barns, farmhouses etc.from different parts of Wales. They have a 'road train' to move people about who have limited mobility. However, to see this place properly, you really need to do a fair bit of walking - and one part has many steep steps up and down a little valley - though the road train has a way around the steps.

Cardiff Bay - 1 mile S of the city centre would be relatively easy if she can walk for about 10 minutes from the car park to the waterfront - which is all on the level.

Also consider driving around Wales - where many roads are scenic - so you could all enjoy the scenery without too much walking. You could, for example, drive to Rhosilli at the western tip of the Gower peninsula (1 hour 35 minutes driving time W of Cardiff). Here, she would still be able to get out of the car and walk a short distance to view the spectacular beach. At nearby Port Eynon & Oxwich, the car parks are almost right on the beach. However, it is the roads in north west Wales which are the most scenic. (The road from Cardiff to Swansea is not particularly scenic and does pass the steelworks town of Port Talbot). In southern Wales,the road up the Wye Valley ( A466) via Tintern (ruined Abbey - easily viewed from car park), is scenic as is much of the A40 in the Brecon area & the A470 running up the middle of Wales.

It might be prudent, if touring about, to know the locations of the main supermarket chains who have free parking and ground floor toilets suitable for 'disabled' access. They are Tesco, Asda (Walmart), Sainsbury's & Morrison.

Posted by
914 posts

Other practical things to consider:
A) Where you're staying: lift available or stairs only?
B) Shower or tub combo? Many tubs in England have higher and thinner sidewalls than American Standard tubs. Is this going to be an issue? Is she going to need help or can she stand on her own or find a work-around?
C) Blood flow, circulation and ability to prop foot up periodically on the plane
D) Distance from gate thru airport to immigration.
Is she on crutches or just in a boot? The foot and healing are top priority so it's definitely going to have to be an easy-going trip. Have been there/done that with a leg break. Good luck to her!

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you both for the thoughtful replies and good suggestions. I am going to rethink Cornwall based upon your suggestions. Also do you have any scenic rail trips you would recommend or any additional itinerary pointers. We have 3 nights and then need to be at heathrow the 4th night for an very early flight.

Posted by
565 posts

Yeowtch! She's still up for traveling? Her foot is going to be HUGE with all the moving around. Please make sure she still wants to go. Even with a walking boot, it's still a mighty challenge to get around and the swelling will probably be nearly unbearable at times.

Also, please be sure she can fly. Some airlines will not allow a passenger to fly with a cast, even with a doctor's note. Be sure she has some anticoagulants and lots of pillows on the plane. Her health needs to come first.

Posted by
5470 posts

Your main issue may be your airline. I would have thought that chances are they will not let her fly as she will not be mobile in case of an emergency. I was on a flight recently where they would not let a passenger travel home with a broken nose which was strapped up.

London and Cardiff will be difficult but not impossible to get around. Cardiff isn't the most exciting of UK destinations. Buses have easier access than the tube. Most attractions and shopping centres will have wheelchairs that can be borrowed. You cannot park in disabled parking bays without a blue badge, which you will not be entitled to.

You are travelling peak season so finding accommodation will be more of a challenge.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you all for your concern. We will definitely put her health first. Doctor seemed to think she would be fine and airline has accommodated her in bulk head seat so she can put her foot up. I am going to play it by ear and gear up or down based upon how she feels at the time.

Posted by
26 posts

Let me put in a plug for Shopmobility-- http://www.shopmobility.org.uk This is available nationwide, often in a centrally located car park, and can be used by visitors for a small fee. Your niece may like to use this in towns you visit. I have mobility issues for distances and was so impressed by the helpfulness of this "scheme" in Bath, Stratford-upon-Avon, and York. It meant I could take walking tours with a group and keep up, pain free.

Posted by
2 posts

I hope that you should enjoy your tour wherever you go but you should take care. Sad to hear the breaking of foot.