The UK has a wonderful variety of birds, and diverse range of habitats to explore. From remote wetlands and seabird colonies to lakes and forests, there is so much for bird lovers to enjoy across Britain.
Even if you’re not the biggest twitcher in the world, these are still wonderful places to discover – peaceful getaways that give you a chance to reconnect with nature. There are also plenty of places to see birds that are accessible to all, too.
Here, we pick out just a few, for Quingo Scooters’ guide to the best accessible getaways for UK birdwatchers.
1. Siskin’s Cafe, Whinlatter Forest, Cumbria
What could be better than watching hundreds of birds feeding only a few feet away? How about doing it from the comfort of the excellent Siskin’s Cafe in Whinlatter Forest, which has an array of bird feeders right outside the window?
The cafe and visitor centre at Whinlatter is accessible, and if you want to explore a bit more of the forest itself, there is also an accessible path from Revelin Moss car park.
If you’ve got any questions about your visit the team recommend you give them a call on 017687 78469 or email them at [email protected].
2. Bempton Cliffs, Yorkshire
With a colony of over half a million sea birds here at Bempton Cliffs (including puffins!), this is a spectacular place to watch our feathered friends. Despite its remote location, it is remarkably accessible, with level paths and wheelchair accessible viewpoints.
As well as puffins, you’ll also definitely see gannets – it is the largest (mainland) colony of these beautiful birds in the UK. There’s a car park nearby, with seven dedicated Blue Badge spaces, as well as an accessible toilet in the Seabird Centre.
3. Meeth Quarry, Devon
The Devon Wildlife Trust look after this beautiful 150 hectare reserve, and it has a fascinating array of wildlife to see. For birdwatchers in particular, you’ll have the chance to spot birds like the handsome Goosander as well as tree pipits and sky larks.
It’s not all about the birds here however, as it is also home to an incredible variety of butterflies. Come here on a warm summer day and see how many you can count.
The reserve is also very accessible for those of us who use a mobility scooter. If you want to head out on a trail then just follow the red markers for a fully accessible route.
4. Montrose Basin
Over 80,000 migratory birds call the Montrose Basin on the River Esk in Scotland their (temporary) home over winter. It is a spectacular spot to watch sea birds and waterfowl, and if you’re lucky you should see everything from sedge warblers to arctic terns.
It’s a great place to visit at any time of the year, but the summer months are the best time to see the sand martins. The car park has two accessible Blue Badge space, and the visitor centre is also fully accessible. The Tayock trail takes you to a hide, and is also fully accessible to mobility scooters.
5. The Welsh Wildlife Centre
There are a few places to see osprey in the UK, but the Welsh Wildlife Centre is one of our favourites. It is fully accessible to all and has a great trail to explore that takes you around the whole reserve. There is accessible parking (and toilets) too.
The Teifi Marsh reserve here is packed with wildlife, and you should see Widgeon, Water Rail and Teal. There is also a good chance of seeing Peregrine Falcons here too, as they frequently hunt over the marsh.
As well as the abundant birdlife, there are also otters, red deer and water buffalo. Yes, water buffalo – they are often used to graze the land here!
We hope these suggestions inspire you to head out there and visit some of these wonderful wild places. If you’re looking for more general information on accessible bird watching, we also recommend you take a look at the following sites.
Birding for All is a charity dedicated to improving access, and there are lots of useful resources on their site. The Wildlife Trusts have an extensive list of accessible nature reserves here, and the RSPB also have lots of helpful information for birders with different mobility needs on their own page here.
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