Lauren & Jon's UK Roadtrip!By Lauren Romero -
Here are scores for the U.K. locations we visited:
Chatsworth and the Peak District: 4/5
Chatsworth House was beautiful inside. We happened to visit during an exhibit displaying the Cavendish family’s fashions, which was an added bonus. The house staff were very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. They helped us with back routes to the lift, meaning every level was accessible to us. Sometimes we saw historical artifacts that other visitors could not have seen. The Chatsworth grounds were mostly accessible. If possible we recommend walking to the end of the Emperor Fountain in order to have the famous long view of the house. We unintentionally visited Chatsworth during the weekend of the annual county fair. This caused some parking and access problems, so be sure to look up any possible events when planning a visit. After Chatsworth, we drove through the scenic Peak District to the aptly named Surprise View Car Park, where there was a very close entrance to a dirt trail that winds through the field of blooming heather. We had lovely views of the purple flowers and surrounding green pastures.
Central Wales: 4/5
We drove to Central Wales to see the Mach Loop, so named because the RAF practices low-level flying through Snowdonia’s valleys around Machynlleth. We stopped at the Bwlch car park halfway between Dolgellau and Dinas Mawddwy. Jon stayed in the car park while Lauren climbed up the hill for a good view. Unfortunately, fog rolled in and the flying was cancelled, but the scenic Welsh countryside more than made up for this.
Our trip took a turn for the worse when Jon had a nasty fall in our hotel room in Glasgow. Instead of sightseeing, we ended up at both New Victoria Hospital and Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. (Only after getting back did we learn that Jon endured the rest of our trip with a broken spine!) Despite the injury we still managed to meet up with a friend in the hotel bar. Jon was thrilled to chat with a Glaswegian, so our time in Scotland was not wasted.
Amsterdam Airport: 5/5
On our way to Bergen we had a layover in Amsterdam. We highly recommend both Schiphol and the airline KLM. All employees recognized that a massive airport causes extra challenges to disabled travelers. A cart picked us up, took us through the faster passport control, and dropped us off at a disabled lounge for our layover. After another cart took us to the next gate, we learned that the plane was too small for the jet bridge. Employees escorted us down to the tarmac and a van drove us to the plane. They strapped Jon in a special stair-climbing chair to get him into the plane. It went as smoothly as we hoped.