Companionship Trips in Brighton & Hove
We’ve noticed Darren, our nature-loving CareGiver, delighting our Kingsway Care Clients with little local adventures. So, I asked him to share his top three favourite accessible places to visit on our beautiful Sussex coast. He came back with ten great ideas to get outside, all with covid safety in mind.
Client Happiness & Wellbeing
Whilst Kingsway Care primarily support Clients in their homes, we love to encourage our CareGivers to take them out and enjoy our vibrant local community too. We all know fresh air, physical activity, and social interaction boost our happiness and wellbeing. Sometimes we just need new places to go and a little support and encouragement to get out more. Our friendly CareGivers are here to help you do just that.
Darren’s Top Tips
After many years being a CareGiver, all of Darren’s tried and tested personal recommendations have been chosen for accessibility and comfort in mind.
For seven years, he was also a volunteer organiser for Healthwalks, an initiative to encourage people of all abilities to get out more. His top tips to look for when planning a trip to brighten up a Client’s day are:
- nearby parking
- clear paths / wheelchair-friendly
- cafes / refreshments available
- ample seating
- toilet facilities
- covid safety / outdoors
- free or low-cost
How much do trips cost?
Clients are in full control of how much to spend on trips and refreshments. Spend limits are discussed during initial contractual conversations and set out in writing. Mileage is billed back to the Client and costs should be agreed upon in advance of stepping out.
As you can see in Darren’s beautiful photos, Molly is his most frequent companion. He tells me he usually gives her a couple of options to decide where to go.
We do support many other Clients to get out and about but respect their camera shyness and privacy.
1. Butterfly Gardens at Middleton Common Farm, Ditchling
If you want to escape cold and wet winter weather, then Darren’s inspired choice is to head over to the warm tropical butterfly oasis in Ditchling. Darren took Molly here between Christmas and New Year and she loved it. It was free entry for Darren when he flashed his Carer’s card too.
He says refreshments are limited to a coffee machine and there is only outside seating and a portaloo. BUT he did spy that the garden centre 200 meters away had two for one offers in their cafe. Two bangers and mash would be £12.
Visit the Butterlfy Gardens facebook page for more information https://www.facebook.com/MiddletonButterflyGardens/
2. St Ann’s Well Gardens
Darren’s top tip
take some peanuts for the squirrels, jays, and pigeons and seeds, and mealworms for the robins and songbirds. They will be eating out of your hand!
St Ann’s Well Gardens is a wonderful family park with lots of trees, wildlife and a playground. Darren advises parking on Nizell’s Avenue or Summerhill Road. The paths in the park are in good condition and suitable for wheelchairs. There is a scented garden for the visually impaired and a lovely pond. Plenty of benches are availablle to sit and watch the dog walkers, tennis players, and wildlife.
Darren tells me the weekly Healthwalk for people with limited mobility or learning disabilities meet at the cafe here every Thursday at 11am.
He says the cafe is reasonably priced with indoor and outdoor seating, great cakes and a good selection of food plus a disabled toilet.
Find out more about St Ann’s Well Gardens here
3. Hove Park
Hove Park is a beautiful 40 acre Park in Hove with a wide smooth path that is circular and one mile in length with other paths to take shortcuts.
Darren says you can watch people play tennis and football plus there are lots of friendly dogs being walked to say hello to. He particularly loves the cafe with amazing cakes, coffee, light meals, and snack options too. The tables are mostly outside with a few undercover.
There is free parking at the nearby Lidl or paid parking around the park.
Find out more about Hove Park here
4. Carat’s Cafe
Darren loves this basic beachside ‘egg & chips’ greasy spoon cafe. It has plenty of indoor seating (with Covid restrictions) and outdoor seating. It’s located just behind the port near Hove Lagoon with a lovely walk along the promenade out to the end of Shoreham Harbour.
Paid car parking is available. Visit the Carats Cafe website here
5. Saltdean Undercliff
Darren advises parking up at the free Saltdean library car park and then walking under the coast road onto the undercliff walkway. He recommends walking for a couple of miles to Ovingdean Cafe or a further 1.5 miles to reach the cafes and pubs in Rottingdean.
For more information visit here Saltdean Undercliff
6. Brighton Marina
Here, there is a lovely boardwalk in the marina for a stroll and lots of pubs, cafes, and restaurants to sit and watch the world go by and shops to browse around. This is also where to catch the Volks Electric Railway towards the pier, play crazy golf or go to the cinema. Darren’s tip is to pop into Asda to buy some picnic food.
There is free parking and if you park on the fourth floor you can use the walkway to reach the restaurants without trying to find a lift. For more information please visit https://www.brightonmarina.co.uk
7. Washbrooks Farm, Hurstpierpoint
Darren loves taking Clients to this petting farm with sheep, pigs, llamas, donkeys, mules, and working horses. It’s open seven days a week, with no need to book in advance. There is a tearoom with cakes and meals plus wheelchair-friendly paths. The entrance fee is free for carers with ID cards.
For more information visit https://washbrooks.co.uk
8. Dyke Road Park
The park has well-maintained paths that wind around the ornamental gardens. The cafe is basic with hot drinks, cakes, and snacks but it does have sea views. Darren’s top tip is to pop into the free Booth Museum across the road to see the private natural history collection of animals, fossils, and minerals.
Visit here for more information
9. Kipling Gardens Rottingdean
The gardens are named after the famous resident. Rudyard Kipling. The pretty walled garden is a safe sheltered walk near the village duck pond. In the village of Rottingdean, there are lots of cafes and pubs to choose from and there is paid parking in the nearby Tesco.
Visit here for more information
10. Brighton Seafront
Darren confirms it is free to park on the seafront with your carer’s badge so why not take a stroll along the promenade. There are so many little shops and art galleries, plus cafes, bars, and restaurants to enjoy. He says just watch out for the seagulls if you do sit down to eat!
Visit here for more information
If you or someone you love would benefit from regular companionship, please contact our friendly team for a chat.
Telephone: 01273 077444 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org