Simply Emma: Caravan holidays are back on agenda

Emma Muldoon is delighted that caravan holidays are back on the agenda after her recent trip to Blairgowrie proved to be a success
Emma Muldoon is delighted that caravan holidays are back on the agenda after her recent trip to Blairgowrie proved to be a success

As a child, I loved going on caravan holidays. There was always a sense of adventure as the car got packed up with a week’s worth of belongings and food. My sisters and I would each stuff a backpack full of snacks and things to keep us entertained during the car journey.

Once we got to the caravan that’s when the fun began. There was always something to do and most likely a beach nearby. The arcades were one of my favourites. A few weeks ago I got to relive those childhood memories with a weekend stay at Blairgowrie Holiday Park. This time was a little different though as it was our first time in a wheelchair accessible caravan.

Even though I had seen a few photos of the caravan beforehand, I was still a little nervous about how wheelchair accessible it would actually be. I had visions of being stuck in the corner of the livingroom and not having enough space for my wheelchair. However, there was no need to worry as the caravan was perfectly accessible for me and I had no problems getting in and moving around inside the caravan.

We filled our time by playing games, watching movies and playing in the park, which was so handy being right outside our caravan.

We enjoyed a day trip into Dundee where we got to see 180 colourful giant penguins at Maggie’s Penguin Parade Farewell Gathering in Slessor Gardens before they were auctioned for charity.

Unfortunately, yet unsurprisingly there was a massive queue along the street for admission into the new V&A museum that had just opened its doors, so we gave that a miss.

It’s made me realise that there are suitable wheelchair accessible caravans available making it possible to enjoy caravan holidays again. It was a great break away and just what we needed before going to Manchester for a few days.

As you may know, we love travelling and going to gigs so whenever we can combine the two together we jump at the chance. We booked tickets to see one of our new favourite bands, Pale Waves at O2 Ritz Manchester and included a two-night stay at the lovely Holiday Inn in the city centre.

Everything was perfect from the journey down, the hotel, the weather to the food. The gig not so much. We have been to the O2 Ritz before where the accessibility and the side-on view of the stage were really good.

This time our view from the access area was non-existent as the position of the band’s speakers completely blocked the entire view of the stage. I couldn’t see the band at all.

The stewards and the technical manager tried to move the speakers a little bit during the show, but it didn’t help.

We drove four and a half hours to Manchester and in the end, we were left disappointed.

At the end of the show, we spoke to the venue manager and made him aware of the situation and how it affected our night. I would hate for other disabled gig-goers to attend a show at this venue and face the same barriers. Barriers that are easily avoidable with better communication between the production crew and venue.

The band’s singer also contacted me to apologise for what happened and said if she had known at the time, she would have sorted it instantly. However, she did offer us tickets to any other show next time around and promised to make sure nothing like that happens again at their shows.