An accessible day out in Southend-on-Sea! Sociability Mapping Day
Aug 15, 2022
It’s summertime and that means we’ve only got one thing on our minds - the beach! So at the end of June we decided to pack it all in for a day and head to the coast to check out how accessible the seaside town of Southend is (just an hour outside of London from Liverpool Street station, FYI!)
Whilst there we teamed up with Essex local, Nina Tame, who directed us to Caddies! Now, if you ask me, there are few things more British than a game of crazy golf at the coast (followed by fish & chips and a 99 of course!) but traditional courses aren’t always known for their accessibility meaning that everyone doesn’t always get to join in the fun. However, Caddies is looking to change that!
Nina and Jennie!
Caddies is an indoor course (perfect for the British weather!) located on London Road, just over half a mile from the seafront itself and about a 5-10 minute walk from the main train station of Southend Victoria, with links into central London. From the street there is flat access into a small but wide pathed lobby area, with a staircase and lift leading up to the main site on the second floor, which has a bar and restaurant alongside the golf course.
The space is full of fun, colourfully decorated throughout and the staff were lovely - they even let us have a go at a few of the holes to test just how accessible it really was! The beauty of the course is that access is totally flat - the paths double up as the course itself, and so all players can easily move from hole to hole without having to worry about obstructions or any steps. This thoughtful design is reflected in the ethos of the venue, which tries to be as inclusive as possible. This includes the toilets which consist of individual cubicles and are fully gender neutral!
Caddies mini golf
Whilst we can’t speak for the food and drinks (sadly, although we couldn’t turn down a go at the golf, we were still working!), it looked great and the restaurant and bar area are also designed with wide pathways and plenty of space between tables to help ensure easy movement throughout the venue. We were very impressed with the care that had clearly gone into the design of this space, which just goes to show that with a little bit of thought and consideration it is possible to create fun, inclusive and accessible spaces which ensure that everyone can have a good time at the coast!
Seating in Caddies
*Please note: it is important to highlight that given the nature of this venue, the space can be loud, particularly at peak times including evenings and the weekend. The decor throughout is also playful, bright and colourful which may prove overwhelming for some with specific sensory needs.
If you like the sound of our mapping days and would like to come along, then be sure to check out our Instagram page for updates on the planned mapping days for the rest of 2022 to see if we’ll be heading your way. If you think we need to add somewhere to our location list - let us know!