During Easter weekend I visited Homelands for a lovely weekend away with my mum, our friend, my helper/friend Linzi and her girlfriend Jade. Homelands has four houses available that offer accessible self-catering accommodation to visitors coming to the area. I have previously seen and heard about Homelands at various events that I have attended but, hadn’t had a chance to see it for myself yet until April for 3 nights.
On this rare occasion I was the first one to arrive on the Friday afternoon and because my mum had booked our stay, I wasn’t sure how to get access to the accommodation, or even what house we were staying in. So, Linzi and I headed to the Homelands office to collect our keys and were greeted by a lovely staff member who showed us to the Drummochy house and gave us the key from the safe lock at the side of the front door. They safe lock was at a perfect hight for a wheelchair user. She gave us a tour of the house and then left us to unpack. There are accessible parking spaces available for each house, the Drummochy house is located at the end of the driveway which meant it was much easier for Linzi to unpack my thousands of bags because my car was able to be parked right out the front door.
I’m not much help when unpacking (except getting in the way) so whilst everyone was getting unpacked and organised, I enjoyed the beautiful scenery overlooking Largo Bay from the Homelands gardens. The garden is shared between all houses and the patio areas are partitioned to provide privacy. There is a table that seats eight people and a small stone BBQ that can be used. It was a great area to eat, drink and socialise all weekend.
After everything was unpacked, we decorated the house for Easter and then enjoyed a glass of prosecco outside in the sunshine whilst planning what we were going to get up to the rest of the weekend. We organised to visit Eden Mill in St Andrews on Saturday for a gin tasting experience which was amazing, you can find my Euan’s Guide review. Before we ate our tea on the Friday night though I got into my comfy pyjamas and had a stretch out on my bed.
The Drummochy house sleeps eight people and has four bedrooms in total that all have two single beds in each. Two of the bedrooms are located on the second level of the house, as well as a shared bathroom for both rooms. Unfortunately, I couldn’t see what these rooms were like because I can’t get up the stairs but, when we first arrived and were given the tour, Linzi videoed the rooms on my phone. This tour snippet is included in my YouTube video of our stay.
Both of the bedrooms on the ground floor are accessible with a H shaped ceiling tracking hoist and one electric profiling bed in each which is great if two visitors who require these facilities both stay but, want to have their own space. Every house has at least one bedroom with a hoist and profiling bed. We had to move the standard bed over against the wall in my bedroom and take away the armchair to make more room but, apart from that it was quite spacious. The bedrooms also ticked all the boxes for me with having plugs located beside the bed for my medical equipment and plenty of storage for my supplies. There was also a really handy dressing table with a mirror that I could get my make-up done at and I was able to lay my things out to see easily. I would say the only thing I was unsure about was the mattress on the bed I slept in because it was an AirFlow mattress. This type of mattress has ripples within it that have air blown into them simultaneously, it kind of made me feel a little seasick to begin with. I loved having a door in my bedroom leading out into the garden, although we couldn’t get it locked properly so I was a bit wary of it during the night.
On the ground floor there is an accessible toilet and a wet room that is shared between the two accessible bedrooms. Although there’s a ceiling tracking hoist in the wet room, it isn’t connected to any other room. Having an en-suite would be easier to avoid as many transfers as possible and to provide more privacy but, it is manageable as the wet room is located straight across the corridor from both accessible bedrooms. The wet room is very spacious, and everything is placed out enough to move around in a wheelchair. We asked for a shower chair to be available for me during our stay, which it was. Usually due to my body size I can’t use a shower chair except from my own, and this stay wasn’t any different. With the warm weather though my hair definitely needed washed and as always, we needed to improvise so, with a vacuum bag and being careful how to hold the shower head as far away from mechanics as possible. It was definitely suitable, and I will be keeping it in mind for future trips.
There was no emergency red cord in any of the toilets within the Drummochy house at Homelands. Now I don’t need these because I always have a helper with me but, I do know about the importance of them and always put a Euan’s Guide red cord card on them when I see one. I thought it was strange there wasn’t one but, it got pointed out to me it’s maybe to make it more homely. I’ve never stayed anywhere accessible before that doesn’t have one and I do think they’re need incase someone falls.
Apart from our last night at Homelands when Linzi, Jade and I had a movie night in my room, we watched Paddington Bear, I only really slept in my room. As I mentioned we did mainly socialise in the garden because we had beautiful weather but, in the evening when it got a little colder, we sat at the dining table and played card games. The kitchen, dining and living-room area was all open planned and very spacious. This meant that I was able easily move around without having to ask anyone to open doors for me. The kitchen is very spacious however, it wasn’t adapted for wheelchair users. I stayed at Clobber Farm in Glasgow last year that had a height adjustable kitchen and kitchen facilities at a great height. I mean I don’t do any cooking due to my muscle weakness so, it doesn’t really make much of a difference to me.
The only problem I would say I had in the living-room area was that there was a rug on the floor which I kept getting my wheels stuck on. If you are a wheelchair user yourself or know someone who uses a wheelchair then you’ll know, wheels and rugs do not mix. We eventually ended up folding it up by Saturday night.
Overall, I would definitely recommend organising a visit to Homelands in Fife as it is an amazing place to stay with friends and family. There’s lots to do nearby, a folder was available in the house with local information, and there was a lovely walk down to beach. We had an amazing 3 nights and because Fife is so close to my hometown of Dundee the rest of my family were able to come over to celebrate Easter Sunday.
Unfortunately, though Homelands book out very far in advance because the facilities are extremely popular, this just demonstrates how much more accessible accommodation is needed.