Our new Changing Places facility

Changing Places facility at Fell Foot
Published : 18 Jul 2019 Last update : 24 Jul 2019

Previously unseen buildings at Fell Foot Park have opened to the public for the first time this summer and include a brand new Changing Places facility for visitors with complex care needs.

Five Grade II listed boathouses on the shoreline of Windermere have been restored as part of a 3-year National Heritage Lottery Fund project. One boathouse incorporates the first Changing Places facility in the Lake District National Park – a fully accessible changing room with a height adjustable bench and hoist for those with complex care needs.

" Through disability, age or infirmity some people require additional toilet provision. Without it their lives, and the lives of their families and carers, are severely restricted. They are left with the choice between limiting the time they spend ‘out and about’ or suffering the indignity of being changed on a toilet floor. That’s why we need Changing Places."
- Will Clark, Councillor at Cumbria County Council

The central boathouses have had level access installed throughout, and inside the first, an animated film shows 19th-century life on Windermere during its heyday of lake festivals and regattas. Fell Foot’s owner at that time, Colonel Ridehalgh, was heavily involved in this social scene and visitors can also see the original winch which pulled his steam yacht, Britannia, out of the lake. Other elements of this 3-year project include restoration of the Pinetum (the park’s collection of specimen trees), newly planted flower meadows, renovation of the café and viewing platform, and the complete refurbishment of the old Gas House, originally used to power the park’s grounds and (since demolished) Victorian villa.

A loo with a view! Looking out onto Windermere as you exit the Changing Places facility
View out onto Windermere from the boathouse
A loo with a view! Looking out onto Windermere as you exit the Changing Places facility