In today’s technology dominated world, it seems that less and less people are finding the time to get good quality time outside. It’s important to get outside and soak up everything that nature has to offer. However, as a wheelchair user, it’s not always easy to access or even complete the walks with challenging surfaces, steps or obstructions becoming slight obstacles. But, with rambling becoming a popular new trend we feel that despite popular belief, a disability should not prevent you from getting out and enjoying the great walks that Britain has to offer.
Bute Park (Cardiff):
Located slap bang in the middle of the Capital of Wales Bute park offers 56 hectares of picturesque woodland and greenery along with great views of the river Taf to enjoy.
Bute park also boasts plenty of additional activities to enjoy; an education centre, The remains of Blackfriars Friary (A Scheduled Ancient Monument), the famous Animal wall, sculpture trails as well as easy access to the historic Cardiff Castle.
If you fancy a bite to eat, Bute offers a summerhouse Kiosk that provides refreshment and disabled toilets in a picturesque setting next to the river Taf.
Bute contains 2 miles of well-maintained Tarmac pathways and is flat, making it ideal for most wheelchairs. The grass is well kept and shouldn’t provide much of a problem to most wheelchair users
Free disabled Car Park on North Road.
University Park (Oxford)
Located close to the centre of the ‘City of Dreaming Spires’, Oxford University parks offer the chance for a relaxing walk to escape the hustle and bustle of the city
Travel around the beautifully kept parks and enjoy the pond and the views of people punting along the River Cherwell. Or depending on the season catch a University game of Cricket, Tennis or Rugby.
University parks are flat, with solid pathways however these can gravelly and uneven in some places. This makes it harder to gain traction on for some wheelchairs. The Bridge over the River Cherwell is at a very steep Gradient and is not advisable to be attempted in an electric wheelchair.
RADAR locks on gates near the South Lodge and Music Meadow and There is no Wheelchair access through Cox’s Corner Gate and Lady Margaret Hall Gate. However, the main gates on Parks road are wheelchair accessible.
There is no Disabled Parking available near the parks, however, it is in close proximity to a bus route and is 10 minutes from the City Centre.
Bolton Abbey (Skipton)
Situated in the middle of the Yorkshire Dales and described as the “jewel in the crown” of Yorkshire, Bolton Abbey has over 80 miles of footpaths to walk and explore.
Whilst there, discover the ruins of the 12th Century Priory or if you’re coming with young children there are plenty of events and kid’s areas that they can take part in.
If you’re feeling peckish there are plenty of tea rooms and coffee shops dotted around the estate so, bring a rug and a hamper and pitch up a picnic anywhere you like.
The terrain differs greatly at the Bolton Abbey Estate. Whilst the majority of the routes are wheelchair accessible some are not; A map of these routes can be found here: http://boltonabbey.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/accessmap1.pdf
Some of the paths are slightly difficult to traverse, and there are some steep inclines.
Bolton Abbey offers Electric Wheelchair hire between 10 am and 4 pm between April and October from the Cavendish Shops
Disabled parking in each car park, however, standard admission fees do apply.
Disabled toilets are available in each car park
Wistlandpound Reservoir (North Devon)
Enjoy a peaceful walk around a reservoir jam packed full of flora and fauna. Enjoy the 2km all-ability Discovery trail around the reservoir, or if you’re feeling sprightly have a stab at the UK’s first exercise trail for wheelchair users.
Enjoy the flora and fauna or if you want to channel your wild side there is a wheelchair friendly fishery that you could try your hand at, and bring your binoculars and keep an eye out for the buzzards, waterfowl and other birds often found there.
Wistlandpound Reservoir is renowned for being extremely accessible, with an extremely well-kept tarmac footpath. The walk from the main car park to the reservoir is fairly steep and uneven in some places, so for wheelchair users, there is an alternative car park closer to the trail that cuts this out.
Disabled Car Park
Disabled access fishery and footpaths
Overton Lake. Cambridgeshire
Located in the Ferry Meadows Country park in Peterbourough this beautiful 1 mile walk meanders around the Ferry Meadows Country Park situated a stones throw from the historic city centre of Peterbourough. If you’re with the grandkids there are couple of play areas for them to blow off some steam, whilst you can have a spot to eat in the adjacent Café.
Flat and well pathed out, however there are two bridges of which one has a short steep incline at the beginning.
Designated Disabled Parking
Motorised Scooter Hire
Wheelchair accessible toilets (visitor centre, Car Park and in Café)
If you have any recommendations, please add them in the comments section below.