Posted on 27/07/2017

27 National Park activities if you're living with a disability

quote
27 National Park activities if you're living with a disability

If you, or someone you know, are living with a disability and looking to take part in some easily accessible outdoor activities this summer, our accessibility guide to the UK’s National Parks could be just what you need!

With 15 National Parks spread across England, Scotland and Wales, the UK has a lot to offer in terms of natural and cultural areas of interest. Combined, the UK’s National Parks see over 73 million visitors every year and 40% of these agree that walking is the most popular activity.

For this reason, it’s vital for National Parks to offer accessible trails, ensuring that those who are living with a disability don’t miss out on some of the UK’s most inspiring landscapes.

Outdoor activities for those who are living with a disability

Travelling to new places when you are living with a physical disability or have a mental health issue can sometimes cause anxiety as you will not be fully aware of your surroundings or, indeed, the facilities available to you.

This can be a tough barrier to cross, particularly if you rely heavily on a certain piece of equipment, like a wheelchair, and are unsure of how it will work in a different environment. However, whether you’re living with a disability or not, experiencing the outdoors is an important part of looking after both your physical and mental health – particularly during those glorious summer days.

From hiring an accessible electric boat in the Lake District, to enjoying the Miles Without Stiles routes in the South Downs, our accessibility guide introduces you to an awesome 27 outdoor activities available throughout the UK’s 15 National Parks, for those with more complex needs.

And if you’re still apprehensive about making your way around the accessible routes, we’ve also included some products towards the end of our guide to help make travelling, picnicking and essential routines (such as medication management and “nature calls” moments) easier.

Accessibility guide to th UK's national Parks

If you’re living with mental health issues or have a physical disability, visiting new places can often hold a lot of uncertainty and sometimes be an anxious experience. But getting out and about is hugely important to your health, so you can remain active and independent.

The UK has 15 National Parks across England, Scotland and Wales, each of which strive to cater for people of all abilities so everyone can enjoy natural and cultural areas of interest. With the goal of creating a more inclusive society, the National Parks have focused on making various places accessible to those with mobility issues.

Men’s Incontinence second image

This is why it’s so important to have accessible trails to ensure those who are living with a disability don’t miss out on seeing some of nature’s most awe-inspiring sights.

WHAT YOU’LL FIND IN THIS GUIDE

1. Map of the UK’s National Parks

2. Accessible activities in each area – from easy walks and cycle routes to snow sports and water excursions!

3. Products for independent travel:

Our National Parks offer something for everyone so take a look at what’s available and let’s all enjoy the outdoors this summer.

MAP OF THE UK’s NATIONAL PARKS

National Parks map

1. NORFOLK BROADS

NORFOLK BROADS map

Activities to enjoy

NORFOLK BROADS first image

The Nancy Oldfield Trust offers trips on the water for those living with mental health issues or a physical disability.

NORFOLK BROADS second image

Barton Broad Boardwalk a trail which is easily accessible by wheelchair and leads visitors above a swampy, wildlife filled woodland.

2. DARTMOOR

DARTMOOR map

Activities to enjoy

DARTMOOR first image

Easy Going Dartmoor Mini Bus Tours will take you on a day out around Dartmoor, visiting beautiful sites so you can take in stunning views, and recommending easy walks for the more adventurous.

DARTMOOR second image

Hire a Genny XR an innovative powered chair, based on Segway technology, which enables visitors with mobility issues to move around safely on various terrains.

3. EXMOOR

EXMOOR map

Activities to enjoy

EXMOOR first image

Wimbleball Sailability has a power boat designed to fit wheelchairs. They also offer sailing boats to suit people with limited strength, dexterity and balance.

4. LAKE DISTRICT

Lake District map

Activities to enjoy

Lake District first image

Coniston Boating Centre offers an accessible electric boat to accommodate up to 6 wheelchair users.

Lake District second image

There are 48 Miles without Stiles routes which enable access to this picturesque National Park for those with limited mobility, wheelchair users and the visually impaired.

5. NEW FOREST

NEW FOREST map

Activities to enjoy

NEW FOREST first image

Avon Tyrrell offers Inclusion Events for families of children with more complex needs to experience outdoor adventures in a well-managed environment.

NEW FOREST second image

Blackwater Aboretum has a 0.9km trail on a smooth gravelled track around the arboretum.


6. NORTHUMBERLAND

NORTHUMBERLAND map

Activities to enjoy

NORTHUMBERLAND first image

Kielder Water has accessible canoes, kayaks and boats.


7. NORTH YORK MOORS

NORTH YORK MOORS map

Activities to enjoy

NORTH YORK MOORS image

Forge Valley is a 2.7km route on a level, wooden boardwalk which follows the River Derwent.

NORTH YORK MOORS second image

The North Yorkshire Moors
Railway
has accessible carriages for wheelchair and mobility vehicle users.

8. PEAK DISTRICT

PEAK DISTRICT map

Activities to enjoy

PEAK DISTRICT first image

The 18 mile circuit at
Upper Derwent Valley
offers disability-adapted bicycles.

PEAK DISTRICT second image

A tarmac path leads to the Dovedale Stones, enabling access to wheelchairs and mobility scooters.

9. YORKSHIRE DALES

YORKSHIRE DALES map

Activities to enjoy

YORKSHIRE DALES first image

The Green Trail, Bolton Abbey is made of compacted stone, at least 200cm wide, and enables you to follow a 1km trail through Strid Wood.

YORKSHIRE DALES second image

Malham Tarn has an all-terrain, four wheel drive buggy for hire called the Tramper, which is ideal for those with mobility issues.

10. SOUTH DOWNS

SOUTH DOWNS map

Activities to enjoy

SOUTH DOWNS first image

There are 4 Miles without Stiles routes throughout this National Park which enable easier access to trails for wheelchair users.

11. BRECON BEACONS

BRECON BEACONS map

Activities to enjoy

BRECON BEACONS first image

Talybont Reservoir & Forest walk: the 3km long reservoir is surrounded by wide pathways and walks with no barriers, along the Brinroe Tramroad and Taff Trail.

BRECON BEACONS second image

Hire a Tramper or mobility vehicle for easier access at Abergavenny shop mobility.

12. PEMBROKESHIRE COAST

PEMBROKESHIRE COAST map

Activities to enjoy

PEMBROKESHIRE COAST first image

Amroth to Colby Lodge Walk a 2.8km path with wide tracks along the coast and a wooded valley. Gradients steeper than 1:12 are indicated on the walk map.

PEMBROKESHIRE COAST second image

There are 18 identified easy access beaches, some with beach wheelchairs available to hire.

13. SNOWDONIA

SNOWDONIA map

Activities to enjoy

SNOWDONIA first image

The Eryri Walking Club meets monthly to enable blind and visually impaired people to explore the National Park on guided walks.

SNOWDONIA second image

The Mawddach trail, following the Mawdacch estuary, has wide gates which enable wheelchairs and mobility vehicles to go through seamlessly.

14. CAIRNGORMS

CAIRNGORMS map

Activities to enjoy

CAIRNGORMS first image

Disability Snowsport UK have specialist trained instructors who offer skiing lessons to those who are living with a disability.

CAIRNGORMS second image

The Highland Wildlife Park has wide and smooth boardwalks to allow wheelchair and scooter users to view more than 200 animals.

15. LOCH LOMOND & THE TROSSACHS

LOCH LOMOND & THE TROSSACHS map

Activities to enjoy

LOCH LOMOND & THE TROSSACHS first image

Callander Meadows Riverside Paths: the circular route with a tarmac surface has 2 way opening gates and is wide enough for wheelchairs and mobility scooters.

LOCH LOMOND & THE TROSSACHS second image

The Steamship Sir Walter Scott at Loch Katrine is wheelchair accessible and has a live commentary of your tour of the lake.

STAYING MOBILE

PICNIC PERFECTION

ENJOYING THE OUTDOORS

Social gives our guide the thumbs up!

The Woodland Trust NPW

Kate Jaimeson NPW

Forestry Commission NPW

Love Exploring NPW

NY Moors and Coast NT NPW

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Search the blog

add

Best selling products