Top 10 accessible outdoor routes across the UK – Disability Horizons

We’ve teamed up with outdoor expert ViewRanger, which provides downloadable route maps, to bring you the top 10 mobility scooter and wheelchair accessible routes across the UK. So if you fancy a scenic weekend ramble, look no further!

At ViewRanger we’re fully committed to getting more people with mobility impairments out into the countryside. That’s why we awarded accessible travel guides The Disabled Ramblers and The Outdoor Guide with ViewRanger’s Top Publisher awards in 2016.

Using these great guides and our knowledge of the British countryside, we’ve selected some of the best wheel-friendly routes across the UK. All of the routes listed can be downloaded and followed for free using the ViewRanger app on smartphones, tablets and smartwatches. Happy rambling!

Friar’s Crag, Lake District

A wheel-friendly route, starting and finishing in the busy market town of Keswick, which visits the Friar’s Crag viewpoint by the beautiful Derwentwater lake. The paths are good and level, the surrounding mountains are some of the finest in England and, if you’re lucky, you may spot a red squirrel scurrying through the trees in Cockshot Wood.

Download the route: Friar’s Crag

Beddgelert forest, Snowdonia

A circular tour of Beddgelert Forest, with grand views of Snowdon and the surrounding peaks. The track winds around the forest’s edge, with views across to Wales’ highest mountain (on a clear day). It then leads to the lovely Llyn Llewelyn lake, which makes for a fine lunch stop.. Be aware that the route crosses the Welsh Highland Railway line twice, so take care on the tracks.

Follow the route: Beddgelert Forest

Malham lake, Yorkshire Dales

This is a circular route along unmade tracks and a quiet country road, all around a lovely lake in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. It’s close to the popular village of Malham and the iconic local landmarks of lake Malham, and the Gordale Scar and Janet’s Foss waterfalls.

The route has been tested using TerrainHopper and Tramper mobility scooters and a Mountain Trike wheelchair, but it may not be suitable for all types of motor scooters and wheelchairs. The terrain is generally flat, but can get muddy in some areas.

Download the route: Malham Tarn

Whitby Nature Reserve, Lincolnshire

Whitby Nature Reserve is a great place to visit for all the family. There are plenty of accessible paths to explore around the lakes, all ideal for pushchairs and wheelchairs. You can also hire electric scooters from the visitor centre.

Around the lakes are accessible bird hides, so you can watch wildlife without being seen. There’s also a café and shop – both wheelchair accessible – and plenty of disabled parking spaces. Entry is free and the park is open daily.

Download the route: Whisby nature reserve

Kennet & Avon Canal, Bath

This easy terrain route travels along 20 miles of towpaths, visiting the Avoncliff Aqueduct and the Caen Hill lock at Devizes. You may get to see one of the 29 locks, spanning two miles, in action as the canal is raised by 235 feet. The route takes you from Bath to Devizes – virtually all of it alongside some of the most breathtakingly beautiful canals in Britain – as you pass through the iconic Avon Valley.

Download the route: Kennet & Avon Canal

Long Causeway, Stanage, Sheffield

A great ramble with wide views over the Peak District and Stanage Edge (a rocky, stone ridge), where daring rock climbers can often be seen on the famous gritstone crags. On return, there are excellent views over Redmires Reservoirs.

This linear route is rocky and difficult in some places, so not all sections are suitable for smaller scooters. Once at Stanage Pole, the route becomes level before descending gently down to Dennis Knoll, with several water channels to negotiate, which might cause some difficulties.

Follow the route: Long Causeway

Nettlebed to Nuffield, Chilterns

This route follows a mix of tracks and quiet lanes in the Oxfordshire countryside. Footpaths meander down to Swan Wood and Nott Wood, where the route joins a quiet lane leading to Nuffield. There is a section of road which requires care, though. The grounds of Nuffield Church make for a nice lunch stop before heading back past English Farm and Howberrywood to re-join the outward route.

Download the route: Nettlebed to Nuffield

Historic Ship Trail, Bristol

Clifton Suspension Bridge is the backdrop to this walk on the outskirts of Bristol. Built more than 150 years ago, the bridge links Clifton in Bristol with National Nature Reserve Leigh Woods in Somerset.

As you would expect from a National Nature Reserve, on the plateau above Avon Gorge is an area of varied and beautiful broadleaf woodland. The views across the city are stunning, and the woods boast a wide choice of paths with varying surfaces.

Download the route: Historic Ship Walk

Greenlands Farm, Dorset

Greenlands Farm, Dorset

This is a very varied and interesting ramble, starting on shrubland known as Godlingston Nature Reserve by the Dorset coast. It passes through beautiful forestry and then on up to Ower Bay, with views over the estuary of Studland, Green Island and Poole Harbour. It then travels on an undulating track through farmland, back to the starting point.

Follow the route: Greenlands Farm

Sourton Tor Ice Works, Devon

A circular route from Meldon Reservoir to the remains of the Ice Works on Sourton Tor. The mounds found on Sourton Tor today are all that remain of the defunct ice factory that opened here in the 1870s. Ice regularly formed in frozen ponds during the winter months, and was then broken up and stored in a nearby building, before being transported to Plymouth for the fish trade.

Take care on the access road from Meldon Reservoir to the Granite Way, and scooters should travel slowly on the steeper sections of the moor.

Follow the route: Sourton Tor Ice Works

By ViewRanger

ViewRanger also provides detailed offline mapping, active GPS navigation features, and live stats for every trip. Learn more at www.viewranger.com

Source: Top 10 accessible outdoor routes across the UK – Disability Horizons

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