I recently wrote a guest post for Disability Horizons, where I shared our top 10 favourite coastal walks of 2015. On from there and because I enjoyed writing the post so much, I want to expand on our favourite wheelchair friendly walks from our first year as bimblers.
I want to share twenty-five walks we’ve completed (links included), each one, fully accessible in a wheelchair. Some are short walks in villages, towns and cities, others a bit more challenging on the coast, but all of them enjoyable!
I was worried we wouldn’t be able to do much walking with a wheelchair, how wrong I was…
#1 – Liverpool
People say, there’s no place like home and they’re right! So the first walk on our list has got to be a little stroll around the Pier Head and Albert Dock. Parts of the walk in the Albert Dock can be a bit bumpy on the cobbles, but the views across the River Mersey and amount of things to see and do in this revitalised area of Liverpool are worth the effort.
#2 – Crosby
Not a massive tourist attraction but very well known by the locals, Crosby Marine Park and coastal walk can make for a great day out. Starting in the marine park, you can visit the adventure centre, head for the beach to see Antony Gormley’s Iron Men or stroll along the flat promenade and path, taking in the views of Wales and Lancashire as you go.
#3 – New Brighton
Cross the Mersey and you’ll find a fantastic coastal walk. We like to start in Seacombe at the ferry terminal then walk to New Brighton, then back again. This walk is quite a distance, but you can rest along the way or chill in New Brighton for a bit.
#4 – Southport
If you’re on the north-west coast find the time to visit Southport. You can take a pleasant walk around the accessible Victorian town, marvel in its splendour, take afternoon tea or for something a bit more refreshing take a stroll along Southport Pier.
#5 – Lytham St Annes
Lytham St Annes is simply one of those places you visit which is just nice. It’s not memorable for any specific reason, although the windmill is pretty impressive, it’s just a nice tranquil coastal town. The walk along the promenade is er… just nice!
#6 – Cleveleys
We fondly refer to Cleveleys as a hidden gem on the Fylde coast. We avoided the hustle and bustle of Blackpool and visited Cleveleys, we’re really glad we did because the award winning promenade is wheelchair heaven.
#7 – Morecambe
Perhaps the biggest surprise of all the walks we’ve done during the year, Morecambe is access utopia. I’m not going to comment on the town centre, I’m referring to the promenade and stone jetty, both of which are completely accessible for wheelchair users. And, to add to the surprise, the area around Morecambe Bay is stunningly beautiful.
#8 – Newby Bridge
Not a walk as such, but a pleasant little stroll around Newby Bridge. Get inspired as you watch the boats pass by on the southern tip of Lake Windermere, reminisce about the steam trains on the Haverthwaite line or just grab a coffee in the quayside cafe and watch the world pass by.
#9 – St Bees
Even on a rainy day, the seafront at St Bees is an enjoyable short walk. I did feel a bit guilty watching the intrepid explorers as they set off on Wainwright’s coast to coast, but it soon passed.
#10 – Isle of Whithorn
Not a walk, more of a bimble around the pretty harbour in the Isle of Whithorn. We stumbled across this gem on our south-west Scotland road trip.
#11 – Kirkcudbright
The little town that has everything. we took a short walk on the harbour and up the main street to the castle. We arrived at Kirkcudbright late in the day, just as the sun was going to sleep, it threw a beautiful glow across this Scottish harbour town.
#12 – Hornsea
One part of me thinks this is a typical seaside town on the northeast coast, another part of me thinks, there’s nothing typical about Hornsea being fully accessible, so it deserves to be on our favourite walks list.
#13 – Withernsea
Withernsea is one of a string of accessible coastal towns. Dotted along the northeast coast, these towns offer a traditional and accessible seaside walk.
#14 – Bridlington
Famous for its fishing industry, Bridlington turned out to be much more. From the picturesque harbour to the award winning sandy beaches set against the white chalk cliffs of the Flamborough head, this was a great walk, one we long to return to.
#15 – Scarborough
OK, so I nearly died in Scarborough, but that wouldn’t put me off from returning. We walked along the upper level with great views over the town and beach below. Next time I want to get down to the seafront and sample all Scarborough has to offer.
#16 – Cardiff Bay
We visited Cardiff as our first ever official bimble, it holds a special place in our hearts. I’m glad we took the time to visit the Cardiff Bay area because it whets our appetite for the discoveries and excitement ahead.
#17 – Cardiff City Centre
I could say walking around one city centre is like walking around the next but I won’t. Cardiff, although typical of a modern city centre has something else! It could be the elusive Cardiff Castle, the friendliness of the people or the mystery down the alleys and walkways, I can’t put my finger on it.
#18 – Caernarfon
Dominated by a Castle, which incidentally has an access ramp, Caernarfon is the jewel in Wales crown. If I was going to live in wales, it would be somewhere around here.
#19 – Bangor
We didn’t spend any time in Bangor, we headed straight for the pier. I call it Bangor Pier, but apparently, it’s also known as Garth Pier? Whatever it’s called, get yourself down there and take a stroll out into the Menai straits, you won’t regret it.
#20 – Beaumaris
We took a little detour onto Anglesey, I wanted to see Beaumaris castle but the wind and rain also had the same idea. it cut our walk short, it was still lovely and deserves a mention.
#21 – Chester
Chester city centre is packed to the rafters with history, if you are that way inclined, you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven. It’s reasonably easy to get around in a wheelchair, but there are some inaccessible galleries and cobbled streets. For us, we like water, so a stroll along the river is a must when you visit Chester.
#22 – Wales Coast Path
Tempting as it is to walk all 870 miles of it, the Wales Coast Path in its entirety will have to wait. We have walked many accessible sections of it and there are still much more on our bucket list. If you want a taste, start at the beginning of the path on the River Dee – we did!
#23 – Llandudno
I think I described Llandudno as mobility utopia and I stand by that statement. The town, promenade and pier are all easy access and there’s so much to see as you wander around the original Victorian seaside destination.
#24 – Stratford upon Avon
What can I say that hasn’t already been said about Stratford Upon Avon? there simply aren’t enough words to describe how truly magical it is, you really need to see it for yourself. You’ll have no problem getting around and your mind will be blown with the buildings, history and sheer beauty of Shakespeare’s home town.
#25 – Dublin
By rights we should have hated Dublin, Bridget had not long come out of the hospital, we both had the flu and we visited in January when it was freezing. I’m glad to say, we loved it! For a capital city, it’s actually quite small, you’d sort of expect it to be accessible and it was, but they’ve gone above and beyond which is why we crowned it the most wheelchair friendly city in Europe.
25 Wheelchair Friendly Walks
Judging by this list, we’ve done quite a bit of walking. If anything, we’ve done more as a couple than we were able to do before using a wheelchair.
I appreciate we all have limitations, but I hope this post inspires you to get out there and explore for yourself.
If you enjoyed our walks, it would be great if you could share them with your social media friends – and take a look at some of our other Wheelchair Walks in our wheelchair friendly walks section.
You might also enjoy this posts: How to Choose a Lightweight Travel Wheelchair
And if you need help pushing a wheelchair on your walks, check out The TGA Wheelchair Power Pack