Without a doubt, a day out in one of the UK’s national parks is the best tonic when you’re living with a disability. I’m not sure if it’s the fresh air, change of scenery, wide open space or all of the above, whatever it is, you can’t beat it.
If I’m honest, I miss my pre-bimble days when I used to spend hours walking in the hills and dales, sadly, those days are long gone.
From experience, exploring the UK’s countryside in a wheelchair is hard, especially if you’re travelling in a manual wheelchair. So, when I read an article on AT Today about a new accessibility guide for the UK’s national parks it obviously caught my attention.
The guide was produced by NRS Healthcare to coincide with national parks week. I found the guide too late to take part, but it’s still packed with useful information and activities in each park that can be used all year round.
You can access the free guide here: Accessibility Guide to the UK’s National Parks
Before you head off to grab your copy, let’s take a quick look at our experience of the national parks.
Accessibility Guide to the UK’s National Parks
There are 15 national parks in the UK and we’ve visited all but two of them. We have visited six of them in a wheelchair. The two we’ve yet to visit are the South Downs and New Forest.
Here’s a quick overview of the parks we’ve visited in a wheelchair:
The Lake District National Park
The Lake District National Park, which was recently made a World Heritage Site, is only an hour and a half away from home so we’ve visited many times.
Generally, we’ve stuck to the towns and villages in the wheelchair. But, two of our more intrepid friends know the park very well, Carrie-Ann Lightley and Deb from Access The Dales both live in the area and they love it.
Snowdonia National Park
Again, not that far from home, the Snowdonia National Park is a favourite of ours. In all honesty, it doesn’t really matter if you can’t take part in adventure sports, although many do, just the sheer majesty of the Snowdonia mountain range is worth the trip.
Peak District National Park
Possibly our favourite national park of them all, the Peak District is in tune with our pace of life.
In my opinion, the Pembrokeshire Coast is the prettiest national park in the UK. There are so many quaint villages, hidden coves and accessible beaches it has to top our list. We drove the whole coast from Aberystwyth to Cardiff taking in many of these areas and we loved it.
Dartmoor National Park
Now, I know I’ve just awarded the Pembrokeshire Coast top spot but Dartmoor National Park comes a very close second.
We had the pleasure of spending a week there last year and it was less wild, much prettier and a lot more accessible than we expected.
North Yorkshire Moors
We passed through the North York Moors on our East Coast Road Trip and while we didn’t venture onto the moors on foot, we did enjoy scenic drives and pit stops in the outlying villages.
It’s probably wrong to say we’ve visited the Northumberland National Park, We nearly did when we were booked in to stay at Kielder Forest but we had to cancel due to ill health.
We did skirt the park when we did a coastal road trip from Berwick upon Tweed to Amble in Northumberland and it’s an area we are keen to revisit.
So there you go, a quick look at our trips to some of our national parks. Don’t forget to head on over to NRS Healthcare to download your free copy of Accessible Guide to the UK’s National Parks
Which of the 15 parks have you been to?
Let me know in the comments below …
Where would you like to go next?
How about these posts: