Our Top UK Walks to Celebrate National Walking Month
By: Philippa Harrington, On: 04 May 2020
The outdoors is for everyone, not just the Bear Grylls of the UK. To celebrate National Walking Month, we’d like to offer up our favourite UK walks to be enjoyed by people from all backgrounds, from experienced walkers to wheelchair users and parents with young children. Here are ten fantastic walks located all around the UK with accessible routes and wide appeal.
1. Millennium Coastal Park
The Millennium Coastal Park, located in South Wales, is a beautiful coastal walk which offers stunning views over the Gower Peninsula. Dotted with sculptures along the route which add interest for all ages, this fully accessible walk covers nine miles of some of the most breathtaking scenery in Wales.
2. Rutland Water
Rutland Water is a horseshoe-shaped reservoir in the East Midlands, bordered by over 25 miles of walking paths which includes a delightful wheelchair-friendly stretch which takes you from Normanton car park to the dam wall, past a Neo-Classical church which is partially submerged by the dam. It’s also worth hopping on the Rutland Belle Cruiser, which is wheelchair-accessible from Whitwell and offers a more serene route with equally wonderful views.
3. Symonds Yat Rock
Symonds Yat Rock is a limestone outcrop which rises around 500 feet over the River Wye in Herefordshire. Beginning at the main car park is a fully accessible walking route to the top of the outcrop, suitable for walkers of all abilities. This is the perfect choice for walkers who may also be interested in birdwatching, as the viewpoint is known locally as one of the best places to spot rare avian sights including peregrine falcons.
4. Bruce’s Stone Trail
Set in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, Galloway Forest Park is home to Bruce’s Stone Trail, an accessible trail which offers stunning views of the Clatteringshaws Loch as well as rare sights of the local wildlife. The park trains staff members in disability awareness and wheelchairs are available to be borrowed upon request, making this one of the most disability-friendly walks on the list.
5. Tarka Trail
Named after Tarka the Otter, one of the world’s most beloved children’s stories, Devon’s Tarka Trail covers parts of the north Cornwall coast, starting at Fremington Quay, where mobility scooters are up for hire, and finishing at the sand dunes of the River Taw. Another brilliant choice for wildlife lovers, this wheelchair-accessible trail is so named because of the wealth of birds and other animals that can be spotted along the way.
6. Morden Hall Park
Morden Hall Park, in Surrey, is a tranquil oasis set just a stone’s throw from London, and it’s all easily navigated via even paths with some gentle slopes. Wander alongside the River Wandle or explore the wetlands and catch a glimpse of kingfishers and dragonflies while you’re there. Parking is free for blue badge holders and wheelchairs can be hired for a small refundable deposit; Morden Hall Park also hosts many disability and family-friendly events throughout the year, from open-air cinema shows to walking trails.
7. Silent Valley Nature Trail
The Silent Valley Nature Trail is circular path of about a mile that runs through the Kilkeel River Valley in Northern Ireland, offering views of fantastic scenery among the Mourne Mountains. Starting at the car park set just a short walk away from the Silent River Valley Reservoir, this accessible path follows an old railway line through woodland and over the river, with many opportunities to spot fish such as salmon and trout as you go.
8. Nostell Priory
Nostell Priory, in West Yorkshire, is a route which consists of all-weather paths perfect for all wheels including wheelchairs, buggies, and bikes, which winds its way around Nostell’s Menagerie House and Garden, an estate built in 1743 to house exotic species of animals. While the animals are no longer around, the site is still home to gorgeous views including a Swiss bridge and a Gothic archway populated by bats.
9. Knole Deer Park
Knole Park is the last medieval deer park in Kent, and it’s also home to a fully wheelchair-friendly accessible walk which starts at the front of a magnificent ragstone house and winds through the park. This walk is perfect for animal lovers and families.
10. Flanders Moss
Set just ten miles west of Stirling, Flanders Moss is a level path just over half a mile long, so it’s perfect for families or those not up for a longer route. The route is the remnant of a marshland that once covered the area, and visitors can still see sphagnum moss cropping up along the path. There are also plenty of information boards along the way, making this a great educational walk, too.