England’s best accessible routes February 07, 2023 Enjoying the outdoors shouldn’t just be limited to experienced hillwalkers and non-disabled people. At Sprayway, we believe in inclusivity and ensuring everyone in society has access to the hillwalking community. But we understand that, for some, it can be difficult to explore certain trails which lack accessibility and feature difficult landscapes. That’s why we’ve put together a list of some of our favourite accessible trails, for when you need somewhere that’s wheelchair and pushchair friendly. Cliveden walking trail, Berkshire Cliveden trail is a family friendly and accessible route which takes you through the historic estate of Cliveden, which overlooks the River Thames. It follows grass and stone footpaths above the River Thames, which is largely flat other than some minor slopes which shouldn’t be a problem on dry days. Cliveden is also easy to get to, with the closest train station only 2km away. If you don’t have access to a car, this makes for an easy journey. There’s a range of facilities throughout the woodland, including toilets, a cafe, and a picnic area. Whilst there are some muddy areas and slopes, this should be a perfect trail for any wheelchair users or other individuals who require accessibility. Blea Tarn, Lake District Whilst the Lake District is sometimes known for its difficult and steep terrain, it also has a wide range of easy and accessible walks which are perfect for families, people with disabilities, and beginner hillwalkers. One of those trails is Blea Tarn, which also happens to be a gorgeous route. With a gentle and easy walk, but an incredible mountain backdrop of the Langdale Pikes, Blea Tarn has something for everyone whilst only being just under 3km long. The path is made of compacted stone, which makes for an easy walk and helps to reduce the gradient of slopes up the hills. There’s seating dotted across the route, so if you have a disability but aren’t a wheelchair user, there’s plenty of opportunity to take a break and absorb the wonderful views. Blea Tarn is accessible to all wheelchair users and all-terrain mobility scooters, with its gentle gradients. It can get a bit wet and muddy, but there shouldn’t be anything too difficult to navigate. South Downs Way, South East England South Downs Way is a huge 160km trail which begins in Winchester and ends in Eastbourne. But don’t let the distance intimidate you. You can travel along as much or as little of this trail as you want, and there’s multiple places for you to leave the path and travel back or explore a local village or landmark. South Downs Way was actually the first fully accessible National Trail in the whole world, with Pony Access’ specially designed pony carts allowing wheelchair users to travel across any part of it, even parts with rough terrain. This gives the opportunity for anyone to experience this area’s gorgeous views across the English Channel. So if you’re looking for a longer trip, South Downs Way might be one to try. The paths are typically easy to navigate and well marked, but it’s worth looking to see if there’s a pony cart available for some trickier areas. Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire Many people would probably argue that Sherwood Forest is the most famous forest in the UK, home to legendary outlaw Robin Hood. And whilst it’s no longer the hideout of bands of merry men, it’s certainly still full of excitement and adventure. It’s also one of the most forest walks in the country, with multiple routes catering to people with wheelchairs or prams. There’s a few different routes you can take, from Giants Trail which shows off some of Sherwood Forest’s ancient oak trees, to the Greenwood Trail which hosts a diverse population of birds and changes drastically with the seasons. Whichever you choose, Sherwood Forest is easy to navigate and has plenty of facilities and smooth, flat paths to help hillwalkers with disabilities. Carr Mill Dam, Merseyside Circular trails are a great choice for wheelchair and pushchair users, as they allow you to travel along an easy-to-follow route back to where you started. Carr Mill is one of our favourite circular trails, and is a popular area for bird watchers and hikers. There’s a varied landscape featuring serene woods, calming lakes with gorgeous views, and facilities such as the Boat House where you can stop for refreshments. It’s a great place for a casual stroll, and at only around 3km long, it’s perfect if you want something short but sweet. You’re especially in for a treat if you’re a bird watcher! However, when it’s raining, the paths through Carr Mill Dam can be a bit muddy and can stop you in your tracks if you’re not fully prepared or have a companion to help you if you’re a wheelchair user. There’s a couple of steeper sections which you might also need assistance for. But overall, this route is flat and easy to navigate with some incredible views - worth the try for people looking for an accessible route. Be prepared Even on easy and accessible routes, you’ll need the right equipment to keep you warm and dry throughout the day. At Sprayway, we have a wide collection of waterproof, insulated, and fleece jackets which will keep you cosy on your hike. It’s our mission to bring the outdoors to everyone, no matter their experience or ability. If you found yourself out on the trail in some Sprayway gear, let us know! Send us a picture on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook with #Sprayway and you might feature on our social media.