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Nutty about North Yorkshire

Updated: Nov 11, 2021

As a wheelchair user, finding out about accessible places to go is often very challenging and can be frustrating. Not only do I want to know about where I can go for a walk but I also worry about where I can have a pee and a cuppa ( it’s usually the other way round… cuppa first, pee later).

With this in mind, here is my list of 30 accessible walk and adventure ideas in North Yorkshire, I’ve put a link to each of the walks so that you will be able to find the relevant information easily.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park has published a series of walks called ‘Miles Without Stiles’. As a YDNP volunteer, it is my role to go out and access these routes on an annual basis. I then report back to my line manager who then in turn passes over an concerns over to the relevant rangers so that issues can be sorted, e.g. mending a gate, cutting back hedges etc. It is worth checking out their website for the walk details.

On of my favourite places in the dales is Ingleborough Nature Trail and Show Cave. The nature trail has been made more accessible by the availability of an all- terrain scooter which is available to borrow. The track from the entrance all the way to the show cave is made of compounded aggregate and it is fairly level. The show cave is wheelchair accessible but you are required to use a manual wheelchair within the cave, which is also available to borrow. Accessible loos are available in the village of Clapham.

Bolton Abbey is very popular and has an easy access path which follow the river to the Strid.

Mobility Scooters are available between 10am and 4pm between April and the end of October from the Cavendish and Village shops. Manual wheelchairs are also available from both shops all year round. Pre-booking of both electric and manual wheelchairs is advisable to avoid disappointment.

The Dales Museum in Hawes is wheelchair accessible. The Dales Countryside Museum is housed in the old railway station situated in the Yorkshire Dales town of Hawes. It tells the story of the Yorkshire Dales and about the life of the people who have lived and worked in the Dales and their contribution in shaping the landscape for thousands of years.

The museum is fully wheelchair accessible, including the route through the train carriages which hosts wonderful artefacts from a Victorian schoolroom and chapel.

The Wensleydale Creamery in Hawes is worth a visit. All wheelchair accessible inside. The cheese scones come highly recommended. There is a short 450m linear route follows the Pennine Way from the church in Hawes to the Wensleydale Creamery. The first 70m of the trail are cobbled with a gradient of 1:7.

Scar House Reservoir, situated at the head of Nidderdale, is a beautiful area surrounded by impressive scenery. Along this route you can also admire the impressive architecture of the neighbouring Angram Reservoir, with its dramatic arches across the spillway which flows into Scar House. The accessible route follows a tarmac track. Accessible loos and parking available.

Starting from the carpark at Grimwith Reservoir near Grassington, the 4 mile accessible route follows the perimeter

of the reservoir. There is a good track , with a couple of steeper sections and then a climb from the water’s edge. The walk takes in stunning views over the fells as well as wonderful views across the water.

Due to the uneven ground in some sections the walk is ideal for a powered 4×4 wheelchair such as the TerrainHopper or Tramper. There is a shorter alternative linear walk for less robust wheelchairs which follows the grass bank along the top of the reservoir.

Situated in the Yorkshire Dales, not far from the historic town of Bedale, Thorp Perrow is an exciting place to explore offering something for everyone, and is home to some of the largest and rarest trees and shrubs in England. There is over 100 acres of parkland to explore. Accessible toilets are available at the tearoom and the Bird Centre. Electric wheelchairs are available for a small charge.

The Recreation ground at Pateley Bridge is open all year round. There is a lovely which runs alongside the River Nidd. Disabled facilities are available.

Situated behind the castle is Skipton Castle Woods. There are 36 acres of ancient woodland to explore. There is an excellent leaflet available that outlines the accessibility to the woods which has been written by the Woodland Trust.

Enjoy a wander through Brimham Rocks, near Harrogate. There is no place like it! The weird and wonderful rock formations are a sight to be seen. It’s a great place for a family day out.

There easy access route around Swinsty Reservoir, near Fewston in the stunning Washburn Valley. The footpaths on this 3 mile route are wide and well-surfaced and the gradient is mostly flat or gently undulating. Disabled facilities are available.

Ripon Canal Walk is a short gentle walk from the canal basin, near to the city centre. The path is wide, making it perfectly accessible. Along the canal there are mooring spots for boats and wheelchair accessible platforms for fishing.

The magnificent Castle Howard, near York.You need to allow a full day to explore Castle Howard. Certain parts of the house has been made wheelchair accessible and there are manual wheelchair available to borrow for inside the house and around the gardens. The land train has also been made wheelchair accessible.

The North York Moors National Park has also created its own series of wheelchair friendly ‘Miles Without Stiles’ routes which can be found on their website. I have a done a few of these walks, which I have reviewed and can be found on The Outdoor Guide.

A great place to visit is Sutton Bank. The Visitor Centre is geared up for visitors with disabilities, with accessible toilets and easy access café and shop. Mobility scooters are available for hire from the visitor centre and there is a beautiful walk from there with breath-taking views over the North York Moors. In fact, vet and author James Herriot declared the tremendous view from the Sutton Bank, over the Vale of Mowbray and the Vale of York, the “finest in England”.

The Rosedale Railway walk also offers fine views of the North York Moors. It’s a level track and ideal for mobility scooters. The nearest facilities are in the town of Pickering.

Wetwheels offers a unique opportunity for disabled and disadvantaged people of all ages - including those with multiple, profound and complex impairments - to enjoy a boat trip out to sea from the seaside town of Whitby.

The Moors National Park Centre, Danby has one electric scooter and one manual wheelchair available free of charge for use in the centre and grounds. Disabled facilities available in the visitor centre.

South Cliff Gardens, Scarborough has many hidden secrets. The design and creation of these gardens started in 1889 and took over 40 years to complete. Amongst the treasures of South Cliff are the Italian Gardens with their formal terraces, shelters and lily pond.

The Humber Bridge Country Park, near Hull, is set alongside the Humber Estuary overlooking the iconic Humber Bridge. There are different trails to explore and much wildlife to see. There are disabled toilets and facilities for hearing and visually impaired.

I had a fab day out at RSPB Bempton Cliffs, near Flamborough. It’s a great place to see the sea birds, including the puffins who come to nest in the summer months. The visitor centre has disabled facilities.

Beverley Parks Local Nature Reserve, near Beverley is a 49 acre local nature reserve featuring an orchard, a small wood and two fields which are being restored to a traditional parkland landscape. Nearest disabled facilities are in Beverley.

South Landing, near Flamborough is a 34 acre nature reserve on Flamborough Headland. It has a lovely step free trail. In 2002 the area was designated a Local Nature Reserve in recognition of its wildlife value.

Spurn National Nature Reserve, Kilnsea, near Hull, is managed by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. The visitor centre is wheelchair accessible and there are stile free, accessible purpose built walks to explore. It is a wonderful reserve for wildlife, flora & fauna.

Brayton Barff Reservoir Walk, near Thorpe Willoughby is a stile free walk, created by Yorkshire Water. It’s a great place for bird spotting and seeing the bluebells in spring.

Follow the route of a Roman soldier at Cawthorn Roman Camps, near Pickering. There is a marked 1 mile circular route around the 2,000 year old Roman earthworks.

Enjoy an easy access walk in ‘Daffodil Dale’ in the North York Moors National Park, near Farndale. t’s a straightforward one linear route alongside the enchanting River Dove, from Low Mill to Church Houses. There is a RADAR accessible toilet at Low Mill car park.

Newby Hall, near Ripon has a bit of something for everyone, from a historic country house and award-winning gardens with good wheelchair access. Mobility scooters are available to borrow.

There you have it... something to do in North Yorkshire everyday of the month, unless the month has 28 or 31 days! and of course if it's a leap year.

Many thanks to The Outdoor Guide (TOG) for the video content. More Yorkshire accessible walks can be found on the TOG website.


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