Great inspiration for accessible days out may begin with the Rough Guide to Accessible Britain, but it certainly doesn’t end there. We’ve scoured the country to find even more people and organisations to share great ideas and advice to make getting out and about easier to plan and enjoy. From tourism professionals, to disability experts, and even Rough Guide to Accessible Britain fans who simply have fun experiences to share, the Days Out Blog is regularly updated and includes news and updates that we hope you’ll find inspiring, entertaining and useful. We hope that the Days Out Blog encourages more people get out and about and enjoy the many fantastic, accessible attractions throughout the UK.
This week I wanted to take the dogs for a long walk somewhere different so I decided to try Tehidy Park. Tehidy Park is the largest area of woodland in West Cornwall. Now owned and managed by Cornwall Council as a Country Park, Tehidy has over 9 miles (14.5km) of paths and 250 acres of peaceful woods and lakes to explore, together with a café and a picnic area. There are five main access points including North Cliff car park and South Drive car park. The only toilets are at the café and I have not tried them yet.
On the map there are two routes marked as accessible for wheelchair users the ‘purple route’ is a half a mile stroll around the lakes but is in a dog free zone. We decided on the ‘pink route’ which is described as one and a half hours of moderate walking, exploring the windblown woods. It is suitable for wheelchair users and ideal for dog walking. We parked in North cliff car park which is a natural surface with no designated disabled bays but having said that there is plenty of parking space and the surface is not too bumpy.
The ‘pink route’ is clearly sign posted and we set off. The woods are a total delight and really come into their own with the changes in the seasons. The write up about the woods says ‘As you follow the pink trail around the North Cliffs you will discover many types of trees including majestic beeches and wind sculpted woods at the edge of the park.’
Despite the clear sign posts we did at one stage find ourselves on the ‘blue route’ which is classified as the horse and cycle path, this path really is quite rough and would be very difficult or even impossible for someone in a manual wheelchair to push over, I think. Fortunately, my electric wheelchair was absolutely fine and we ambled along until we found the pink path again.
It was so delightful to be wandering through the woods; there were lots of friendly dog walkers on the way round. This really is a very special place and I am delighted that I have rediscovered it. I will certainly be returning on a regular basis now as the dogs came back both happy and exhausted which is indeed an added bonus. My only concern is that in bad weather the path could get really muddy and possibly become more difficult to navigate in a wheelchair. So if you do go, please bear in mind that this is not a man-made path but rather a natural surface which could be changeable. Personally I am always up for a challenge so I shall be trying it out in all weathers.
Sharon works for Arthritis Care and is a trustee for Disability Cornwall. She is passionate about living in Cornwall and enjoying the countryside.
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