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Accessible Adventures

Where in the UK is home to the most wheelchair-friendly walks?

The United Kingdom is Made for Adventure but for those who live with reduced mobility, it can be challenging to get out and enjoy the great British outdoors to the fullest. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible.

While exploring the rugged terrain of some of the UK’s beauty spots can certainly be more challenging, there is an increasing number of walks that can be enjoyed by all.

Whether you’re in a wheelchair or have young children and use a pram or pushchair, there are still plenty of routes you can enjoy.

But where in the country can boast to be the most accessible for adventure seekers? Our team at Millets has analysed the number of wheelchair-friendly walks in each county in the UK to find out where are the best places to throw on your waterproofs and start exploring.

The UK counties with the most accessible walks (overall)

1. Somerset - 119 accessible walks

Topping the list for the county with the highest number of overall accessible walks is Somerset, in the South West.

As a county, Somerset is known for its rolling hills such as the Blackdowns, Mendips, and Quantocks, but there are also plenty of walks that are friendly for wheelchair and buggy users, with 119 in total.

These include country parks such as Yeovil Country Park and Ham Hill, which offer incredible views of Exmoor, the South Somerset Moors and the Mendip hills. 

Alternatively, you could take a walk along the beaches at Clevedon and Weston-super-Mare or amble around the historic streets of Bath, a compact city with iconic sights and a number of public gardens.

2. Hampshire - 79 accessible walks

Located in South East England on the coast of the English Channel, Hampshire takes second place with a total of 79 accessible walks.

Some of the best places to explore if you’re using a wheelchair or a buggy include the Queen Elizabeth Country Park, the Forest of Bere and Staunton Country Park, which encompasses around 1,000 acres, including a walled garden, maze, ornamental lake, follies and more for you to explore.

3. Dorset - 77 accessible walks

Staying in the South, Dorset has the third-highest number of accessible walks, with 77. 

The major attraction in Dorset is the county’s Jurassic Coast, where you may spot preserved fossils, alongside natural features such as arches, pinnacles and stack rocks.

There are also the sandy beaches of towns including Poole, Weymouth and Swanage, all of which thankfully feature level esplanades to enjoy.

The UK counties with the most accessible walks (per square kilometre)

1. Bristol - 11 accessible walks per 100 sq km

We also wanted to shine a light on which counties had the most accessible walks per square kilometre. Here you can find the most walks to enjoy without having to travel far between them.

Bristol has the most with 11 per 100 square kilometres, as cities are much flatter and more easily traversable than rural counties.

There are many beautiful walks to enjoy in the city, such as the Clifton Suspension Bridge, Harbourside and Blaise Castle.

2. Clackmannanshire - 4 accessible walks per 100 sq km

It's one of the smaller counties in the country (known as “the Wee County”) but Clackmannanshire in Scotland takes second place when we look per square kilometre. Clackmannanshire is nestled between Stirling, Fife and Perth & Kinross.

The county is home to some of the best walking routes in Scotland, including the Ochil Hills, and the county’s highest point, Ben Cleuch.

2. Swansea - 4 accessible walks per 100 sq km

Swansea itself has some lovely walks but the wider Swansea Bay also has some great seaside promenades and cliffs which can be explored by wheelchair users too.

From leafy woodland to picturesque views over the sea, the Welsh coastline between Swansea and Gower has some truly spectacular walks that are accessible to all.

Methodology

We gathered the number of accessible walks in each county from three sources: Walks with Wheelchairs, The Outdoor Guide, and Walks with Buggies.

We combined the number of walks in each county from both sources and then also calculated the number of walks per 100 square kilometres.

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