This is the place to locate countryside walks, nature reserves, and parks etc, in Essex that are accessible to wheelchair users, mobility scooters, pushchairs and buggies. The walks and sites listed will generally be easy going for the able bodied who just want a gentle stroll as well as accessible to the disabled plus details of disabled sport, support and carers organisations in the county.
Walks Greenspaces and Countryside
Chelmsford City Council - information on parks - you may have to check each park to find those with accessibility details
Great Notley and the Flitch Way - Many sections of the Flitch Way provided good access for wheelchair users - the Visitor Centre has baby change and accessible facilities - also see map Archive PDF download
King George's Playing Fields (and Gardens) (Brentwood) - excellent facilities for the disabled and able-bodied alike. Parkmobility allows those who have difficulty walking to borrow battery powered scooters free of charge in King George's Playing Fields. To book the use of a scooter please ring 01277 214830.
Marks Hall Gardens and Arboretum - (Charges) The Visitor Centre is all on one level with disabled access available at both entrances. There are wheelchairs available for loan. Toilets, accessible for wheelchair users. - "Network of hard surfaced paths provide full wheelchair and pushchair access from the Visitor Centre through the central area of the arboretum up to the walled garden"
Norsey Wood (Basildon) - There are two waymarked trails in the Wood: the Easy Access Trail and the Norsey Trail. Waymarks are posts bearing the trail logo situated at intervals and at junctions along the trail.
Clacton Seafront and Garden Walk - It is fully accessible for wheelchair users and pushchairs from start to finish, with toilets and cafes on route, along with a Pay and Display coach and car park at Martello Bay.
Thames Chase Forest Centre (Upminster) - Almost three miles (4.5km) of smooth-surfaced "wheel friendly" paths allow access around the site for buggies, wheelchair users and cyclists, as well as walkers of all ages
Danbury Country Park - The path around the lakes is suitable for most users including pushchairs and wheelchairs and takes a route alongside the tranquil waters of the lakes and past the gardens from where you gain tantalising views of the house and old chapel.- for details of accessibility visit the GisabledGo site
Great Notley Country Park (Rayne) - "an excellent visitor centre, housed in the award-winning Discovery Centre"
Hadleigh Country Park (Benfleet) - A multi-user path provides access to the bird hole on Two Tree Island
High Woods Country Park (Colchester) - Green Flag Award - Good physical access near to the Visitor Centre and to the toilets - most of the woodland paths are level, even and hard surfaced. The sign posted 'easy access trail' (1/3 mile) has a bench every 70 yards.
Hutton Country Park (Brentwood) - There are paths running throughout the site, one of which is a public right of way, which runs from Wash Road to Goodwood Avenue. Surfaces on paths are generally fairly flat and hard subject to weather conditions. There are also surfaced paths near the Wash Road entrance which is suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs, and a boardwalk is in place over the wetland. Benches are in place at regular intervals.
Merrymeade Country Park (Sawyers Hall Lane) (Brentwood) - The section of the footpath which runs through the site is surfaced and is suitable for walkers, pushchairs and wheelchairs
St Faith's Country Park (Weald Road, South Weald) - A surfaced joint pedestrian and cycleway is provided across the site from Weald Road to London Road and provides links to Green Lane which in turn links Weald Road to Costead Manor Road. This is suitable for walkers and cyclists of all abilities and also pushchair and wheelchair users.
Thorndon Country Park (Brentwood) - A surfaced track connects the wooded and heathland areas of Thorndon North with the more open parkland of Thorndon South. The path runs through the Old Park, an area owned and managed as a traditional wood pasture by the Woodlands Trust, and is designed to be used by all, whether on foot, cycle, mobility scooter or horse.- for details of accessibility visit the GisabledGo site
Weald Country Park (Brentwood) - Level site with east/moderate access routes. Motorised buggy - linked to Brentwood mobility scheme - available on request.- for details of accessibility visit the GisabledGo site
Wick Country Park (Basildon) - Over 2Km of easy access trails take you around the site
Noak Bridge Nature Reserve (Basildon) - There are two nature trails accommodating wheelchairs, and rustic seating is provided.
Rainham Marshes Reserve (RSPB) (Purfleet) - The paths and trails are suitable for wheelchairs, pushchairs and people with limited mobility.
Roding Valley Meadows Nature Reserve (Chigwell) - 1140 metres. No accessible toilets. No access charge. Special all-terrain wheelchairs are available to hire free of charge for disabled visitors.
Stour Estuary Reserve (RSPB) (Harwich) - The woodland trail is accessible during dry periods. The two picnic tables are not built to disabled standard, but are still suitable for wheelchair access.
Thurrock Thameside Nature Park (Essex Wildlife Trust) - 120 acres, many easy-access paths, accessible hide and visitor centre, hearing loop and disabled parking and toilets
Wrabness Nature Reserve (Essex Wildlife Trust) - 52 acres, on the River Stour estuary, has a hard-core path around the reserve giving wheelchair and pushchair access.
West Canvey Marsh Reserve (RSPB) (Canvey Island) - Two miles (3 km) of wheelchair-friendly nature trails.
Other Useful Links
Accessible Colchester - General visitor information, Shopmobility, parking, toilets etc.
Action for Family Carers - Essex charity providing support and information to unpaid carers and young carers. Holders of the Carers Trust Quality Mark. Not for profit - for carers!
Canal Ability - Affordable canal boat day trips & holidays on the waterways of Essex, Herts & London for disabled people, communities, families & youth groups
ecdp - an organisation run by and for disabled people - Our vision Enhance the everyday lives of disabled people in Essex and beyond
Essex Carers Network - represents the views of carers of adults and children with learning disabilities in Essex and promotes these views to those people who are influential in the policy making process
Families Acting for Change Essex (FACE) - represent the views and experiences of parents and carers of children and young people with disabilities and additional needs to influence the services they receive in Essex.
Families InFocus (Essex) - a leading independent parent led registered charity providing holistic support to families of children with disabilities and special needs (aged 0 to 19) across Essex
Southend Carers Forum - offers support and services for carers in the Southend and surrounding area
Wipe away those tears - a charity which aims to grant a wish and bring a sparkle into the lives of terminally or seriously ill children in Essex
Black Water Barracudas swim club for the disabled - Blackwater Leisure Centre Swimming Pool - phone: 01621 841471 (no website)
Chelmsford Boccia Club - This club is open to both disabled and non-disabled people - Mildmay Sports Hall, Anglia Ruskin University - phone: 07725 502843 (no website)
Chelmsford Tudor Rose Archers - Shooting facilities are wheelchair accessible.
Active Essex It's central to the Active Essex ethos that sport and physical activity should be open and accessible to everyone
Epping Forest Sportability Club (EFSC) - is a multi-sports club for young people with mild to moderate physical and learning difficulties, aged 6 to 19. Loughton, Essex
Essex Disabled Angling Club - We are a friendly club, that welcomes anyone, disabled, retired, or juniors. We also welcome able bodied anglers, who are willing to help the less able members. We have regular venues which are spread around Essex, that are accessible for all.
Essex Outlaws - are open to over 16's and all impairments including, temporary injuries and cognitive / mental / psychological disorders. They are currently entered into 2 of the National Wheelchair Basketball Leagues
Essex PFC - powerchair football - Training Venue: Riverside Leisure Centre Chelmsford -Tel: 01245 393094 / 393095 (no website)
Harlow Hurricanes Boccia Club - Disabled and non-disabled age groups 8 – 80 + phone: 07986603313 (no website)
Hanningfield Reservoir There are 38 boats available for use on Hanningfield Reservoir with two adapted for disabled anglers
Orwell Panthers Athletic Club - Athletics for physically disabled persons or those with visual or aural impairment or learning disability in Ipswich and the surrounding districts of Suffolk and North Essex
Paralympic Sport in Chelmsford - details of sporting club in the area
Springfield Funsters Disability Cricket Club - 9 yrs onwards - Coronation Park
tourist.me.uk/essex - a tourist info site for Essex which includes some brief disabled access details for visitor, heritage and nature attractions