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Gloucestershire

Disabled Access, Wheelchair walks, Easy Access, Access for All, Mobility, Walks on Wheels, Miles without Stiles - whatever the term the following is all about accessibility to the countryside and green spaces of Gloucestershire plus details of disabled sport, support and carers organisations in the county

Walks Greenspaces and Countryside

Amberley - This 4km walk is not recommended for hand propelled wheelchairs. On the way to the turn around point at the Bear of Rodborough Hotel you are on minor village paths and roads, with gentle ups and downs but one steep 250 metre descent. The return is largely level: after a short section of tarmac you walk on grass along the edge of the common. The common is habitat for a variety of birds, butterflies and orchids. This section may be difficult, even impassable, after heavy rain.

Badminton - The easy 3km walk is generally level, on village lanes and public rights of way. On the return there are views through the trees of Badminton House, the 17th century stately home of the 11th Duke of Beaufort. (The extra 600 metre circuit of the hamlet of Little Badminton has steeper gradients and is not recommended for hand-propelled wheelchairs).

Batsford Arboretum - (Charges) access and facilities but some of the garden is not suitable for manual wheelchairs - a Tramper is available for hire via the Countryside Mobility south West Scheme

Bradford-on-Avon - This 4km route alongside the River Avon and the Kennet and Avon Canal passes through the historic Barton Farm Park and leads to the Avoncliff aqueduct. The complete walk is accessible for all except hand-propelled wheelchairs. Subject to conditions underfoot, wheelchair users can enjoy a riverside walk of similar length.

Bristol & Bath Railway Path - The Bristol & Bath Railway Path is a 13 mile off road route between the cities of Bristol and Bath. The path is open to walkers and cyclists and access is provided for disabled users

Charlbury - The short walk (only 200 metres there and back) is almost level, mainly on mown grass and suitable for all wheels. An alternative return route (total 350 metres) through the housing estate starts with a short rise on hard surface to a gate. Another longer route on grass around the edge of a wood and meadow may not be suitable for wheelchairs or small-wheel scooters and buggies.

Cirencester - This generally level 4km route takes you on tarmac, (suitable for all wheels) through a classic Cotswold market town and attractive parkland. There are historic buildings in Dollar and Gloucester Streets and attractive Cotswold stone houses in Cecily Hill.

Cleeve Common -These walks on the highest point of the Cotswolds are on short grass and surprisingly easy. The 600 metre route is almost level,while the longer routes cross uneven ground with several slopes. You are advised not to take any route on Cleeve Common in poor visibility.

Coaley Peak Picnic Site - There is designated parking for people with disabilities and the picnic tables include one suitable for wheelchair users.

Cotswolds AONB - Walks on Wheels - These walks outlines fifteen short routes that can be explored by users of wheelchairs, power scooters and children's buggy. Walks on Wheels will help you to enjoy quiet country paths, villages or market towns. Most are suitable for all wheel users others may not be suitable

Crickley Hill - A pleasant walk of 700 metres suitable for all in a country park, with views from the escarpment over the Severn Vale and then through woodland. The surface is tarmac, crushed stone, short grass and earth.

Cyril Hart Arboretum (Forest Of Dean) - The stone path is not waymarked but is easy to follow in a loop around the arboretum. To extend your walk follow the grass path around the North Eastern end of the arboretum.

Dover’s Hill - There are two walks with magnificent views from the Cotswold escarpment. The short one is a level 1,200 metres there and back. The longer route of 2,200 metres, with a short steep descent and ascent, is suitable only for large-wheel buggies. The surface is mostly grass, with some uneven patches. After rain there will be puddles. It is grazed by sheep, so be prepared to clean your wheels afterwards.

Dundas - This is a rural waterfront path of 400 metres along the Avon Valley to a magnificent aqueduct that carries the Kennet and Avon Canal high over the river Avon and the railway. You can return the way you came (total 800 metres) or take in an interesting extension alongside the largely disused Somersetshire Coal Canal, making a total 1,200 metres. The walk to the aqueduct is on gently climbing tarmac, and the canal towpaths are on level smooth grit. The route can be further extended as far as you wish in either direction along the Kennet and Avon towpath. The walk is open to all.

Hatherley Park (Cheltenham) - Green Flag Award - no info on disabled facilities

Hinchwick - An easy there and back path of 1,800 metres on tarmac between woodland and fields. After a short rise, there is a very gentle ascent and descent, suitable for all wheels.

Ilmington - This 1,200 metre circuit illustrates Ilmington’s apple heritage, passing many small orchards and visiting the magnificent Apple Map in Saint Mary’s Church. With very gentle inclines, it is mostly on quiet paths with two sections on public roads and pavements and 30 metres on compacted gravel

King’s Stanley Walks with Wheels - text PDF with details of local parish wheelchair accessible walks

King’s Stanley and Leonard Stanley (stile free) - 3 miles - gentle slopes -

Lechlade on Thames - DISTANCE: 1 1/4 miles (2km) SLOPE: None steeper than 1:12 WIDTH: Mostly wider than 2m but minimum of 0.75m

Leigh Woods (Purple Trail) - The easy access route on the purple trail has recently been upgraded to an all-weather, surfaced path. No accessible toilets. No access charge. Car parking available.

Lower Lydbrook and riverside -This is just a short easy access stroll on surfaced paths in the riverside park, perhaps combined with a picnic or visit to one of the nearby pubs.

Mallards Pike Path (Forest Of Dean) - The path around the lake has a surface suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs. There are several benches where you can rest a while and enjoy the fabulous views or watch the ducks.

Montpellier Gardens (Cheltenham) - Green Flag Award - no info on disabled facilities

Naunton Park (Cheltenham) - Green Flag Award - no info on disabled facilities

Nightingale Woods - 4 Kilometres total. he 3 trails within the woods are all circular and linked, they are Nightingale, Heron and Kestrel walks. The paths are well surfaced with the main car park at the start of the trails. The Heron walk has an accessible bird hide.No accessible toilets. No admission charge. Car parking available.

Redbrook Millennium Green - This is just a short, easy access stroll on surfaced paths in the Millennium Green next to the river, perhaps combined with a picnic or visit to one of the nearby pubs.

River Avon Trail - Some sections of the Trail are suitable for people using wheelchairs or pushchairs. There are three locations in particular where you can enjoy a trip along the river:Conham River Park,The Avon Gorge & Bath

Rollright Stones - Two easy routes for all, mostly on grass with one very gentle slope. The stones are among England’s finest ancient monuments. The King’s Stone and the Whispering Knights date from Neolithic times. The stone circle known as the King’s Men is thought to be Bronze Age. There are magnificent views to the north and south

Soudley Ponds - 1000 metres. A linear route starts at the main car park on the minor road between Soudley and Littledean.The ponds are set in attractive woodlands and are a haven for wildlife and the surrounding paths are suitable for the less able and wheelchair users.There are toilet facilities at the nearby Dean Heritage Centre.

Stockhill, Mendips - 600 metres.The route follows a newly constructed, well surfaced path that starts and finishes at the main car park. No accessible toilets. No access charge. Car parking available.

Stratford Park (Stroud) - Green Flag Award - baby change and disability compliant facilities

Tetbury ups and downs - This 2.8km town tour, mostly on pavement and tarmac, winds through narrow streets with some steep ups and downs which are not suitable for hand propelled wheelchairs, and will be hard work for parents pushing buggies. Tetbury is a charming Cotswold market town with many listed buildings, among them the Market House, parish church, merchants’ houses and craftsmen’s cottages

The Adidas Trail (Forest Of Dean) - The Adidas Trail is a partnership between Adidas, the Forestry Commission and Forest of Dean Athletic Club. The course provides a scenic route that is challenging to joggers and serious athletes alike.

The National Arboretum, Westonbirt - (Charges) Disabled parking, Scooters and wheelchairs are available. All hard paths are accessible for wheelchairs and scooters and buggies. Trails off the paths are accessible depending on weather conditions. 

Up to Lansdown - This walk, with magnificent views from the Cotswolds escarpment over the Severn Estuary and Avon valley to Wales and the Mendips, is feasible only for Tramper-type scooters and large-wheeled mountain buggies. It rises 120 metres (395ft) to Lansdown Hill, then after a level section (with an optional extension to the Civil War memorial) it either returns by the same route or (for those with two cars) continues on a 150m (490 ft) descent to Upton Cheyney. The surface varies from tarmac to gravel, uneven grass and rutted stony paths. Sections may be muddy

Country Parks

Cotswold Water Park - There are many footpaths and waymarked routes around the area, and a good starting point is the Gateway Centre where you can collect an Access Map of the whole Water Park. Footpaths, bridlepaths and cyclepaths are marked on this map, along with stiles and routes suiatble for wheelchairs.

Crickley Hill Country Park - The park has a number of circular waymarked trails, see guides and maps, as well as two trails suitable for pushchairs and wheelchair users, The Family Trail and The Hill Fort Trail. There are a number of trails that can be explored on the Tramper (1 available for hire) at Crickley Hill, including one of the most beautiful sections of the Cotswold Way National Trail - see this site

Neigh Bridge Country Park - DISTANCE: 0.7 miles (1100m) of paths by waterside SLOPE: Any steeper than 1:12 are shown CROSS SLOPE: Mostly level WIDTH: Minimum of 0.9m on west side of lake, otherwise wider than 1m

Nature Reserves

Nagshead Reserve (RSPB) - Disabled toilets and picnic tables are available. Wheelchair access to part of the woodland is possible, although the nature trails are not suitable for wheelchairs, due to muddy surfaces and steep inclines. In dry conditions, parts of the the site are regularly used by users of self-powered buggies and wheelchairs.

Ridge Wood Local Nature Reserve - The new paths provide easy access for walkers and people with pushchairs and wheelchairs.

Warmley Forest Park Local Nature Reserve - Parts of the forest are accessible by wheelchair users and pushchairs although it is hoped further improvements to path surfacing will be carried out to improve people's experiences of the site. Parking and toilets are available on the High Street (70 metres away).

Wick Golden Valley Local Nature Reserve - Green Flag Award - The lower part of the reserve is fully accessible for wheelchair users and pushchairs. Parking is available at the nearby Carpenters Arms, where two parking bays have been reserved. The 250m walk from the pub along tarmac paths and up a private lane takes you to the main entrance to the reserve. From here take the tarmac road up to the bridge and follow the red ochre trail, a circular walk about a mile long.

Willsbridge Valley Local Nature Reserve - (Avon Wildlife Trust)The reserve has accessible parking at its entrance on Willsbridge Hill and a number of routes are suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs, including the popular Wildlife Garden. Other paths leading towards the Dramway contain steep gradients but are well surfaced.

Other Useful Links

Cotswold Volunteer - provides a wide range of transport services for the communities that we serve across the Cotswolds and in Cirencester and Tetbury day care service - highly valued by both the clients and their carers who are able to have some valuable free time. also Dial-a-Ride services and self-drive hire service of their wheelchair adapted vehicles

Disabled Afloat Riverboats Trust - The Disabled Afloat Riverboats Trust provide boating holidays for people with physical, visual, aural or learning disabilities together with their carers, families and friends

Lechlade and Bushyleaze Trout Fisheries - A wheelie boat (with electric outboard) is available, free of charge, to disabled anglers on Bushyleaze Lake.

Carers Gloucestershire is an independent, Carer led charitable organisation that seeks to empower Carers across the county to promote their rights and enable them to make positive choices to improve the quality of their lives.  

Gloucestershire Association for Disability - support Gloucestershire people with disabilities through life's challenges, by making grants to individuals and to not-for-profit organisations working with people with disabilities.  Grants can be made for a variety of needs including, equipment, holidays, education and training, personal development and special projects.

Gloucestershire Lifestyles - provide a high quality, flexible social activity support service to meet the specific needs of individuals who are 18 to 25 years old, who have a physical, sensory or learning disability, dementia or mental ill health and carers. “This Service is free to Carers.”

Gloucestershire Young Carers is able to offer support to young carers from 8 to 25 years of age, but has had referrals for children as young as 5  

CareShare - a voluntary organisation providing support to Carers in their own homes, to give Carers a regular short break.

St Vincent’s & St George’s Association is a charity based, and working in Gloucestershire to provide a comprehensive range of care and support services to those with disabilities, complex needs, health conditions and older people.

South Gloucestershire Parents Carers - a parent-led organisation helping to shape the future of services provided for children with disabilities

Wheely Good Fitness - a provider of wheelchair based exercise and fitness in the Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Monmouthshire areas.

Sport

Active Gloucestershire - Disability Sport - Whether you are somebody wanting to take part, try something new or assist others in being more physically active these pages will provide you with all the information you need.

Buds & Suds - Bristol & South Glos Union of Disability Sports - Disability Sport in Bristol & South Gloucestershire - sporting opportunities for all disabled people.

Gloucester Blazers Wheelchair Basketball Club - Aim is to provide a safe and welcoming environment for those with a disability

Gloucester Wheelchair Rugby Club - University of Gloucestershire, Oxstalls Campus, Longlevens, Gloucester

 

tourist.me.uk provides listings of Gloucestershire heritage, nature and general visitor attractions many with accessibility info