If you’ve been following me on social media, you may know by now that the Lake District is one of my favourite places to be. So much so in fact, that despite the C word, I’ve managed to get there four times this year!
A question I regularly get asked is how it’s possible for me, as a wheelchair user, to enjoy the Lake District – a holiday destination classically known for it’s appeal to hikers, fell runners and extreme sport enthusiasts. Sadly, after asking my followers on Instagram recently about what they’d like to know about my Lakes trips, many people said they’d assumed the area was off-limits to them as disabled people. With that in mind, I figured it was time to resurrect my blog and share with you my top tips for enjoying what the Lakes has to offer if you’re disabled. None of the content included in this post is sponsored, but just genuine advice. If you click on any of the phrases in bold below, they’ll take you to web pages with more details of the location.
Where to stay:
My favourite place to stay in the Lake District is at Beckside, belonging to Halls Bank Cottages in Arkleby. The cottage is suitable for two people and is on the ground floor, with features including: car parking space, level access throughout, lowered kitchen hob, wet room and access to swimming pool.
Somewhere else I stayed recently, at the other end of the Lakes, was Hazelmount Coach House. This home is suitable for up to five guests, is on the ground floor and has features including parking for up to three cars and a walk-in shower.
What to do:
I’ve visited a lot of attractions in the Lake District, so here is a list of some of my favourites. If you have any specific questions about any of these places, do get in touch.
- Coastal walks/wheels – Maryport and Seascale both have seafront parking with access to smooth paths for walking or wheeling. They also have ice cream parlours, coffee shops and toilets!
- Lakeside walk – Cockshott Point, owned by the National Trust, is a beautiful (free!) spot for a walk in Bowness-on-Windermere. Bowness can be a busy tourist spot, so parking can at times be difficult, particularly in the summer months.
- Brockhole is a lovely, family-friendly place to visit on Windermere and is also accessible via bus, with it’s own bus stop outside. There’s a café and an accessible walk.
- Tarn Hows is another attraction owned by the National Trust. There’s a lovely round walk, and an all-terrain tramper is available to rent free of charge.
- Alpacaly Ever After is easily my absolute favourite place to visit in the Lakes. I walked the alpacas at the Lingholm estate site in the summer and I really couldn’t recommend this more as an activity for the whole family. Walking an alpaca isn’t naturally particularly wheelchair accessible, but the staff made it so enjoyable and went above and beyond to make it inclusive.
- Whinlatter Forest is owned by Forestry England and somewhere I thoroughly enjoyed visiting. They really are dedicated to making the forest experience available to everybody, with all terrain trampers available for hire.
- Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway is a steam railway and museum and a really fun afternoon out. The museum is free, but it’s necessary to book the train ride in advance if you wish to do this. Wheelchair users can ride on the train – it’s arguably more accessible than our national rail service! If you use a powerchair, though, it may be too large to fit through the doors, so this is worth checking in advance.
I hope this post is a useful resource! Please do get in touch with queries and follow me on Instagram @emswheellife to follow my adventures.
26 year old Northerner on a mission to make the world more accessible to everyone! My Instagram account is Instagram.com/emswheellife or type in emswheellife to your Instagram search tool.