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Rambling Whilst Disabled

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 1 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
Disabled Rambling Wheelchairs Mobility

You don’t have to be able bodied to walk to go rambling. The Disabled Ramblers Association organises a wide range of rambles that are specifically designed for disabled people so you no longer have to be able bodied to enjoy getting out and about in the countryside.

Strictly speaking, wheelchair users are allowed in exactly the same places as those who are travelling by foot, but stiles, steps, slopes and debris can make navigation a lot less simple. Even if you don’t need a wheelchair, you might still have problems bending to avoid low-hanging branches. This doesn’t mean that you need to avoid rambling though, as there are still several options that you can take.

Specialised Rambling Trips

If you’re confined to a wheelchair, mobility scooter or similar, you might find yourself restricted in terms of where you can rambling. A lot of walking paths have inclines and aren’t smooth enough for a wheelchair to easily travel along them. If this is the case for you, a rambling trip that caters especially for disabled people will probably be the best option, as it will allow you to take part in rambling with people who are in the same position as you.

The Disabled Ramblers organises walks across the UK to places like the Peak District and the Lake District. Log on to http://www.disabledramblers.co.uk to see a list of future trips. If you’re in Scotland, try the Scottish Disabled Ramblers for information on rambling trips in Scotland.

If you don’t live near enough to any of the locations that they visit, why not book into a Bed and Breakfast for a weekend break? Not all Bed and Breakfasts will have disabled facilities though, so it’s vital to check in advance whether they will be able to accommodate wheelchairs, mobility scooters etc.

Easy-Access Pathways

The Forestry Commission has introduced walking paths that are suitable for disabled people. They start from a car park, so you can easily get from the car to the path without too much hassle. They tend not to have inclines, which makes them perfect for anyone who can’t go on uphill walks.

Canal Towpaths

A lot of canal towpaths have been overhauled by British Waterways. Like the easy-access pathways, they are relatively flat, which obviously suits wheelchairs, mobility scooters or motorised pavement buggies.

It’s easy to be put off the idea of going rambling if you’re unable to walk up inclines. Not all disabled people are restricted to wheelchairs, scooters or buggies, but if you are, there are still opportunities available to you. Many walking paths have been altered in recent years to better suit disabled people, but easy-access walking paths and canal towpaths still provide two of the best options, as they are more or less completely flat.

Going on a specialised trip is probably the best way to be sure of finding a path that is definitely suitable for wheelchairs, scooters and buggies though, as the charities that organise them will only use walking paths that they know are appropriate for disabled people to use comfortably.

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