With 16 ‘lakes’ in the Lake District (though technically there is only one – Bassenthwaite Lake – the rest are waters and meres) and 150 high peaks, it comes as no surprise that this part of Cumbria receives 15.8 million visitors per year. At AccessTOG HQ, I receive a lot of message from people who have poor or no mobility who say that they would love to enjoy a walk in the Lake District but don’t know where to go or what facilities there in the area.
With this in mind here’s my top tips for enjoying the Lake District in a wheelchair:
1. Mobility Scooters for hire from Outdoor Mobility
Outdoor Mobility provides access to some of the most beautiful views and scenic locations through their all-terrain mobility scooter hire scheme. In partnership with Countryside Mobility, which operates in the South West of England, Outdoor Mobility membership has scooters in two locations in the Lake District. One in Whinlatter and the other in Langdale. Check out their website for further details.
2. Lake District National Park – Miles Without Stiles
There are 48 routes across the Lake District National Park that have been identified as walks suitable for people with limited mobility. All the walks can be found on the Lake District National Park’s website. The routes have been graded based upon gradient and surface conditions into three categories – for ‘all’, ‘many’ and for ‘some’.
3. Freedom Wizard
Freedom Wizard is a charitable organisation which takes people out onto the fells in their all-terrain chairs. Allie and her team enable people with disability to experience the joy of reaching selected Lake District mountain summits.
4. Anyone Can UK
Fancy sailing or Canoeing in the Lake District? Maybe even a bit of bushcraft or a chance to drive a powerboat on Windermere? Proudly inclusive, Anyone Can believe that everyone should have easy access to adventures in the outdoors. Through a wealth of skills, experience and a supply of adaptive equipment Anyone Can serve a wide range of adventurers with additional needs.
5. Tarn Hows
Situated between Coniston and Hawkshead, this beautiful circular walk is around the tarn. An all-terrain scooter is available to borrow free of charge from the National Trust. Due to high demand, it is advisable to book at least 48 hours in advance. Ring National Trust on 01539 441 456.
6. Brockhole and the Lake District National Park Visitor Centre
Brockhole, situated between Ambleside and Windermere, is the Lake District National Park Authority Visitor Centre. It is set in 30 acres of magnificent terraced gardens and grounds stretching down to the shore of Windermere lake, with splendid views of the surrounding countryside. There is a free mobility scooter for visitors to use in the gardens.
7. Calvert Trust Keswick
The Calvert Trust is a residential outdoor centre which provides outdoor adventure holidays for people with disabilities.
8. Fell Foot
Situated at the very southern tip of Lake Windermere, National Trust Fell Foot is a great, family friendly location to play, explore and relax. An all-terrain wheelchair is available to borrow so that visitors can enjoy a lakeside walk. A changing place facility is available at Fellfoot – Fell Foot Access Statement.
9. Stay at the Coniston Inn
Set on the water’s edge of Coniston, this hotel, which is part of the Inn Collection Group has wheelchair accessible rooms, with roll in wet-rooms.
And last, but in no way least …
10. AccessTOG walks in the Lake District
And if this has wet your appetite for walking with wheels in the Lake District, then check out our accessible walks. We have a selection of walks from push do-able in a manual wheelchair through to high adventures in a sturdy 4×4 all terrain vehicle.