The UK is home to 15 amazing national parks, providing a vast amount of wonderfully wild and natural locations for locals and visitors to enjoy. Whether you are looking for a scenic walk, a quiet place to relax, or a fascinating attraction, the UK’s national parks have you covered, being great places to spend time with friends and family. In this guide, we are highlighting five of the best national parks in the UK, letting you know what to expect when visiting and also providing an insight into their accessibility. So, if you have installed stairlifts at home, this guide will hopefully give you a few ideas about which national park you would like to visit.
Located in beautiful northwest Wales, Snowdonia National Park is set around spectacular mountains and glacial landforms. One of the world’s most iconic national parks, Snowdonia provides a plethora of amazing views, walking trails, and places of interest. With Mount Snowdon located here - the highest peak in both Wales and England - as well as hundreds of lakes, miles of beaches, and the historic Snowdon Mountain Railway, there’s plenty to whet the appetite for a visit, no matter if you have a day or a week set aside to explore.
Adam and Sophie, from the travel blog We Dream of Travel, have been to Snowdonia and describe the sheer amount of things there are to see and the importance of planning: “With so many amazing hikes, waterfalls, lakes, towns, and landscapes to take in, careful planning is essential to ensure you are able to see it all!” They have put together a Snowdonia itinerary so take a look at a few of their suggestions before planning your trip.
From accessing the park’s most fantastic locations with all-terrain mobility scooters available to hire to routes that are accessible for everyone, efforts have been made to make Snowdonia National Park welcoming to all. Even though its rugged nature, like all national parks, will, of course, pose certain obstacles to those with limited mobility.
Learn more about accessibility at Snowdonia National Park here.
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Located at the southern end of the Pennines in England, the Peak District National Park extends into multiple counties but is mostly situated in Derbyshire. It is one of the UK’s most visited national parks and spans around 555 square miles. The Peak District is the oldest national park in the UK and is known in the north for its dramatic moorland and in the south for green, meadow-covered dales. A truly magnificent part of the country, there’s plenty to keep visitors entertained, from cycling and walks to activities like water sports and attractions like Haddon Hall and the Heights of Abraham.
Zanna Van Dijk, a travel and lifestyle blogger, has spent time in this glorious part of the world and describes the Peak District as, “one of my favourite spots in beautiful Britain.” Zanna goes on to recommend that visitors to the park enjoy some cavern exploration: “There are numerous caverns and cave systems throughout the Peaks which are crying out to be explored. I personally loved the Speedwell Cavern which is a flooded 18th-century mine which ends in a huge underground lake.”
When it comes to accessibility at Peak District National Park, they go beyond merely providing the basic but important facilities such as accessible car parks and toilets. The park also offers what is called ‘Miles without Stiles’ routes, 20 different routes across the park that are suitable for those with limited mobility. There is also accessible bike equipment available and a series of access guides.
Learn more about accessibility at Peak District National Park here.
Yorkshire is certainly one of the UK’s greatest beauty spots and one of the county’s biggest stars is the magnificent Yorkshire Dales National Park. When you think of the English countryside, the scenery provided by the Yorkshire Dales comes quickly to mind, with its idyllic rolling green hills, gently sloping valleys, meandering rivers, and traditional English villages. With impressive manmade landmarks like the Ribblehead Viaduct and natural features of the most picturesque variety, such as Malham Cove and Aysgarth Falls, you really can’t go wrong. So, whether you want to go on a short walk, sample some Wensleydale cheese, or opt for a brewery tour, the Yorkshire Dales is ready and waiting.
Mark and Paul, from the travel blog, Anywhere We Roam, have spent time exploring the Yorkshire Dales and have shared one of their favourite locations in the park, just in case you are looking for some suggestions: “If we had to pick the most beautiful part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, it would be upper Swaledale. The most northern and least visited of the dales, it’s a patchwork of glistening green fields in stark contrast to the barren brown moorlands that rise above it.”
The good news is that those with disabilities or limited mobility will find plenty of the Yorkshire Dales to enjoy. Being welcoming to all visitors is something the park cherishes, providing key access facilities like car parks and toilets, while also offering all-terrain vehicles to hire for exploring the more rugged areas of the park and a collection of routes that are ideal for those in wheelchairs.
Learn more about accessibility at Yorkshire Dales National Park here.
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The epic beauty and magisterial environs of Scotland hardly need promoting. It’s all but impossible to visit Britain’s northernmost nation without being blown away by its natural beauty. The Cairngorms plays a big part in this, being a wonderful national park in the northeast of Scotland. Established as recently as 2003, the park features, and is named after, the Cairngorms Mountain Range, a truly spectacular sight and a memorable location to enjoy some time in the Scottish outdoors. Cairngorms is the UK’s biggest national park and is home to five of Scotland’s six tallest mountains, made all the more scenic by their snow-covered peaks. From winter sports and forest paths to wildlife hotspots and friendly villages, you won’t be disappointed with what the Cairngorms has to offer.
Toccara and Sam, from the travel blog, Forget Someday, have shared that they had a delightful time visiting Cairngorms National Park, recommending the park’s various geological formations as one of the many highlights: “The River Dee flows from the Cairngorms to the North Sea in Aberdeen. Visit Linn O’ Dee to lay eyes upon where a part of the river has funnelled its way through a rocky gorge beneath a Gothic-arched bridge. There are walking trails through the woods nearby, along with plenty of places to enjoy a picnic.”
Cairngorms National Park may be replete with mountains and wild plains but that doesn’t stop it from offering wheelchair accessible paths, easy access trails, and outdoor activities for those with disabilities. All this is on top of scooter and wheelchair hire for those who may need it.
Learn more about accessibility at Cairngorms National Park here.
Devon is known for its pretty seaside locations and hilly green fields but it’s also home to a vast moorland in the form of one of the UK’s very best national parks. Dartmoor is a wild expanse exposed to the elements, featuring forests, rivers, wetlands, and the iconic Dartmoor Ponies, which can be found roaming Dartmoor’s craggy landscape. Visitors can look forward to exploring the park’s winding trails, saying hello to the resident ponies, and even encountering Neolithic tombs and Bronze Age stone circles. Scented with gorse and bracken and populated with postcard-worthy Devonshire villages, Dartmoor provides a unique national park experience.
Mollie, from the travel blog, We Are Global Travellers, calls Dartmoor one of the most beautiful national parks in the UK and recommends an idyllic waterfall as a top spot to visit: “Descend into Lydford Gorge to see the magnificent Whitelady Waterfall. It’s too dangerous to swim in the gorge because the river moves too fast, but it’s beautiful to see. The circular walking trail from the National Trust Car Park (EX20 4BL) takes about an hour, and then enjoy afternoon tea in the waterfall tea rooms afterwards.”
Regardless of your level of mobility, Dartmoor is a national park that can be enjoyed and explored. Working with the Dartmoor Wheelchair Access Group, their Miles Without Stiles routes have been graded as suitable for those with limited mobility. There are also blue badge parking bays available at different sites and accessible toilets are available.
We hope this guide to some of the UK’s very best national parks has been helpful, especially if you or someone you know has limited mobility. The UK is home to 15 amazing national parks, each offering its own accessible facilities, routes, and activities. So, get out there and enjoy these special locations.
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This news article is from Companion Stairlifts. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.