Bedfordshire Accessible Countryside
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 Bedfordshire.
Walks Greenspaces and Countryside
Bedford Parks Leaflet (North Bedford) Archived PDF download - Many of Bedford’s parks and green spaces are suitable for people with disabilities. Flat and surfaced paths, fishing platforms and some car parking provision are available at different sites.
Bedford Parks Leaflet (Central and South Bedford) Archived PDF download - Many of Bedford’s parks and green spaces are suitable for people with disabilities. Flat and surfaced paths, fishing platforms and some car parking provision are available at different sites.
Barton Hills National Nature Reserve - "The reserve has a large population of the rare pasque flower and several other rare plants are present in the downland, including greater pignut and fleawort. There is also a range of characteristic chalk grassland plants such as wild thyme, horseshoe vetch, marjoram and rockrose, and a good show of orchids in summer." "There is an attractive level walk along Barton Brook on unsurfaced paths. Other than that, Barton is very hilly and there are steep gradients" - from the Chilterns Conservation Board website
Blue Waters and Plaiter's Way- PDF Download - "Outer circuit of site = approx. 1.5km Surfaced paths Bumpy in places with some loose stones upto 30mm.." from the Central Bedfordshire Council website
Central Bedfordshire Council - Mobility impaired access to countryside sites - "We have several countryside sites which are friendly for mobility-impaired customers. These sites provide walks which are likely to be suitable for people with impaired mobility, including users of wheelchairs and mobility scooters" - from the Central Bedfordshire Council website - (each site listed has access details and a map of the site)
Dunstable Downs and Whipsnade Estate - (NT) - "Stand on top of Dunstable Downs for a view that will simply take your breath away. There are several Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) designated for the quality of the chalk grasslands" "For visitors using cars there is ample accessible parking in the car park closest to the Chilterns Gateway Centre and in the popular grass car park when open on busy days and weekends. Accessible toilet available in main toilet block. There is also over one kilometre of multi user path that stretches from the Visitor Centre to Dunstable" - from the National Trust website
Harrold-Odell Country Park- "Reserved spaces for the disabled are located to the left of the main car park, facing Grebe Lake. A ramp provides wheelchair access to the Visitors' Centre on the Carlton Road side of the Centre. This also provides access to toilet facilities for the disabled. The main pathway through the Park and around Grebe Lake has a hard but unpaved surface that is suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs for most of the year. However, parts of the path can be wet in winter and after heavy rain. All kissing gates in the Park have radar key access as does the Visitors' Centre toilet. Both the bird hides in the Park are accessible to wheelchair users." - from the Harrold-Odell Country Park website
Priory Country Park - We understand that there is disabled parking in the main car park off Barkers Lane, that the visitor centre is accessible and has accessible toilets, and that the paths are surfaced and are suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs. - download the trail leaflet from the Bedford Borough Council website
Rushmere Country Park- "Herons View Visitor Centre, , and The Deck meadow for picnics, Stockgrove Visitor Centre and cafe" " - ‘access for all’ trail suitable for buggies and wheelchairs where visitors can search for fairies and have a photograph in the Giant’s Chair (pictured)" "At Rushmere Country Park we have trails for people of all ages and abilities including two Access for All trails" - from The Greensand Trust website
The Lodge Nature Reserve and Gardens - "The Lodge Nature Reserve and Gardens is a very special place, offering an exceptionally rich combination of wildlife and heritage experiences. The woodland, heath and acid grassland here cover an area of some 220 hectares, and now form the largest stretch of heathland in Bedfordshire" "The path from the Visitor centre and shop, past the hide and to The Lodge house and around the gardens is on level, although at times slightly uneven ground. Other paths will have steeper, stepped sections and are not suitable for mobility vehicles and most prams." "Visitor centre - Entrance is by a ramp with a handrail on one side. Step-free, level access throughout with carpet tiles." - from the RSPB website
Tiddenfoot Waterside Park - "Originally a sand quarry, it has now reverted to nature and wild plants and animals have been encouraged to reoccupy the land. The park is now a place of tranquillity for both people and wildlife, open to anyone for walking or cycling on the surfaced paths. The walk around the lake is just less than one mile, and wooden benches have been placed at several locations providing pleasant vistas. The absence of steep gradients makes the circular route ideal for visitors with pushchairs, and most of it is accessible to wheelchairs. The two specially designated spaces in the car park are only for use by vehicles displaying a valid disabled parking permit." - from the Tiddenfoot Waterside Park website
Wetlands Nature Reserve - "If you’re a keen nature spotter, or just fancy somewhere peaceful to get away from it all, the Wetlands Nature Reserve is the perfect place. The Wetlands Trail is a surfaced, circular route and is approx. 1.2 miles, starting on the meadow at the back of the Forest Centre and travelling around the Pillinge. There are 3 regular hides along the Trail, overlooking the beautiful reedbeds and the sand martin wall on the Pillinge, and the Tower Hide and Woodland Walkway which gives panoramic views across the Vale. All hides are wheelchair accessible" - from The Forest of Marston Vale Trust website