I work with a young lady who has MS and she wants me to take her into Derbyshire and go for a stroll. She cannot walk but has an electric wheelchair and I would like to be able to explore the Derbyshire area with her. Has anyone got any ideas where I can take her - we both would be grateful of your help.
A. How about:
Carsington Water. Landscaped pathways around the reservoir; wheelchairs provided; excellent visitor centre.
Dovedale from the South Car Park. Bridge across the river to its eastern side, and then firm pathway for the best part of a mile. There is a stile near the stepping-stones, but I'm sure there is vehicular access round it.
Ilam Country Park. Undulating but not steep landscaped pathways. Look for the resurgence of the river Manifold at the southern end of the Hall - this is the water that disappears into swallets at Wetton Mill, and re-appears here a few days later! (So if you lose your handbag or wallet at Wetton Mill, all you need to do is sit and wait for it at the Hall!)
Lathkill Dale from Conksbury Bridge. Firm and level pathway for about half a mile.
Ladybower. Metalled road all along the western bank. Car park and Accessible visitor centre at the Fairholmes Car park.
Monsall Trail, Miller's Dale. Level access from the car park at 138732, with a choice of a couple of miles of firm and level pathway in either direction see Walk d265 The Monsal Trail and Taddington from Wye Dale
Chatsworth House and Gardens. OK, not exactly a stroll in the fields, but all the pathways are safe for wheelchairs, the gardens are varied and absolutely gorgeous, and it will take most of the day to stroll around them. And of course, excellent facilities!
A. Hi Stephanie.
There are several old railway lines that cross the Peak District - namely the Tissington Trail and The High Peak Trail in Derbyshire and the Manifold Way in Staffordshire. These trails are (for the most part) flat and reasonably smooth and used by cyclists, walkers and walkers with young children in push chairs. Access is usually via car parks actually on the trails themselves.
You and your friend would most likely be able to stroll up and down these trails and get a real feel of the Peak District countryside. You will need to have a bit of a look at each access point to see if the trail is suitable for you both. I would suggest the former Railway Station at Parsley Hay (on A515 Buxton to Ashbourne Road) would be a good place to start. (I seem to recall there is a tea-shop there which sells ice-creams which seems reason enough to go and take a look!)
From Parsley Hay you should be able to wander down the High Peak Trail and/or the Tissington Trail for pretty much as far as you like, though you will have to return the same way or arrange to be collected at a different car park/former station. Nearly all the other exits from these trails involve stiles and short but steep ascents/ descents.
Hope this helps
A. Hello Stephanie, you could also try Buxton. There is a nice walk close to the town centre starting in Pavilion Gardens around the lake(using either the park paths or Broad Walk - a traffic free road) and then following the River Wye across two roads, coming back on the other side of the river and lake. It is fairly short, but there are many birds to see and it is wheelchair friendly, with many seats along the way. Refreshments are available from the Pavilion Cafe with level access and a ground floor disabled toilet.
David Dawber, Lytham St Annes
A. Hi, I had a nice walk with amazing views at Black Rocks with my Grandma who I push in a manual NHS wheelchair. We walked from the car park (1 disabled toilet, 3 disabled spaces) to the top of the steep incline down to Cromford and back, then the other way towards Middleton Top. The ground was rough in places but only with stones and gravel, it was generally flat but does get muddy if it's been raining (we nearly got stuck in the mud when we went to close to the edge of the path). Cromford itself is a lovely walk along the canal, lots of wildlife to see and a cafes at each end, no designated spaces but plenty of parking in general. Whenever we go we see quite a few other people in wheelchairs. Hope this is a bit helpful.
Grandma's Helper, Nottingham