Below we’ve listed some wheelchair friendly and accessible walks in Bristol and the South West, including some woodland walks and countryside rambles. Dogs are definitely the best walking companions, and it’s great to know where you can explore together that is accessible. These walks are also suitable for pushchairs.
A 36 acre arboretum, cafe and garden centre located in the Cotswolds. A lovely place to spend the morning or afternoon. About 25% of the Arboretum is accessible by manual wheelchairs but electrically powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters will make most of the paths easier to negotiate. Alternatively, you can rent one of their tramper mobility scooters for a 2 hour slot each day, just give them a ring before you pop over.
With a large paved promenade, this is one of the best walks for wheelchairs and buggies. There are multiple access points to the promenade, one of them being at the end of Station Road (which is the easiest place to park) however, this entrance is a bit steep, so you might need to go to one of the other access points further north. Shirley’s Cafe is also on Station Road and is accessible.
A fabulous, flat, circular route around the Cheddar Reservoir, with the added bonus of visiting the dog bakery/cafe Cheddar Paws Bakery in the village after. There is a flat gravel and tarmac path around the 2.5 mile reservoir, with panoramic views of the Somerset Levels and Mendip Hills. There are short but steep tarmac ramps up from car parks, with kissing gates that should be able to fit most wheelchairs, scooters and buggies through. There are no facilities here, the closest are in Cheddar village.
An unlikely place for an accessible walk, but Stockhill Wood has an All Ability Trail (600m) and an Easy Going Trail (0.7 miles). The All Ability Trail is dedicated to Ian McArdle of the Cheddar Valley Access Group, a disabled man who loved Stockhill Wood, inspiring the trail’s creation. The Easy Going Trail is a flat gravel path, but may have a couple of muddy patches in winter. There are no facilities at Stockhill Wood.
A wonderful, square, 19 acres park nestled in Staple Hill, which is very much loved by the community. Complete with a cafe (although dogs are not allowed inside), toilets, multiple play areas, clock tower, bandstand and green open areas. Disabled car parking spaces are available on all sides of the park, and all gated entrances are wide enough to allow for wheelchair access. The paths around the park are flat and in good condition.
A flat walk with amazing views of Clifton Suspension Bridge and the Avon Gorge. Park on the Seawalls side of The Downs, where there is plenty of parking and a disabled bay. From here, there are tarmacked paths along the edge of The Downs as well as across the wide open green spaces. Plenty of routes, but great for about an hour’s walk.
Blaise Castle Estate
One of the best beauty spots in Bristol, a beautiful, well-maintained woodland, with pools and streams. With a free car park, disabled bays and wide concrete paths, it’s very accessible. For an easy hour walk, start at the main car park on Kings Weston Road, follow the path all the way to the small Coombe Dingle car park, turn back and follow the same route back. There are toilets, cafe, picnic benches and children’s play area.
Three Brooks Local Nature Reserve
A wonderful 60 hectare nature reserve in Bradley Stoke, with woodlands, wetlands and grasslands. For parking, it’s best to park at the Bradley Stoke Leisure Centre for accessibility. The reserve itself has some gravelly paths, making it more suitable for electric wheelchairs than self-propelled ones, but there are a few routes. In 2019, Three Brooks Local Nature Reserve received a grant to make the area more accessible.
Conham River Park
A beautiful and tranquil walk along the River Avon. There is a great circular route on a surfaced path that will take you along the River Avon, and into the woodland area before arriving back at the car park, however, some areas of the path are gravelly. This is a small walk, but we would recommend for the scenery! There are 2 disabled parking bays and toilets.
Not your traditional dog walk, but walking around Bristol harbour on a warm sunny day, or a crisp winters afternoon is always special, with plenty of dog friendly cafes, pubs and restaurants to stop by on the way. This 2.5 mile circular route around the harbour is accessible and flat, with a few slopes where needed to gain access to upper or lower levels of the harbour. There are many car parks nearby, which should all have disabled bays, for example, The Grove Car Park (BS1 4QY), Brunel’s SS Great Britain Car Park (BS1 6JR) or Millennium Square Car Park (BS1 5LL).
A beautiful victorian park, with childrens play area, avenues of trees, lots of green open spaces and a couple of big muddy puddles that dogs just seem to LOVE. This is such a lovely park and very family orientated. With lots of tarmacked paths in good condition throughout, the only thing that makes it slightly more challenging is that the park is on a slope, meaning it is easy for electric wheelchairs, but maybe not ideal for self-propelled ones. Parking is residential and around the outskirts of the park.
Golden Valley Nature Reserve
A lovely and increasingly popular walk in Wick, South Gloucestershire, which has its history rooted in the industrial past. With sparkling dusty red paths, a weir, wooded habitat and river running through, it’s unique because of it’s quarrying and production of refined ochre past. The lower part of the reserve is fully accessible for wheelchair users and pushchairs, which is known as the Red Ochre Trail (1.35 miles). Unfortunately, there is very limited parking for this walk, as permissions to park in certain areas have been retracted, so please park considerably as it is a residential area.
Ashton Court Estate
A favourite walk of ours because of the large, wide tarmac paths, sweeping open green spaces and pockets of woodland, not to mention looking through the fences at the magnificent deers and stags in the deer park. The main obstacle here, however, is that Ashton Court is essentially a huge hill, but you will be able to explore the main lower paths of the estate, visit the cafe and toilets. The lower car park at the mansion is the best place to park for accessibility as the path goes straight from the car park.
Barton Farm Country Park
Set in Bradford on Avon, this stunning walk starts along the River Avon, before continuing to walk along the picturesque Kennet and Avon Canal. For accessibility, park in Station Car Park, but unfortunately, you will need to go down the road to Pound Lane (10 minutes walk away) to gain access to the country park as there is a bike barrier on the path from Station Car Park to Barton Farm Country Park. From Pound Lane, you will pass the beautiful Tithe Barn, cafe and shops. After, the accessible path will go past the River Avon, where you can stay on the surfaced path until you reach the canal. The canal path is gravelled, so might be easier for an electric wheelchair.
Brean Down, cared for by the National Trust, have made the peninsular walk accessible by creating a wide gravel path that runs all the way from the car park to the old fort at the end of the natural pier. They have trampers available to rent from the visitors centre, which are suitable for all terrains. Please be aware though, that the first part of the walk has a very steep gradient and a gate at the bottom (which can be opened). The car park has disabled parking bays, cafe and toilets. Countryside Mobility has a great post with more detail and a video here.
Crickley Hill offers stunning views of the Cotswolds, the Brecon Beacons and beyond. The Crickley Hill Circular Walk is suitable for all-terrain pushchairs, wheelchairs and the available-for-hire tramper/mobility scooter (1 is available for hire Monday – Friday). Crickley Hill also has a cafe, although dogs are not allowed inside, there are plenty of tables outside including bowls of water and you can buy dog treats from the cafe. Crickley Hill has a large car park with disabled bays and toilets.
Symonds Yat Rock
Enjoy the tranquillity and nature of the surrounding woodland at Symonds Yat Rock, and savour the spectacular view, overlooking the valley, where you might spot some Peregrine Falcons. With an all-ability route from the cafe to the viewpoint, this short trail is only 200m, but Countryside Mobility does suggest another walk of 4.5 miles for trampers. You can rent an all-terrain Tramper from the cycle hire centre at Forest Holidays. There are facilities, cafe, picnic benches and parking. Full accessibility details are here.
One of our favourite days out, at any time of the year, but we are fond of visiting in the spring and autumn where the colours are simply stunning. Westonbirt Arboretum has good condition paths around the whole of the woodland, although dogs are only allowed off lead in Silk Woods and need to be on a lead around the cafe areas and toilets. The full accessibility guide can be seen here.
Portbury Wharf Nature Reserve
A 150 acre nature reserve between Portishead and Royal Portbury Dock, overlooking the Bristol Channel. With a mix of open space, wetlands, residential green space and a large grassy salt marsh. The main path around the reserve is a hard, surfaced path and accessible for wheelchairs and pushchairs. There are two car parks, at Sheepway and Wharf Lane, however, please check the website before you, as Sheepway might be closed due to works for the Hinkley Connection Project. There are no facilities at the nature reserve, but it is very close to Portishead Marina, where there are restaurants and cafes.
National Trust Tyntesfield
A spectacular National Trust estate with a gothic house, well kept gardens, woodland walks, cafe, facilities and parking. There is one accessible route around the house and gardens, which is approximately 1.3 miles long, which is more suited to an electric wheelchair as parts of the path have loose gravel. A full review from the National Trust can be seen here, in the ‘Facilities and Access’ link.
Portishead Lake Grounds & Woodhill Bay
A lovely walk at the Lake Grounds, overlooking the Bristol Channel. Absolutely amazing at sunrise or sunset, but a great place to spend some time, have a wander and appreciate the view. There are flat, hard-surfaced paths encircling Marine Lake, with a flat promenade along the beachfront. There is plenty of car parking nearby, with 2 car parks and street parking with disabled bays. There is also a cafe with toilets nearby, but they are not free. Unfortunately, there is no access to Battery Point for wheelchairs yet.
Oldbury Court Estate
A wonderful park, perfect for young kids, as it has an amazing children’s play area. With hard surfaced paths that wind around the parkland, before sloping down to the River Frome and onto the Frome Valley Walkway, which is good for wheelchair users with a strong helper or electric scooters. The Frome Valley Walkway is not in the best condition and not paved the whole way, so you can access only part of the path. The River Frome is a great dog swimming spot, in case your dog loves the water! There are 2 disabled parking bays in the car park, with access to the paths, a kiosk and toilets.
Mallards Pike Lake
A beautiful lake in the Forest of Dean, which is particularly stunning in autumn, when the trees changing colour are mirrored in the water below. The 800m path is gravelled, so is accessible for wheelchairs and pushchairs. There are also toilets, a cafe, picnic benches and disabled bay parking. Dogs will love it here, they can explore the woodland, find sticks and splash around in the lake.
The largest common in the Cotswolds, with 455 hectares of hilly terrain with sweeping views of Gloucestershire, Wales and beyond. Even though the landscape is hilly, Walks on Wheels have detailed two walks that are suitable for all wheels. The smaller walk of 600 metres is almost level, and the longer one has amazing panoramic views. Larger areas of the common can be further explored by users of large-wheeled scooters and mountain buggies.
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