Accessible Lake District
Last week I visited Bowness-on-Windermere in the Lake District.
I had an incredible week and it was just what I needed. From long dog walks, to going on a steam train, to paddling in the lake and even taking a boat ride!
Although it has some steep slopes on the outskirts, the main stretch of Bowness was fairly wheelchair friendly, with flat pavements and ramps where needed.
Walking on from the main stretch at Bowness, there is a wheelchair friendly path which goes to the marina via Cockshott Point. The walk ended at the public slipway, where we found 'Dans Cafe' who served Marshfield Farm's dog friendly ice cream, which Georgie throughly enjoyed, as the picture shows! She loved it so much, we had to go again later in the week.
On another day, we took the car chain-ferry over the lake from Bowness Nab, which is free if you are a blue badge holder! We visited Coinston, which had a fairly wheelchair friendly path from the water to the main town and back.
Later on in the week, we took The Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway. When we arrived at the station, we got to the ticket office window where we were given a map and timetable, and told where to wait on the platform for the accessible carriage.
As soon as the train arrived, a member of staff showed us to the accessible carriage and lowered a hydraulic lift for me to get on to the train. The back carriage of the train was reserved for wheelchairs and very spacious. However, we soon discovered the dog does not like trains!
My highlight of the week was Thursday, where we took a boat out on Windermere lake. Yes, that's right I had my first driving lesson on Windermere lake and personally, I think I was great! I thought the dog would be really freaked out about being on a boat, but she loved it, she actually fell asleep at one point! I really enjoyed it and would love to do it again.
To find accessible walks we used 'Miles Without Stiles'. On this site you can find 48 routes across the National Park which are suitable for people with limited mobility, including wheelchair users, families with pushchairs and the visually impaired. There is a interactive map on the website linked above where you. can explore the routes available.
A final important note, there are very few exemption for blue badges in carparks in the Lake District. Additionally, although there are charges on a lot of public toilets in this area, most did have a radar key disabled toilet.
Thanks for reading!