Spring is arriving and we’re starting to think about how nice it’d be to go for a wander in nature. We’ve asked around and discovered your favourite accessible walks! Let us know if the comments if we’ve missed your favourite or if you’ve got futher info to add!
Primarily here we’re thinking about walks that are suitable for mobility aid users, whether it’s a wheelchair, a powerchair, a scooter or something else. Where we know, we’ve included details about toilets.
Please let us know in the comments, or email us, if you have any concerns about the accessibility of parks, and ideas about how to improve them for disabled people. The Age Friendly York survey about public spaces is another way of letting the council know what you think about accessibility for outside places (we’ve checked and you don’t have to define yourself as an older person to complete it!).
Parks and Nature Reserves
Acomb Wood – has a flat path but it can be muddy after rain.
Askham Bog – there are boardwalk paths which have an anti-slip covering so is more weather resistant than some of the places we’ve include. It also has benches around the walk. There are no designated Blue Badge spaces but the car park is spacious and rarely full.
Clifton Backies – the main paths are level and well surfaced. There are two access points from the car park. Wheelchair access is by the path to the right, as the kissing gate entrance is not suitable for wheelchairs.
Fishponds Wood and Beech Grove – there is a hard surface path that would allow wheelchair users to access part of the woodland between Woodlea Avenue and Danebury Drive. Please note, there are no council car parks close to this location.
Homestead Park – has smooth paths (most are tarmac), and toilet facilities are available. The main toilet block has steps but there is a wheelchair accessible toilet adjacent to it. There is a path into the Meadow but from there it’s informal grass paths. The children’s play area doesn’t have many paths but does have a wheelchair accessible roundabout and accessible swings!
Hull Road Park – tarmacked paths around the park. There are toilets but we are unclear on whether there is a disabled toilet. If you know, please tell us in the comments and we’ll update this!
Moorlands – smaller mobility aids can use the kissing gate to access to nature reserve. The path is muddy after rain and has some tree roots but otherwise is accessible. No dogs allowed as it is a nature reserve.
Museum Gardens – has a series of wheelchair-friendly pathways around the space but note that it is on a slope.
Rawcliffe Lake – Access to the lake can be gained from Oakdale Road, Greystoke Road and Beaverdyke, the paths around the lake are wheelchair friendly tarmac paths. There are no council car parks close to this location.
Rowntree Park – tarmac and paved paths make it easy for wheelchair users to navigate around the park. There is a small car park off Terry Avenue but please note that Environmental Agency work may affect access this year. For detailed information, please see AccessAble entries for Rowntree Park Reading Cafe and Rowntree Park. There is a radar key disabled toilet in the park and a disabled toilet within the cafe. Please note, flooding closes the park from time to time although often the cafe remains open.
Skipwith Common – access via King Rudding Lane. To get an idea of the terrain, watch this video:
St Nicholas Fields – paths are accessible by wheelchair but can get muddy. Toilets are available in York Environment Centre.
West Bank Park – generally easy access, other than to the stepped rose garden and woodland path. Hard surface paths reach most areas in the park and there are benches around the place as well. Many benches have a small area of hard standing next to them to allow wheelchair users to sit next to those using the bench. According to the AccessAble website, there are ‘adapted and standard toilets’.
Please note, the information about the following walks has been curated from the leaflets, if anything is inaccurate please let us know. Whilst there are other walks on the iTravel website, we’ve only included the fully accessible routes. Others are partially accessible.
Millenium Bridge to the Designer Outlet – no stiles but it passes through some meadows which may be muddy at times
Askham Bar to Companthorpe, via Askham Bog – accessible to all, Askham Bog has boardwalks for access.
Acomb to Rufforth – accessible to all but the middle section of the walk is slightly hilly.
Heworth Holme and Tang Hall Beck – accessible to all. When leaving Heworth Holme to reach Burnholme Drive the path passing through a wooded area has the most accessible exit gate. Please note, we don’t know the details of the gate, it may not actually be accessible for all to use.
Riverside circular route from the city centre to Millenium Bridge – this is an accessible route, however please note at times the paths flood and following that can be muddy and slippy.
The York to Selby Cycle Path – flat path that runs for 6 miles through the countryside starting from Bishopthorpe. You can find refreshments and toilets at Brunswick Organic Nursery.
The city centre Cat Trail can give you a new way of seeing York. Access South Esplanade via Tower Street not from Low Ousegate to avoid steps.
Clements Hall History Group have created some local history self guided tours which have been checked for accessibility issues. Their ‘Hidden Clementhorpe’ walk is accessible, although it includes Terry Avenue and Rowntree Park which are sometimes flooded, and Terry Avenue is muddy after the flood waters have gone down. ‘A walk around South Bank in York’ is accessible but there are a couple of streets where poor parking and recycling boxes can make using the pavement difficult. These are very quiet streets so, with caution, using the road instead of the pavement should be fine. ‘Bishy Road in York: a shopping street in time’ is accessible.
York Cemetary has some accessible paths, depending on the weather.
Please note, we have not personally tested all of these routes and accessibility may vary depending upon weather conditions and access needs.