If you’re planning a longer trip or day out, there are many accessible outdoor activities available across the UK. Sandemans tours, for example, run a range of free city tours at several UK locations, including Oxford, Liverpool, Edinburgh and London. Their knowledgeable tour guides will take you across a city showing you hidden gems, telling fascinating stories, and giving you an insight into centuries of local history. Many Sandemans tours, including all of their London tours, are fully wheelchair accessible, though they do recommend that disabled guests are accompanied by an ablebodied friend or carer. Full details of the accessibility of the tours in each city can be found on their website.
For those who’d like to try something a bit more unusual, Treasure Trails offer over 1,000 self-guided, sightseeing treasure hunts at locations throughout the UK, the majority of which are wheelchair accessible. It costs £6.99 plus postage and packaging for a Treasure Trail guidebook, which will assign you a task – either a treasure hunt, spy mission, or murder mystery, and then guide you through a scenic walk on which you solve puzzles and hunt for clues as you explore. Treasure Trails have received positive feedback from parents of autistic children and carers of people with dementia. Because their tours are self-guided, they can be completed at your own pace, without the pressure of having to keep up with the tour group, and are easily adapted to suit the needs of participants with learning difﬁculties and other impairments. You can even work with the company to create your own, customised Treasure Trail for an extra £3.
Even if you’re staying home, you can still have an exciting day outside in your own back garden. The Sensory Trust, a charity which works to make open spaces accessible to disabled people, has developed a range of creative outdoor activities and games which are available to download for free from the ‘resources’ section of their website. The activities, which are designed to be suitable for a wide range of ages and abilities, include drying and pressing your own ﬂowers, and making feeders for birds and butterfies. They’re perfect for a day of fun with the family, and are especially well-suited to children with sensory impairments. In the spin-a-smell game, for example, children are asked to explore the natural world through smells rather than by sight and sound, encouraging them to engage with the great outdoors in different and interesting ways.
Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh
For the best view of the Capital take the path from Holyrood Park up to the magniﬁcent Arthur’s Seat. The 3.5 mile trip has a mix of easy and steep pathways but will reward all who make it to the higher parts with an unforgettable vista and a feeling of accomplishment.
Visitors can park in either of the two car parks within Holyrood Park.
Get Out There!
The list of potential activities is long, but sunny days are in short supply. Do yourself and your health a favour and plan an outdoor experience soon.
The Highland Disabled Ramblers www.highland-disabled-ramblers.org
The Disabled Ramblers www.disabledramblers.co.uk
The Sensory Trust www.sensorytrust.org.uk
Treasure Trails www.treasuretrails.co.uk
Sandemans UK Tours www.neweuropetours.eu