Today is Disabled Access Day, a day that’s all about increasing awareness about accessibility plus encouraging people to visit somewhere they’ve never been before. Launched in 2015, Disabled Access Day brought people together from all over the UK and encouraged them to visit somewhere new – including the countryside.
In 2014, ViewRanger launched a Walking with Wheels category, in association with the Disabled Ramblers Association. Despite its title, the category itself is not only aimed at wheelchair users, but anyone who may have limited mobility. The routes can also be used by people who have young children and buggies. You can check out the ‘Disabled Ramblers’’ collection of walks here.
Here at ViewRanger, we believe that everyone should be able to enjoy the countryside, so the Walking with Wheels category allows our route publishers to provide detailed information about the route, including detailing any potential obstacles, path quality and incline information, plus including pictures and waypoints, providing people with as much knowledge and confidence as possible before they explore the countryside.
And as it is also English Tourism Week, we’re not only encouraging people to get out and about in the countryside, but to also explore and attend the events that showcase the quality and vibrancy of the English Tourism Industry.
Back in 2014 when we launched Waling with Wheels, Craig Wareham, co-founder of ViewRanger, accompanied the Disabled Ramblers on their BBC Breakfast walk, and said that enjoying everything the British countryside has to offer should not just be the preserve of the able-bodied.
“We added a new ‘walking with wheels’ category to the ViewRanger app earlier this year  and this is proving popular. I think the Paralympics have shown that having wheels shouldn’t deter you from having adventures.
“One of the things that often holds people back from going out and exploring is the lack of information about the gradient, surface or if there are stiles along the route. Is it going to be suitable for wheelchairs or powered chairs?”
So if you know of a route that would be suitable for a wheelchair user, or someone who needs easier trails and routes to use, please do map it and add it to your routes. Any additional information, pictures and way points to help other users on their way will be greatly appreciated.