Whilst the simple act of actively appreciating the fresh air has a plethora of benefits for everyone tapping into the powerful free resource which is nature, it can be a challenge navigating walking routes as someone with accessibility needs.
As Yorkshire has so many places to get outdoors and active for everyone, we set up Yorkshire Families Magazine to enable people from all backgrounds to explore the best of God’s Own County… including sharing where our team of community reporters, many of whom have disabilities, love to venture out to.
Our football fanatic sports reporter who is on the autistic spectrum, Dan, shares his favourite walks from the familiar urban trek from the car park to Elland Road to watch his team play to the humble perfectly formed Pontefract Park. From the impressive sculptural art “without walls” at Yorkshire Sculpture Park to digging deep at the National Coal Mining Museum…
Here Dan, writes in his own words…
I’m a sports lover so pre and hopefully post covid, I walked to two main sports stadiums to watch my teams:
Leeds United FC – Elland Road
The way I walk to Elland Road is I park in the White Rose Shopping Centre carpark, and then I have to cross a couple of main roads, walk past Drysalters pub and eventually I get to see Elland Road in the distance. Getting inside Elland Road isn’t too difficult, as I tend to have tickets in the same area so all I do is put the ticket inside the scanner and that allows me in. I haven’t been for a while so I’ve missed the anticipation and buildup as I’m walking down and I’ve been missing the spring in my step with my shirt and scarf on, but hopefully next season I’ll feel all these feelings again.
Featherstone Rovers RLFC – Millennium Stadium/Post Office Road
I park in a side street and then the ground is only across the road from there, I get excited as I walk as I’m hopeful for a good game. I haven’t been for a while since covid came so I’m looking forward to the day I’m able to go back. Accessibility wise you have to now buy a ticket from the reception area, whereas before you used to be able to go to the ticket people, and then a woman scans the ticket and then from there, you’re free to go to your seat. Where I sit is in the family stand so I just have to walk up two lots of stairs, and then I’m there.
As I’ve not been to matches for a while, I’ve been exploring where else there is to walk in Yorkshire, and it’s good to see there’s lots of places in Yorkshire where you can walk or do activities.
There are many different places in Yorkshire to walk around or in to walk and how to get inside them, and I’m going to give a roundup of the places which are:
Disabled friendly/wheelchair friendly
The following places are disabled/wheelchair friendly.
Pugneys Country Park Wakefield
Pugneys Country Park is on Denby Dale Road in Wakefield just past Toby Carvery pub.
Some of the things that make it disabled/wheelchair friendly are:
It has accessible toilets and showers , based near the Boat House Café , an ice cream van, two lakes and you can decide how far round you want to walk
Roundhay Park is in Leeds.
Some of the things that make it accessible for disabled and wheelchair people are:
Entrances to the park and all paths are wheelchair accessible. Accessible toilets are available in Tropical World Explorers Cafe, the Visitor Centre and the Education Rooms. There is also an accessible toilet at Lakeside Cafe.
You can choose the length of walk you go on.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Yorkshire Sculpture Park is based in the parks of West Bretton in Wakefield.
What makes it accessible for disabled/wheelchair people is:
There’s plenty of access for wheelchairs
You can hop on a shuttle bus
Pontefract Park is in Pontefract opposite Wickes, McDonalds, Home Bargains
What makes it accessible for disabled and wheelchair people is:
There’s a path inside the race track which is accessible for wheelchairs and is the best route for these
Cannon Hall Farm
Cannon Hall Farm is based in Barnsley.
Some reasons why this is accessible for disabled/wheelchair people are:
There is a narrow tarmac path from The Walk, Cawthorne, via the country park to Cannon Hall Farm which is accessible by wheelchairs and mobility scooters
Tables and chairs are not fixed and can be rearranged to accommodate wheelchair users.
The Hepworth Gallery is based in Wakefield opposite the Ruddy Duck pub.
Why the Hepworth Gallery is accessible for disabled people or wheelchair people is:
Good wheelchair and disabled access with lifts and wide paths inside the museum
The entrance is on ground floor level
There are 3 disabled toilets throughout the building, one on the ground floor, one in Gallery 6 and another in the Learning Studios. All disabled toilets have a functional emergency alarm, coat hooks and wall mounted rails
National Coal Mining Museum
National Coal Mining Museum is based in Overton in Wakefield.
Some of the reasons this is accessible for disabled/wheelchair people are:
Underground wheelchair tours available but only 2 at a time
It’s wheelchair accessible and they regularly welcome people who have additional needs
All Museum buildings are accessible for wheelchairs. The Museum’s Nature Trail does not include any steps, but some parts can be a steep, and in wet conditions may be difficult for wheelchairs. Many of the Museum’s buildings are on a single level, but access is facilitated in some places through either a ramp or a lift.
I feel it’s important for me that places are accessible for everyone regardless of if they have a learning disability or not, as everyone should have the right to go wherever they want.
Some of these places are very good for a day out, and I’m sure the staff at all these places will help you with any enquiries you may have. My favourite places from this list are:
National Coal Mining Museum
Please let us know if you can think of any places that may be autism friendly or accessible.