There was a time when Britain was covered in woodland, and although much of that ancient forest is gone, there are still huge areas to explore up and down the UK. These places are home to a wonderful variety of wild animals and plants, as well as creating a vast playground for everyone to access and enjoy. And fortunately, many of our country’s forests are accessible to those of us who use mobility scooters. Here is Quingo Scooters’ guide to the best accessible forests in the UK.
The New Forest, Hampshire
The New Forest is a fascinating mix of landscapes and makes a great place to visit at any time of the year. The Forestry Commission who care for it have done a good job of making sure that there are a number of designated accessible footpaths throughout the forest. One of our favourites is this one, a fantastic trail around Hatchet Pond, the largest freshwater lake in the forest and a very peaceful spot. Find more details of all of the accessible trails in the New Forest here.
Grizedale Forest, Cumbria
Up to the other end of the country now, to the wild and beautiful Lake District. Grizedale Forest is also run by the Forestry Commission and is a wonderful natural space to explore, surrounded by the dramatic mountains of the Lake District National Park itself. The visitor centre is about three miles from the picturesque village of Hawkshead and there are a number of designated Blue Badge spaces available there. In terms of trails, the Ridding Wood route is well worth exploring as it is a relatively level, tarmac-covered route through this spectacular ancient oak woodland. Don’t forget to look out for the sculptures dotted along on the way!
Kielder Forest, Northumberland
Staying up north for a while, we head next to Kielder Forest, a vast area of working woodland that is home to some incredible wildlife. Kielder Water is at the heart of the forest and is the UK’s largest man-made lake, and if you are lucky then there is a good chance that you might get to see some of the resident Ospreys hunting there. The wonderful thing about the trail around Kielder Water is that it is completely accessible: 26 miles of wide, level paths that you can enjoy exploring on your mobility scooter, traffic-free. It is a fantastic way to enjoy this remote part of the country, right in the heart of this breathtaking forest. You’ll find lots of Blue Badge parking spaces too, both in Kielder village and close to the dam wall, where you will also find accessible toilets.
The Forest of Dean
One of the most fascinating things about the Forest of Dean is that it has both a rich natural history as well as a more recent, man-made one. The forest has been an industrious place for centuries, and was the source of high quality timber for the country’s shipbuilding industry in the 1500s, before becoming home to a number of coal mines. You will still come across evidence of this industrial past as you explore some of the many accessible trails: one of our favourites is the Family Cycle Trail which follows old railway lines and takes you through the heart of the forest. You can also hire specially adapted Tramper scooters from Cannop Cycle Centre near Cinderford.
General trail accessibility
Of course, forests are wild places and so the weather and changing conditions can have a big effect on how accessible they are. The accessible trails we have featured here all have firm surfaces and are generally fine all year around, but it is always worth checking the forecast and giving the forest visitor centre a call before you visit just make sure local conditions are suitable for your scooter. That said, don’t let the cold weather put you off visiting our nation’s forests – the winter can be a spectacular time to see them, and is often the perfect opportunity to see wildlife, as many birds and animals are out and about looking for food.
About Quingo Scooters
The Quingo Scooter range features six models to suit your needs and budget. New models are now available from just £22/week on our new contract hire scheme which includes all servicing and maintenance, Insurance, Roadside Recovery, Call Outs and Consumables including Batteries and Tyres. For more information on this or the latest Quingo Scooter range, please visit our website. Alternatively, if you have any Service questions you can always contact us or call customer services on 01582 430 900.
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All Quingo Personal Mobility Vehicles are provided by Forever Active, the UK’s exclusive distributor. Forever Active is a trading name of Advantage Marketing Corporation Limited (AMC). AMC Limited is an appointed representative of First Senior Insurance Services Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. First Senior Insurance Services FSA Register number is 30847