1. Accessible Walks in Scotland
Being outdoors is a great way to keep healthy, get some exercise and improve our mental well-being and emotional health. Being surrounded by clean air, wildlife and the stunning natural beauty of the environment can be a great way to recharge your batteries! Whether that’s a get-together with family and friends or a quiet time to just enjoy the tranquility on your own.
There are many accessible walks and trails in Scotland.
Accessible guide to National Trust for Scotland properties (PDF)
Although many are historic buildings there are a lot of walks in countryside areas and also grounds of other properties. You can contact the National Trust for Scotland before setting out on a trail to make sure it’s suitable.
Schiehallion (one of Scotland’s most popular mountains) has been named as the first Munro that is considered wheelchair friendly. Schiehallion, which stands at 3,547 feet, was approved as being wheelchair accessible by the FieldFare Trust, who suggested that the path to the summit of East Schiehallion from the Braes of Foss car park would be suitable for those in wheelchairs for the first third of the journey, with the second two thirds of the journey being up to the individual to assess whether they can manage to make the ascent successfully.
Glenmore accessible walk – near Aviemore, Highland
Creag Meagaidh – All Abilities walk – Aberarder, Highland
Glenlivet Estate accessible trail – Highland
Pentland Hills accessible walk – Edinburgh
Accessible Attractions in the Scottish Borders – Scottish Borders
How to find a suitable walk?
Phototrails is a new and expanding database of trails in the UK and around the world. It was developed by the Fieldfare Trust – a charity that actively promotes countryside access for people with disabilities. Fieldfare understands the importance of providing “pre-visit” information on trail features and site amenities, such as whether disabled parking and accessible toilets are available.
Each walk is described through a filmstrip and slideshow of photographs which let you see just what the walk is like. They include information on the surrounding environment, the walk distance and the features and highlights that you will find along the way. Each trail is given an accessibility rating to help you decide whether a trail meets your needs.
The Forestry Commission Scotland website provides information on accessible routes. Choose an area or town and click on ‘filter by activity’ and then select ‘easy-access trails’.
The Heritage Paths Project website has information on unusual walks such as old routes that have been used for a specific purpose: The paths include Roman roads, pilgrimage route and miners’ paths. You can search for suitable routes for motorised scooters.
Walks with Wheelchairs is a UK web-site dedicated to providing free information on routes that are suitable for those that use a wheelchair. There are a few walks listed for some areas in Scotland.
Walking on Wheels – 50 Wheel-Friendly Trails in Scotland (2006). Guide for wheelchair or electric scooter users who wish to enjoy the Scottish countryside. This is an older book but copies still being sold on Amazon.