Sharon Kitty works for Arthritis Care and is a trustee for Disability Cornwall. Sharon enjoys living in the countryside, so as part of our Days Out Blogs, she shares a day out walking her dogs at Tehidy Park in Cornwall.
This week I wanted to take the dogs for a long walk somewhere different so I decided to try Tehidy Park. Tehidy Park is the largest area of woodland in West Cornwall. Now owned and managed by Cornwall Council as a Country Park, Tehidy has over 9 miles (14.5km) of paths and 250 acres of peaceful woods and lakes to explore, together with a café and a picnic area. There are five main access points including North Cliff car park and South Drive car park. The only toilets are at the café and I have not tried them yet.
On the map there are two routes marked as accessible for wheelchair users. The ‘purple route’ is a half a mile stroll around the lakes but is in a dog free zone. We decided on the ‘pink route’ which is described as one and a half hours of moderate walking, exploring the windblown woods. It is suitable for wheelchair users and ideal for dog walking. We parked in North cliff car park which is a natural surface with no designated disabled bays, but there is plenty of parking space and the surface is not too bumpy.
The ‘pink route’ is clearly sign posted and we set off. The woods are a total delight and really come into their own with the changes in the seasons. The write up about the woods says ‘As you follow the pink trail around the North Cliffs you will discover many types of trees including majestic beeches and wind sculpted woods at the edge of the park.’
Despite the clear sign posts we did at one stage find ourselves on the ‘blue route’ which is classified as the horse and cycle path, this path really is quite rough and would be very difficult or even impossible for someone in a manual wheelchair to push over, I think. Fortunately, my electric wheelchair was absolutely fine and we ambled along until we found the pink path again.
It was so delightful to be wandering through the woods; there were lots of friendly dog walkers on the way round. This really is a very special place and I am delighted that I have rediscovered it. I will certainly be returning on a regular basis now as the dogs came back both happy and exhausted which is indeed an added bonus. My only concern is that in bad weather the path could get really muddy and possibly become more difficult to navigate in a wheelchair. So if you do go, please bear in mind that this is not a man-made path but rather a natural surface which could be changeable. Personally I am always up for a challenge so I shall be trying it out in all weathers.
About the Motability Scheme
The Motability Scheme exists to give customers, their families and carers greater freedom to get out and do the day-to-day things they need and want to do, by enabling them to exchange all or part of their mobility allowance for leasing a car, scooter or powered wheelchair.
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