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Forest of Dean

Exploring the great outdoors with Treasure Trails

Amanda Ingham works for AspireLiving,a local Herefordshire charity which supports people with learning disabilities. In this article, she shares some fun ideas for a great day out, including Treasure Trails which is a real life adventure, providing an imaginative way to explore towns, cities and villages across the UK by solving clues with an easy-to-follow self-guided themed walk.

I’ve been working with Erica for more than four years. To give her mum and dad some respite, we go out together for a whole day about once a month. Over the last four years we have been to lots of different places, done a variety of things and developed a ‘favourites’ list! In February we generally go to Nature in Art to see the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition exhibits, and in November or December we head to Worcester to tackle the Christmas shopping. During the summer months we go to the Elan Valley and enjoy the scenery and we also reserve one of the months to watch the kite feeding at Rhayader. We have completed lots of the local Treasure Trails too and they are a particular favourite of ours.

Treasure Trails come in the form of a booklet which Erica is in charge of and she loves to read out the directions and shout “stop” when she thinks we have reached the next clue! Having to search high and low for the answers ensures we both get to play on equal terms. Erica sees things at a different height to me and quite often will spot the plaque or the sign before I do, which gives her immense satisfaction. There is a lot of giggling going on along the way!

Occasionally we have embarked on a Treasure Trail and have got distracted, either with lunch or a particularly interesting shop and we haven’t managed to finish the Trail on that day. But it hasn’t mattered because the next time we are looking for a day out, we head back to the town or area we were exploring to finish the Trail off and work out the solution to the puzzle. We are looking forward to finishing the& Royal Forest of Dean Trailfollowing a great afternoon out with some friends.

On the front of each booklet there is an indication of whether the Trail is suitable for wheelchairs or not and we appreciate this guidance. Not that we always take much notice as we’ve got adept at solving inaccessible clues when we need to! The Royal Forest of Dean Trail is suitable for wheelchairs.

The booklet also shows how long the Trail is likely to take and again this is a great indicator. The Trails generally take around two hours and include an average of two miles of walking, although Erica and I like to take our time so it always takes longer than the guideline. We are never in a great rush and stop and start along the way making time for coffee and cake!

For more inspiration on days out around the UK, see other Days Out blogs

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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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