Sculpture Trail at Rushmere Country Park named UK's best walk for accessibility
'We're really lucky to have such amazing walks right on our doorstep'
The Sculpture Trail at Rushmere Country Park in Heath and Reach has been named the country's top-ranking walk for accessibility in a new survey.
Footwear firm Charles Clinkard found 40 family-friendly walks as suggested by family bloggers and online roundups. Then, they looked at the length and walking time for each, entry cost, plus the amenities each one had to produce their Family Walk Index.
And they say you don't need to miss out on some of the UK's best walks if you're travelling with a pram or wheelchair.
The research points out that Rushmere has disabled parking, disabled toilets, baby changing, and the path is fully accessible for prams and wheelchairs - enabling Rushmere to take top spot the study's accessibility category. The research added there's plenty for little ones to do, including a fairy trail and a playground, as well as refreshments and a visitor centre. The trail is also a fantastic way to spot the local wildlife of Rushmere - the green woodpecker and herons - and is a great walk all year round.
Commenting on the rankings, Rachel Clinkard, Ecommerce Director from Charles Clinkard said: "We're really lucky to have such amazing walks right on our doorstep. From fantastic coastal walks to exciting nature trails, we really do have it all!
"Getting outside and exploring nature is a great way to boost your child's development. Not only can they learn more about the world around them but investigating wherever they can helps improve their fine motor skills. Plus, getting outside and enjoying a bit of exercise can help give everyone's mood a little boost too.
"Some of the country's favourite walks aren't necessarily family-friendly. Many are quite challenging, and others don't have all the relevant facilities such as toilets, baby changing, and accessible paths. For families with children, it can be difficult to know exactly which walks are best. That's why we put together our list of 40 family-friendly Great British walks."
A spokesman for environmental charity The Greensand Trust, which manages the site, said: "Rushmere Country Park is delighted to have its Access for All Sculpture Trail named as the UK’s best walk for accessibility as part of the Charles Clinkard Family Walk Index.
"The park is made available through The Trust and Central Bedfordshire Council working in partnership for the benefit of people and wildlife. We are committed to conserving and caring for the environment whilst providing recreational opportunities for everyone.
"Our two Access for All trails (we have a second at the Stockgrove entrance to the park) were created to engage people of all ages and abilities, helping them to explore the country park and its wildlife – we’re delighted our accessibility measures and the services we provide have been recognised in this way.”