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Pippa Stacey’s accessible guide to the North York Moors

Pippa Stacey is an award-winning writer, blogger and speaker. She has a chronic illness and is on a self-declared mission to find the best wheelchair-accessible adventures across the UK.

After spending a few days in the beautiful North York Moors, she’s put together the ultimate list for any disabled people planning their own getaway…

1

Find inner peace in a secret garden

Helmsley Walled Garden

The market town of Helmsley is a hidden gem, and Helmsley Walled Garden is a must-do during your trip. Even if you’re using mobility aids on the gravel pathways, the luscious borders and thriving plant life are easy to see and really give you a sense of immersion in nature. Sit down and enjoy the peace, say hello to the on-site chickens, and then take yourself to The Vine House Café, which has level access, for a nice cuppa and freshly-baked cake.

Visit the garden
2

Soar through a forest on an adaptive bike

Dalby Forest

What better way to explore over 8000 acres of Dalby Forest than by adaptive cycling? The Dalby Forest Cycle Hub offers a range of adapted bikes, and the friendly team go above and beyond to find the best fit for you. I tried the new ICE Recumbent Trike, and even alongside chronic pain, the electric assist made it possible to explore the nearby accessible route. The feeling was unlike anything I’d experienced before – it really felt like I was soaring.

Hire an accessible bike
3

Board an iconic North Yorkshire Moors steam train

Pickering

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway offers a unique way to appreciate your surroundings. We set off on the steam train from the step-free station at Pickering, used the station ramp to board the carriage, and enjoyed a gorgeously scenic journey through to Whitby with a hot drink in hand. Despite the history of the railway dating back to 1832, the accessible carriage was surprisingly spacious and easy to navigate with an electric wheelchair. There was even an accessible toilet on board!

Book your seat
4

Take in atmospheric views from Whitby Abbey

Whitby

Steeped in history and gothic legend, it’s never been easier for disabled visitors to explore Whitby Abbey. The main entrance has level access, and from here you can use the lift to access the first-floor museum and get outdoors to see the majestic ruins. The wind and rain definitely made our visit more atmospheric, but if you’re not as hardy as me you might want to make more use of the museum on a rainy day where you can discover more about the Abbey’s epic history.

Plan your visit
5

See the finest view in England on a Tramper

Sutton Bank

Visiting Sutton Bank was an experience that will always stay with me. The National Park Centre is home to various walks and cycle trails, as well as what’s hailed as England’s finest view. I booked an on-site Tramper and absolutely loved being able to keep pace with non-disabled friends along the wheelchair-accessible path. It didn’t take long to reach the viewing point spanning the North York Moors, and it was truly one of the most remarkable sights I’ve ever seen.

Hire a Tramper
6

Spend some downtime in a charming inn

The Inn on the Moor

Every holiday requires a trusty base where you can rest and recover from the day’s adventures. The Inn On The Moor has one of the most stylish accessible bedrooms (and adjoining wetroom) I’ve ever seen. Be sure to check out their accessibility guide before booking to make sure they can cater for your needs. Along with the Inn, the North York Moors is home to many other gorgeous places to stay.

Find out more about The Inn
7

Enjoy award-winning fish and chips

Whitby

The Yorkshire Coast is renowned for its fish and chips, and rightly so. If the weather isn’t on your side one day, take this as a sign to find an accessible shelter and enjoy some good grub. We did just that when we visited Trenchers Restaurant in Whitby. It won the Best Independent Fish & Chip Restaurant in the UK at the Fish & Chip Awards in 2019, and the stylish restaurant has level access and beautiful facilities too. Staff were very accommodating of dietary requirements as well.

Reserve a table
14 Apr 2023(last updated)

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  • 1

    Helmsley Walled Garden

  • 2

    Dalby Forest

  • 3

    Pickering

  • 4

    Whitby

  • 5

    Sutton Bank

  • 6

    The Inn on the Moor

  • 7

    Whitby

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