Arguably the best parts of Sheffield from a visitor point of view are the amazing outdoor places and spaces so closely linked to our city. But how accessible is The Outdoor City and how easy is it for wheelchair users to experience the peaceful landscapes, tranquil escapes and outdoor adventure Sheffield and its surrounding countryside have to offer?
Working with Disability Sheffield and Accessible Derbyshire, we've pulled together a list of must-visit destinations for tourists, day trippers and home-grown Sheffield folk wanting to discover their doorstep. All of our recommendations are wheelchair accessible and have broad appeal for anyone who loves nature and the outdoors.
1. Damflask Reservoir
Located in the Peak District National Park near the village of Low Bradfield, the Damflask walk on Jeff's Wheelchair Walks website offers woodland and open country with wide views across the reservoir.
2. Longshaw Estate
A National Trust owned country-park in the Peak District, with beautiful views of ancient woods, parkland, heather moorland and pretty ponds. The Estate also has an excellent tea room, shop and the Moorland Discovery Centre. Find out more about the Longshaw Estate's accessibility.
3. Ladybower Reservoir
This walk around Ladybower Reservoir, also from Jeff's Wheelchair Walks, is linked to Derwent Reservoir in the heart of the Peak District and is surrounded by spectacular mountains. It is also where the famous Dambusters film was made.
4. Rivelin Valley Water Play
Enjoy paddling and playing with interactive water play equipment, jets, sprinklers, bucket drops and water tables. Disabled access and facilities including wheelchairs available for loan and accessible toilet facilities including a height adjustable changing bench and hoist. Find out more.
5. Endcliffe Park
One of Sheffield’s 80 public parks, with beautiful surrounds, a lively play area and café. Walks through the park can be made longer by continuing onto the equally stunning Bingham Park directly next to Endcliffe.
6. Millhouses Park
Something for the whole family with a children’s playground, water-play area, zip wire, tennis courts, bowling green, boating lake and a cafe. It is a short walk around the park with a flat tarmacked path and an accessible toilet near the café. Find out more.
7. Manor Fields Park
A hidden gem just outside the city centre covering 17 hectares of open green space, with more than 4km of wide hard-standing paths suitable for wheelchairs and mobility scooters, stunning views and a children’s play area. Find out more.
8. Hillsborough Park
Located in the north of Sheffield, opposite Hillsborough Leisure Centre and Sheffield Wednesday’s football grounds, the park includes an extended children’s play area and sports facilities. It is also used by Sheffield Cycling 4 All who loan specially adapted bikes to disabled people during weekly sessions held in the park.
9. Sheffield city centre: Peace Gardens and Winter Garden
Visit our award winning town hall square and water fountains in the heart of the city, before moving onto the Winter Garden, Europe’s largest urban glasshouse with more than 2,500 plants from across the world.
And while we're at it, here are some useful links to equipment and activities aimed and ensuring The Outdoor City is accessible to all:
Cycling 4 All – cycling for disabled people using specially adapted bikes
Derwent Cycle Hire – mobility scooter and cycle hire in the Derwent Valley
Burton Street Foundation – walking groups on Fridays
Within Reach – info about other sport and physical activity for disabled people in Sheffield
Accessible Sheffield – Sheffield City Council, Disability Sheffield, DisabledGo and Nimbus Disability are working together on a new city Access Guide and Access Card scheme for people with disabilities
Access Able – UK-wide access information