Accessible Lake District


View near Buttermere; a lake with trees in the foreground


The Lake District welcomes everyone, and that includes visitors with disabilities. Accessible accommodation and attractions are in plentiful supply in this national park, so everyone is able to experience its stunning scenery. This page covers getting around, wheelchair-friendly walks and accessible attractions and activity centres. While this article is mostly aimed at wheelchair users and those with other mobility issues, it may also be useful for people with other disabilities, older visitors and families with pushchairs. 

Accessible walks

Small rowboat on shore of lake

There are dozens of step-free, low-incline walks around the Lake District National Park. Popular choices include:


This pretty woodland walk skirts the western edge of Derwentwater, the third-largest lake in the Lake District. This broad and flat 2.5-metre-wide track is a mixture of tarmac, boardwalk and compacted stone, so it should be accessible to most wheelchair users. The pub at the end of the route has an accessible entrance as well as an accessible toilet, too (although not all of the venue is wheelchair accessible due to the age of the building). 

Brothers Water

This gentle walk is just over two miles long and is a great way to explore the lesser-known lake Brothers Water. You’ll pass reedbeds, water lilies and oak woodlands and enjoy a pretty view of Hartsop Hall, a scenic 16th-century building managed by the National Trust. There’s also a pub at the end (although the short slope up to it is fairly steep).

Braithwaite to Force Crag Mine

This old mine track has a gentle gradient and great views over the Lake District's most iconic mountains, including Skiddaw, Blencathra and Helvellyn. There was mining in this area for around 500 years – keep an eye out for National Trust information panels to learn more about the history of the local area. 

More itineraries, including further accessible options, can be found in our Lake District walking guide.

In all, there are 50 designated accessible trails in the Lakes. The national park’s Miles Without Stiles page has further details, including maps, for all of them. 

Accessible activities

A forested area with lots of trees in different shades of green

There’s loads to do in the Lake District, both indoors and out. We’ve included a small selection of the area’s accessible attractions to give you an idea of what’s available.

Heritage railways

Ride the rails and see the sights in style aboard either the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway or the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway. These nostalgic railway attractions welcome visitors with disabilities and have accessible vintage carriages that have been adapted to the needs of wheelchair users.

Whinlatter Forest Park

This popular stretch of woodland is home to a café and lots of waymarked trails (some of which are wheelchair accessible). It also has a Go Ape high ropes course, which offers discounted tickets for the carers of people with disabilities.

South Lakes Safari Zoo

This wildlife park is just to the south of the national park and accessible throughout (some routes are gravel-based, but there is always a tarmac alternative). Home to over 1,000 endangered and rare animals in spacious outdoor habitats, the park has knowledgeable staff who can arrange animal encounters like giraffe feeding and always strive to be as inclusive as possible.

You’ll find more ideas for accessible days out and attractions in the Lake District in Euan’s Guide, which is a great resource for people with any disability looking to explore the UK. 

Residential & activity centres

Child doing indoor rock climbing

The Lake District is well known for its adventurous activities, and people with disabilities are well catered for as well.

Anyone Can is a small organisation based in the Lake District that offers rock climbing, canoeing, sailing and caving activities. Visual, cognitive, communication and mobility impairments are all catered for, with both regular scheduled events and private sessions available. 

The Bendrigg Trust is a larger activity and residential centre that’s based just outside the Lake District National Park, near Kendal. Schools, groups, families and adults are all welcome, with activities on offer including zipwire, a progressive climbing wall, abseiling, a sensory room, archery and bushcraft. A full list of the trust’s activities and facilities is available on their website

Calvert Lakes is another popular activity centre near Bassenthwaite in the north of the Lake District. Lots of activities are available here, including horse riding, a specially adapted pool and a wheelchair challenge course. 

Accessible transport in the Lake District

Windermere high street on a sunny day

Mainline train services are mostly accessible to wheelchair users – you can check each station’s status using National Rail’s access map. All train companies operating in the Lake District have passenger assistance teams, so it’s possible to book a ramp or other support when boarding and disembarking. Handily, Windermere station is step-free and has an accessible toilet. 

Wheelchair hire is available at various locations across the Lake District, with all-terrain buggies available for more adventurous excursions. You’ll find full details on the Lake District National Park’s official website

Buses in the Lake District are mostly operated by Stagecoach, who mainly use low-floor buses with ramps and designated wheelchairs spaces. More information and timetables are available here.

Boat trips and pleasure cruises may also be accessible. Windermere Lake Cruises and Ullswater Steamers both have space for wheelchairs and operate several stunning routes throughout the year. Please note that neither of these operators have accessible toilets on board (these are available at the quayside, though).

Accessible accommodation doesn’t take a one-size-fits-all approach to outdoor accommodation or accessibility. Many of our campsites in the Lake District have accessible facilities and there are choices for all tastes, budgets and needs.

For example, Troutbeck Head Experience Freedom Glamping has a disabled-friendly camping pod on site, with all the facilities needed to have an excellent stay. 

Accessible campsites in the Lake District

Campsites with disabled facilities across North West England