How to review disabled access outside

A path through woodland.

Disabled access reviews aren’t just for indoors! You can review any place that you visit, even if it’s a beach, park, forest trail, nature reserve, or a farm. The possibilities are endless! So, how do you being reviewing in the outdoors? Here are a few ideas to get you started:

What was the car park like?

If you arrived by car, was the car park clearly signposted for visitors? Mention whether the accessible spaces were close to the start of the trail or main part of the outdoor space. Sometimes more convenient parking spaces can be obscured or poorly labelled.

Describe the path surfaces

A path through a park.

Both in the car park and around the outdoor space itself, can you describe what the path surfaces were like? Mention if the surfaces changed, whether it was easy to move a wheelchair over them, or whether there were any tree roots, inclines or steps to get around. If you visited a beach, was there ramp access at any point? Were there wheelchairs that you could hire to get across sand or rough terrain more easily?

Would it be easy to visit this place in all weather conditions?

While you might have visited on a sunny day, do you think the outdoor space you went to would be as accessible on a rainy day? If there were few places to shelter and compact dirt paths, it’s possible that the terrain could become muddy and impassable. And, if there are no visitor centres or indoor attractions on site, would it be better for people to wait until a dry day? Your tips can help others plan their visit.

Did you come across any gates

Some gates can be awkward to negotiate which can throw you off your route, while other gates are modern designs that are very wheelchair friendly. If you came across any gates, turnstiles or cattle grids outside, make a note of them in your review!

Mention tour guides, staff or rangers

If you encountered any staff our groundskeepers, how friendly were they? A great tour guide or knowledgeable ranger can make all the difference! Mention how many were around if you can remember.

Was it easy to find your way around?

A colour coded sign for an easy access route.

Were you given a map when you arrived? If so, were there alternative formats such as large print or tactile maps available? Other things to look out for could be clear accessible route directions, frequent waymarking or signposting for upcoming inclines or steps.

Were there toilets available?

Not all outdoor places are maintained or have toilet facilities. Keep a look out for any public toilets and accessible loos when you visit outdoor places. If you find one, check if a key is needed or whether they are left open. If there are no toilets on the site, do you know of any nearby that you could recommend to other people visiting? Knowledge of local Changing Places toilets is especially helpful!

Did you encounter many resting places?

Many people need frequent resting points, so it’s helpful to note if you saw any benches on your journey. The more benches the better!

Mention if there were any mobility vehicles

A mobility vehicle at Eden Project.

If the outdoor place you visited was vast, it’s possible there might be a mobility vehicle on site. Be sure to mention in your review if you noticed one and whether you used it. Some mobility vehicles come with a tour guide!

Take pictures

Pictures are a helpful addition to any review. While your experiences and the details you share are the most important thing, sometimes it helps to see what you’re describing. What may be a big accessible toilet to one person may be a tight squeeze to somebody else who perhaps is accompanied by a personal assistant or carer.

Finally…

Remember, every disabled access review is different and our suggestions are only ideas to get you thinking about what you experienced and what information might be helpful to others. Don’t worry if you can’t remember everything about a place you visited – it’s what you found the most memorable that matters! What impressed you the most? What was a bit trickier? What would you do differently the next time you visit? Write a review >>

You might also enjoy:

Top tips for outdoor attractions

Accessible adventures in the Cairngorms National Park

Down on the farm

Tags: outdoor, reviews

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