This review is especially helpful for those who have or use the following: Walking Aid, Wheelchair, Mobility Scooter
Despite being a century’s old ruined priory in the middle of rural Yorkshire, and probably a listed building at that, Bolton Abbey and the surrounding park is highly accessible. There are multiple car parks spread over the area, and once you have paid entry to one of them, you can transfer between car parks as many times as you like simply by showing your ticket. There are also plenty of disabled parking bays available, as well a few nearby bus stops and a small train station, although I’m not certain how accessible these are. I usually go to the Cavendish Pavilion car park, which is relatively central. There is a café and gift shop by this car park, which are tight to move around in a wheelchair as they are rather small, but still remain relatively accessible. Motability scooters can be hired at the gift shop for the day, at a small cost, which means you don’t have to bring your own. The disabled toilet is next to the other toilets, and has a radar key lock which prevents the facilities being misused. The cubicle is spacious, but lacks full changing facilities. There is an accessible, mile-long pathway going from the Pavilion up to the Strid, the narrow but deep gorge which acts as a bottleneck to the river Wharfe. This path is steep in places, but manageable for manual wheelchairs with the appropriate pacing. The wheelchair platform for the Strid is near enough to give an excellent view of it, without putting you in any danger. There is another accessible, mile-long pathway going from the Pavilion to the abbey ruins. Wheelchairs must use the driveway that cars pass down to reach the car park from the road, but is wide enough to accommodate this. The kerb drops onto the pavement at the top are poorly maintained, and do jolt the wheelchair quite a bit, but are OK. Again, parts are steep. The pavement goes around the outside of the park, turning back into the smooth pathways at a wide gate near the abbey. From there the outside of the abbey can be explored from the lawn, which is a little bumpy but well-kept. The remaining chapel is fully wheelchair accessible, and even when busy is easy enough to travel around smoothly. Some of the pathways do have steps on them, but using the lawn bypasses these. Opposite the Pavilion is a bridge which leads to some fields good for having picnics, and getting a good view of the river, which are all wheelchair friendly. At the Strid car park there is an accessible tea room and nature trail, but you will need to drive to this car park as this cannot be accessed from the Pavilion.
Transport & Parking
Disabled parking bays are available in all car parks. Buses do traverse the road running alongside the abbey, and there is a nearby train station, although having never used these myself I cannot comment on their accessibility.
Most areas were wheelchair accessible (see overall), including the abbey ruins.
The bathroom was spacious and accessed using a radar key, but lacks a full changing station.
Staff are friendly and accommodating.