6 of the Best Wheelchair-friendly Routes in North Devon

North Devon is home to exceptionally beautiful landscapes; the luscious countryside effortlessly rolls into golden sanded beaches. It’s this that makes it such a fantastic place to either live or visit. Whether you’ve been here for years or this is your first trip, we compiled some of our favourite scenic routes in the area, which are each accessible while using an all-terrain mobility scooter.

Wistlandpound Reservoir

Wistlandpound Reservoir, near Exmoor National Park.

Image credit: Christopher TD

Before reaching Exmoor National Park, and located close to Blackmore Gate, is Wistlandpound Reservoir. It was built in 1956 to hold the drinking water for the nearby village of Combe Martin and towns of Ilfracombe and Barnstaple. There are two main routes around the reservoir, although the lower is more suitable for those using a wheelchair or a scooter. It is a beautiful spot, which offers tranquillity and immersion in nature. Towering spruce trees surround the reflecting waters, and the wildlife flourishes.

Tarka Trail

Covering more than 160 miles, the Tarka Trail has plenty of accessible highlights for visitors to enjoy! We’d recommend starting in the surfer-village of Braunton and then heading along the trail toward Barnstaple. This route allows you to enjoy stunning views of the River Taw, and there are some perfectly placed eateries along the way should you want a refreshment. There are regular buses which run between Braunton and Barnstaple should you just want to go one way, and there is also plenty of parting in both.

The path along this part of the Tarka Trail is tarmacked and relatively flat all of the way.

Heddon’s Mouth

Weave through the ancient woodland, admire the steep valley and breathe in the fresh seaside air. Heddon’s Mouth is a joy to explore, no matter the season. During the summer, it presents a welcome shade and cooler air by the river. While in the autumn and into winter, the leaves turn to burnt oranges and browns, all while the wildlife begins to prepare for the cold spell ahead. It is a route that really has it all; towering cliffs, a beautiful beach, a river and the wonderful woodland.

Following a dry spell, the terrain is relatively risk-free for all-terrain mobility scooters. For most of the route, it is either dirt or stone pathways, and the incline does vary throughout the walk.

Baggy Point

Overlooking Croyde, a popular surfing beach, is Baggy Point. For a walk that boasts fantastic views of the dramatic headland, powerful crashing waves and the open ocean, this is the one for you! Park in the National Trust Car Park Baggy Point and follow the signposts to the viewpoint. You won’t regret it!

The path has been levelled and compacted, which has improved access to wheelchair and mobility scooter users.

Rosemore Gardens

Roses at Rosemore Gardens, near Torrington.

Rosemore Gardens will ignite all of your senses, with the aromatic scents, vibrant colours, and varying textures. There’s a lot to be admired during a visit, and you could spend as little as a couple of hours to as much as a whole day here! The highlights vary from fruit and veg to the more exotic. The gardens include cherry, Mediterranean, stone, exotic, woodland, wild and more. Enjoy a pleasant walk around the grounds while appreciating the diverse plant-life surrounding you.

Most of the gardens are accessible with flat paths being either stone or tarmac. The gardens with limited access include Lady Anne’s, while the lake and woodland walks are also currently unsuitable.

Arlington Court

Arlington Court provides an idyllic day out, the setting is beautiful, and many of the highlights are accessible. Visitors can explore the house, carriage museum, walled gardens and some of the grounds. Either spend your time wandering around the beautiful grounds or enjoy the popular Lake Walk. For those keen to discover the history behind the house and those who previously lived there, the discoveries awaiting inside are fascinating with the Chichester family being of huge influence across Devon during the family’s residency.

Around the gardens, there are gravelled paths. The terrain along the Lake Walk varies; parts are a mud track whereas others are gravelled, all-terrain wheelchair or mobility scooters will be required.

Do you and your family have any favourite routes in North Devon? We would love to hear about them and try them too! Share them with us via our social media channels – we can’t wait to hear from you!

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