Why ‘accessthedales’?

Please see accessthedales.com for full website

February 28th 2011

Today is a very significant day for me.

Today is the first day of my new life.

Yesterday I was a headteacher of a large primary school.

Today I am …what am I?

Retired? Not yet.

Unemployed? No – as I am unable unable to work due to ‘ill health’

Housewife? The mobility issue causes a few problems. I’m up for a bit of light dusting!

Pioneer? I like the sound of that.

Yes. I am a pioneer!

Due to a spinal injury I have very poor mobility, and spend quite a lot of time in the wheelchair. I was able to continue as head teacher, but returned to work in a motorised wheelchair. Unfortunately after two years of whizzing around, the pain and the tiredness started to take its toll and after serious talks with family and medical professionals I resigned from my post on grounds of ill health.

Before my illness I was a very keen hill walker, and spent most weekends and holidays out on the hills and peaks of the Yorkshire Dales. My dad always said that I should have been born in a field, as I love the outdoor life.

My husband and I have walked the coast -to- coast twice (the first time I forgot to take the camera) and have completed several long distance walks. We have also completed the three peaks challenge. In fact we got married in our walking boots.

Now I have to sit at the bottom of the peaks. It saddens me to see other walkers putting on their boots and togther with rucksack, map and compass they head for the hills.

Today is the first day of my new life. And I am going to take charge.

I’m sure I’m not the only person to find themselves in my situation. I hope through this site, and through twitter, I will make contact with other people in a similar position.

I want to be able to find new walks across the dales that I can do in my motorised chair.

I want to find every hotel, pub and guest house who can accommodate me and cater for my needs.

I want to find ways of getting to the tops of peaks.

My biggest challenge is to be able to complete the Coast To Coast in my wheel chair.

If you are able to contribute in anyway to the development of this site, it would be a pleasure to hear from you.

I am very keen to hear from anyone who is in my position, who is passionate about the outdoor life, especially in the Dales.

I would also be pleased to hear from anyone who can offer wheelchair friendly accommodation in the Yorkshire Dales.

Many thanks

Debs

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7 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Catherine Bowles on April 13, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Hi Debs

    I found this site by accident, trying to find wheelchair accessible walks in the Yorkshire area. Like you I love the outdoors and would like nothing better than putting a few essentials in a rucksack and wandering off across a field and up a hill. However, wheels tend to stop you doing that too often ! I do have an electric wheelchair, but it’s playing up at the moment and a little temperamental, so I’m having to make do with the analogue version ! I read that there’s a boardwalk at Malham Tarn for wheelchair users. Have you had any experience of this ?

    Cat x

    Reply

    • Hi Cat,
      I have not been up Malham Tarn in the wheelchair. However I have had conformation that my campaign to have a tramper based at Malham Information Centre has been given the go ahead in principle – we just need to raise the funds. Getting to the cove has good access.
      Regards Debs

      Reply

    • I have not been around Malham tarn. I do not own my own tramper – try cost so much money! But once I have raised then money, the tramper will be homed at Malham Tarn. I have heard it is still difficult to get around the tarn even with the duck boards.
      I got to Gordale Scar in my wheelchair, and part way up Pen-y-Ghent from the back of it. Not sure of the road, but the one that leads to Littondale.

      Reply

  2. Hi Deborah
    Wow! you have set yourself a heck of a challenge. The Dales are not for the faint-hearted!
    I’m sure that you have come across this ‘access for all’ info before, but others may not have seen it yet; (several handy downloadable pdf files) http://www.yorkshiredales.org.uk/outandabout/accessforall/accesspublications

    You also mentioned Wheelchair friendly accommodation in the Yorkshire Dales. One such place right in the centre of Horton-in-Ribblesdale is The Crown Inn Hotel. (ideal for 3-peak and Penn-Y-Ghent trips) See http://www.crown-hotel.co.uk for further details.

    Good luck with your challenge / project.
    Gil

    Reply

    • Hi Gil,
      I have heard about the pub in Horton- in -ribblesdale.
      I have raised about £1000 and the Country Harvest in Ingleton are hosting a charity day for me on 8th June, where I hope we can raise a lot of money.
      I have had a go on a tramper, it was great.

      Reply

  3. I’ve been browsing online more than 4 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content as you did, the net will be much more useful than ever before.|

    Reply

    • Hello,
      I am still learning how to use wordpress and have just discovered were some comments are put in the inbox. So please do accept my apologies for not replying to your lovely comments about my blogs a little sooner! I am so pleased that the money for an all terrain wheelchair has been raised for the Dales.The launch will be on April 29th at Malham Tarn.I am excited and thrilled that I will be the first person to go around the tarn in the wheelchair. I have started two new projects, one which is a bit nearer home. It is to purchase a Terrain Hopper for the Lincolnshire Wolds. I am trying to find a suitable place to home the Hopper. The second project is to complete the Coast to Coast, in March 2015 in an all terrain wheelchair. I am sure I will find plenty to write about that!

      Reply

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