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Cairngorms 'tops' for accessibility for 2024 says latest survey

By Tom Ramage

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Using publicly available data, Independent Cottages has found out which of the UK's national parks are the most accessible, for those hoping to venture to the UK countryside in 2024 and beyond.

"It’s without a doubt that Brits love to spend their time in the country’s natural landscapes," said a company spokesperson this morning, "with as many as 13.7 million people flocking to our national parks each year."

Cairngorms: wild and yet accessible (David Macleod)
Cairngorms: wild and yet accessible (David Macleod)

The staycation accommodation provider analysed which facilities and amenities are in place for each park including accessible toilets, accessible routes, and accessible parking.

"We believe that those will disabilities or mobility impairments shouldn’t be restricted when it comes to finding a holiday rental, which is why we have an array of cottages for limited mobility available that have been adapted or, in some cases, designed and built to be wheelchair friendly."

Getting around the Cairngorms: some do it on water (David Macleod)
Getting around the Cairngorms: some do it on water (David Macleod)

The UK's Most Accessible National Parks

1 The Cairngorms

1 equal The Peak District

3 Eryri (Snowdonia)

4 Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons)

5 North York Moors

5 equal South Downs

7 Lake District

8 The Broads

8 equal Dartmoor

10 New Forest

11 Pembrokeshire Coast

12 Northumberland

13 Exmoor

14 Loch Lomond and The Trossachs

The Yorkshire Dales National Park was excluded due to having an incomplete data set

And some go by award-winning community bus!
And some go by award-winning community bus!

Six parks, including the Cairngorms, scored an average five out of five on Google reviews mentioning the word 'disabled' - the others were Peak District, Bannau Brycheiniog, The Broads, Dartmoor and Northumberland.

"All the national parks scored full marks – four out of four – for accessible routes and communication of these, which is great news!

"Cairngorms scored full marks for 'additional accessibility features' as a result of the accessible minibus service available from Monday to Friday in Badenoch and Strathspey, where people can be transported to the majority of visitor attractions nearby."

In order to find out which are the most accessible, Independent Cottages analysed each for the following data points: average score of Google reviews including the word ‘disabled’, accessible toilets, disabled parking, accessible attractions and routes in the park, additional accessibility features offered or available in the park, and how well the national park website communicates its accessibility information.

The full ranking, including a detailed methodology, can be found here

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