Hampshire’s five best parks and nature reserves with stroller and wheelchair accessible routes
We are fortunate to have many wonderful walks, relaxing parks and beautiful nature reserves in Hampshire.
However, for people who use strollers or wheelchairs, embracing nature is not always so easy.
Hampshire was recently named the second best county for routes accessible by millets.
READ MORE: Flying Scotsman: Last visit to the Hampshire countryside this summer announced for later this month
A study by outdoor experts at Millets looked at accessible walks in all UK counties to reveal the best places for accessible walks.
They found that Hampshire has a total of 79 wheelchair and stroller accessible walks, making it the second most accessible county.
A website called ” The countryside accessible to all‘(ACE) has listed all accessible destinations in our county.
Below, HampshireLive has listed the top five locations that we think are some of the best the county has to offer.
Address: The nearest postcode is GU51 2RT.
Located in North Fleet on the border with Farnborough, it is Hampshire’s largest freshwater lake.
According to the ACE, there is an excellent variety of walks for all skill levels, as well as disabled access on the paved trails that circle the lake.
The nature reserve has 141 hectares of varied habitats, including moors, woods, reed beds and marshes, and is home to many species of birds, butterflies, dragonflies and wildflowers.
Near the parking lot there is a large picnic area, with plenty of space and picnic tables for lunch.
However, it should be noted that the north footpath will be closed for five months so that work can be completed to widen the trail.
The nearest postcode is GU51 2RT.
Old Winchester Hill
Address: Old Winchester Hill Car Park, Droxford Rd, Petersfield GU32 1HN
Old Winchester Hill has been a popular beauty spot since Victorian times.
The place has incredible views of the South Downs, on a good day you can even see the ocean.
In terms of accessibility, ACE indicates: “There is a parking lot at the northern end of the reserve which gives access to a picnic area and an interpretation unit. RADAR key holders can use an alternate parking lot on the Old Winchester Hill Way and follow an Easy Access Trail to the Hill Fort. There is also parking for disabled visitors at the viewpoint along the lane.
In total, the area covers 150 acres and features limestone grasslands, with many species of orchids and butterflies.
This is the perfect place for anyone who enjoys bird watching, as red kites or harriers often fly above you.
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Rowhill Nature Reserve
Address: Cranmore Lane, Farnham, Aldershot GU11 3BD
Rowhill Nature Reserve is popular with many Aldershot residents.
Located opposite Cesar’s Camp, the nature reserve spans 55 acres on the Aldershot-Farnham border
There is a deciduous forest, known for its bluebells in spring, as well as ponds, streams and a meadow.
ACE says the area has “paths throughout the reserve and in addition there is a trail for people with special needs which can be reached via Parkland Grove (off Weybourne Road) at the eastern end of the reserve” .
Royal Victoria Country Park
Address: Park Office, Royal Victoria Country Park, Netley Abbey, Southampton SO31 5GA
Royal Victoria Country Park is located in Netley and is a popular destination for many residents and visitors.
It includes 200 acres of mature woodland and grassy parkland, as well as a small pebble beach.
The site was once home to the Royal Victoria Hospital, a large military hospital that treated thousands of soldiers during the two world wars.
Describing the park, ACE said: “The central area of the park and all facilities are accessible. Two accessible washrooms, a play area with facilities for children in wheelchairs. Sensory garden. Some places including the toilets located near tea rooms, require access via a RADAR key, which can be obtained from our park office. “
Lepe Country Park
Address: Country Park Lepe, Exbury, Southampton SO45 1AD
Lepe County Park is described as an “easy going trial” by ACE.
Situated along the Solent, south of Southampton, the park offers stunning views of the Isle of Wight on good days.
The park offers something for everyone. There are large green spaces ideal for bird watchers and dog watchers and a long stretch of beach which proves popular during the summer months.
Lepe Country Park offers excellent coastal roads full of nature and WWII history. In 1944, Lepe Beach was part of the campaign for the liberation of Europe.
The beach is accessible by ramps from the parking lot and there is a disabled toilet.
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