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She Rides And Reviews : Arlington Bluebell Trail

Did somebody say BLUEBELLLLLS!!?

Hello readers, today’s review is all about Arlington Bluebell trail. And wow, I have to say that it really did not disappoint. Imagine the largest amount of blue bells that your brain can comprehend…and then double it! Absolutely blown away by the purple carpet that rolled out as far as the eye could see in this patch of woodland.

It really was a stunning journey through the woods…for readers of my past blogs you will understand my excitement over having a path IN the woods as opposed to NEAR the woods and not a carpark in site.

Whilst we are on the subject of carparks, let’s start our journey there. The main car park is in a field adjacent to the trail entrance, but there is hard surface parking right next to the front entrance, those are all for blue badge holders.

When I contacted the owner a week or so ago, he was kind enough to offer me the use of one of the mobility scooters that they normally have available free of charge for visitors. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 regulations they are not able to offer that service at the moment. The terrain does require a more heavy-duty scooter, and whilst that means that some people cannot access the path this year, I would still recommend sticking it in your calendar for next year.

I know you’re all thinking, why would I write this blog then, surely my entire unique selling point has just been ejected out of the window? Well yes but also no.

Yes, I agree it is a real shame that the path is not accessible right now, but COVID-19 is the one to blame for that not the owners of the bluebell trail. On a normal year they loan out scooters over 500 times in the short time that they are open. They also have wheelchairs available but, if at all possible, they would recommend the use of the scooters instead. I am writing this review because I am really impressed with the care and attention that the owner has paid to making this difficult space as accessible as possible, from the website to the venue itself. On top of that, they have visiting charities the whole time the space is open to the public, raising thousands of pounds for local charities. All this really paints a picture for me, it is 100% the type of place I would like to encourage people to go to, able bodied or not.

SO, now that we have got that out of the way, I can talk about HOW MUCH FUN IT WAS TO DRIVE THOSE SCOOTERS! Wow, they are so much fun, I wish I had the vehicle and funds to have one of the sturdier scooters that can cope with bumpy terrain. I barely felt any lumps and bumps at all, which is great for me as you all know, getting jiggled about is a big no no for my hypermobile joints and chronic pain condition. Stick me on a dirt track and I could race one of those rounds it for hours!

Once the giddy excitement of the scooter had calmed a little, I was just so happy to be strolling this beautiful, wooded area. The accessible path is 800m long and unlike other 800m long paths that have been recently reviewed, it took us deep into the forest and felt much longer than 800m.

We walked past two pretty little ponds and read up all about the local flora and fauna on the boards dotted around the path. If my children were still small, it would be a really lovely place to spend a couple of hours trying to spot birds and plants.

Another nice part for me was that EVERYONE had to stick to the path. Not just little old me on my mobility scooter. Everyone was in the same boat, as the areas that were not paths were no go areas to keep the bluebells from being destroyed. It is small things like that that can affect us wheeled folk. Going for a nice walk but being the only one not able to go into a glade or certain area can feel alienating. And whilst I’d never want to stop people from having that freedom, sometimes it’s nice to be somewhere where that isn’t another thing that I need to be strong about.

All in all it was a lovely visit and I look forward to going back there next year. If you have any accessibility issues make sure you ring ahead before arriving.

Here is a short video of the trail, sped up of course!

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Thank you!

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