I live in Truro, Cornwall, and have been asked where there are good walks for wheelchair users and their pushers.
Truro is my home town: it does not lend itself to wheelchairs or their pushers as it has cobbled roads and uneven pavements; however, it does have shops!…. and the Opes between the streets are not cobbled. My visits to Truro give me the chance to see familiar places, and my pusher can buy things while I relax in my chair on the flat shop floor. I quite often will meet people I know in the city. It also has a magnificent Cathedral with a ramp entrance at the front. We go in there and admire its magnificence and I secretly remember the time, almost twenty years ago, when my son, Jonathan, was head chorister and we were frequent attenders at Sunday services. When I listen to Classic FM and hear the Allegri Miserere I remember so well Jonathan singing it.
Luckily, on my recent outing in Truro, the rain had stopped, my pushers were able to sit on benches and we ate fish and chips. Despite the cobbles and pavements Truro has its merits. Boscawen Park and Malpas village are pleasant, with smooth paths.
For expeditions further afield, I have often been to Devoran which is a flattish walk parallel to Devoran Creek, a tributary of Carrick Roads; it provides shade with trees as well as ducks on the water. We park the car at the parking bay near the doctors’ surgery and spend an hour or two walking along a smooth path. Another place that we go to is St. Agnes, weather permitting as always, which has a splendid view of the sea; there is a car park below the Beacon and we wander along a tarmac road enjoying looking at the sea.
There is also Falmouth which has a flat walk above the beach to and from Gyllyngvase: there is a café there with wheelchair access. Swanpool near Falmouth, Helston boating lake, Newquay boating lake and café, and Mevagissey harbour are places that I enjoy, and there is a good but very long walk in the Pentewan valley near Mevagissey. The Olive Grove is a good place for lunch at the garden centre on the road to Falmouth: it is spacious and the staff are very accommodating. At Chacewater Garden Centre there is a very friendly café. At Trelissick, which is ideal for walking around, having tarmac paths and hills that are manageable by a sturdy pusher, there is a courtyard and café with umbrellas at the tables so that anyone can keep out of the sun. Another place I have enjoyed is Penzance which has a long promenade and the Lido with a restaurant next to it.
There are more possibilities for me to explore such as St. Mawes, Charlestown and Porthleven, and I welcome any further suggestions.
To get to these places I have a Citroen car that has been adapted for my needs, which means I can sit in my wheelchair that has a ramp and special belts that go round the front and back parts of the chair to secure it, and my brakes are put on. The only disadvantage is that I cannot see very much out of the windows because I am too high.
Mary Smith August 2014