Bluespace - accessible places to enjoy being by, or in, the water


We’re increasingly aware that disabled people want the same ability to access ‘Bluespace’ (or ‘water‘, as we used to call it!) as anyone else. This might, for example, be the ability to access canal boats, have ramped access to wild swimming opportunities or to enjoy accessible water-based events. There undoubtedly isn’t as much inclusive access to Bluespace as we’d like, so we’re starting to campaign for better access to Bluespace for everyone. To dip our toe into the water:

Two women sitting and chatting on a boat

Sally and Sandra enjoying a relaxing trip on the River Ouse

Free drop water nature vector  We’re promoting some of the good Bluespace access that does exist by highlighting it in all our activities. Look out for the waterdrop symbol in our programmes.

Free drop water nature vector  Why not have a read of our project report, Disability Access to Blue Spaces, which was a collaboration between us and York St. John University?

Free drop water nature vector  Watch the project film which was one of the other outputs of the project. In it, Kate Fox narrates her poem reflecting the thoughts of many disabled people about Bluespace.

Free drop water nature vector  Look at our York Breakfree Pack, which concentrates on the best water-based access trails near this historic city.

Free drop water nature vector  Browse our Yorkshire Directory of Bluespace Venues to find a place near you.

Free drop water nature vector  Try listening to one or more of our Bluespace-themed audio walks below.

York Blue Space Break Free Pack Cover

Goit Stock Falls & Hewenden Viaduct

Tom explores a wooded valley, a waterfall and spectacular views from a dis-used viaduct in West Yorkshire.

Leeds-Liverpool Canal

Join us on a blustery walk along a stretch of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal between Apperley Bridge and Calverley.

Bolton Abbey Estate

Tom enjoys a wander along the River Wharfe describing the wildlife and history of this special place in the Yorkshire Dales.

What happens next?

In 2023 and 2024, we’ll be revising our countryside directories so that they give maximum exposure to accessible Bluespace opportunities.

Further downstream, we’ll produce an interactive website letting people upload their own ideas and experiences on good accessible Bluespace.

We’ll also be working with managers of Bluespace, to help them improve access wherever possible.

People swimming in a lake

Please join us in our work to encourage greater inclusive access to Bluespace and together we can watch the trickle become an unstoppable torrent!

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