Our guide to accessible days out in Runnymede

As Covid restrictions continue, our Guardian Angel Carers at Spelthorne share their top tips for an accessible day out in Runnymede and around it’s beautiful location at safe social distances. Although during full lockdown it is recommended by the government that we only go outdoors for exercise locally, we can look forward to when restrictions are eased.

Runnymede, with its lovely countryside,  is of course famed for the signing of the Magna Carta but did you know that it has been a place of outdoor meetings for centuries? The name Runnymede is thought to be derived from the Anglo-Saxon runieg (regular meeting) and mede (mead or meadow), describing a place in the meadows used to hold regular meetings. During the reign of Alfred the Great the Council met usually in the open air – so we thought it would be appropriate to look at the area for outdoor days out!

Today Runnymede is home to a collection of National Trust managed  memorials to the struggle for liberty. As well as the monument to Magna Carta, you can visit memorials to JFK and the Allied Air Forces, which is inscribed with the names of 20,456 men and women of the Allied Air Forces who lost their lives in the Second World War and have no known graves. 

Runnymead Pleasure Grounds

A great accessible day out in Runnymead is The Runnymede Pleasure Grounds situated alongside the River Thames has large open grass areas and play areas. We are looking forward to when it is safe to enjoy the wider facilities which include café, paddling pool, children’s rides and amusements, but even without these it’s a lovely spot for a day out. Public toilets are available, including those for the disabled which can be accessed with a Radar key. 

Jump on board the Lucy Fisher For An Accessible Day Out In Runnymede

If you like to be on the water the 45 minute trip on Lucy Fisher is highly recommended and a favourite amongst our carers and home care and residential care clients. ‘Lucy Fisher’ is a replica of a Victorian paddle steamer, she runs from Runnymede Boathouse, past the Memorials, and onto the Runnymede Pleasure Grounds where the boat stops for 5 minutes so that passengers may embark or disembark making the trip ideal for picnics. The level landing stages and easy access to the boat makes this an ideal trip for those people with disabilities.

Picnic by Virginia Water Lake

Staying with the water theme, another favourite accessible day out in Runnymede amongst Spelthorne Guardian Angel carers, residents and clients is Virginia Water which was a favourite picnicking spot of Queen Victoria. The wildlife-rich woodland shores of this beautiful lake are wheelchair friendly thanks to a flat well-maintained path, ideal for strolling or a picnic. 

The Virginia Water area is steeped in history with monuments, waterfalls and stunning vistas. The ornamental waterfall is a favourite feature and children especially love the 100 foot Totem Pole.  There are slight inclines where an able-bodied companion may be necessary to help push a wheelchair. Dedicated disabled parking and disabled toilet facilities are available.

Take a trip to Hythe Park

Runnymede Borough has many lesser-known lovely parks, Hythe Park, close to the centre of Egham is a wonderful park with a wheelchair accessible tree trail and seating benches regularly spaced around the route for rest stops.  It’s a great park for visiting with grandchildren when permitted thanks to the play area for toddlers and one for older children, ball court and wildlife area. There are no toilet facilities or refreshments in the park. 

Enjoy exploring Gogmore Farm Park

Gogmore Farm Park, Chertsey is another one of our favourites. There are several cafes 10 minutes away from the park and some are offering takeaways throughout lockdown. There are disabled toilet facilities from April to September in the park which are accessed by a radar key. There are seating benches regularly spaced around the route for rest stops.   

Whether you opt for a lakeside picnic, a visit to a memorial or a park stroll Runnymede has so much for all ages to enjoy exercise and fresh air while maintaining safe social distance. 

If you are looking for Home Care in Runnymede contact us for a chat about your needs and preferences.