Duo’s latest wheelchair-friendly trek route

Semerwater, Yorkshire Dales.
Semerwater, Yorkshire Dales.
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A pioneering couple who design wheelchair-friendly long distance walks are preparing to embark on their latest route.

Debbie North and her husband Andy, from Batley, are getting ready for the new 81-mile Coast to Coast to Coast trek on April 10.

The determined duo’s latest walk from North Yorkshire to Cumbria comes after Debbie founded Accessthedales when her health meant she needed to use a wheelchair.

They have since been promoting accessibility in the countryside by creating new walking routes suitable for all-terrain wheelchair users.

The pair completed their own version of the Coast to Coast trek from St Bees on the west coast to Robin Hood’s Bay last April, which took two weeks.

Their new route will take seven days to finish after starting on the shores of Semerwater, before they travel to Ullswater at Lake Bassenwaite, Cumbria.

Jonathan Smith, from the Where2Walk group, has helped plan the route and will be joining them during part of their journey

They will also be joined by Rachel Briggs, who works for the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and Yorkshire Trike Tours managing director Judith Richards.

Judith said: “This will be my first long distance walk and I am especially keen to join Debbie and Andy on the trek as both me and my husband Jason have been impressed by what accessthedales is doing to promote accessibly in the countryside.  

“Yorkshire Trike Tours are very proud to be part of this exciting adventure.

“Debbie is an inspiration and accessibility to our stunning countryside for all is a joint passion.”

Also taking part in the trek will be Sue North, from Batley.

She said: “I’m both excited and nervous.

“To complete this challenge is a personal goal.

They are raising money for Calvert Trust Kielder after generating £5,300 last year towards the cost of a TerrainHopper off-road wheelchair.

The group hope to raise the rest of the money needed to buy the chair.

The organisation has now sponsored their latest trek.

Debbie Danztie, managing director of TerrainHopper, said: “It is great to be able to support accessthedales in their campaign to promote accessibility in the countryside.”

Debbie and Andy are also preparing to release their new book in July, In The Spirit of Wainwright, which is a guide to the route they took last year.

For more information about the latest trek, contact accessthedales@gmail.com