Miles without Stiles – the easy way to enjoy the Peak District National Park
Monday 11 February 2019
The Peak District National Park’s most accessible routes are highlighted in a new book, Miles without Stiles.
The guide introduces 20 routes, showcasing some of the Peak District’s finest landscapes. It contains clear maps and descriptions along with striking photography.
Written by Peak District National Park Authority access officer Sue Smith, the guide highlights areas from moorland expanses to quiet dales and introduces visitors to the Peak District’s dramatic geology, distinctive habitats and wildlife and cultural heritage.
Sue said: “Miles without Stiles routes are for everyone to explore and enjoy. All routes are well-surfaced, free from stiles, steps and narrow gates and are graded for different abilities.
“They are suitable for people of all fitness levels and those with limited mobility, including wheelchair users, families with pushchairs and the visually impaired – as well as dog walkers with less agile dogs! Some of the routes are also ideal for cycling.
“A love of the countryside, once found, never goes away so we hope these routes will open up new places to explore.”
Andrew McCloy, chair of the Peak District National Park Authority, added: “It’s vital that everyone has the chance to enjoy our spectacular landscapes and share the enormous health and wellbeing benefits they bring.”
National Parks across the UK are working together to develop Miles without Stiles routes to provide the best possible access to their landscapes.
The Peak District Miles without Stiles guide was funded with sponsorship from Yorkshire Water. Geoff Lomas, lead countryside adviser at Yorkshire Water, said: “All people benefit from being in the countryside and find that being near water is relaxing and inspiring. We are very pleased to support the Miles Without Stiles guidebook, which lets people know where they can visit in the countryside with the least restrictions.”
The book is dedicated to the memory of the Peak District National Park Authority’s former head of field services, Sean Prendergast, and to Tom Scotford, son of Accessible Derbyshire co-founder Gillian Scotford.
Gillian said: “Tom passed away two years ago. My happiest times were when I was walking with him in the Peak District countryside – enjoying just a couple of hours of simple walking. Miles Without Stiles is not just a number of walks...it’s a life. It’s fun. It’s about staying together as a family - it’s days out full of hope and laughter.
“Disabled people need confidence to get out and about and explore. Information is key to letting people know what is right for them. With all terrain wheelchairs and improved technology so much is possible.”
The Miles without Stiles book costs £5.95 and can be bought at Peak District National Park visitor centres and via https://shop.peakdistrict.gov.uk.
Every penny from sales of the handbook will go into the Peak District National Park’s Access Fund for improvements to existing and new Miles without Stiles routes. For more details of Miles without Stiles, go to www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/mws.
Share your experiences of Miles without Stiles – we’d like to include pictures of visitors enjoying our first 20 routes in our next handbook. Share with us on social media using #MilesWithoutStiles #PeakDistrict