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Apedale Country Park

fullsizeoutput_19fWhen the rain has been coming down all week and we want to go out in the woods to walk, this park hits the mark. White, well they used to be white, gravel paths lead you on an excursion around the park for the most part, tuning to tarmac from the second carpark onwards, whilst more natural mud paths lead inwards; more of a summer walk.

We start, as always, at the carpark by the heritage centre, where a drink can be had at the cafe and the toilets are a welcome relief, even more so as the entire operation is run by volunteers. Events are held throughout the year, the train ride, albeit a small one is a favourite for my niece, with carriages that alter to accommodate wheelchairs. There is something about steam trains, even the light railway ones, that hold a place in our hearts, and no, I am not a train spotter.

There are tours down a mine, but I have as yet to take one, nor have I visited the Museum. I think that will be a trip when my son asks. As for now, Spot and myself have spent many an hour wandering around, what was, a colliery site. The site has woodland, meadows and pools, with large sections fenced off, creating wildlife sanctuaries for many types of animals and birds.

Parts are wheelchair friendly and parts are not, some most defiantly not. But if you are a bit creative and park away from the centre, the road into the park itself can become a walk with wheelchairs, and the road is lined with plenty of places for an interaction with nature, nearly ending with the cafe and station. Nearly ending? It may be possible to go a little further as there is a little pool and garden that are just past the station. A disability day is organised yearly on this part of the grounds, or at least for the last couple of years to my knowledge, and they hope to continue, funding withstanding.

So if you fancy a 4.5+ mile walk, on solid (for the most part) paths that will leave you mudded but not covered and a little out of breath, then this could be a park for you. Respect the dogs on leads rule and our four legged friends will be able to continue to enjoy the park for years to come.

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/newcastle-under-lyme-parks

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