The Cave and Petrifying Well in Mother Shipton’s Park are both natural rock formations, situated in the centre of a mile-long, woodland park. Access can only be gained via three sets of twenty-five steps. Two sets you could describe as ‘standard’, like stairs in a shopping centre. The other set is considerably shallower. All steps are outside and have handrails. There are rest areas between with seats provided. The attraction, however, may not be suitable for people with impaired mobility. A single adult with a pushchair may experience some difficulty depending on the design of the pushchair. There is no wheelchair access. After consultation and consideration, it was decided that to create wheelchair access:
“would necessitate building works of such a size that too many trees and too much landscape would be sacrificed, and that the completed works would have too great a detracting visual impact on a unique, historical, geological phenomenon.”
The historic, woodland walk along the river was named after its creator, Sir Henry Slingsby, in 1739 and is described by English Heritage as ‘one of the best’. By its nature, however, the course of the path is undulating and the walk unsurfaced and slightly uneven in places. The pathway may not be suitable for three wheeled electric scooters, as some tend to become unstable on uneven surfaces. Many visitors with impaired mobility find the half mile walk and the steps, a little too much. With this in mind there is a car park available for use with an ‘authorised’ window badge, situated in the centre of the park. Company guidelines state that, if a visitor appears to have an impairment or disability or makes it known, then staff must advise accordingly. However it is not always possible for staff to determine who is disabled, especially with visitors who are passengers in vehicles. Although we have large signs at admission points, given the nature of our attraction, we do sometimes have to rely on visitors to enquire and make their impairment known.
Please note: Although we do not wish to put people off visiting, we would rather overstate than have visitors travel and be disappointed. The vast majority, however, manage easily and enjoy the park. If you wish for further information relating to access, please contact us – see above.