Wakefield’s ‘The Gnome Roam’

Although this walk is frankly brilliant, I always feel it’s somewhat overlooked by the many families who visit Newmillerdam. Most people who visit enjoy a walk around the lake (often swinging by one of the great little cafes), but that little circuit can get rather busy. If you step back from that main track, you can enjoy the most glorious woodland!

The Gnome Roam is a circular family activity walk, one of Wakefield Council’s great Story Trails. Your task is to follow the route to find the different gnomes who have scattered around the woodland in their attempt to escape the bear! The walk, just under 2 miles long, is buggy-friendly if you don’t mind a push up a hill!

To read more about this WONDERFUL family walk and get all the details you might need, visit this blog. Muddy Boots Mummy is a website providing inspiration for family days outdoors and walks around Yorkshire- see more here. Make sure you keep up to date with the latest adventures on the Facebook page.

Inclusive Walking with Experience Community – Newmillerdam

Marie first joined Experience Community’s activities in 2014. She started out on our wheelchair walks at Dewsbury Country Park and along the Huddersfield Broad Canal. Soon after, she became a regular participant, then a volunteer and is now a Trustee of the organisation.

Even before she got involved with us, she’d started getting back into the outdoors after a life-changing event. A spinal cord injury in 2012 meant that she began to use a wheelchair. She had always loved the outdoors, enjoying camping and walking, and wanted to get back out into nature. Whilst still in the first three month rehabilitation period at Pinderfields Hospital, Wakefield, one of Marie’s friends picked her up and pushed her around one of her favourite local places: Newmillerdam Country Park in Wakefield.   

Newmillerdam Country Park, Wakefield

Since then, every time she has returned to Newmillerdam, she has managed to get further and further into the country park. 

She told us that, “at Newmillerdam, there is a lake with a fairly flat path, just a few slopes – nothing too huge – which takes about an hour to get around. After starting off using a wheelchair, I then tried using a Freewheel (wheelchair front attachment) which helped me roll over the bark pathways but it’s only since I got a Mountain Trike (all-terrain wheelchair) that I was able to get off the lakeside path and further into the woodland. The Mountain Trike is the best piece of equipment to tackle the woodland as there are some sections both around the lake and in the woods that can get boggy in wintry weather. The Mountain Trike stops me getting really muddy!” 

Marie using her Mountain Trike on the boardwalk at Newmillerdam.

Marie likes a challenge, and the variety of paths that the woodland offers. “It’s nice to go around the lake for an hour or so, but if you want a longer walk, it’s good to get in the woods. The woodland terrain is up and down, and there are a couple of places where you can access the woods. There is one main car park and a second smaller car park at one of the entrances to the lakeside and while I can easily access some of the woodland paths, there are some steps and sections that are too steep.”

Marie getting off-road in her Moutain Trike in the woods.

Newmillerdam is beautiful throughout the seasons. Spring is a great time to visit because of the bluebells carpeting the woodland floor, though Marie’s favourite season is autumn because of all the colours of the changing trees. 

Alfie would also like to add that, “it’s a cracking place to look for sticks…”

Within the country park, there is the Lakeside Café and toilets. You’ll also find The Fox & Hounds nearby, a partly dog-friendly pub which has an access ramp. Marie says it’s a great place to end a walk around the Country Park.

Please visit our website at www.experiencecommunity.co.uk for other walk ideas. If you have a disability and would like to share your favourite walk with us, please do get in touch through our social media networks or email us on info@experiencecommunity.co.uk.

Alfie and Marie on their way home after finding the best stick in the woods!.

Family Woodland Walk at Coxley Woods

With a very active 5-year-old, we love to explore our local area by going on adventures! We find woodland walks the perfect place to keep him interested and entertained, allowing us a decent walk as a family without a struggle to keep him going.

Coxley Woods, in rural west Wakefield, is our absolute favourite place for adventuring! There is a little stream for dam building and wading, trees for den constructions and swinging and ducks and horses to see. In the spring, the woods even take on a carpet of bluebells and wild garlic!

When exploring the woods, we love these two circular routes, one of just over 1.5km and a slightly longer version further up the valley of 5km. Many Wakefield parents and carers from my Wakefield Mumbler parenting community enjoy these too!

We hope you have a brilliant day out exploring our favourite Wakefield woodland!

Haw Park Wood with Children

Many families will have discovered the joys of Angler’s Country Park in Wakefield before and completed the popular Room on the Broom Trail. But for us, the charms and true magic of Haw Park Wood draw us into any walk from the Waterton Centre! Inside you’ll find wooden toadstools and magical picnic spots, and even a pixie village!

This fantastic 5.5km circular route around the wood is mostly flat and easy walking, so perfect for children. There are a few tight squeezes though, so buggies should be avoided. You’ll even get a glimpse of the beautiful Cold Hiendley Reservoir, great for a well-deserved snack stop.

Useful links

experiencewakefield.co.uk