Scottish Tourist Guide
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Margot McMurdo, Blue Badge Scottish Tourist Guide.
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Easy Access Edinburgh and Beyond!
A full Day Tour and Half Day Tour with easy Access
for disabled people and those with mobility difficulties.
Scotland is such a beautiful country with many attractions to visit but this can be made more difficult if you find it harder to get around. Our ancestors didn't think of wheelchairs or people with walking sticks when they built cobbled streets and castles!
In order to ensure that these places can be enjoyed by everyone I have planned this tour so that people with mobility problems can enjoy a day out in Edinburgh and beyond. I can plan tours similar to the one featured below, around the whole of the Scottish mainland and the islands in the same way and include accommodation recommendations to suit your mobility requirements.
I will collect you from your accommodation in an appropriate vehicle. My Mercedes Viano is extremely comfortable and easy to get in and out of if you can transfer from a folding wheelchair which can be accommodated in the rear if the the vehicle. Reputable Taxi company in Edinburgh "Central Taxis"(44 131 229 2468) does have wheelchair friendly vehicles called a Peugot E7 which can take an occupied manual wheelchair and 3 other passengers or an occupied powered wheelchair and two other occupants.
We shall drive through the Old Town and the Georgian New Town. Maybe drive around Holyrood Park and Arthurs Seat, the remains of an extinct volcano, to view the city landscape from above.
We can visit Edinburgh Castle, where there is a courtesy vehicle to take people with mobility problems to the top of the Castle and back to their vehicle, thus avoiding the cobbles and stone staircases to get to the top.It travels through a tunnel cut into the volcanic rock on which Edinburgh Castle is built. There are many places in the Castle which can be accessed by those with limited mobility. For example, there is an elevator, so you will be able to view the Scottish Crown Jewels and the Stone of Destiny without having to negotiate the winding stone staircase that leads to the room where they are displayed. You can also view The Great Hall and The National War Memorial, both located off Crown Square at the top of the Castle.
We can also look around the Palace of Holyroodhouse (right), the official residence of the Queen in Scotland. Although some of the older parts of the Palace will be inaccessible, there is an elevator to the first floor where you can see the Throne Room, Drawing Rooms, Bedchamber, Dining Room and the Great Gallery. There is also an excellent gift shop and restaurant.
Other attractions you may enjoy, with good access are The Royal Botanical Gardens, The Royal Museum of Scotland, The Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh Zoo, Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre, The Scottish Parliament Building (left). If you prefer 'retail therapy', Leith Mills is ideal, everything is on one level with a great selection of Scottish Gifts, tartans, woollens, cashmere, whisky, country clothing, shoes, jewelry, books and much,much more - even a cafe where you can enjoy a light lunch or coffee, teas and pastries or maybe a wee dram of whisky!
Visit to the Scottish Borders
In the afternoon, perhaps venture out of town to visit Abbotsford, the home of Sir Walter Scott, the author of 'Rob Roy' and 'Ivanhoe', amongst many other books and poems. The house has beautiful furnishings and many collection of antiquities acquired by Scott throughout his life. It has easy access as all rooms are on one level. You could also view Melrose Abbey which dates from the 12th century. This afternoon tour would take you through the beautiful countryside of the Scottish Borders.
If you love antiques and would like to experience these with an afternoon tea of delicious warm Scottish scones with cream and jam, then a visit to Doune Arts and Antiques Centre is a must. A fantastic selection of antiques and craftwork with a welcoming cafe serving scones and other tasty treats! This excursion would take you through the countryside of Stirlingshire, viewing Stirling Castle en-route.
The Falkirk Wheel
If you prefer something 'more modern' a visit to The Falkirk Wheel (right), the world's first rotating boat lift, is an interesting attraction to see. It links the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal and they even have wheelchair friendly boats, so you can ride on the boat lift! There is a lovely cafe with a good selection of delicious cakes and pastries and a variety of drinks for a tasty afternoon treat and a giftshop with something for everyone!
Returning to the city with time to relax and freshen up before going to one of our many city restaurants for dinner, for example 'Rhubarb'; 'The Tower'; 'Merchants'; 'Ducks at le Marche Noir'; 'Skippers Bistro'; 'Britannia Spice', all have easy access and toilets for folks with limited mobility.
So you see a day out or a full Scottish vacation is not a problem. It is an opportunity to get out, have fun and enjoy Scotland with everyone else.I hope to meet you soon!