Next up in our City Spotlight series is Edinburgh. The capital city of Scotland is arguably one of the most picturesque cities in the United Kingdom, with an enchanting old town that dates all the way back to medieval times! It certainly needs no introduction to us, as our very own Disabled Access Day HQ is located here.
The city is abuzz with activity all year round; you can go shopping in the shadow of the castle, take a hike up Arthur’s Seat, or try to spot some iconic places from the latest Trainspotting 2 film! It plays host to the biggest Arts festival in the world in August and will be bursting into life on the weekend of the 10th-12th of March as Disabled Access Day arrives. If you think you’ll be in Edinburgh that weekend, then read on! We’ve rounded up the top accessible activities on offer.
First up is a collection of Edinburgh’s finest Contemporary Art Galleries in the city’s Old Town. This wonderful descriptive art tour, lead by Juliana Capes, will take you round The Dovecot, Stills, and Talbot Rice Galleries, finishing at The Fruitmarket Gallery for lunch. It will be on Saturday the 11th of March starting at 10am at the Dovecot until 2pm. Each gallery will present their venue, exhibition spaces, programmes, and their current exhibition, bringing these creative environments to life! There will be refreshments at every stop and staff on hand for further information on the galleries. There will also be a portable hearing loop at every venue. More information about the descriptive art tour here.
In addition, there will be an afternoon session at The Scottish National Portrait Gallery – lead by Juliana Capes. These descriptive tours will be at 1:30pm and 3pm at the Farmer Education Room. There is no need to book. More information about the afternoon session here.
Good news for all you whiskey enthusiasts out there - The Scotch Whisky Experience have jumped on board with Disabled Access Day this year! Scotland is famous for its whiskey so what better place to experience it than in Edinburgh? They’re offering a 10% discount on their Gold and Silver whiskey tours before midday! These tours promise you will become a ‘one-hour whiskey expert’ with the chance to taste, compare, and contrast different whiskeys, depending which tour you choose. Carers also go free, excluding cost of whiskey and whiskey glass, you just have to show the offer on our website when you book! Och Aye! Find out more about the Scotch Whisky Experience here.
The beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh are also taking part in Disabled Access Day this year. With most paths and walkways accessible, why not take your time experiencing the beauty of nature. The gardens will be open throughout the weekend with the offer of free Glasshouse admission when you quote ‘Disabled Access Day’ on arrival. The last entry for this is 16:00hrs. There are dozens of wonderful plants and flowers on display, which is your favourite? Don’t forget to take your camera! More information about the day at Royal Botanic Gardens here.
Now, being in Scotland, there is a chance the weather may not be on your side. If that’s the case, then why not take a trip to The Filmhouse cinema? This quirky, independent cinema will be showing two screenings with hard of hearing captions. First up is ‘Fences’ at 11am on Saturday 11th of March, then at 15:30 is a screening of ‘Viceroy’s House’. There will also be a screening of the short film ‘Buggy Off’. This film explores the difficulties faced by wheelchair users when travelling by bus. Also, there will be additional staff on duty to meet, greet, and support visitors. Visit The Filmhouse program here.
Edinburgh’s Old Town is infamous for spooky stories, cobbled alleyways, and haunted history. Mercat Tours offers visitors the chance to delve into the depths of the Old Town’s historic past with fascinating stories and real life history. For Disabled Access Day this year Mercat Tours are offering a 2 for 1 offer on their newest tour ‘The Royal Edinburgh Experience’ throughout the weekend. This tour allows you to tread the route of modern day royals, discovering unexplored history from the Canongate to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. This offer will be available all weekend and tickets must be booked in advance. If you fancy it, More information about the Mercat Tours here.
If you’ve always wondered where the Queen throws her parties in Scotland, then why not visit The Palace of Holyroodhouse this Disabled Access Day? The Palace will open its doors on Friday 10th of March at 10am for a series of accessible tours. There will be a verbal descriptive tour of The Palace for blind and partially sighted visitors, giving you the chance to get up close to a selection of rooms in the State Apartments. These tours will begin at 10:30 and 14:00, and hurry, places are first come first served! There will also two amplified tours of the Palace and Holyrood Abbey. More information about The Palace of Holyroodhluse here.
If we haven’t managed to tempt you with anything here, never fear! There are plenty more events taking place in Edinburgh, and even further afield! Take a look at our full event listing here.