Venue spotlight The Royal Collection Trust!

Venue spotlight The Royal Collection Trust!

We are really excited to bring you another venue spotlight and this time it’s from Royal Collection Trust who manage the public opening of the official residences of The Queen and are responsible for the care of the Royal Collection. This is what they told us when we got in touch regarding events that they have planned at some of their venues and why Disabled Access Day is important to them!

Royal Collection Trust is dedicated to making the royal residences and the Royal Collection as accessible as possible to everyone. We were delighted to sign up to Disabled Access Day in 2015 and proud to be part of the inaugural event. Each year the day is a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness about accessible venues and encourage disabled people to come and try something new.

Last year at Windsor Castle we offered BSL and Lipspeaking talks and verbal description talks, based in the State Apartments, the Castle Precincts and St George's Chapel. The talks enabled visitors to explore the Castle, which is home to a thousand years of royal history, in an engaging and accessible way. We also ran amplified talks and tours for hard of hearing visitors at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh

Royal CollectionRoyal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017 Photographer: David Cheskin

We were pleased to welcome both new and repeat visitors to both residences, and we received really helpful feedback that helped us to plan for the year ahead and continue to improve our offer for visitors with disabilities.

While our staff receive ongoing training and assist visitors on site every day, Disabled Access Day is a brilliant milestone in our calendar that allows us to raise awareness of the importance of accessible resources and facilities, and to really champion the welcome and provision our disabled visitors receive. Since 2015 we have been delighted to see Disabled Access Day grow both in terms of visitors and participating venues, and we are excited to share the Palaces and the Royal Collection with visitors throughout the weekend this year.                                            

Royal Collection2Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017

This year we will be repeating our offer of free entry for disabled people and their access companions at Windsor Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse and The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace on 10–12 March. For the first time, the Royal Mews will also be offering free admission on 10-11 March. 

As well as free entry, we will be offering complimentary BSL and verbal descriptive tours at Windsor Castle, and amplified tours and object-handling sessions at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Further details can be found here.

Royal Collection3 CopyRoyal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017 Photographer: David Cheskin

We have lots of resources and facilities on site, such as Plain English scripts, T-loops, descriptive tours and large-print labels. In addition, access resources on our website include information for visitors with mobility access needs, visitors who are deaf or hard of hearing, blind or partially sighted visitors, or visitors who are on the Autism spectrum, find out more here.

And here is their advice to other venues taking part this year: 

Absolutely, get involved! The support and resources from Disabled Access Day are really helpful, and it is a superb chance to celebrate access and champion inclusivity on your sites. Our top tip would be to talk to your visitors on the day, listen to their feedback and work with them to learn how you can do even better next year.