TOP TIPS FOR VISITING EDINBURGH
So if you follow me on Instagram, you'll know that me and Gina went on a weekend away to the Harry Potter-esque town of Edinburgh. I can safely say it is a beautiful city but a lot of people were asking me what it's like in terms of accessible things to do in Edinburgh.
Firstly, as always I can only speak from my own experience. But what I can say is it was definitely not as bad as I thought would be for access. A lot of the shops and restaurants have ramp/step free access and disabled toilets. Yes, there were a few places that were a no go but the majority are fine.
1: BE READY FOR YOUR BONES TO BE RATTLED ABOUT
Now this one I was expecting, but the old school feel of the city and the outstanding views definitely come at a price for us wheelchair users. I spent a lot of time, fighting with cobbled streets so would recommend if you are a wheelchair user, and you don't own one already, to rent yourself a power wheelchair or scooter to help you fight the cobbles and massive hills. Admittedly I didn't really consider this for myself. So renting the equipment proved slightly more difficult then I first thought So I'd suggest doing your research before you go. As I couldn't find a place to rent powered wheelchair which is what I really wanted as it's slightly smaller for those quirkie little shops. However, I could only find a place to rent a mobility scooter, which was bigger then I wanted but definitely dealt will the Edinburgh streets with ease. One nugget of information I found out during this weekend is you can't travel on public transport with a mobility scooter unless you have a permit. This maybe just because I'm new to mobility scooters, but I thought I'd add it in for those are like me.
2: PUBLIC TRANSPORT SMASHED IT
Now the tram that runs in and around Edinburgh is outstanding for accessibility - working similarly to the DLR in London with the carriage coming right to the edge of the platform with no need for a ramp as its level access. The tram also runs directly from the airport to the centre of town and you never have to wait more than 7 minutes for a tram at any stop. Tickets weren't too bad we got a 5-day pass with unlimited travel for £20.
3: TRUST THE GOOD OLD BUSES
The buses in Edinburgh are all accessible via a fold down ramp similar to the older style London buses. The bus is a great help when it comes to getting up to the old town as it is very hilly. It is also very cost effective as fares can be as low as £1.80 - as Londoner who is used to city prices, I nearly had a kitten when I heard how much it cost. Having said that, I have been told that there is a ticket that allows unlimited travel on buses and trams. I will leave a link here:
4: RESEARCH HOTELS AND GO FOR A MAINSTREAM BRAND
Finding somewhere to stay did prove a little difficult as a lot of the buildings are very old and in-accessible. It was especially hard to find a hotel room with a roll-in shower. I did manage to find one but it wasn't perfectly accessible, as the disabled access entrance was down a cobbled street, but once in the hotel, it was all accessible. If you want to check out where I stayed it was the Holiday Inn Express Edinburgh City Centre. But I will say make sure you do your research before you travel!
Hopefully this blog post gave you a bit more of an idea of what to expect if you are travelling to Edinburgh as a wheelchair user and put some of your worries to rest. But if you do have any other questions feel free to drop me a message on Instagram and I will try and answer them as best I can @n_q_p_c.