Euan's Guide Favourites in Accessible Edinburgh
10 March 2016
Euan’s Guide is the disabled access review website & app. Edinburgh based Co-Founder Euan MacDonald talks about some of his favourite Edinburgh haunts and those that have been recommended by some of their reviewers.
Edinburgh is a brilliant city for music and theatre venues, we’re really spoilt for choice! Not only that, but every year the city hosts big festivals including The Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I love the Fringe, it’s something I can enjoy not only with my friends but also with my kids. Last year Euan’s Guide hosted the first Accessible Fringe Award which was a great success, and one great discovery through that was Dance Base in the Grassmarket. This is a fantastic place to watch or learn how to dance, and I recently organised a surprise birthday for my friend there! 90s dance routine, anyone?
When I’m looking for a concert or gig, I regularly check out what’s on at The Usher Hall. It was refurbished not too long ago and has since become much more accessible!
For theatre, my first pick is currently Festival Theatre. The last time I visited I had a perfect view of the stage and I was able to sit beside my friends who are also wheelchair users. That’s of course really important to me, so this theatre is a firm favourite! Out of the Blue Drill Hall is another cool art space in the city that is tucked out of the way behind Leith Walk.
Who says you can’t be a tourist in your own city? I’ve had some great days out exploring Edinburgh’s attractions. Recently, a pal of mine went on a Secrets of the Royal Mile experience with Mercat Tours. I would never have thought such a tour could be accessible, but of course the tour guides are pros and my friend had a brilliant, custom experience!
Another old favourite of mine is The Royal Yacht Britannia. It’s an impressive looking boat with even more impressive disabled access. Their British Sign Language tablet tour is a great addition for hearing impaired visitors.
Those who know me will know that I love whisky! Euan’s Guide recently had an outing to The Scotch Whisky Experience where a few of my good friends gave the wheelchair accessible barrel ride a go. They survived! I joined them later, but I heard some great stories from them about the disabled access throughout.
Football fans or not, everyone in the office more or less knows when Hibs are playing! I’m a big fan, and the staff at Easter Road are fantastic and the wheelchair accessible viewing areas are easy to get to.
Another passion of mine is rugby – I support Watsonians, Edinburgh and Scotland. I love going to Murrayfield on match day, the staff are helpful, the view from the wheelchair accessible seating is great and they have a Changing Places toilet which is fantastic.
When it’s cold outside, OX184 in Cowgate is a great place to warm up. They have a roaring log fire that gives the whole place this great smoky smell, and the space to move around between tables is brilliant.
Leaving fire behind and heading down to the waterfront in Leith is another great place called The Granary. I enjoy it because the route to the tables is smooth and level. It’s in such a good location too!
I’d love to also say a few things about the good transport links we have in Edinburgh. Edinburgh Airport puts a lot of effort into making sure it’s accessible, and their Special Assistance team are great.
Lothian Buses have made great progress as a fleet; all their buses are now wheelchair accessible! The Trams are even better; you can get on or off independently and two wheelchair users can travel together!
Edinburgh is more accessible than people often think and we’re always delighted when people share their knowledge of accessible places on Euan’s Guide. I’ve been to several places following reviewers’ recommendations and love exploring our wonderful city!
Visit the Euan’s Guide website for more recommendations of accessible places to stay, visit, eat and drink in Edinburgh.