Please sign in to post.

Wheelchair travel in Scotland — need advice!

We are planning a trip to Scotland and need all the help we can get on how to get around with someone who is in a wheelchair. We understand most old buildings and inns do not have elevators. Finding accommodations with wheelchair accessible toilets and showers might be difficult. Is taking public transportation outside of major cities even doable?

If anyone have any experience traveling with mobility challenges in Scotland, please share tips and advice! If you know of any organizations or resources for disabled travelers in Scotland, or how to find hotels that are wheelchair accessible, we’d so appreciate it!

Thank you! 🦽

Posted by
6113 posts

Visitscotland.com has a section on accessibility including walks and accommodation.

Many small B&Bs or hotels in old buildings may not have wheelchair access if the building physically can’t be adapted, but the requirement is that access must be provided. Many hotels have ground floor rooms set aside for the less able. All accommodation should have an accessibility statement giving information on access. Chains such as Premier Inn have a box that can be ticked when making an online booking for room type “double, twin, accessible”.

Some newer buses, particularly in cities will be able to drop the vehicle to allow for wheelchair access. Older buses in the sticks may not be adapted. If you book trains and notify them of your travel plans, then assistance will be given at stations.

For days out, by way of an example, the National Trust for Scotland has a section on accessibility for all of their properties which may assist.

Posted by
1161 posts

If you are thinking of coming to Skye then you might find this website Skye for All of interest. My friend Melanie and her friend Sarah have set out to find walking trails that are accessible for those of more limited mobility. Their website has expanded to include cafes/restaurants and other places of interest (although not accommodation as they both live on Skye).

Just a caveat to Jennifer's comment about accommodation providers needing to provide an accessibility statement. Very small B&Bs (e.g. a couple of bedrooms in someone's house, which might very well be upstairs with no lift) do not currently need to be licensed and do need to provide this accessibility statement. Indeed many won't have their own websites but advertise via platforms such as Airbnb or booking.com. This may change next year when the Scottish Government's Short Term Let legislation comes into effect, but my reading of that legislation as it stands at the moment (as someone with a very small, seasonal B&B) is that no such requirement is included in the new legislation.

My advice would be to check accessibility with B&Bs before you book. Premier Inn is a well known chain of hotels that always have at least one wheelchair accessible room with adapted bathroom.

Best wishes
Jacqui (Skyegirl)

Posted by
1 posts

Just got back from Edinburgh and was frustrated by strollers and wheelchairs trying to negotiate the brick and cobble roads in the old city and Edinburgh castle - mostly uphill, and the wheels of both would get caught between the bricks. These roads are over 400 years old, and not friendly to small or thin wheels. Given that the old city and Edinburgh castle are major draws, I'd try another wheel-friendly tour.