Do you, or someone you know, use a wheelchair or have reduced mobility? Do you go out and about with a large buggy or pram, or on a mobility scooter? Would you love to know about accessible places to visit in Perth and Perthshire?
In conjunction with the Centre for Inclusive Living Perth & Kinross (CILPK) we’ve pulled together a guide to some of Perthshire’s most accessible places, services and events, so that you and your loved ones can enjoy full access to fun, adventure, music, food & drink and our lovely Perthshire scenery.
Music, cinema and live theatre
We have fantastic theatres, venues and a renowned concert hall in Perthshire, and we want to be as well-known known for our accessible and friendly welcome as for the amazing live acts and shows!
Perth Concert Hall and Perth Theatre are both fully accessible, with dedicated wheelchair space, hearing systems, ground-level entry and lifts to upper levels. Gillian from CILPK says, “Both venues are trying all the time to improve access, and ease of buying tickets.”
Pitlochry Festival Theatre has disabled parking, full wheelchair access, an induction loop, audio description for people with visual impairments, and pre-performance touch tours of the stage, set, costumes and props, to allow those with little or no vision to learn more about the show they will shortly experience.
St Matthew’s Church, Perth, is becoming a popular venue for events of all sorts, and no wonder – with its fully accessible entrance, spacious performance space and warm welcome, performers and audiences love it. The Inspiration Orchestra, a group of talented musicians with disabilities, performs there on a regular basis.
Birnam Arts is fully wheelchair accessible, with lift access to the upper mezzanine level and the balcony overlooking the hall. There are disabled toilets on both levels and disabled parking bays directly in front of the entrance. They also have a spare wheelchair for use if any of their guests require it – just ask any member of staff. The John Kinnaird Hall is equipped with a hearing loop for the hard of hearing, which is available during all events and conferences.
Perth Museum & Art Gallery has a lift at its front door for wheelchairs and buggies, and the majority of the galleries and exhibits are on ground level. The Fergusson Gallery has ground-floor attractions including its shop. Both venues offer free wheelchair use, and Perth Museum has hearing systems. Alyth Museum has a stair lift.
Scone Palace is also a good place to visit if you use a wheelchair or have mobility issues. You can explore the extensive grounds, visit the palace and exhibits, enjoy the café and meet the famous peacocks! A review of Scone Palace on Euan’s Guide says: “Would recommend this to any disabled visitor – a wonderful day both inside the palace and in the grounds. Two out of three of the outside walks are wheelchair-friendly.”
Black Watch Castle and Museum is wheelchair-friendly, with a lift up to its higher floors and staff on hand to help you get from the lift to the next gallery on their tour. There’s also an accessible bathroom, plenty of space between tables in the café and wide aisles in the shop.
St Johnstone’s football stadium, McDiarmid Park, gets great feedback from disabled users. The staff there has made a lot of changes over the last couple of years to make the stadium as accessible as possible. Read McDiarmid Park’s information for disabled people.
We’re very proud of our Perthshire libraries, too, which are fully accessible and offer ground-floor collections, lifts to upper levels, disabled bathroom facilities and much more.
Eating and drinking
There are more and more eating and drinking places in Perthshire becoming fully accessible. These places deserve a particular mention as they go the extra mile to support disabled people and wheelchair users:
- The Twa Tams, Perth – it’s fully accessible, has a good disabled toilet and a lowered bar for wheelchair users to order. And the staff are very helpful!
- Café Central, Perth – it’s fully accessible, has a good disabled toilet and staff are very helpful.
Read Euan’s Guide reviews of Willows Coffee Shop, The Capital Asset, The Old Ship Inn and The Bothy Restaurant in Perth, and search the site for other places throughout Perthshire. Why not add your own, too, if you’ve visited Perthshire and want to share your experiences?
Walks, paths and the great outdoors
Getting out and about in Perthshire is a wonderful thing to do, and everyone should be able to access the fresh air and health benefits of being in the countryside.
Walks and paths
There are plenty of walks in Perthshire suitable for wheelchair users and/or people with reduced mobility. Check out these guides here to accessible paths, which are especially suitable for those in wheelchairs, those with young children either in prams or who are learning to walk or cycle, and anyone who is unsure of their footing.
You’ll also find links to some additional paths, as well as locations of the nearest car park and public toilet.
Here are some great ideas for accessible paths in Perthshire:
- Accessible paths in Perth
- Accessible paths in Highland Perthshire
- Accessible paths in Eastern Perthshire
- Accessible paths in Kinross area
- Accessible paths in Strathearn area
Boat trips and Land Rover trips
Loch Tay Safaris, Highland Safaris and Highland Exploration all offer not-to-be-missed boat trips and Land Rover explorations of Perthshire’s lovely lochs and countryside, and will happily cater for you if you have additional support needs or reduced mobility, and/or you use a wheelchair.
All-ability cycling sessions
Live Active runs an adapted bike session on a Saturday morning on the North Inch from 10:30am to 12:30pm that is open to everyone. Check out this flyer for more information – and come along for some cycling fun!
There are several large and well-established taxi firms in Perth and Perthshire that offer fully accessible taxis for wheelchair users and those with reduced mobility, including Ace Taxis, Perth Radio Taxis and A&B Taxis.
Stagecoach Buses offer Journey Assistance Cards and you can bring wheelchairs, disabled buggies and many mobility scooters on all their buses in Perth & Kinross. All Stagecoach coaches also have a wheelchair lift. (You can, if you wish, pre-book the wheelchair space on your chosen coach, although it’s not mandatory.) Citylink offers pre-booking and assistance for wheelchair users and National Express has published a Disabled Code of Practice.
Perth’s newly refurbished train station has a fully accessible bridge to allow wheelchair users to cross easily from one platform to another, as well as wheelchairs available and staff on hand to help. Check out the station information for Dunkeld & Birnam, Gleneagles, Invergowrie, Pitlochry and Rannoch to help you plan your journey.
Accessible events in Perthshire
Perthshire is the go-to county for brilliant events, and we want everyone to enjoy and access them. Every event that’s organised by Perth & Kinross Council and/or Perth City Centre is fully accessible
If there’s a gig or concert we’ll always have wheelchair spaces, and we welcome enquiries from anyone who needs assistance or support. Most of our events are on flat ground or, if any venues have steps (such as Norie-Miller Park for Perth Light Nights) we’ll always ensure there is an accessible path or ramp, too. Brilliantly accessible Perthshire events include:
- City of Perth Classic Car Parade, 21st April 2018
- BBC Music’s Biggest Weekend, 25th-26th May 2018
- Perth Chocolate and Gin Festival, November 2018
- Perth Light Nights, January/February
- Chinese New Year celebrations, February
- Perth Festival of the Arts, May
- Perth Beer Festival, May
- Rewind Festival, July
- Halloween parade, October
- Women of the World (WOW) Festival, October
- Bonfire Nights throughout Perthshire, November
- Christmas Lights switch-ons throughout Perthshire, November
- St Andrew’s Day celebrations, November
- Pitlochry New Year’s Day street party
- Comrie’s Hogmanay Flambeaux celebrations
Disabled Holidays in Perthshire
If you’d like to take a short break or holiday in Perth or Perthshire, there are lots of great accessible options. Check out Disabled Holidays listings for Perthshire for self-catering providers, hotels, guest houses and B&Bs that provide wheelchair access, level entry, accessible parking, etc.
Read the Euan’s Guide reviews of the ever-popular Crieff Hydro.
Links and Resources
Borrow A Wheelchair scheme in Crieff (although many attractions throughout Perth & Kinross offer wheelchair loans – see individual entries above)
Centre for Inclusive Living Perth & Kinross – an organisation run by disabled people for disabled people, offering a range of services designed to ensure better access, greater equality of experience and meaningful improvements in the right to live independently with support where appropriate. Exciting news – following extensive research and reviews, CILPK will soon launch their Accessible Perth guide to the best places to visit in Perth!
Changing Places – a guide and map to Changing Places toilets that have more space, so that disabled people can take their carers with them and not have to be climbing over each other. Also, if they need to be changed there is a bed that can be used instead of the floor which is quite often the only option.
Disabled Go – information about access to venues, centres, and lots of other places around Perth & Kinross and the whole of the UK.
Disabled Holidays listings for Perthshire – great places to stay in Perthshire if you need accessible holidays.
Euan’s Guide – reviews by disabled users of disability-friendly places and things to do.
Shopmobility in Pitlochry – providing mobility equipment such as scooters, wheelchairs and power chairs.
Are you a business in Perthshire?
If you’re a business owner and you’d like to make your place more accessible, CILPK can help you do this. Contact CILPK for more information!