There is so much going on in and around Perth this Festive Season.
The Christmas Markets have such a great buzz about them.
It’s great to chat to the stall holders and sample their food and drink wares.
I particularly love the makers markets and prefer to buy gifts that have been made by human hands rather than a machine.
The dazzling Christmas Lights Switch On, on 17th December, marks the start of the Perth Winter Festival.
Wheelchair Accessible Places to Visit
There’s a nice walk from your door at River Edge Lodges- Dunbarney walk. A good chunk of it is wheelchair friendly. So you could go for about a mile and a half then turn back. I often do this walk to clear my head! From the co op supermarket cross over the road and turn up Station Road. Walk up station road, over the bridge and when the road bends sharply to the left cross over and follow the footpath into Dunbarney Estate. Follow this for a mile and a half, the track bends to the left. Here there is a lovely house with a walled garden. There is a field next to this house – with deer in it. Carry on to a rough T junction at an L shaped stone house. If you turn left this leads you to a narrow rutted path (not wheelchair friendly). Best to turn around here and head back.
Moncreiffe Hill and Woods – here in Bridge of Earn. There are 2 car parks, the one nearest River Edge Lodges has quite a steep path for the first kilometre. The car park on the other side of the hill has a gentler gradient. Most of the main trails are on stone-surfaced forest tracks or narrower, firm paths, but these can be muddy at times. Gradients are generally moderate becoming steeper in places higher up, especially up to Moredun fort.
The North Inch is a park in Perth. There’s a car park at Bells Sports Centre – disabled access and showers and toilets. You can walk around the North Inch which goes along the River Tay. It’s a couple of kilometers. While you’re there you could call into the Black Watch Museum or their Copper Beech Café
Across the other side of the river is a nice walk called the Norrie Miller Walk. There are some nice sculptures along the way – this is part of the River Tay Public Art Trail
Perth Leisure Pool – Wheelchair access to changing rooms and poolside. Just 10 mins drive from River Edge Lodges.
Right next door to the pool is the ice skating rink – Dewars Centre
Wheelchair access into the museum, but not the upper gallery. It’s a great wee museum, a bit like a tardis, with lots to see and a fabulous natural history section.
Just outside Perth in Scone is Quarrymill Woodland Park – lovely wee place for walking. There’s a cafe there too run by MacMillan volunteers.
Scone Palace – 5 miles away and close to Quarrymill Park. There are parking spaces as close as possible to the entrance of the Palace. Ask staff on arrival and they will direct you to these spaces. More information on accessibility can be attained at the ticket hut in the car park. There is a wheelchair lift into the Palace which is accessed via the Gift Shop.
The grounds are lovely and mostly easy paths.
The Wheel Inn, Scone – A relaxed environment environment to eat for all the family – good support and accessibility and spacious inside.
Scone Park – near to The Wheel Inn is a nice place to watch wildlife on the pond.
Loch Leven Heritage Trail: Junction 6 off the M90 (Kinross), its only about 20 mins drive. There’s a 22km path all the way round the loch. At Kinross Pier (where we normally start the walk) there are mobility scooters available. You can go as far around the loch as you like. From the pier to the café/restaurant Loch Leven’s Larder is about 4 miles – they also have disabled parking and mobility scooters for hire to take down to the lochside.
Stanley Mills is an 18th century cotton mill interactive visitor experience 7 miles from Perth.
Fully accessible but you can phone to discuss specific requirements 01738 828268.
Active Kid Adventure Park is near to Stanley Mills. There is wheel chair access from the car park into the indoor area and throughout the Adventure Park, however visitors should be aware that the Adventure Park paths are not always flat surfaces, tel 01738 827286.
Just past Pitlochry: Near Loch Faskally, is Loch Dunmore in Faskally Wood. Go past Pitlochry on the low road to the side of the A9. Short walk suitable for wheelchairs, marked with a red line on posts. Swans there and water lillies. Disabled parking and toilet.
Perth and Kinross Council more accessible places to visit – click here
Falkland Palace Estate and Pillars of Hercules organic café, Falkland, Fife – 20 mins drive. One of my favourites, the lovely large village/small town of Falkland was used to film Outlander. The Palace was where Mary Queen of Scots lived and the chapel that she used is still in use today. The Palace estate has many walks and trails, with a lovely shortish walk through the woods to Pillars of Hercules, one of my favourite eateries! The organic farm shop and café are both wheelchair accessible, as are the toilets. The food is amazing and the staff are great.
Dundee Science Centre 30 mins drive. Ramp access throughout, automated doors, and access to all floors via lift. Disabled toilets and changing facilities. Parking spaces by the entrance and also welcome guide dogs. We love Dundee Science Centre and have been visiting for years. Great for families to learn together, and for anybody that has an interest in science. Lots of exhibitions and hands-on experiences available.
Lochore Meadows Country Park – Adaptive Equipment, 01592 583388 www.fifedirect.org.uk/outdooreducation Over the border into deepest darkest Fife, Lochore Meadows is a great place to visit for everyone, whether able bodied or with a disability. There is a network of accessible paths for mobility scooters, power chairs and adaptive bikes. These can also be hired from the Outdoor Ed Centre. There is also an access dinghy and katakanu available for use on the loch. There are hoists available on site for transferring onto the equipment. Fully accessible changing places facility on site. For more info see details above. Best to book in advance. Examples of equipment for hire includes: tandems (adult and child), trailer trikes, trike, assisted trike, hand trike, duet bike (for wheelchairs, mobility scooter, power chair.
The Lodge Forest Visitor Centre is a great place to visit – it’s in Aberfoyle about 45 mins drive away. There is a big cafe among the trees with huge windows. In the visitor centre you can look at the screens showing what the ospreys are up to – there’s a camera on the nest. Ask someone to tell you about the ospreys – they are so knowledgeable and can also show you old footage of the nest-building. Last year they showed us a video of crows attacking the nest – the daddy osprey was away having fun and the mum was trying to fight off the crows while protecting her baby chicks.
Also here they have some lovely walks (wheelchair friendly too). I love this place.
In that neck of the woods is the Argaty Red Kite Centre. It’s on a farm and there is wheelchair access to the hide. The red kites are fed at 2.30pm every day. If you let them know you’re coming they can also arrange a lift from the carpark to the hide. It’s about 400m up a slight slope otherwise. It’s quite a sight seeing the red kites feeding right in front of the hide.
Also in this region is Loch Katrine. There’s a path round the loch and boat trips too – wheelchair access and toilet facilities. Phone 01877376315
NB wheelchair access for the cruise is for the Sir Walter Scott Steamship only.
Kinshaldy beach at Tentsmuir Woods in Leuchars – This is a great beach not far from St Andrews, with some woodland trails. About 50 minutes by car.
St Andrews is worth a visit. It’s about 40 minutes – an hours drive away depending on the traffic. The Botanic Garden is 90% accessible, with various changing trails. You might spot a celebrity at the famous Old Course right next to the beach.
Another beach in Fife is Silver Sands Beach at Aberdour – about 30 mins drive. This has also won clean beach awards. It’s a small but pretty beach. You turn off at Junction 1 just before the Forth Rd Bridge and follow the signs to Aberdour, then the beach. Wheelchair access there too.
Deep Sea World, North Queensferry, beside the Forth Rail Bridge. Fully accessible for wheelchair users, including toilet facilities. Also free disabled car parking spaces.
For any specific queries tel 01383 411 880.
Verdant Works Jute Mill, Dundee is mostly accessible – there is a cobbled courtyard outside – inside the museum there are ramps. The sister attraction RRS Discovery is only partially accessible: Some parts of the old ship are only accessible by narrow stairs. The exhibition and museum galleries are all on one level though and the main deck of the ship.
Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway – Scotland’s largest railway museum, 40 mins drive away, just over the Forth Road Bridge. You can have Afternoon Tea on board a steam train, and throughout the year there is a Day out with Thomas event but tickets go quickly so book early. Disabled parking, access to station platform, toilets, cafe, shop and model railway. Museum is not fully accessible. Phone 01506 822298.
Blair Drummond Safari Park – Near Stirling, 45 minutes by car. More than a safari park – there’s an adventure park, drive through reserve and lots of other activities. Tel 01786 841456
There are disabled toilets and ramps to the viewing areas. Wheelchair hire is available (phone 01786 841430). There is also a Changing Places building, with a spacious adult changing facility, including variable height benches, wash basin and accessibility hoists, shower and toilet. There is also ample baby changing areas.
There is no wheelchair access on the safari boats.
Edinburgh Castle – an hours drive away. One of my favourite childhood haunts back in the dark ages when there was free admission!
Holyrood Palace – just a hop skip and a jump down the Royal Mile from the castle is Holyrood Palace – mostly accessible.
Our Dynamic Earth – a fabulous place to visit – spend all day here. It’s down near Holyrood Palace and it’s fully accessible.
Don’t miss this. I keep going back for more. Near to the Royal Mile.
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh – Lots of accessible paths around the gardens and inside the exhibition centre
Riverside Museum – home to the Transport Museum – even if you think you’re not that interested in transport, you’ll be fascinated by this collection of all modes of transport. FREE entry.
Glasgow Science Centre – right next door to the Transport Museum and a great day out – check ticket prices – there is a charge.
Work in progress more to add …