The experience exceeds the expectation
This review is especially helpful for those who have or use the following: Powerchair
When planning to visit a castle the last thing you expect is to be able to get around and see most of it. It's just the nature of old buildings that means wheelchair access is tricky at the best of times if not impossible. Edinburgh Castle changes the expectation as they have been very creative in making as much as possible accessible for everyone. It certainly deserves its five star rating! Small things like tactile replicas of the Crown Jewels, large print guides, audio guides, ramps, and very helpful staff made the day!
Transport & Parking
Parking near the castle can be a problem but you can park on the Esplanade by arrangement; just call the Castle dedicated line for parking - information is on their website. Taxis can drop you off on the esplanade if required.
Access throughout the Castle, which is a very large area, is good if you can cope with the cobbles and some of the gradients. The steepest part is getting from the main entrance up into the castle precincts. If you find this difficult you can arrange to use the mobility vehicle which can drive you up into the castle. Not all areas are cobbled but the main routes are. I found this possible using a power chair albeit uncomfortable at times. I felt it worth the effort as once you get to one of the attractions such as the museums you are back on level ground.
Accessible toilets are available at various points throughout the castle. One is located at the main entrance and was spotlessly clean, tidy and modern. Another is in the Education block just off the castle square and others are available. Staff are happy to show you where the toilets are and even took me to them, helped with the doors, and suggested the best routes to get around.
The Castle staff deserve the five stars for their attention to detail and helpfulness. Sitting in the Castle Square I was approached and asked if I would like to visit the Crown Jewels. The public route had stairs but the guide explained there was a lift and an accessible route. I went to take a look, the guide escorted me, I saw the exhibition, they then helped me exit. Back in the courtyard they explained the accessible routes and features of the castle with suggestions for the best way to go. It was excellent !
Anything else you wish to tell us?
Would recommend a visit if you can manage the cobbles - plenty of places to stop and rest or enjoy. Lots of helpful staff and you can easily spend a few hours taking it all in. Don't forget the stunning views across Edinburgh but put your fingers in your ears if you're there at one o'clock as the gun gets fired and it's loud!!