A Castle with character
This review is especially helpful for those who have or use the following: Long Cane, Powerchair
Visiting castles is always a bit of a tricky affair as a visually impaired person. Stirling didn't disappoint as there was lots to see and explore. Once you have a sense of what there is to see and what is where visiting becomes easier. The top tip would be to take one of the free tours as it brings the visit to life.
Transport & Parking
Getting to Stirling Castle can be a bit tricky but that's more to do with the volume of visitors. If arriving by car their is a car park on the esplanade. There are several Blue Badge spaces but these do fill up quickly. There's also a regular bus service that drops people off at the esplanade.
From my point of view as a visually impaired person access was pretty good. My pal who uses a powerchair had a different view but still thought it was pretty good. The key to enjoying the visit to the Castle is to do your homework and get a sense of the layout and what there is to see. You can get a map which makes getting around easier. If you are a wheelchair user or have a mobility impairment then it's useful to know that there is a mobility vehicle that can take you from the esplanade up into the Castle. Once you enter the Castle and Guardroom Square you are on cobbles so these may be a little tricky for some people. You can pick up an audio guide when you get your ticket which is very helpful in setting the scene. There is a lot to see so it's useful to leave yourself plenty of time for a visit. You can visit the Palace where you follow a route through the various rooms. These are brought to life with actors playing period character roles. While you are here head up to the support Gallery to see the Stirling Heads gallery. There is a lift if you cannot manage the stairs. There's also a hand large print guide to the gallery as well. Another spot to see is the Great Hall with its high vis outside paint and the amazing spacious interior. You can even sit on the 'throne' and get a selfie! Oh yes, don't forget to explore the Vaults that are under the Palace. See where the lion lived and visit the access room where there are films, objects and activities to help with explaining the Castle. Handily there is an accessible loo adjacent to this room as well. The castle also has a couple of gift shops as well as a cafe.
We visited two accessible toilets. The one in the Guardroom Square was very busy and access wasn't helped by some 'A' boards blocking wheelchair access. The loo in the Vaults was much better and easier to access.
Staff were helpful when approached but not as engaging as we have found in other attractions.
Anything else you wish to tell us?
Worth a visit but handy if you can plan beforehand by looking at the access guide and a map.
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