The Great Tapestry of Scotland The Great Tapestry of Scotland

The Great Tapestry of Scotland

14-20 High Street, Galashiels, TD1 1SD, United Kingdom | 01896 809353 | Website


Sightseer - Chapter 5

Surprises around each corner


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This review is especially helpful for those who have or use the following: Wheelchair, Powerchair, Hidden Impairment


The Great Tapestry of Scotland is housed in a new building in the textile town of Galashiels. Anticipation rises as you approach the building as spot the wonder blue squiggly artwork set in the pavement to guide you to the building.

Transport & Parking


Arriving at the Interchange, the transport hub, we walked along the walkway across the burn, through a short precinct and then along Channel Street where we discovered the wavy blue line of 'tiles' that led us on to the Great Tapestry building.



Wheeling into the building as the automatic doors opened you emerge into the welcome foyer and then the reception area which sits alongside an open plan shop on one side and the cafe on the other. A lift takes you up to the Tapestry Gallery where you pop out of the lift to suddenly see the amazing glass windows the afford you a view along channel street and beyond. Turning around the Gallery starts to unfold as you are funnelled into an entrain space first and then into the magnificence of the Gallery. A great use of lighting and natural light gives the exhibition a clarity of view as the multiple colours of the threads jump from their sticked backdrops. With options for an audio guide app on your phone, a magnifying glass to get up close with the works, and fabulous signage it is obvious a lot of work has been put into creating something for everyone. Moving around the segments of the tapestry, maybe I'll call them clusters, you get a sense of time and history. Beautifully chosen colours are used to theme each cluster too. Within those spaces there are more tactile exhibits that you can touch to get a sense of feel, as well as more things to look at and read. Interactive screens help you to explore more about the panels as well as searching for specific parts of the Tapestry's stories. With the occasional seating area integrated into the central display points it was easy to stop a while and have a rest whilst simple admiring the amazing colours, shapes, words and stories. There's simple too much to take in during one visit so a return is called for.



The accessible toilet was modern, bright and spacious and well equipped. The modernity of the appliances did cause a wee bit of confusion. The hand dryer looks very much like a hand towel dispenser, so it took a while to work out whether to seek the towels or wave the hands but we got there in the end. The love foyer area before you go into the toilets was great fun too with the placement of a mirror at the end of the corridor. Whilst it was great fun with selfies and the mirror it may be an arise for some people with dementia as mirrors aren't alway helpful. The big disappointed and why I dropped 1/2 a star ... for such a modern building there was no Changing Places Toilet as far as I could see but I could be wrong?



The feedback on what the staff were like is easy to answer and in a word "exemplary" .... I was made to feel welcome on arrival, my questions were answered and helpful information was forthcoming too. The invitation to just ask if I wanted to know anything or needed anything was fab! Small gestures like a hand with the lift and explanation of the various offerings like the magnifying glass and the auto app were superb too.

Anything else you wish to tell us?

I don't often write additional comments when reviewing but in this instance I will simply add - this was so good I will be back !!!


A few of the many panels that make up the Great Tapestry of Scotland One of the seating areas in the Gallery of the Great Tapestry of Scotland One of the interactive touch screen where you can find out more about the Great Tapestry The tapestry works that you can feel and explore close up The lift that takes you up to the Great Tapestry; roll in roll out The shop at the Great Tapestry building The entrance to the Great Tapestry building The Stickers Cafe at the Great Tapestry building

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