Sights, smells, bottles and BSL
This review is especially helpful for those who have or use the following: Powerchair
Visiting the Scotch Whisky Experience tuned out to be so good I went back for more! Positioned way up on the Royal Mile toward the Castle you do wonder how good the wheelchair experience might be - the usual notions of old building, tight corridors, low ceilings and dark corners are soon diminished as a warm welcome awaited.
Transport & Parking
Parking isn't the best but then the approach to the Castle is a bit of challenge for everyone. There is a hand accessible parking bay on Johnston Terrace just by the Hub. You could take the option of using the accessible tour buses that stop at the Lawnmarket around 100 metres from the Whisky Experience or maybe take an accessible taxi to the door.
It's not often that I so freely give a five star rating on access but the Scotch Whisky Experience was easy. When I arrived the automatic doors opened to let me in, the corridors were bright and wide, the greeting was warm and welcoming. The tour was inclusive on so many levels - wheelchair accessible right down to a special barrel on the eight minute barrel ride, slots for wheelchair users in the 'video room' with great views of the panoramic film, wheelchair seating in the blending room and great access in the whisky collection. Add an accessible cafe, good loo, BSL tablets, ASL tablets, and friendly guides ...
The accessible loo is on the lower floor adjacent to the cafe / restaurant. A lift connects the floor and is of the deep and slim variety. The loo is clean, tidy and well lit. It has a Male space for most wheelchair users but may be a little tight for large power chairs.
Staff were fabulous! Really loved the guided tour and tales of whisky making ... The cafe staff were attentive and happy to tweak the furniture to get my powerchair chair at a table of my choice. The team in the shop were great and happy to take time to help with purchase and explain the nuances of the many, many whiskies.
Anything else you wish to tell us?
I travel extensively looking at tourism places and spaces both for work and leisure and would be hard pushed to find many attractions of this calibre when it comes to being accessible and inclusive. Dare I say, one of Scotland's top ten accessible attractions!
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