Appearances can be deceptive
This review is especially helpful for those who have or use the following: Walking Aid, Powerchair
The museum is situated in the renowned Anstruther Harbour, a short distance away from the famous chippy. It tells the story of the Scottish fishing industry, its boats, harbours and communities. It is quite deceptive from the outside as it doesn’t look very big but it has an amazing number of galleries spread over several old buildings. Given the age of the buildings, they have done an amazing job on accessibility, with further improvements in the pipeline. Well worth a visit - and carers and accompanied children are free.
Transport & Parking
The best way to get to Anstruther is by car or bus. The nearest train station is at Leuchars. Stagecoach provides the local bus service - routes X60 and 95 - https://www.stagecoachbus.com/timetables. There is also a Moffat and Williamson Flexibus - www.go-flexi.org or telephone 01382 540624. The nearest bus stop is directly outside the museum. The stop on the opposite side of the road to the museum has a bench and shelter. There is a public car park across the road from the museum, with 2 designated disabled spaces. There is a public car park at the harbour with additional designated disabled spaces.. Both are free for blue badge holders. We parked at the car park at the harbour and walked the short distance to the museum.
museum is working through a programme to improve accessibility and staff welcome feedback from visitors about anything that would improve their experience. The pavement outside the museum is tarmac but the waterfront is cobbled and the pavement along the front is paved and narrow in places. The museum entrance is on the ground floor. There is a ramp to the entrance with a handrail on the left. The entrance has 2 heavy manual doors, which open inwards, but members of staff are happy to assist. The reception is on one level with the reception desk opposite the entrance. There is no seating in the reception area. The flooring is vinyl with a short pile rug at the entrance. The reception is evenly lit with fluorescent tube and ceiling spot lighting. There is a hearing induction loop at reception. There is a shop is in the reception area and a tea room just off the reception area. The museum has a tearoom with counter service. The tearoom has two areas. The first is small but we managed fairly easily. The doorway to the second area of the tearoom, the Merchants Room, is very narrow and is not accessible in a wheelchair. The menu is available in printed format on the tables or on a chalkboard above the counter. Specials are noted on a chalkboard next to the counter. Staff are happy to read the menu for anyone requiring assistance. The tearoom caters for various dietary needs with information available from staff upon request. Access to the museum from the reception is across a paved and cobbled courtyard. The door from the courtyard into the museum is heavy. There is ramped access throughout the museum, with the steepest gradient being 7 degrees or 1 in 14. It would be helpful to have handrails installed where possible on ramped areas, as well as something to identify the start of a ramp as the change in level is not always obvious. Assistance for Gallery One is available upon request. There is an internal phone at the bottom of the ramp to call for assistance. The lighting in Gallery 1 was not great but lighting improved as we moved into the other galleries. The museum’s interpretation is text-based, 14 point sans serif font. Graphic panels are black text on an off-white background. In-house temporary exhibitions have a large print version available. A descriptive touch tour is available upon request in advance. There are 2 to 4 seats in each of the galleries. We weren’t sure until we asked whether they were for display purposes only or for use. A sign would help. There are a few steps around the galleries, which can be avoided for anyone in a wheelchair. It would be helpful to have identifying tape along the front edges of steps.
The museum has three sets of public toilets, all of which are lit with fluorescent lighting. There is a lever tap in the accessible toilet but the rest of the taps are operated by turning. There are ladies, gents and accessible toilets off the museum shop, to the right of the museum entrance. The accessible toilet is not spacious but it worked for us with a medium-sized power-chair. The toilet has handrails to either side – one vertical and one horizontal.
All staff and volunteers are very helpful and friendly. They are currently working on improvements for visitors with visual impairments and visitors who are neuro-diverse. Museum staff were very open to anything that would make for a better visit. On our visit, shop staff were happy to discuss any changes and move things around to make things easier for us.
Anything else you wish to tell us?
I would highly recommend a visit to the Fisheries Museum. I’ve lived in the area for 33 years but had not realised what a gem this place is. I look forward to going back with my grandchildren in the future. Entry is £9 for adults, £7 for concessions and free for accompanied children and carers. Contact Information Address: Scottish Fisheries Museum Trust Ltd St Ayles Harbourhead Anstruther Fife KY10 3AB Telephone: 01333 310628 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.scotfishmuseum.org Hours of Operation: April to September 10 to 5.30. October to March 10 to 4.30