Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city and is a fantastic place for anyone with mobility requirements to visit. It’s easily accessible, has a vibrant nightlife and an expansive shopping district, stunning architecture and natural scenery. Accessible travel expert Carrie-Ann from Tourism for All recently visited. Here are the 10 resaons she thinks it’s the ideal place to visit for anyone with a disability.
1. Accessible sightseeing tours
Well-known tour bus company City Sightseeing runs selected tours that are fully accessible for wheelchair users. Its busses are a great way to see lots of attractions and sights in a short space of time. It really is a must for any big city.
2. World-class shopping
With more than 1,500 shops, Glasgow is a shopper’s paradise. The Style Mile Glasgow’s ‘mini city’, which has shops offering everything you could ever need, is best hit early to avoid crowds. When there, I would recommend asking for accessible changing rooms and priority queuing – it’ll makes your shopping trip a dream.
3. Stunning nature
Nature lovers should visit popular Hogganfield Loch at the heart of the 119 acres Hogganfield Park. It has a wooden island in the centre with resident swans – great for avid bird watchers or those just wanting a pleasant stroll. The path around the loch is tarmacked and so fully wheelchair accessible.
4. Historic neighbourhoods
Architectural gem Merchant Square, at the heart of Glasgow’s Merchant City, was originally built in the 1800s as part of Glasgow’s Fruitmarket. But has now been refurbished to house a huge array of independent bars, restaurants, galleries and shops. It’s a great alternative to the usual big city chains and has accessible public toilets and seating in the courtyard.
5. Inspiring art
A must-see attraction in Glasgow is the inspiring Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, located in the West End of the city. Here you can enjoy interactive natural history and art displays, all at an accessible height for wheelchair users. There are also subtitles if you need them. Visitors who need to avoid stairs should use the Argyle Street entrance, which has a lift, and wheelchairs are available at reception for visitors to use.
6. Loch cruises
I highly recommend escaping the busy city centre for a short while and taking in the stunning scenery of Loch Lomond. If you take one of the hour-long cruises along the loch, there will be ramps available to assist boarding. At Firkin Point, on the west bank of Loch Lomond, there are three miles of paved, flat and very scenic lochside walkways, ideal for wheelchair users.
Check out the Loch Lomond National Park website for advice on how to book an accessible cruise. Firkin Point also has free parking and accessible toilets.
7. Exotic gardens
The People’s Palace and Winter Gardens is a fantastic place to spend a leisurely afternoon learning about Glasgow’s cultural history and exploring exotic gardens! There is wheelchair and pram access to all areas using the lifts, and there are also wheelchairs available at reception for visitors to use. You can also extend your visit with lunch in the Winter Gardens Café, again fully accessible.
8. Fine Indian cuisine
Mother India is a fine dining Indian restaurant in Glasgow’s West End. It’s a huge hit with locals and tourists alike, thanks to the authentic, amazing food, friendly informal atmosphere, and attentive service. The ground floor has level access and accessible toilets too. The restaurant has three floors, so if stairs are an issue, ask for a ground floor table when booking. The portions at Mother India are plentiful; so much so that diners are encouraged to take their leftovers home!
9. And famous American cuisine
A quick glance at the main entrance of Glasgow’s Hard Rock Café, situated in the historic Old Athenaeum Theatre on Buchanan Street, might leave you thinking that it’s not accessible. Fear not – the alternative entrance to the left is step-free and the café has lifts and accessible toilets.
The menu features the usual indulgent American-style comfort food that Hard Rock is famous for, along with extravagant cocktails. If your access requirements mean waiting for a table is difficult, do call ahead of time. The super-helpful staff can make a priority booking for you. Try the haggis themed burger for a taste of Scotland!
10. Amazing entertainment
The SSE Hydro is a great place for gigs, and being a new purpose-built venue, the accessibility is to a high standard. There tends to be a really good llineup, with all genres of music, children’s shows, comedy and sporting events on offer. Dedicated accessible seating provides a brilliant view, so you can really enjoy the show! To book tickets for the accessible seating areas; there is a dedicated telephone number. Assistance dogs are welcomed, and facilities for them are available on request.
Dedicated accessible seating provides a brilliant view, so you can really enjoy the show! To book tickets for the accessible seating areas visit the SSE Hydro’s accessibility page. Assistance dogs are welcomed, and facilities for them are available on request.