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Wheelchair Accessible Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Palm House, Edinburgh Royal Botanic Garden

Palm House, Edinburgh Royal Botanic Garden

Wheelchair Accessible Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Accessibility :

Wheelchair Accessible Step-Free Entrance,
Wheelchair Accessible Toilets,
Wheelchair Accessible “Gateway Restaurant”,
Wheelchair Accessible “Terrace Café”,
Blue Badge Parking Spaces (9)

More....

For details of other wheelchair accessible hotels, wheelchair-friendly eating and drinking options and wheelchair accessible attractions in Glasgow, see the Wheelchair Accessible Edinburgh Guide

Founded in 1670 as a physic garden to grow medicinal plants, The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) is a scientific centre for the study of plants, their diversity and conservation, as well as a very popular tourist attraction.

The RBGE’s living plant collection consists of more than 13,300 plant species (over 34,000 accessions), whilst the herbarium contains in excess of 3 million preserved plant specimens.

Arrival at the Royal Botanic Garden by Car

There are six wheelchair accessible Blue Badge parking spaces located by the main entrance on Arboretum Place (the main West Gate entrance – where the John Hope Gateway visitor centre is located).

An additional 3 Blue Badge parking spaces are located by the quieter Inverleith Row entrance gate (East Gate entrance).

Parking is free for Blue Badge holders when the badge is displayed.

The drop off point is located to the right of the main West Gate entrance. Although there is no dropped kerb here, small ramps have been placed at various points – allowing easy access. There is no easy drop off point by the East Gate on Inverleith Row.

Arrival at the Royal Botanic Garden by Public Transport

Bus:

The main entrance on Arboretum Place (West Gate, and the John Hope Gateway visitor centre) is served by Lothian Buses 24, 29 & 42 from central Edinburgh (which stop in nearby Stockbridge – about 5-10 minutes away).

The East Gate entrance on Inverleith Row is much easier to access by bus (as the bus stop is near the actual entrance). The East Gate entrance of the Royal Botanic Garden on Inverleith Row is accessed by bus routes 8, 23 and 27 from central Edinburgh.

Taxi:

A wheelchair accessible taxi from central Edinburgh should take around 10 minutes to reach the Royal Botanic Garden’s main West Gate entrance on Arboretum Place (a journey of around 1-1.5 miles). As the main drop off point is located by the main West Gate entrance on Arboretum Place only, you should head here.

Entrance - Access to the Royal Botanic Garden

The entrance to the very spacious John Hope Gateway Visitor Centre at the main entrance is completely step-free.

There is a a 70m path leading to the gardens. There is a very slight upward incline on the path, so if this is a problem for you, the garden can also be accessed by taking the wheelchair accessible lift from the John Hope Gateway Visitor Centre up to the Gateway restaurant and terrace. This allows you to bypass the path completely if needed.

The Information Desk at the John Hope Gateway Visitor Centre by the main entrance has a lowered section.

2 manual wheelchairs and 6 motorised scooters are available to borrow (free of charge) from the John Hope Gateway Visitor Centre. One manual wheelchair is also available at the East Gate entrance. Booking these in advance is highly recommended though (by calling 0131 248 2909 or by emailing visitorwelcome@rbge.org.uk).

Entrance to the main garden is free. However, you will need to pay to access the Glasshouse (there is a concessionary rate for wheelchair users – and one carer is admitted free of charge).

Royal Botanic Garden Accessibility

The sprawling 72 acres of the Royal Botanic Garden are criss-crossed by (mostly) wheelchair accessible paths. The accessibility level of each of the various paths is clearly indicated (and at a very low level, which can easily be seen by wheelchair users).

There are 140 benches located throughout the gardens.

Between April and October, there are guided tours of the Royal Botanic Garden (led by the Royal Botanic Garden’s team of volunteer Garden Guides). These tours last around 90 minutes. Ask at the Information Desk in the John Hope Gateway Visitor Centre for details.

Wheelchair Accessible Toilets in the Royal Botanic Garden

There are 3 wheelchair accessible toilets in the John Hope Gateway Visitor Centre. Wheelchair accessible toilets are also located in the East Gate Lodge (by the East Gate entrance), in the basement of Inverleith House (accessible by lift), and one is also located centrally in the Garden (outside the Fern House).

There is currently no Changing Places toilet available in the Royal Botanic Garden, but a Changing Places toilet is planned in the new Edinburgh Biomes Glasshouse.

Wheelchair Accessible Cafe/Restaurant in the Royal Botanic Garden

There are 3 places to eat & drink in the Royal Botanic Garden:

The Gateway café (on the upper level of the main John Hope Gateway Visitor Centre – accessed by a wheelchair accessible lift). There are both indoor and outdoor eating areas here;

The Terrace (situated in the heart of the Royal Botanic Garden). Their signature Botanical Afternoon Tea must be booked at least 24 hours in advance (call 0131 552 0606 or email Terrace.Botanics.SL.UK@heritageportfolio.co.uk). There are also both indoor and outdoor eating areas here;

And at the East Gate Coffee Bar (by the East Gate entrance on Inverleith Row). Hot and cold drink, and snacks, are available here.

See the Wheelchair Accessible Edinburgh Guide for details of other wheelchair accessible attractions, restaurants and hotels in Edinburgh.

Photo credit: Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh – Ham, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If this information has assisted you in planning your travels with your wheelchair, please consider making a donation to FareShare, and help them feed the most vulnerable people in the UK.

Thank you – and Happy Travels!

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