Great accessible UK weekend breaks: Aberdeen
22nd February 2020
A city captivated by culture and sitting pretty on the east coast of Scotland, Aberdeen is rich in medieval history and offers some of the best and most accessible attractions in Scotland. Known for being one of the famous granite trading ports in the UK, the city has been home to settlers for over 8000 years, making it one of the best cities for a weekend of exploration.
From medieval buildings to music and theatre, there is so much to explore on your next trip, this blog compiles some of the best attractions and eateries you can visit, all with accessible access and modifications. Also, find out some of the best ways to get to the city with information about transport to and from the city.
How to get to Aberdeen
Travelling to Aberdeen by road
Located just off the A92, Aberdeen city centre is very accessible by car with plenty of public parking across the city.
Travelling to Aberdeen by rail
Aberdeen Railway Station is very close to the city centre and you can travel to and from London, and the south very easily. There are also hourly trains connecting Glasgow and Edinburgh to Aberdeen city centre.
Travelling to Aberdeen by air
Located just six miles from the city centre, Aberdeen International Airport brings in passengers from across the country. With direct flights from London, Bristol, Manchester and many more UK airports.
Best accessible attractions to visit in Aberdeen
Aberdeen offers myriad attractions for travellers of all kinds, from historic landmarks to eateries, all of which are perfect for those looking for accessible locations to explore when visiting the city on a weekend break.
The team at VisitAberdeenshire explain a little more about the city and what it has to offer to visitors: “Aberdeen is Scotland’s third city and synonymous with sparkling granite, wild coastlines and some of the best of Scotland’s food and drink on its doorstep. Culturally the city has been enjoying something of a renaissance, with new entertainment and business venue P&J Live hosting some of the biggest music acts in the world since opening its doors late last year. The venue is fully accessible for all and neighbours Aberdeen International Airport, which has upgraded its departure lounge facilities to include a changing places facility. The city is home to fantastic hotels, bars and restaurants offering great service ensuring all visitors have the very best experience of Aberdeen.”
Aberdeen Art Gallery
Opened in 1873, Aberdeen Art Gallery was originally a location for local arts people to display their collections, since holding public exhibitions of all kinds, it is one of the most popular attractions in the city. The location is now home to a famous granite cast collection, paintings, textiles and much more.
“A visit to Aberdeen must include a stop at the recently refurbished Aberdeen Art Gallery. The entrance, and the street outside, has been redesigned to meet the needs of all visitors. As part of the renovation, gallery spaces increased from 11 to 18, and with a passenger lift to all floors, level access throughout the building, accessible toilets on every floor and a new changing places toilet on the second floor – Aberdeen Art Gallery has created an accessible environment for all,” says the team at VisitAberdeenshire.
Shopmobility Aberdeen provides manual and powered wheelchairs, powered scooters and a wheelchair accessible vehicle to help people access all that’s on offer and the mobile AbleDeen service visits parks, gardens and the beach so that anyone who wants to use mobility equipment can do so at these venues. They went into a little more detail about the Aberdeen Art Gallery and what it has to offer to those who chose to visit:
“Aberdeen Art Gallery recently re-opened after a £30 million transformation this world-class collection houses paintings, sculptures, ceramics, textiles and digital artworks from all over the world. There are plenty of seating opportunities built into the galleries, there are also folding seats which you can take with you as you peruse the collections. There is lift access to all floors and there are toilets on all floors including a Changing Places facility on the second floor.”
Aberdeen Science Centre
Perfect if you’re travelling with kids, Aberdeen Science Centre is a hub for all this science, sci-fi and magic. Dedicated to providing lifelong learning and training resources, the centre is home to exhibitions, interactive shows and workshops.
“Traveling with youngsters? The Aberdeen Science Centre will keep them amused for hours, most of the exhibits are interactive and there are daily talks which are included with your ticket”, says Shopmobility Aberdeen.
David Welch Winter Gardens
One of Europe’s largest indoor garden and one of the most visited gardens in Scotland. The David Welch Winter Gardens are the perfect location for those who rely on the use of a wheelchair or mobility aids as the sights are all situated on one floor with seating throughout.
The gardens are another location Shopmobility Aberdeen recommend: “One of the most visited indoor plant collections in Scotland, the winter gardens hold a sizable collection of exotic plants including the country’s largest collection of cacti (one of which speaks! Keep your eyes peeled for Spike). The greenhouse itself is something to behold with seating areas throughout it is a lovely way to spend a couple of hours taking in the sights and smells of the flora and admiring the fish ponds and the terrapins as you make your way around.”
Home to flora and fauna of local and exotic varieties and the largest collection of cacti in Britain, it is a real hub for lovers of plants and nature.
Aberdeen Maritime Museum
“Located near Aberdeen Harbour (the oldest business in the UK) this modern, accessible attraction tells the story of Aberdeen from the fishing village through the shipbuilding era to the global player in the energy sector that it is today,” comments Shopmobility Aberdeen.
Aberdeen is home to one of the UK’s most famous ports, so it is no surprise that the Aberdeen Maritime Museum is a popular attraction in the city. Home to Aberdeen naval history, shipbuilding, fishing and the port history. Paintings and hands-on displays can all be explored as the history of the Scottish waters are bought to life right before your eyes.
Enjoy a bite to eat and a refreshing drink in the on-site café and pick up a souvenir to remember your time. All areas of the museum have wheelchair access with smooth and level floors throughout.
Best accessible restaurants to visit in Aberdeen
Aberdeen is home to some delectable restaurants and cafés serving a selection of dishes from fresh fish and seafood to rustic, home-cooked favourites. Explore some of the most recommended eateries in the city that are perfect for those with limited mobility.
Opened in 2004, the Moonfish Café is located just off the medieval streets of Aberdeen’s Merchant Quarter and offers stunning views of the 14th Century church, Kirk of St Nicolas. Serving innovative British dishes made with honest and local ingredients, attention to detail is at the forefront of what they do.
Access is easy, although a few cobbles will have to be navigated. Once inside, there is plenty of room for wheelchair users or those with other mobility aids.
Complete with accessible toilets, Zizzi in Aberdeen is situated on Guild Street inside Union Street Shopping Centre and offers a great selection of Italian inspired dishes, from pizza to pasta and risotto. Union Square Shopping Centre offers lift and elevator access to upper levels making getting around the centre much easier.
The Richmond Street Deli
Offering a relaxed coffee shop vibe, Richmond Street Deli is ironically situated on Richmond Street in the heart of the city and is accessible for all visitors.
Not only is the deli a fabulous place to enjoy food, but it is also a wonderful community café perfect for meetings, studying or relaxing in your free time, there is even a free book-swap for those who enjoy reading.
The Cock and Bull
A short drive from the city centre, The Cock and Bull is a pub and restaurant unlike any other offering honest, hearty food to a high standard. The hearty atmosphere makes this a wonderful location for a delicious evening meal with friends and family.
Home to a host of awards including Grampian Chef of the Year in 2004, 2009 and 2014 and Scottish Gastropub of the Year 2012, 2013 and 2014 it really is one of the best pubs in Aberdeen and worth a visit on a weekend break to Aberdeen.
Mobility and mobile hire in Aberdeen
Shopmobility Aberdeen is perfect for those who would prefer to travel without their mobility aids or those who would like to hire one for their time spent in Aberdeen. If you often use straight or curved stairlifts in your home or in other accessible attractions, then hiring a mobility aid for your intended location is a great idea and Shopmobility Aberdeen can help: “Providing manual and powered wheelchairs, powered scooters and a wheelchair accessible vehicle to help people access all that’s on offer and the mobile AbleDeen service visits parks, gardens and the beach so that anyone who wants to use mobility equipment can do so at these venues.”
This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.