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Ferry "Queen of Scandinavia" Dhailling Lodge, Dunoon, Scotland Glenholm Centre, Broughton, Scotland
Craigievar B&B, Edinburgh Crossroads B&B, Stoneybridge, Isle of South Uist


Ferry "Queen of Scandinavia", DFDS Seaways, Ijmuiden/Newcastle

Date: July 2003
Price: 500,- (return ticket, standard car, outward cabin)

This ship has seen better days -- I'm pretty sure I've sailed on it 10 years ago from Denmark to Oslo, Norway. Service is down, fares are expensive, on-board prices are expensive. I hate ferry travel. I hate it even more, because this way of travelling still is a feasible option for reaching Northern Britain if you depend on a hand-control car. I hate to admit it, but the "Queen of Scandinavia", despite the above shortcomings, fulfills the basic requirements of independently travelling wheelchair users. The most difficult thing this time was to make clear to the  impolite Eastern European loading officers (used to be well-trained Danes in the old days) that I needed space to get out of my car and that they were not supposed to direct the car in front of me to block my way to the lift.

Level cabin floor, sufficiently large bathroom. No shower seat. Even a ramp to the outside area on deck 8.

Comment: Acceptable.

Rating: C +



Craigievar B & B, Edinburgh, Scotland

Date: July 2003
Price: GBP 40,- (b & b single room)

I've never seen a bathroom that had so many unnecessarily placed grab rails in it. Extremely narrow space between loo and washbasin, preventing standard wheelchairs from reaching the washbasin. Shower above bath unreachable. Transfer into the bathtub was easy, though, due to transfer space behind it. According to proprietor, they would also have a bath seat for those requiring one. 

Despite the faulty bathroom, there are some pros about this B &B: It has an excellent location on one of Edinburgh's main roads, right between the airport and the city centre. Wheelchair users will have no problems catching an accessible bus into town. Restaurants and supermarkets within walking distance. Nice and clean room, quietly situated to the rear of the premises. I have previously commented on B&B prices in Edinburgh, so at this point I'll leave it to the remark that GBP 40,- is not unusual for a single person occupying a large, ensuite room during the high season. I have thought about complaining to Visitscotland, because I think it discriminates against independently travelling wheelchair users who nearly always will get the largest room available and have no chance booking the (inaccessible) single room. I decided against it, realizing that it would amount to nothing, except perhaps even fewer handicap-accessible places. However unreasonable the rate might be, it does include water consumption, so it is the proprietor's problem if his water bill sky-rockets because you must  take a full bath a couple of times a day because his shower sucks and you can't get to the washbasin. 

Comment: Faulty bathroom, but do think about this place!

Rating:  C -




Glenholm Centre, Broughton, Scotland

Date: July 2003
Price: GBP 30,- (b&b/person/night)

Great place in the beautiful Scottish borders. Very accessible bathroom, the only thing to improve would be the slightly uncomfortable shower seat (a professional healthcare product, though). A standard plastic garden chair would do just fine -- it is much cheaper and offers better support. The proprietors are nice people, which shows in every detail of the premises. Both Edinburgh and Glasgow within daytrip distance. Lots of animals and pets around, including Tarry, the ball-catching dog. Children will love Tarry and Tarry will love children playing with him, guaranteeing everybody else a peaceful afternoon. Good food, very well furnished room, including a fridge.  Computer training facilites & internet access.

Comment: Qualifies to be a favorite place of mine

Rating: A 



Dhailling Lodge, Dunoon, Scotland

Date: July 2003
Price: GPB 32,-  -- excellent value!

Dunoon would probably be nothing but another inaccessible peninsula, were it not for the Glasgow steamers which used to call here, dropping off hords of tourists eager to take in the clean air and scenic views. Today it is the car ferries ensuring that Dunoon maintains a decent infrastructure and that people can get here rather quickly: Glasgow by courtesy of Western Ferries is 30 miles, Glasgow via Loch Lomond is 80 (scenic)  miles!!! Combine these routes and you have a gorgeous daytrip comprising both metropolis and wilderness. If you don't mind the ferry thing and intend to do some sightseeing in Argyll & Bute, Dhailling Lodge is the place to stay. It is a small hotel full of character, offering excellent rooms, excellent service and way-above-standard food at competitive  rates. There is nothing to complain about, except perhaps that the gorgeous view from your room is well capable of making you just sit down and look, wiping out of your memory whatever you wanted to do in the first place... it took me 2 hours or so to get dressed...

Comment: (Bath-) room with a view!

Rating: A + 


Crossroads B & B, Staoinebrig (Stoneybridge), Isle of South Uist

Date: July 2003
Price: GBP 20,-

It is a flattering sign for accessibility  in Great Britain, that even on such a remote Island as "Uibhist a Deas", wheelchair users will find suitable accommodation. One can hardly say that Uist is a tourist area, even though tourism has become an important source of income for the islanders who have a rather limited range of money-making options. I can only recommend visiting the  Outer Hebrides, and I do recommend staying at Crossroads B&B. Not only because it is the only accessible b&b for miles, but also because the proprietors are very hospitable and there are lots of "accessible" places in central areas offering less comfort and value. Slightly steep ramp to house entrance, good room, accessible bathroom with roll-in shower and shower chair. Not a whole lot of transfer space, especially around the toilet. Bear in mind though  that the next accessible b&b to the west will be on Canada's east coast!

Comment:  good b&b, reasonable price

Rating: B