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Review: Scottish National Gallery

Attraction - Art gallery

Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

Superb art in beautiful surroundings and good disabled access

  • By SilverTraveller PamWNorth

    154 reviews

    Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon

  • 2014
  • Husband

34 people found this review helpful

The Scottish National Gallery houses a large section of Scotland's remarkable collection of fine art from the early Renaissance to the end of the 19th century.



It can be found in the heart of Edinburgh, on the Mound, with the magnificent Edinburgh Castle towering above it and the beautiful Princes Street Gardens running alongside it.



To reach the Scottish National Gallery it is just a short walk from Waverley Station (there are taxis available outside the station) or local public transport will take you one or two stops along Princess Street to the start of The Mound. For those driving there is car parking outside the venue with designated disabled car parking spaces.



I chose to walk the short distance from my arrival point at Waverley Station. I could have walked along Princess Street, famous for its shopping facilities but I chose to walk through East Princes Street Gardens which have seats every few steps where you can spend time admiring the spectacular views of the old town and the Castle. At the end of these gardens the Gallery stands. For the less mobile it is worth noting that there are steps (with a rail) leading to the Gallery from the gardens, so it is perhaps worth leaving the gardens just before you reach the gallery, by one of the many level access exits to Princes Street.



The venue consists of three buildings – The Gallery which houses the national art collection. The Academy which houses the temporary art exhibitions and which is ranked amongst Europe's finest venues for the exhibition of international art. The third building beneath the Gallery is called The Garden Entrance and it contains a large lecture theatre, super restaurant, café, I.T. Gallery, Cloakroom, and information desk. This area, lies below the two buildings and links them. The restaurant and café, both have outdoor seating areas which have spectacular views of Princes Street Gardens which are set in a valley dividing the old town of Edinburgh and the New town of Edinburgh.



The approach to the Scottish National Gallery is on good paving, there are some steps up to the Gallery but just a few yards away at the side of the building there is ramped access leading to a level entrance. Disabled Access to the Academy is at the rear of that building.



The extensive Art Collection here is one of the finest I have ever seen. To describe it all would involve a dilemma of choice as so much isl so good, it would also take several pages to review.!!!. So I will simply say do leave plenty of time to see it all and you will not be disappointed



The building includes stairs, but there are also lifts and these lifts are wheelchair accessible.



The Garden Entrance which houses the Shop, Restaurant and Café can be accessed by lift from inside the Gallery (as well as from Princes Street Gardens) The Restaurant offers local produce using the finest ingredients and is waiter service. The Café is self service offering light snacks and drinks. Both the restaurant and café have an outdoor seating which provide lovely views of the gardens, the Old town and New Town. I spent time here enjoying a much needed coffee and the surprising tranquillity of the surroundings, surprising because I was actually in the centre of Scotland's capital city!.



The Scottish National Art Gallery is fully accessible for disabled people, the routes, pathways around the buildings are wheelchair friendly. The lifts are equipped with voice announcers are wheelchair friendly. There are disabled/wheelchair suitable W.C's. Staff have disability awareness training. There is clear signage, visual alarm systems and a hearing induction loop system. Wheelchairs can be hired free of charge. There is disabled car parking/drop off points alongside the building. There is adequate seating throughout the venue.



For those wanting to visit The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art at Belford Road there is a Gallery Bus which can take you there and back for a small charge.



Entry to this super attraction is free, although there are sometimes charges for some exhibitions Opening hours are 10-5 although longer opening hours are applicable during Edinburgh Festival in August.

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Other Members' Thoughts - 3 Comment(s)

  • ESW
    about 6 years ago
    We've walked past and admired the outside of this building many times but to my shame I must confess we've never been inside it...On omission I must remedy one day.
  • PamWNorth
    about 6 years ago
    Thank you, I hope you manage to get to see it the next time you visit Edinburgh,
  • Vicky11
    about 6 years ago
    Very nice. Like the photos. We run out f time last time last year when I was I Edinburgh. Otherwise we would have paid a visit.