Rosslyn Chapel is a 15th Century building, and its historic nature prevents us from making it fully accessible.
The following information is provided to help visitors with disabilities get the most out of their visit.
This access statement should be read alongside the general visiting information on the Visit section of the website. Here we offer more specific information on access to help disabled visitors plan their trip.
Assistance dogs (only) are allowed in the Chapel, visitor centre and grounds
If you have any particular needs, please do not hesitate to inform the staff at the entrance desk.
For example, a visually impaired visitor might wish to ask for a sighted staff member to help them due to the low lighting levels and the uneven floors and steps within the medieval chapel.
It helps us to ensure adequate support if you get in touch in advance of your visit, but if your visit is unplanned, please ask on arrival and we will do our best to help you with any particular access issues.
Rosslyn Chapel is situated in the village of Roslin, about 7 miles from the centre of Edinburgh. We are down a short lane about 240m/264 yds from the nearest bus stop, and 55m/61 yds from the car park.
Coach and minibus parking is 30m/32 yds from the centre. For specific travel information, please read the Getting Here section.
Two Blue Badge parking spaces are available in the main car park; these are 55m/61 yds from the visitor centre entrance.
There is a gradual upward slope from the car park to the visitor centre.
It is not possible to park directly outside the centre but a passenger can be dropped off, with seats available outside to wait while the driver parks in the car park.
If you would value some assistance getting from your car to the visitor centre, it is advised to arrange your visit with us in advance so that we can make sure there is a staff member available to help you on arrival.
Entering the Visitor Centre
The visitor centre has glass sliding doors which will open as you approach.
Entry width 87cm/34.6 inches.
All internal doors in the visitor centre are automatic opening. There is level access throughout. There is bench seating in the entrance area.
We have one manual wheelchair available to borrow if required.
The entry desk is high level, but there is a lowered section at the end which staff will direct you to if required. A portable induction loop is available at the entry desk, please ask if you need it, and the assistant can place it in front of you.
Disabled visitors pay our concession rate. If you need a personal assistant or carer to help you visit the Chapel, that person comes in free of charge.
There is 120cm/47 inches clearance around all the shelving units so wheelchair users should be able to navigate around. Staff will help locate any out of reach items.
The counter has a lowered section 76cm/30 inches high.
Portable Induction loop available on request.
Our café is to the rear of the visitor centre. Food is ordered at the counter, but will be brought to your table by the café staff.
The café has a mix of chairs with arms and without arms. The tables have 70cm/27 inches clear height underneath.
The menu appears on a blackboard, and staff will read it out on request.
While in the visitor centre, you will see a range of displays and information panels. All are designed to be wheelchair accessible.
Inside the Chapel, we give an hourly information talk in English. We use an induction loop system, which can be accessed by visitors via a T switch on their hearing aid. If using the induction loop, please note that sitting at or close to the side aisles gives better reception for listening to the guides.
For visually impaired visitors, we have an audio guide with an audio-described tour of the Chapel and a selection of replica carvings, and for deaf visitors, we have a guide with a BSL signed tour.
We have four sensory backpacks designed for children with ADHD and/or autism, which you can take around with you on your visit. Each backpack contains:
- 1x pair ear defenders
- 1x pair binoculars
- 1x magnifying glass
- 2x fidget toys
- 1x William the Cat soft toy
- Laminated activity sheet with our top 5 things to find in the Chapel
If you want to use one of our sensory backpacks, just ask a member off the staff at the welcome desk when you arrive.
There are five unisex toilets in the visitor centre. Of the standard cubicles, the first WC on the right is a little wider than the rest if you need a little more room, and there is an accessible toilet with wheelchair access and a red alarm cord if help is required.
The toilets have flashing lights to warn if the fire alarm is set off.
The door width is 86cm. There is 60cm clear space to the right of the WC. Horizontal bar on right and two vertical bars either side of the washbasin. Lever taps on the washbasin. Toilet has internal flashing light as well as audible fire alarm. Red cord for assistance alarm.
The main entrance to the Chapel is by the North door, which is 66cm/26 inches wide. Some larger battery powered chairs or sports wheelchairs will not fit through this door.
An alternative entry via the baptistery can be made available on request. If you think you might need this, please let the desk know and they can radio a guide to open up the double doors and show you round to that entrance.
A standard wheelchair is also available to borrow.
Once inside the Chapel there are single steps into the Lady Chapel. There are 26 steps down to the crypt.
These steps are very steep and uneven heights and are not recommended for people with mobility problems.
Photographs of the crypt can be shown to visitors who cannot access the lower level.
As mentioned earlier, the interior of the Chapel has variable lighting levels and uneven flooring. If you feel you might struggle with this, please ask on arrival if a staff member can assist you.
The grounds are laid with gravel, underneath which is a system called Cedagravel. This plastic honeycomb membrane is designed to hold the gravel in place, making it easier for users of wheelchairs, walkers and buggies to enjoy the exterior of the Chapel.
There are plenty of benches around the grounds for visitors to have a rest and enjoy looking at the building.
Visitors with assistance dogs can request water bowls for their dogs, and can be signed to a dog toilet area outwith the Chapel grounds.
In the event of fire, all escape routes except the café gate are flat.
Staff are trained to be vigilant when disabled visitors enter the premises so that they can target them for assistance to leave in the event of an evacuation. There are visual fire exit signs and flashing as well as audible fire alarm systems.