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Abbotsford - House, Visitor Centre and Café, Gardens and Estate

The Abbotsford Trust, Abbotsford, Melrose, Scottish Borders, TD6 9BQ

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Access Guide

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Summary

  • For information about the opening hours please click here.
  • Amenities at this site include: a reception, a café, exhibition rooms, a museum, an adventure playground, formal gardens, a shop and a historic house.
  • There is onsite parking available here with designated Blue Badge parking.
  • The most accessible entrance has level step free access, an automatic door and automatic doors.
  • There are 2 step-free entrances.
  • This does include the main entrance.
  • The entrance surveyed is the main entrance at the side of the visitor centre.
  • The building has 2 floors once inside.
  • There is step free access once inside with lift access to other floors.
  • There is a member of staff available for help and assistance.
  • This venue also has the following available: seating, large print information, a companion/carer discount, maps and an accessible route map.
  • The sensory pack includes: activity sheets and sensory maps. For more information about reserving a pack, and any charges, please contact the venue before your visit.
  • The following mobility aids are available to borrow: a wheelchair. For more information on any hire fees or booking requirements, please contact the venue.
  • Toilet and changing facilities available include: accessible toilets and step free standard toilets.
  • There is/are 2 toilet(s) designated as accessible.
  • The accessible toilets surveyed can be found to the rear left of the visitor centre, and on the first floor at the rear left of the café counter.
  • This accessible toilet surveyed is approximately 20m from the main entrance.
  • The standard toilets can be found on the ground floor.
  • The standard toilets surveyed can be found to the rear of the visitor centre.
  • There is a separate exit.
  • The exit has level step free access and a manual door.

Parking

  • This venue has a car park.
  • This is an open air car park with a tarmac, compacted gravel and unsurfaced surface.
  • Parking is free for all users.
  • There are 4 Blue Badge parking bays.
  • There is no hatched zone.
  • The nearest Blue Badge bay is 65m from the main entrance.
  • Obstacles from the Blue Badge bays to the entrance include: grass, bollards with high colour contrast and a visual identification band and slopes/ramps.
  • There is a designated drop-off point without a dropped kerb.
  • There is a further car park at the Hope Scott accommodation wing of Abbotsford House where drop-offs can be made, as shown in photographs 9 to 12.
    There is also a car park in the woods nearer to Abbotsford House which provides easier access to the estate grounds, as shown in photographs 13 and 14.

Public Transport

  • There is not a bus stop within approximately 150m of the venue.
  • There are bus stops on the A6091 at Galafoot Bridge, approximately 350 metres away.
  • The nearest train station is Tweedbank.
  • Tweedbank Railway Station is approximately 1.5 miles away.

Entrance (Main Entrance)

  • The entrance surveyed is located at the front of the visitor centre building.
  • There is step-free level access at this entrance.
  • There is a single automatic door which opens by sliding.
  • The width of the opening is 118cm.
  • There is a second set of doors.
  • There is a single automatic door which open by sliding.
  • The width of the opening is 118cm.
  • There is a single manual door with an easy slope to access Abbotsford House, as shown in photographs 5 to 8. The Abbotsford House entrance is approximately 250 metres away from the visitor centre, down a long steep slope.
    Drop-offs for the house and gardens can be made using the Hope Scott wing accommodation car park to bypass the long slope if required.

Reception

  • There is step-free level access to this reception.
  • The height of the reception counter is 110cm.
  • There is a low level desk or counter at the recommended height for wheelchair users (between 76cm - 86cm).
  • There is background noise here.
  • The counter does not have a hearing assistance system.

Getting Around

  • There is step-free level access throughout the majority of the venue.
  • There are chairs without armrests and bench seats throughout the building.
  • All flooring in the area is smooth and even.
  • Some of the flooring in the venue has a very shiny finish, which could cause issues with glare or look slippery.
  • Lighting levels are low in some areas.
  • There is background noise here.
  • The building does not have a hearing assistance system.

Eating and Drinking (Ochiltree's Café - Visitor Centre First Floor)

  • This is a café which serves hot and cold meals and snacks.
  • There is step-free access to this area, via lift.
  • There is full table service and staff can provide assistance.
  • Menu types include; handheld menus, written wall menus, menu boards and online menus.
  • Menus are easy to read.
  • The following are available here: drinking straws, takeaway cups and takeaway cutlery.
  • There is background noise here.
  • There is a low level counter at the recommended height for wheelchair users (between 76cm - 86cm).
  • The seating area has: tables which are accessible to wheelchair users, a priority table, chairs without armrests, high tables and high stools.
  • The seating area does not have: a mixture of chairs with and without armrests.
  • There are some tables which are at a recommended height for wheelchair users (between 70cm - 80cm).
  • All flooring in the area is smooth and even.
  • Some of the flooring has a very shiny finish, which could cause issues with glare or look slippery.

Attraction / Exhibit (Visitor Centre Museum)

  • There is step-free level access to and throughout this area.
  • The majority of walkways are 150cm+ wide.
  • There is background noise here.
  • Exhibit information includes the following formats: television/screen and information board.
  • The area does not have a hearing assistance system.
  • There are bench seats and chairs without armrests in this area.
  • Some of the seating is fixed.
  • All flooring in the area is smooth and even.
  • Some of the flooring has a very shiny finish, which could cause issues with glare or look slippery.
  • Lighting levels are low in some areas.

Shop (Gift Shop)

  • There is a manual door which is permanently held open and has a medium colour contrast.
  • The width of the door opening is 93cm.
  • The majority of aisle widths are not 150cm+.
  • All flooring in the shop is smooth and even.
  • The majority of the flooring has a very shiny finish, which could cause issues with glare or look slippery.
  • There is step-free level access to the till(s).
  • The height of the counter is 86cm.
  • There is not a low level till at the recommended height for seated users (between 76cm - 86cm).
  • The checkout area has windows, TVs, glazed screens or mirrors which could adversely affect the ability of someone to lip read.
  • The till does not have a hearing assistance system.
  • Services/facilities available in the shop include: a portable card machine for payment, a member of staff to provide assistance and a standard wheelchair to borrow.
  • There is no (or very little) background noise here.

Lift

  • A member of staff does not need to be notified for use of the lift.
  • The floors which are accessible by this lift are G, 1.
  • Externally the lift has: tactile markings, controls at a recommended height range (between 90cm - 110cm), buttons with a low colour contrast to the surroundings and a door with a medium colour contrast to the surroundings.
  • The lift door opening width is 90cm.
  • The dimensions of the lift are 101cm x 148cm.
  • Internally the lift has: tactile markings, buttons with a high colour contrast to the surroundings, a visual floor indicator and an audible announcer.

Stairs

  • The floors which are accessible by stairs are G, 1.
  • There are 15+ steps between floors.
  • The steps are clearly marked with handrails on both sides.

Accessible Toilet (Visitor Centre - Left Hand Transfer)

  • This accessible toilet is located to the rear left of the visitor centre.
  • There is step-free level access into the accessible toilet.
  • This accessible toilet is approximately 25m from the main entrance.
  • There is Braille, tactile, pictorial and written text signage on or near the door.
  • There is a manual door which opens by sliding and has a poor colour contrast.
  • The door has a lever twist lock.
  • The width of the accessible toilet door opening is 80cm.
  • The dimensions of the cubicle are 15cm x 217cm and it has a turning space of at least 150cm x 150cm.
  • There is a lateral transfer space to the left of the toilet seat.
  • The lateral transfer space is 105cm from the side of the toilet pan to the wall.
  • The following grab rails are available: a horizontal grab rail on the non transfer side and a horizontal grab rail on the door.
  • There is a dropdown rail on the transfer side.
  • The following fixtures can be reached from the toilet seat: the toilet roll holder, the wash basin and the soap dispenser.
  • The following fixtures cannot be reached from the toilet seat: towel dispenser.
  • The height of the toilet seat above floor level is 46cm.
  • The height of the toilet roll holder is 90cm.
  • The height of the wash basin is 73cm.
  • The height of the soap dispenser is 102cm.
  • The height of the towel dispenser is 90cm.
  • The height of the baby change is 107cm.
  • There is a pull cord emergency alarm at a recommended height for seated users (within 10cm from the floor).
  • There is not a shelf.
  • The cubicle does not have a mirror.
  • The height of the coat hook is 161cm from the floor.
  • The cubicle also has: a waste bin without lid and a sanitary bin.
  • The following have a good colour contrast with their surroundings: all grab rails and the floor.
  • The following have a less clear colour contrast with their surroundings: the toilet seat and the internal door.

Accessible Toilet (Visitor Centre Café - First Floor - Right Hand Transfer)

  • This accessible toilet is located on the first floor, to the rear left of the café counter.
  • There is step-free level access into the accessible toilet.
  • This accessible toilet is approximately 15m from the lift.
  • There is Braille, tactile, pictorial and written text signage on or near the door.
  • There is a manual door which opens inwards and has a fair colour contrast.
  • The door has a lever twist lock.
  • The width of the accessible toilet door opening is 86cm.
  • The dimensions of the cubicle are 246cm x 250cm and it has a turning space of at least 150cm x 150cm.
  • There is a lateral transfer space to the right of the toilet seat.
  • The lateral transfer space is 179cm from the side of the toilet pan to the wall.
  • There is a push button flush on the wall above the cistern.
  • The following grab rails are available: a horizontal grab rail on the non transfer side, a vertical grab rail on the transfer side and a horizontal grab rail on the door.
  • There is a dropdown rail on the transfer side.
  • The following fixtures can be reached from the toilet seat: the toilet roll holder and the wash basin.
  • The following fixtures cannot be reached from the toilet seat: hand dryer.
  • The height of the toilet seat above floor level is 43cm.
  • The height of the toilet roll holder is 90cm.
  • The wash basin tap type is lever mixer.
  • The height of the wash basin is 73cm.
  • The height of the soap dispenser is 73cm.
  • The height of the towel dispenser is 114cm.
  • The height of the baby change is 92cm.
  • There is a pull cord emergency alarm at a recommended height for seated users (within 10cm from the floor).
  • There is a shelf located where it is reachable.
  • The shelf is not positioned between 85cm and 105cm and has minimum dimensions of 12.5cm x 40cm.
  • The cubicle does not have coat hooks.
  • The cubicle also has: a full length mirror, a nappy/incontinence items bin, a sanitary bin and a pedal bin.
  • The following have a good colour contrast with their surroundings: all grab rails and the floor.
  • The following have a less clear colour contrast with their surroundings: the toilet seat.

Standard Toilet(s)

  • There is step-free level access into the toilet(s).
  • There is a manual door which opens inwards and has a medium colour contrast.
  • The male and female standard toilets were surveyed.
  • The wash basin tap type is sensor.
  • There is a baby change facility which is not at a recommended height (between 70cm - 75cm).

Exit (Visitor Centre to Abbotsford House and Gardens)

  • The exit is located to the rear side of the visitor centre gift shop.
  • There is step-free level access at this exit.
  • There is a single manual door which opens towards you.
  • The width of the opening is 110cm.
  • This door can be used as an entrance when returning from the house, gardens or estate.

Tour (Abbotsford House)

  • The tour is self-guided but guides are available to provide additional information.
  • The tour takes approximately 45 minutes.
  • There is step-free level access throughout the tour.
  • The majority of walkways are 150cm+ wide.
  • There is background noise along the tour route.
  • Tour information includes the following formats: multi-language audio, information board, pictorial, touchscreens, television/screen and audio guides.
  • There are chairs without armrests at regular intervals along the tour.
  • Some flooring along the tour route is smooth and even.
  • Where the flooring is not smooth or even, it is due to carpet.
  • The majority of the flooring includes large repeating patterns in bold colours, which may look like steps or holes to some people.
  • Lighting levels are low along parts of the tour route.
  • The Chapel located along to the left of the main house entrance is accessed via a steep slope. The second entrance door to the Chapel is 66cm wide.

Outdoor Spaces (Walled Gardens)

  • Access Point View
    • This information is for the access point located at the front of Abbotsford House.
    • There is step-free level access at this access point.
    • There is open access to the area.
  • Outdoor Spaces View
    • The following outdoor facilities are available: formal gardens and gardens.
    • Surfaces for the outdoor spaces include: grass, concrete or tarmac, compact earth and gravel.
    • Footpaths are available in all of the outdoor spaces.
    • The majority of the paths are wide enough for wheelchair users.
    • There are more than 3 steps with handrails, steep slopes without handrails and slight slopes without handrails in the main areas .
    • There are some bench seats situated along the paths for people to rest.
    • There is a long easy slope down to the lower lawn which bypasses 10 steps. There are steps to the upper walled gardens which can be bypassed using slopes via the signed gates in the rear wall.
      There is 1 step into the glasshouse in the top walled garden.

Outdoor Spaces (Witch Corner)

  • Outdoor Spaces View
    • The following outdoor facilities are available: a playground with play equipment, a playground and woodland.
    • Surfaces for the outdoor spaces include: wood bark and gravel.
    • Footpaths are available in all of the outdoor space.
    • The majority of the paths are wide enough for wheelchair users.
    • There are slight slopes with handrails in the main areas .
    • There are some bench seats situated along the paths for people to rest.
    • The play equipment is in easy reach for seated and standing users, and users of different heights.
    • The following play experiences are available: swinging, sliding, rotating, climbing, balancing, sensory (visual, audible and or tactile).

Outdoor Spaces (Estate and River Walk)

  • Outdoor Spaces View
    • The following outdoor facilities are available: gardens, parkland and woodland.
    • Surfaces for the outdoor spaces include: grass, concrete or tarmac, compact earth and gravel.
    • Footpaths are available in some of the outdoor spaces.
    • The majority of the paths are wide enough for wheelchair users.
    • There are slight slopes without handrails, more than 3 steps with handrails and steep slopes without handrails in the main areas .
    • There are some bench seats situated along the paths for people to rest.
    • There are some steep slopes leading down from the rear of the visitor centre towards the River Tweed.
      There are easier slopes down to the left of Abbotsford House, where a relatively level grass field can be crossed to the river walk.
      There are some steps up to the rear Abbotsford House garden area which can be bypassed via a gate near the drop-off car park.