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Camera Obscura and World of Illusions

549 Castlehill, The Royal Mile, Edinburgh, EH1 2ND

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Access Guide

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  • For information about the opening hours please click here.
  • Amenities at this site include: a reception, exhibition rooms and a shop.
  • There is not onsite parking available here and there is designated Blue Badge on street parking nearby.
  • The most accessible entrance has steps.
  • There are no step-free entrances.
  • The entrance surveyed is the Front Courtyard entrance, on the junction of Castlehill (Royal Mile) and Ramsay Lane.
  • The building has 7 floors once inside.
  • There is stepped only access to all areas of the building.
  • There is a member of staff available for help and assistance.
  • This venue also has the following available: seating, a clearly signed hearing assistance system and sensory packs.
  • The sensory pack includes: ear defenders, fidget toys, sunglasses, binoculars, activity sheets, soft toy and torch. For more information about reserving a pack, and any charges, please contact the venue before your visit.
  • At the time of our visit the hearing assistance system was not working.
  • Toilet and changing facilities available include: standard toilets.
  • The standard toilets can be found on the first and fourth floors.
  • The standard toilets surveyed can be found on the first floor.


  • This venue does not have a car park.
  • Nearby parking includes Blue Badge on-street parking (within 50m) and standard on-street parking.
  • There is not a designated drop-off point.

Public Transport

  • There is not a bus stop within approximately 150m of the venue.
  • The nearest bus stops are located on George IV Bridge.
  • The nearest train station is Edinburgh Waverley.
  • Edinburgh Waverley is approximately 600 metres from the venue.

Entrance (Front Courtyard)

  • The entrance surveyed is located on the junction of Castlehill (Royal Mile) and Ramsay Lane.
  • There is not step-free access at this entrance.
  • There are 3 steps.
  • The steps are not clearly marked and there are no handrails.
  • There are double manual doors which are permanently held open.
  • The width of the opening is 99cm.
  • There is a second set of doors.
  • There is a single manual door which open towards you.
  • The width of the opening is 83cm.


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


  • The floors which are accessible by stairs are G, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
  • There are 15+ steps between floors.
  • The steps are not clearly marked but there is a handrail on the right going up.
  • There are 98 steps to reach the top of the building.
    There are 2 staircases. One is used to ascend and one to descend.
    Each floor is alternately accessed via the ascent or descent meaning you need to move 2 floors at a time.


  • The tour is self-guided but guides are available to provide additional information.
  • The tour takes approximately 1.5 hours.
  • There is not step-free access along the tour route.
  • There is background noise along the tour route.
  • The following may be experienced on the tour: 3D visual effects on screen, interactive video effects and strobe or flashing lights.
  • There are bench seats at regular intervals along the tour.
  • All flooring along the tour route is smooth and even.
  • Lighting levels are low along parts of the tour route.


  • The majority of aisle widths are 150cm+.
  • All flooring in the shop is smooth and even.
  • The majority of the flooring includes large repeating patterns in bold colours, which may look like steps or holes to some people.
  • There is step-free level access to the till(s).
  • There is not a low level till at the recommended height for seated users (between 76cm - 86cm).
  • The checkout area is placed in front of a patterned background.
  • There is background noise here.

Standard Toilet(s)

  • There is not step-free access into the toilet(s).
  • There is a manual door which opens inwards and has a high 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).

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