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Christmas At The Botanics In A Wheelchair

Christmas at the Botanics is a festive light event held on the grounds of Edinburgh’s beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens from the end of November to the end of December. I have wanted to go each year, and now that it is in its third year, I am thrilled I was able to make it along last night. We loved our visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh a few summers ago, so we were excited and curious to see what Christmas at the Botanics would be like for wheelchair users.

Emma facing away from the camera. She is in her wheelchair and driving along the path amongst a light display.Disclaimer: This review of Christmas at the Botanics is courtesy of complimentary tickets in return for an honest review of the experience and accessibility for wheelchair users.

Christmas At The Botanics In A Wheelchair

With our cosy jumpers, winter jackets, hats, gloves, and scarves on, we headed on our way for the 40-minute drive from home. There is no car park at the venue, and with limited disabled parking bays at the entrance, I was concerned that parking was going to be tricky for us. We arrived around half past six and found all disabled parking bays were taken. Thankfully, there were some on-street parking spaces left, which worked out great.

Emma sitting beside green lit swirl Christmas trees. Her nephew is sitting on her lap.
A lit arrow pointing to the right.
The Glasshouse illuminated in different colours.
Trees lit up with different colours of lights.

Rows of coloured lit boats floating in the water.

Once inside, we had our tickets checked and set off on the Festive Illuminated Trail through the gardens.  The entire trail is a mile long and full of beautiful light and sound displays.

Many of the light displays were synchronised with the music, which added to the Christmas fun. Each installation had a different theme such as the Cathedral of Light, Light Hearted, Tubular Baubelles, Carol of the Bells, Spiral Trees and Glasshouse Show.

A vintage style food truck parked under a tree with a string of coloured Christmas lights. The fire pit with peoples hands holding sticks with marshmallows. Fire torches stuck in the grass. Fire torches stuck in the grass.

There was seasonal food and drink chalets and vans available throughout the gardens. They were serving hot and cold snacks, including hot chocolate, mulled wine and churros.

We toasted some marshmallows by the Fire Garden, which felt good to warm us up. There was a selection of flavours to choose from and we were happy to see a vegan flavour available too.

Santa and the elf standing on the porch of a little chalet. Coloured lit up presents placed under the trees.

Santa and the elves also made an appearance too with some stories to get the little ones excited.

Green laser light show. Green laser light show.

My nephew absolutely loved the Laser Garden which consisted of dancing lines of green light and puffs of smoke that bellowed out every so often. The way the lasers bounced across the trees was also very cool to watch.

Emma looking across to the lit up Glasshouse.The Glasshouse illuminated in different colours.Numerous rows of large coloured ball lights. They are sitting on the grass. Numerous rows of large coloured ball lights. They are sitting on the grass. Rows of coloured lit boats floating in the water.Rows of coloured lit boats floating in the water.

The illuminated trail ended with the Festive Finale of colourful projections on one of the buildings while Christmas songs played along.

We all really enjoyed the experience and it’s clear to see why Christmas at the Botanics has become a festive family tradition for so many.

Christmas At The Botanics Wheelchair Accessibility

Accessibility throughout the gardens is very good with flat paths, clear signage, and space to move around without feeling too busy. There were mats covering the grass so it wasn’t wet or muddy.

It was great to leave the event and not have to worry about cleaning my wheels before going home. However, I didn’t have to roll across the grass at any time as the path lead the way through the entire trail. The option to go on the grass at some of the displays was there if you want to get closer, which meant the mats came in handy.

There are several accessible toilets at Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh. Fortunately, there isn’t a Changing Places facility. It would be fantastic if a permanent Changing Places was installed, but in the meantime hiring a mobile Changing Places facility like Mobiloo would ensure the month-long event was fully accessible for everyone.

Emma driving across the path which has different images of Christmas items such as trees, lights, sleighs etc.
For more information check out my review on visiting the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh as a wheelchair user.

Have you visited Christmas at the Botanics or a similar festive light event?

Where Next: You Might Also Enjoy

The Enchanted Forest 2018 | A Magical Show And Wheelchair Accessibility Review

Top Tips For Visiting Edinburgh’s Christmas Markets In A Wheelchair

A Day In My Life | Glasgow Loves Christmas

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Meet Emma

Hello I’m Emma. My mission is to show you the possibilities of accessible travel through my travel guides, tips and reviews. I also share personal stories, live event reviews and more.

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2 Responses

  1. Hi Emma,

    We have something similar at Butchart Gardens in Victoria, BC, Canada.

    We visited the Edinburgh Botanic Gardens years ago. It’s a great place!

    I’m surprised at the entrance price for the Christmas at the Botanics. Were you able to get a free attendant’s pass?


  2. Those are some stunning photos, Emma! Oh, how I would like to be in a slightly more Christmassy country again.

    I wanted to go to the Christmas Lights show in Madrid’s Botanical Garden when we were there a few weeks ago but sadly we didn’t manage.

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