The Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh was once a chapel but is now one of Edinburgh’s favourite live music venues, hosting a range of gigs, concerts and festivals including the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. My first experience with this venue was around ten years ago and I, unfortunately, left feeling very disappointed about the accessibility.
So with that in mind, I was curious to see what Queen’s Hall Edinburgh disabled access and wheelchair accessibility would be like now after recent refurbishment work.
This is my experience as a power wheelchair user attending Queen’s Hall to see the incredible Dermot Kennedy in 2022.
Booking Accessible Tickets
Booking accessible tickets at Queen’s Hall Edinburgh was easy and straightforward. I booked a standard ticket online and then called the venue to reserve a wheelchair space and a free PA companion ticket. I was then advised to follow this up with an email for confirmation.
There is no information about how to book accessible tickets on the Queen’s Hall website other than instructions on how to access the building and buy a ticket at the Box Office.
Getting There & Queen’s Hall Edinburgh Parking
When attending a show at Queen’s Hall Edinburgh parking is not easy. Limited on-street parking (single yellow lines) is available in the evenings and as the venue is on a busy street finding an available parking spot is hit or miss.
We had to drive around for a while until we found somewhere with enough space for my wheelchair accessible vehicles ramp.
If you’d rather park in a car park the nearest one is at 62 St Leonards Street, Edinburgh EH8 9SW which is about a 4 minute walk/roll from the venue. It costs £5 to park from 5pm-midnight.
Waverley train station is just a short walk from Queen’s Hall and there are many bus routes along Clerk Street.
lf your journey involves using Edinburgh Trams, you may find my review of travelling on the trams as a wheelchair user helpful.
Arrival at Queen’s Hall Edinburgh
The entrance to Queen’s Hall is wheelchair accessible via a ramp at the front of the building. Once I got to the top of the ramp, a staff member approached and guided us to the accessible entrance at the front righthand side (the open door behind me in the photo below).
As we entered the staff welcomed us and checked our tickets before a quick bag check. We were then escorted through the corridor and into the hall where Dermot would be performing.
The corridor has recently undergone some building work that involved widening the corridor and improving the accessible toilets.
The wide corridor is such an improvement from when I last visited Queen’s Hall around ten years. It is now easier to manoeuvre in my wheelchair.
Wheelchair Access & Accessible Viewing Area
It was a smooth arrival and the steward was a great help in clearing a path for me to pass through the crowd to the other side of the hall where our accessible space was.
As this was a standing-only show, the accessible area was at the front lefthand side of the stage. This gave us a fantastic view (once we asked the security guard who was standing directly in front of me blocking my view to kindly move).
We were within touching distance of Dermot Kennedy on stage. And being a small intimate show celebrating his new album release, it felt very special being so close to the stage.
I felt comfortable sitting in this area and didn’t have lots of people crowding around. But I think this was due to the nature of the show being more intimate and acoustic. It may be a different experience at a rowdier gig.
The accessible toilet facilities at Queen’s Hall have been refurbished. There are two accessible toilets and they are located in the bar near the fire exit.
Both toilets are a fairly good size with space to move around in a wheelchair. There were wall-mounted grab bars on each side of the toilet plus one pull-down grab bar. The sink also had grab bars fixed on both sides and a mixer tap with a long lever for easy access.
The toilet has space to park a wheelchair alongside for a lateral transfer. Emergency cords hung freely to the floor in both accessible toilets.
Final Thoughts on Queen’s Hall
On this occasion, I found the wheelchair accessibility at Queen’s Hall Edinburgh to be very good. The process of booking tickets was easy and access into the venue straightforward. I enjoyed being sat at the front of the stage and got the best view of Dermot Kennedy. The staff are friendly, attentive and happy to help. They seem to be very disability aware with the right attitudes to go with it. There have definitely been improvements in accessibility since my last visit which makes me more likely to go back to Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh again.