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Things to Do in Bo’ness for a Wheelchair Accessible Day Out

There are so many lovely towns and villages that are surprisingly wheelchair accessible. And one that I enjoy visiting is Bo’ness. This beautiful old town is located on the south bank of the Firth of Forth in Scotland and has some interesting things to see and do. I recently enjoyed a day out in Bo’ness with Visit Falkirk and I’m thrilled to share some of the wheelchair accessible things to do in Bo’ness for a great day out.

Bo’ness is also a short drive from Falkirk, which is another town I explored recently. You can read about it here: Wheelchair Accessible Things to do in Falkirk

One Day in Bo’ness: Access Forth Valley Itinerary

Visit the Museum of Scottish Railways

We kicked off our day in Bo’ness with a morning visit to Scotland’s largest railway museum. Having never been to the Museum of Scottish Railways before we were keen to get inside and have a look around. Our nephew was particularly excited and didn’t want to leave in the end.

Emma sat in her power wheelchair next to a wooden train carriage which has Kinneil Bo'ness written across it in black and white paint.

The museum is located at the Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway and is currently undergoing some refurbishment works to improve accessibility. One of the areas being revamped is the accessible parking bays.

As a temporary measure, we were advised to park our car at the side of the museum and cross a slightly bumpy path to access the museum entrance.

I must note that new accessible walkways are also being installed, which will provide smooth access for wheelchair users.

Emma sat in her power wheelchair in front of a blue and yellow train at Museum of Scottish Railways in Bo'ness. Emma has shoulder length black hair. She is wearing a light blue denim jacket, khaki coloured trousers and she is smiling at the camera.
Emma sat in her wheelchair inside one of the galleries at the Museum of Scottish Railways Bo'ness
Emma browsing the displays at the Museum of Scottish Railways Bo'ness

Once inside, it was full steam ahead (pun intended) as we were given a friendly welcome at the reception before we headed off to explore.

The museum is spread across two large rooms full of locomotives and interactive displays. I’ll admit I didn’t know anything about trains before, but it was really interesting to learn about them and the local history.

The Great Marquess at the Museum of Scottish Railways
Museum of Scottish Railways Bo'ness
A wall displaying various train station signs at the Museum of Scottish Railways Bo'ness
Emma sat in her power wheelchair in the Museum of Scottish Railways Bo'ness. She is looking up at the displays and smiling. An old train is behind her.
Museum of Scottish Railways Bo'ness
Emma browsing the displays at the Museum of Scottish Railways Bo'ness

The interactive displays are great for kids allowing them to learn in a fun and hands-on way. Our nephew loved being a signalman and pulling the levers on the authentic signal lever frame and changing the signal lights.

A young boy interacting with the levers on the authentic signal lever frame and changing the signal lights at Museum of Scottish Railways
A young boy interacting with the levers inside the engine of a train at Museum of Scottish Railways
A young boy interacting with the levers on the authentic signal lever frame and changing the signal lights at Museum of Scottish Railways

He also enjoyed sorting the letters aboard the travelling Post Office Coach.

Apologies if your mail has gone missing as a result. Haha.

Royal Mail night train at Museum of Scottish Railways in Bo'ness
A young boy sitting inside the Royal Mail train sorting envelopes at the Museum of Scottish Railways in Bo'ness

There is wheelchair access throughout the museum apart from the actual trains. However, there is a ramp up to the vintage Glasgow Subway car which will give you a closer look inside.

Emma sat in her wheelchair at the bottom of a ramp to access some of the trains in the A young boy interacting with the levers inside the engine of a train at Museum of Scottish Railways
Vintage Glasgow Subway car on display at Museum of Scottish Railways
A view from inside the vintage Glasgow subway train. Emma sat in her wheelchair has leaned her head forward as he enters the train. Emma is smiling.

The museum has a good-sized accessible toilet with grab rails and space for a lateral wheelchair transfer.

The accessible toilet at Museum of Scottish Railways

Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to visit the new Engineering Workshop Viewing Gallery where you get to see the restoration in action.

We’re planning a return visit to check it out as well as a scenic ten-mile return journey on the steam train to Manuel in the accessible carriage. I can’t wait. I’ll update you when we’ve done it all.

Address: Museum of Scottish Railways, Bo’ness EH51 9AR

Grab Lunch at McMoo’s

Before we knew it, it was lunch time so we headed to McMoo’s in Bo’ness town centre. It is an Ice Cream Parlour and cafe.

We had heard so many great things about McMoo’s and even better they had vegan ice cream options, so we were looking forward to trying it for ourselves.

We parked in a blue badge bay in Seaview Place Car Park and from there it was a short two minute walk to McMoo’s cafe.

Exterior shot of McMoo's cafe in Bo'ness town centre. Bunting flags and flower baskets are hung outside.

The colourful bunting and hanging flower baskets decorating the outside of the building were really welcoming.

The level access entrance was wheelchair accessible and as we entered we immediately scanned the selection of ice cream flavours. You know, priorities!

We had a reservation so the staff quickly showed us to our table and made sure I had enough space to get into the table.

Interior shot of McMoo's Cafe in Bo'ness

McMoo’s has a nice selection of lunch options including paninis, salads, pizza, desserts and kid meals. After browsing the menu, we ordered vegan burgers and they were great.

A plate with a vegan burger, fries, side salad and a small dish of sauce.

And of course, we couldn’t leave without having some vegan ice cream. The four vegan flavours were mango, coconut, vanilla and chocolate.

I couldn’t just pick one so I went for one scoop of mango and one scoop of coconut. It was delicious!

A selection of vegan ice cream flavours in a freezer at McMoo's Ice Cream Parlour and Cafe.
A glass bowl with one scoop of mango and one scoop of coconut vegan ice cream.

My nephew had a great time choosing his ice cream cone and toppings from the 42 ice cream flavours. They also do sundaes and pancakes.

There isn’t an accessible toilet at McMoo’s, so the nearest building is the Bo’ness library which has an accessible toilet.

Alternatively, just directly across from McMoo’s is the Hippodrome cinema which is Scotland’s oldest purpose-built picture house from 1912.

This pre-art deco cinema screens a range of old movies and new releases. It is wheelchair accessible and has a number of autistic-friendly viewings.

Address: McMoo’s Ice Cream Parlour, Desserts & Cafe, 13 Hope St, Bo’ness EH51 0AA

Accessible Trishaw Ride along Bo’ness Foreshore

After lunch, it was time for our next activity of the day. And what a beautiful afternoon it was to spend outdoors.

We met Christine from Cycling Without Age Scotland at the car park next to the Corbie Inn for accessible cycling around Bo’ness Foreshore. It’s a fantastic initiative and I’m excited to tell you about it.

A view across the Firth of Forth from Bo’ness Foreshore

What is Cycling Without Age Scotland

Falkirk-based charity, Cycling Without Age Scotland provides trishaw tours for people with limited mobility, helping them see the local attractions and enjoy the outdoors.

Some of the locations nearby include The Helix Park & Kelpies, The Falkirk Wheel, Callendar House and Park, Zetland Park, Grangemouth, Bo’ness and Clackmannanshire.

More details about accessible cycling in the Falkirk area can be found here: Accessible cycling in Falkirk

There are also numerous trishaw tour locations (chapters) across Scotland. From Perth and Stirling to further afield such as Orkney, Wick, Ullapool and Hawick.

See the full list: Cycling Without Age Scotland locations.

So what is a trishaw and how are they accessible?

Well, there are two types of trishaws in use by the charity, The Triobike Taxi and the Van Raam Velo Plus.

The triobike taxi is suitable for people with walking difficulties due to the removable footplate. Once removed, the person can stand between the footplate and easily sit down on the cushioned seat and place the seatbelt on. The trishaw is supported so it won’t move or wobble when you sit down.

The Triobike Taxi

I require the support of my own wheelchair, so on this occasion, I choose not to ride the trishaw. However, Cycling without Age Scotland has a hoist that can be used to transfer wheelchair users who are able to sit independently in the trishaw.

For wheelchair users who prefer to or need to remain in their wheelchairs, then the Van Raam Velo Plus (wheelchair transporter) would be a great option.

The VeloPlus wheelchair transport bike
Courtesy of Cycling Without Age Scotland. The VeloPlus wheelchair transport bike

The tilted ramp makes it easy to roll your wheelchair onto the VeloPlus which is then secured with the wheelchair lock.

The VeloPlus trishaw has a wheelchair weight limit (my power wheelchair is very heavy) so I’d recommend speaking with Cycling Without Age Scotland before booking to ensure your wheelchair meets the weight limit.

Emma sat in her wheelchair next to her partner Allan who is leaning on the trishaw bike. Emmas mum and nephew are both sitting in the front of the trishaw. Behind them is a beautiful view across the Firth of Forth on a sunny day.

My mum and nephew joined us for our day in Bo’ness so they rode in the trishaw. They loved it. Initially, my nephew wasn’t sure quite what to expect.

He was a little nervous that the trishaw was going to move too fast, but as soon as he got onboard and realised how smooth the ride was he felt at ease. From then on he was so relaxed and chatted away with Christine.

Emma sitting in her wheelchair next to her mum and nephew who are both sitting on the trishaw. Christine is the pilot sitting on the bike behind them.

Cycling Without Age Scotland – Bo’ness Foreshore

As I said earlier, this is a lovely accessible walk/cycle along the Bo’ness foreshore. I’ve never really explored this area before but it’s now one of my favourite accessible walks.

The views are amazing, the paths are flat and the route wasn’t busy with many people. We’ll definitely visit again.

Christine was our fantastic trishaw tour guide (pilot) – full of local knowledge, enthusiasm and passion for the project. It was such a pleasure to spend the afternoon chatting and wheeling around the Foreshore.

Emma in her wheelchair driving along beside Christine who is riding the trishaw. In front of them is the town of Bo'ness.

This gentle route is 8km in length and has a low difficulty rating which makes it great for trishaw tours, wheelchair users or if you’re looking for an easy stroll.

Emma in her wheelchair driving along beside Christine who is riding the trishaw. In front of them is the town of Bo'ness.

The route follows the John Muir Way with amazing views along the shore and across to the Ochil Hills. There is always something to see including art installations and sculptures, and wildlife, and if you’re lucky you might see steam trains from the Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway that we visited earlier in the day.

Emma in her wheelchair driving along beside Christine who is riding the trishaw. Beautiful views of the Firth of Forth is on their left.
Emma and her nephew admiring the view across Firth of Forth from Bo'ness Foreshore.

Oh, and you might spot seals in the Firth of Forth so keep a lookout.

The Bo’ness Foreshore is an 8km loop and takes roughly two hours to complete. This could be longer as there are plenty of opportunities to stop and admire the views if you wish.

Emma in her wheelchair driving along beside Christine who is riding the trishaw. They are surrounded by trees.

We also discovered a kid’s play area with a wheelchair accessible roundabout. My nephew and I couldn’t resist having a go on it. He enjoyed pushing the roundabout and making me dizzy. Haha.

Emma sat in her wheelchair on a wheelchair accessible roundabout in a kids play park. Her young nephew is pushing the roundabout. It's a sunny day and Emma is smiling at the camera.

How to book a trishaw tour with Cycling Without Age Scotland:

It’s important to note that tours are piloted by volunteers so they must be prebooked to ensure availability. You can find more information on their website at www.cyclingwithoutage.scot

Book a trishaw tour – call: 01324 467 272 or email at info@cyclingwithoutage.scot.

Have more time to explore Bo’ness and the local area?

Bo’ness and the nearby town of Falkirk have so many wheelchair accessible things to see and do. Read my guide for more about my favourite things to do in Falkirk and Bo’ness.

I also recommend checking out Access Forth Valley for more itineraries and accessibility information for your visit to the Forth Valley area. Everything from heritage, family, outdoor, transport and more at www.accessforthvalley.com

If you are looking to explore a little further out from Falkirk and Bo’ness, then be sure to read my wheelchair accessible guide on how to spend two days exploring Loch Lomond, The Trossachs National Park and Stirling.

Top Tip: Download ‘Falkirk Explored‘ app and discover places to visit, and walking trails along the Falkirk District. The app also has audio guides developed by locals who share stories of Falkirk. Plus 360 tours, e-bike stations and attractions.

Final Thoughts

Bo’ness is a beautiful little town to visit for a day or two. I’m sure you will enjoy exploring the wheelchair accessible things to do in Bo’ness and the surrounding towns and beyond.

Disclaimer: This guide is in collaboration with Visit Falkirk, but as always, all words are my own and 100% honest.

You might also enjoy

Visit Falkirk: Wheelchair Accessible Things to do in Falkirk

Stirling Castle Wheelchair Accessible Review

Visiting Edinburgh Castle in a Wheelchair

Wheelchair Accessible Things to do in Loch Lomond, The Trossachs & Stirling

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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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4 Responses

  1. Thanks so much for your blogs. Your an inspiration to me after being confined to an electric wheelchair. We actually chatted around that time. I was wondering if you’d kindly give me some advice. I now have my own monthly column in my local paper “The Herts Advertiser”. I have carte blanche on my topic. On Monday I’m travelling to Amsterdam for 4 nights. I’ve booked into a 4* hotel that states it’s a wheelchair friendly hotel. Since booking I’ve been contacted by the hotel to advise me that I will have to phone them when I arrive as It’s not possible to enter through the main entrance. Instead I will have to enter via the service entrance which is why I need to phone them to advise them I need to enter. Something I’ll need to do every time I return to the hotel. I had no doubt I’d be held in a queue every time. I protested at this to which they informed me they had fixed a broken doorbell that will be answered within 2 minutes. I’ve already arranged an interview with the manager. My first question will be “how can you legitimately call yourself a wheelchair friendly hotel”. I’d be really grateful to hear your thoughts about this. Thanks Emma ❤️🇺🇦🐶♿️

  2. Hi Emma I recently received your email about visiting Bo’ness Falkirk but I was wondering I don’t drive and have no one to help me or any friends or family to help me I’m a quadriplegic all 4 limbs incomplete paralysed from shoulders down and I’m in a manual wheelchair at the moment but I can’t use it properly because of my condition but I do my best to be as independent as possible but was wondering if you know or can put me in the right direction for advice of what is available for me to do I’m struggling at the moment with being so lonely and alone with nothing to do except go out of my mind to be honest and would really appreciate it if you might be able to help with any suggestions or advice for me please I live in Newmilns just outside Kilmarnock Scotland so please please if you can suggest anything at all I would be so grateful thank you so much Hailey

  3. Sorry Emma I would love to know if you know anything about holidays abroad suitable for wheelchair accessible for me that doesn’t cost a fortune please I would appreciate anything that you may be aware of that might help me to find a place that is good for me to go I really need a holiday lol please I would be so grateful thank you so much
    Hailey x

    1. Hi Hailey. Thank you for your comment. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to personally suggest a holiday as I don’t know your accessibility needs or budget. I only write about my own personal experiences of places I have visited as a power wheelchair user. I would recommend having a look through my ‘travel’ section for some ideas. I have quite a few posts about Barcelona. I’m not sure if that would be somewhere you would like to visit. Good luck 🙂

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