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.
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.
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 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.
He also enjoyed sorting the letters aboard the travelling Post Office Coach.
Apologies if your mail has gone missing as a result. Haha.
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.
The museum has a good-sized accessible toilet with grab rails and space for a lateral wheelchair transfer.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Cycling Without Age Scotland – Bo’ness Foreshore
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.