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Visiting V&A Dundee In A Wheelchair

Ever since it opened in 2018, we have been keen to visit the V&A Dundee. So for a little #SundayFunday we decided to take a trip through and check it out. I was really interested to see what it would be like visiting V&A Dundee in a wheelchair, especially being a brand new, state-of-the-art building.

Emma in her wheelchair with her back to the camera. She is facing the entrance of the V&A while sitting beside the swallow water surrounding the building. There are large white letters "V&A" sitting in the water.

V&A Dundee Wheelchair Accessibility

We had a nice drive up to Dundee which is around an hour and a half from where we live. Before we arrived I checked the website and found out there is no disabled parking at the V&A.

Instead, we parked in the Discovery Quay Car Park. It was about a three-minute walk/roll to the V&A Dundee from the parking.

The last time we were in Dundee was during our stay in a wheelchair accessible caravan at Blairgowrie Holiday Park. We planned to visit the V&A Dundee that day, but it had just recently opened so there was a massive queue outside so we decided to leave it for another day when it was less busy.

Exterior shot of the V&A Dundee against a blue sky with white fluffy clouds. The RRS Discovery ship is sitting beside V&A on the Dundee Waterfront. Emma sitting in her wheelchair with the c behind her. A close up of the V&A Dundee building and entrance.

The V&A Dundee is striking from outside. It’s impressive with a super sleek design. The paths are smooth which is always a wheelchair users dreams.

V&A Dundee main entrance. The gift shop in the V&A DundeeLooking down on V&A Dundee gift shop from level 2. Looking down on V&A Dundee cafe from level 2.

The entrance is step-free with wide automatic doors. Once inside there is an information desk on the left-hand side.

Although its free admission, you can purchase tickets for the paid gallery (which was the video games exhibition when we visited), pick up a map or speak to the staff at the lowered wheelchair accessible desk.

Also on the ground level when you enter is the cafe and gift shop.

A close up of the signage for what is on each level in the V&A Dundee The lift on level 2 in the V&A DundeeV&A Dundee level 2 V&A Dundee level 2 V&A Dundee level 2

We headed for the lift up to the level 2 for the galleries, learning centre, auditorium and Tatha Bar and Kitchen.

The Scottish Design Exhibition at V&A Dundee. The Scottish Design Exhibition at V&A Dundee.

The free gallery was The Scottish design exhibition. It consisted of outfits, furniture, silverware and some interactive displays. Overall we felt underwhelmed.

Then there was the Mackintosh room, which lacked any sort of content. It was also very dark inside which could potentially be difficult for anyone with a sight impairment.

Accessible Toilets & Access Tours at the V&A Dundee

There is an accessible toilet on level 2 close to the gallery. It was lovely and clean. It was also quite long with space on the right-hand side for wheelchair transfers as well as a full-length mirror, grab rails and emergency cord.

Accessible toilet in the V&A Dundee Accessible toilet V&A Dundee. A close up of information detailing Access Tours on the wall at V&A Dundee.

Free access tours are available on the first Monday of every month. If you would like an access tour you will have to pre-book.

There are also BSL interpreted and live audio-described tours for visitors with sensory impairments. You can book by emailing access@vandadundee.org.

Emma and a group of people on the viewing terrace. The view looking over the water from the viewing terrace. Emma sitting on the viewing terrace. She is wearing sunglasses, black denim jacket and black skinny jeans.

Before getting the lift back to the first level, we decided to go out onto the viewing terrace. It was a little sun-trap there so we enjoyed taking in the view and watching the boats sail past.

Changing Places at the V&A Dundee

We then went on a hunt for the Changing Places toilet, but couldn’t find it. A staff member told us where it was and gave us a code to access the toilet.

We found it difficult to find the Changing Places toilet on our own and felt like it wasn’t signposted very well. It is past the gift shop and toilets then up in the lift to level 1.

You will have to ask staff for the code unless you have been before and know the code. Although I’m unsure if the code changes on a regular basis or not.

V&A Dundee Changing Places locked code door. V&A Dundee Changing Places toilet.

The Changing Places toilet was great though. Lots of space with an adult changing bench and hoist.

V&A Dundee

It was then time to leave as there was nothing else to see in the V&A Dundee. We spent less than an hour inside the museum and most of that was sitting outside on the viewing terrace.

V&A Dundee entrance and exit.

Final Thoughts on the V&A Dundee

The V&A Dundee is an impressive-looking building from the outside. The inside not so much. The cafe, restaurant, gift shop and toilets take up most of the space, leaving a lot of empty space and two galleries (one free and one paid).

Since we felt underwhelmed by the free gallery we decided to give the video games exhibition a miss, especially considering it was £12 per person.

We visited Dundee especially to visit the V&A museum but left incredibly disappointed. On the plus side, it has great wheelchair access and a Changing Places toilet.

You might also enjoy

An Accessible Tour of The Scotch Whisky Experience
Visiting Edinburgh Castle in a Wheelchair
The Royal Yacht Britannia – Wheelchair Accessible Tour

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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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9 Responses

  1. I agree 100%. Loved the building but was disappointed in the content..or lack of. Such a waste of space internally and café very expensive. There is however a picnic room where you can eat your own food.

    1. Thank you for your comment Mary. I’m glad you agree and loved the exterior of the building. It was such a shame that the inside lacked in content. Thankfully, we had already eaten before we got to the V&A so we didn’t eat in the cafe. Hope you are well.

        1. Hi Richard. I have included a photo of the disabled toilet and Changing Places toilet in the blog post. Hope it can help.

  2. If you go again and want to visit a paid exhibition, you may find reduced price for disabled visitor plus a free carer’s ticket – the V&A in London offers this. Not sure what documentation they require as I haven’t yet booked, some places ask for Blue Badge or PIP letter.

    1. Hi Emma, I have disabled myself, just wanted to ask you about the Changing Places toilet in the V&A. I have never been inside the V&A in Dundee.

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