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.
V&A Dundee In A Wheelchair
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 from the parking. The last time we were in Dundee was during our stay in an accessible caravan at Blairgowrie Holiday Park. We planned to visit V&A that day, but it had just recently opened so there was a massive queue outside.
The V&A is striking from outside. It’s impressive with a super sleek design. The paths are smooth which is always a wheelchair users dreams. Ahhh.
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.
We headed for the lift up to the level 2 for the galleries, learning centre, auditorium and Tatha Bar and Kitchen.
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 an issue for some people.
Accessible Toilets & Access Tours
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
The Changing Places toilet was great though. Lots of space with an adult changing bench and hoist.
It was then time to leave as there was nothing else to see in the V&A. We spent less than an hour inside the museum and most of that was sitting outside on the viewing terrace.
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 but left incredibly disappointed. On the plus side, it has great wheelchair access and a Changing Places toilet. Would I visit again or recommend you visit? I’m afraid not.