Access Statement

Access Statement for Blair Castle Horse Trials

Introduction
Blair Castle Horse Trials is set at the heart of Atholl Estates, a 145,000-acre estate based in Highland Perthshire. The event has been in existence since 1977 and has run in its current format since 1989.
Visitor with disabilities are always welcome to horse trials, however due to the nature and layout of the event venue, some areas might not be fully accessible to everyone.
Pre-Arrival
If you require any further information about specific access or need advice on planning your visit, please contact us on: +44 (0) 1796 481 543 or email info@blairhorsetrials.co.uk. If we have not covered your access requirements in this document, please contact us and we will be happy to discuss your needs and offer assistance where we possible.

How to get to Blair Castle
Location:  Blair Castle, Blair Atholl, Pitlochry, Perthshire, Scotland. Postcode: PH18 5TL
o By Road: Blair Castle is just off the main A9 road at Blair Atholl in Highland Perthshire between Perth and Inverness. It is some 35 miles (56km) north of Perth. Travelling by road, take the turn signposted to Blair Atholl, 7 miles north of Pitlochry. If using Satnav use postcode PH18 5TL, but once in Blair Atholl village please just follow our signs rather than your satnav.
o By Rail: Blair Atholl station in on the Inverness to Edinburgh line. Disembark at Blair Atholl Station. Turn left on the road which runs through the village and enter the event site at Gate 2. The main pedestrian entrance to the event is 0.25 miles up the drive.
For train times, click here to visit National Rail Enquiries, call TrainTracker™ on 0871 200 4950, or text your station or journey to TrainTracker™ on 84950 to receive departure and arrival times by text.
o By Bus: Citylink offer bus services between Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth and Inverness. Citylink stop outside the Atholl Arms in Blair Atholl. Turn left on the road which runs through the village and Gate 2 will soon be seen on the other side. Follow the drive to the event site, just over a quarter mile.
If travelling from Pitlochry, join the local bus service (operated by Elizabeth Yule Coaches) at the stop outside Fishers Hotel. This service will bring you directly up to the castle. Follow the event stewards’ directions to the event site
For bus times, click here to visit Citylink or call on 0871 266 33 33. For timings for Elizabeth Yule Coaches, please click here for timetable or call 01796 472 290.

Arrival and Car Parking Facilities
Car Parking: We have our main car park (CP1) is located 400 meters away from the main event entrance. We also have an area (CP2) close to the pedestrian entrance which is set aside for parking for people with disabled badges. On arrival at the car park, please ask for assistance and directions to this area.
o Surfaces around the car park and event site vary but are mainly on grass. The disabled car park is level grass.
o All car park ticketing is done whilst occupants are in the vehicle. Disabled badge holders are still required to pay for parking.
o Dogs are allowed in the event site and we ask that all dogs are kept on their leads in all areas. Guide and Medical dogs are permitted within all areas.
o A programme is available to purchase on arrival, this provides a basic map and layout of the event site. Large scale maps are also positioned around the venue.
Main Entrance, Reception and Ticketing Areas
o Ticketing for is in cars for CP2 and on foot for CP1.
o Please make the ticketing staff aware of disabled persons and carers in the vehicle. Staff are not always aware and do not want to cause offence.
o A carer of a disabled person is given free entry; the tickets will be issued at the venue entrance or may be purchased in advance by calling 01796 481 543.
o There is a flat wooden footbridge from CP1 to the main event site, which has a small step approximately 6” at either end.
o Access from CP2 is either on level ground, adjacent to the Country Fair Arena, or down a wooded slope, towards the Main Arena. The slope has tree roots projecting in places.
Mobility Scooters
o Mobility scooters and wheelchairs are available to hire either in advance or on site (subject to availability).
o Due to the event site being mainly grass, we would only advise the use of wheelchairs when the ground is dry.
o See later references to accessibility for scooters and wheelchairs around the site
o Please call please visit www.mobilityhire4you.com for prices, availability and booking or call Mary, Harriet or Ashleigh on 01353 653752

Visiting the Event
The event site covers a very large area; we have separated this statement into the key areas.
Shopping Village
o The majority of this part of the event is level grass.
o Under normal conditions, mobility scooters and wheelchairs are able to negotiate the walkways.
o In wet weather, the walkways in high traffic areas may become slippery or muddy.
o Horses cross pedestrian walkways to access the arenas. Crossing Point Stewards supervise crossing points to ensure safety for both horses and spectators.
o Points where horses cross pedestrian paths into arenas may become rutted, particularly in wet weather
o Trade stands in the Shopping Village are a mixture of structures, with some being directly on grass, others with raised flooring and some with exhibition trailers.
o Access to individual trade stands is the responsibility of the exhibitor. A list of trade stands and contact details can be provided for visitors wishing to enquire directly about individual shops, by calling 01796 481 543 or emailing info@blairhorsetrials.co.uk
o Disabled Loos are available around the venue and are marked on site maps
Arenas and Grandstands
o The Main Arena has a viewing area for wheelchair or mobility scooter users, next to the main judges’ cabin. An additional seat can be provided for an accompanying visitor or carer.
o Please speak with a member of staff at the adjacent information tent to gain access to the viewing area.
o The secondary arenas have a low fence to allow seated spectators to have an unobstructed view.
o There are grandstands and benches available for use, free of charge, situated around all arenas.
Members, Sponsors & Hospitality Marquees
o Access to the marquee must be booked in advance.
o The marquee has a flat, carpeted floor, with a small ramp at each entrance.
o Television monitors are situated in the marquee allow for viewing of the competition, including areas of the cross country course which may be inaccessible, particularly in wet weather.
o The private outdoor viewing area has an excellent view of the main arena, with a low rope fence for seated spectators
o Designated loos are situated adjacent to the marquee, including disabled facilities.
Cross Country Course
The cross country course can be divided into two sections for the purposes of access, Upper and Lower
• Lower
o The lower section of the cross country course is mainly level grass. However, it is farmland and so is not smooth.
o The lower section of the cross country course is accessible by mobility scooter
o Due to the distances involved and rougher ground, the use of wheelchairs is inadvisable
o Crossing points are marked and supervised by Stewards, who will assist spectators to cross, if required.
o Gateways and vehicle crossing points will become rutted in wet weather
o Accessible loos are located around the cross country course

• Upper
o The upper section of the course is accessible via several steep tracks.
o The tracks are rough in places, with projecting stones and tree roots
o Unfortunately, none of the tracks are suitable for wheelchairs, or mobility scooters
o Access from CP2 onto the cross country course and into the castle garden is possible, but there are then a flight of steps (12’) down from the castle wall, into the Deer Park
Seating
There are benches and grandstand seating located around the event site, particularly around the arenas and in catering areas. For visitors who venture onto the cross country course, we would advise bringing shooting sticks or folding chairs.
Sickness or Injury
We have trained first aiders on site at all times. Please ask the nearest member of staff if help is required. It is necessary for staff to record details of all accidents and injuries.

Contact Details
Blair Castle Horse Trials
Blair Atholl
Pitlochry
Perthshire
PH18 5TH
Telephone – 01796 481 543 Fax – 01796 481 211
Email – info@blairhorsetrials.co.uk
Hours of Operation: Office hours: Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm
During the week of the event, staff may be available outside these hours
Local Public Transport Numbers
Elizabeth Yules Coaches – 01796 472 290 www.elizabethyulecoaches.co.uk
Citylink – 0871 266 33 33 www.citylink.co.uk
ScotRail – 0344 811 0141 www.scotrail.co.uk
Local Taxi numbers
Elizabeth Yules Taxis – 01796 472 290 www.elizabethyulecoaches.co.uk
S.R. Taxis – 01796 473 931
Feedback
We are always looking for ways to improve our facilities where possible to help our visitors enjoy their visit to Blair Castle. Please do pass on your comments about your visit to Blair via our feedback forms found within the Information Tent, or by speaking to a member of our team.