Access Statement

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

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.

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 03457 48 49 50, or text your station or journey to TrainTracker™ on 84950 to receive departure and arrival times by text.

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 enter through Gate 2 which will soon be seen on the other side of the road. Follow the drive to the event main pedestrian entrance, just over a quarter mile. For bus times and more information click here to visit the Citylink website. Unfortunately their phone service is not currently operating.

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 a timetable and more information click here to visit the Elizabeth Yule Coaches website or call 01796 472 290.

Arrival and Car Parking Facilities

Car Parking
  • Our main car park (CP1) is located 400 meters away from the main event entrance and accessed via Gate 1.
  • Our Members and Accessible car park (CP2)  is close to the pedestrian entrance and accessed via Gate 2. On arrival at this car park, please ask for assistance and directions to the Blue Badge and accessible parking area, which is level grass.
  • Surfaces around the car parks and event site vary but are mainly on grass.
  • All parking, including blue disabled badge holders, are required to book and pay in advance via the Box Office.
  • Dogs are allowed at the event, all dogs must be kept on their leads and under control at all times and in all areas. Assistance dogs are permitted within all areas.
  • Programmes are available to purchase in advance and collect from the Information Tent, these provide a basic map and layout of the event site. Large scale maps are also positioned around the venue.
Event Admission Process
  • A carer of a disabled visitor can book free admission; these tickets must be booked in advance by calling 01796 481 543.
  • Please make the ticket scanning staff aware of disabled persons and carers in your group. Staff are not always aware and do not want to cause offence.
  • In CP2 your admission tickets will be scanned whilst you are still in your vehicle, please have them ready.
  • Access from CP2 is either on level ground, adjacent to one of the showing arenas, or down a wooded slope towards the Main Arena. The slope has projecting tree roots in places making the ground uneven.
  • In CP1 your admission tickets will be scanned when you are on foot, after you have parked and left your vehicle.
  • There is a flat wooden footbridge from CP1 to the main event site, which has a small step approximately 6” at either end.
Mobility Scooters

Event Mobility will provide electric scooters and manual wheelchairs for the use of disabled, elderly and mobility impaired visitors at the show. To reserve an electric scooter or manual wheelchair you can book on line at www.eventmobility.org.uk, print out an advance booking form from the website or contact the office on 01386 725391 to request a form to be posted to you. Please be aware that advance bookings cannot be made by phone.

Visiting the Event

The event site covers a very large area; we have separated this statement into the key areas.

Shopping Village
  • The majority of this area of the event is level grass.
  • Under normal conditions, mobility scooters and wheelchairs are able to negotiate the walkways.
  • In wet weather, the walkways in high traffic areas may become slippery or muddy.
  • Horses cross pedestrian walkways to access the arenas. Crossing Point Stewards supervise crossing points to ensure safety for both horses and spectators.
  • Points where horses cross pedestrian paths into arenas may become rutted, particularly in wet weather.
  • 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.
  • Access to individual trade stands is the responsibility of the exhibitor. A list of trade stands and contact details can be found on the Shopping Village page.
  • Disabled toilets are available around the venue and are marked on site maps.
Arenas
  • The Main Arena has a viewing area for wheelchair or mobility scooter users. An additional seat can be provided for one accompanying visitor or carer.
  • Please speak with a member of staff at the adjacent Information Tent to gain access to the viewing area.
  • The secondary arenas have a low fence to allow seated spectators to have an unobstructed view.
  • A limited number of benches are available for use, free of charge, situated around all arenas.
  • Owing to Covid-19 restrictions, unfortunately there will not be grandstands at the 2021 event.
Members, Sponsors & Hospitality Marquees

Owing to Covid-19 restrictions these facilities are not yet confirmed, however, if they are able to go ahead this information will apply.

  • Access to the marquee must be booked in advance.
  • The marquees have flat, carpeted floors, with a small ramp at each entrance.
  • The private outdoor viewing area has an excellent view of the Main Arena, with a low rope fence for seated spectators.
  • Television monitors are situated in the marquees allow for viewing of the competition, including areas of the cross country course which may be inaccessible, particularly in wet weather.
  • Designated toilet facilities 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
    • The Lower section of the cross-country course is mainly level grass. However, it is farmland and so is not smooth.
    • The Lower section of the cross-country course is accessible by mobility scooter.
    • Owing to the distances involved and rougher ground, the use of wheelchairs is inadvisable.
    • Crossing points are marked and supervised by Stewards, who will assist spectators to cross, if required.
    • Gateways and vehicle crossing points will become rutted in wet weather.
    • Accessible toilets are located around the cross-country course.
  • Upper
  • The Upper section of the course is accessible via several steep tracks.
  • The tracks are rough in places, with projecting stones and tree roots.
  • Unfortunately, none of the tracks are suitable for wheelchairs, or mobility scooters.
  • There is access from CP2 onto the cross-country course as far as the fence in the castle garden.
  • To access the section of the cross-country course beyond the castle garden and into the Deer Park, there is a flight of steps (12′) down from the castle wall.
Seating

There are a limited number of benches located around the event site, particularly around the arenas and in catering areas. We advise bringing a shooting stick or folding chair, particularly for visitors who venture onto the cross-country course.

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 – 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 even more. Please pass on your comments about your visit to Blair via our contact form page.