Updated 2 July 2019


We hope it goes without saying that the Summer House respects everyone's right to disclose as little or as much as they feel comfortable with when it comes to disability, health and so on. If you choose to contact us, what or how much you disclose is of course at your discretion. At the time you contact us, we will not ask you to prove your status and we will keep your details known only to those people who are required to act on it. On our side we are sometimes required by venues not to disclose certain pieces of information; we aim to provide as much as we can in advance and on request.

You will notice in this document and elsewhere we encourage guests to contact us in advance or during the event with their access requirements: this information is kept private to our very small team. We intend that our team will be open and responsive to feedback & requests for assistance. However we recognise that it may not always be feasible or feel comfortable to get in touch. If you need anonymity or feel like the issue cannot be resolved by the Summer House team itself feel free to contact the fully independent Wellbeing Team — they are not connected organisationally to the Summer House team. After that if you're unhappy with the way the Summer House team has handled your enquiry, feel free to make an anonymous complaint to the independent body as described on step 9 here


Our access tickets scheme is designed to open up access to people who might not otherwise be able to attend. As part of this we offer discounted tickets, usually £1, £50, £150 and £200 dependent on the financial or practical challenges / marginalisation faced by guests.

We encourage people with disabilities, chronic health conditions or other types of challenge that might otherwise prevent them from attending the event to apply for access tickets. It is kept private to a very small number of our team.

You are welcome to use this form to tell us as much or as little as you like about your situation and anything you might need. We can’t promise to offer everyone a discount, nor can we provide for all needs or for any specific needs but where it feels appropriate to help and where we can feasibly help make guests feel more comfortable, we will try.

£1 for assistant / friend of disabled guest

All disabled guests are welcome to bring an assistant or friend who acts as a helper for £1. If relevant, pease fill out the access ticket form and state you would like to take advantage of this offer. We will then send you a code.


This year we are planning to offer a free, completely optional disability/invisible disability badges that can be picked up at check in, or requested throughout the event should you want one at any point. Our crew, facilitators and volunteers will be asked to keep an eye out for the badges, particularly at peak times like morning meetings. These badges will be at the front desk and the reception desk.


 These are links to drawings setting out the size of areas with some of the distances between them and some indication of the what the ground/floor is like. This will help you to plan how you will get around the site and what is likely to be the best area for you to camp if you are camping.

Grounds plan 

Interior - ground floor main house (public area)

Interior - first floor main house (private to room guests only)

Interior main staircase (for guests going to first floor of the main house)


Distance from public transport

 The venue is less than 18 miles from Carlisle station, journey time by road under 30 mins.

It is just over 10 miles from Lockerbie station, journey time by road 30 mins. Lockerbie is the station for routes from the North.

 It is just over 20 miles from Carlisle airport, journey time by road under 30 mins. Carlisle is the station for routes from the South.

Accessibility information for Carlisle train station

Carlisle station has step-free access and a lift: more information here: [1] [2] [3]

Lockerbie station has level access to platform 1 with lift to platform 2: read more

Transport from Carlisle train station to venue


It is possible to take a taxi from Carlisle train station to the venue. The venue inform us that there are usually around 10 taxis at Carlisle station, but we recommend booking ahead with AAA Taxis on 01228 808777 to agree a flat fee of £40. Venue address is supplied 7-10 days before the event. Journey time under 30 mins.

Please remember that no entry is permitted to the venue after sunset.

Booking ahead is particularly important for the return journey. The venue informs us that after 10pm at night there will be no taxis anywhere in the area.

We will be providing more taxi numbers closer to the event date; the reception desk will also hold them.

Shuttle buses – Thursday, Friday and Monday

We will also be arranging several shuttle journeys in a vehicle for the Thursday and Friday of the event, timed to coincide with trains arriving from London, plus a trip on Monday and possibly Sunday. These will be bookable in advance on our site. Price to be confirmed but we estimate around £10 per head each way.

Car/Campervan hire from Carlisle

It is possible to book campervans and cars from Carlisle. There is no hard standing available at this stage so large RVs or trucks are not permitted but guests may park small (eg VW style) campervans on a verge. Guests with accessibility needs can park at the end of the road nearest the house. We do not permit tents, gazebos, structures of any sort or cooking near any vehicle.


Both sides of the Summer House have steep steps. The front has standard vertical steps, the back has curving steps. Measurements and photos are here: 

Front entrance steps

Rear entrance steps

Once inside the building, all activity rooms are on the ground floor with level access, plus two disabled toilets and a disabled shower - floor plan 

Interior ground floor toilet

Interior ground floor disabled toilet

The venue and its staff usually offer personal assistance to guests with mobility issues, wheelchairs or electric scooters and they (plus the Summer House team) will be happy to do so. If you know you in advance you are likely to enter the building at certain times, let us know by sending a list of those times and we will ensure help is stationed at the entrance at those times.

In past years we have built our own ramps into buildings but due to the steepness and number of steps, this building requires a very long robust solution. Our team is looking into an appropriate rental ramp solution. We plan to have this in place for events from 2020. If you are hoping to attend The Summer House in 2019 and step-free access is a key consideration, please contact us so our team can bear your needs in mind when looking at solutions.

The ground around the house leading up to the marquee is hard-packed gravel. Outside of this, including the path down to camping, is grass.


For those who can’t camp due to access needs, we provide discounted accommodation as detailed below.

One room available for a wheelchair user

We will be providing one ground floor bedroom close to the accessible toilet & bathroom / shower room for a wheelchair user plus their partner, helper or friend. This will be available at a discount if the guest requires it. If multiple guests make requests, allocation of this room will be based on factors including severity of need and time at which the guest applies. To apply please fill out this form.

Bedrooms 120 metres from the main house down a gravel path

There will be a limited number of bedrooms for guests who require indoor spaces due to conditions such as mental health or chronic health / fatigue. These will be available either at a stated discount or suggested / pay what you can basis. These bedrooms are in a separate cottage around 120 metres from the main house, down a level gravel path. This is intended as a quiet space. Bathrooms are shared with other guests. Rooms are allocated in order of greatest need and then in order of application. To apply please fill out this form.


We encourage any guest having trouble with the accessible camping area to speak to reception or any team member / security with a radio, or to approach our production team during the morning meeting.

Accessible camping area

An accessible self-camping area will be clearly marked out and is situated nearest to the house and the marquee, with an outdoor wheelchair-accessible toilet / shower outside, and nearest the key paved road that bisects the grounds. The location is designed for proximity. Proximity to the house and marquee may mean proximity to sound & music from the house and marquee, particularly during the Friday and Saturday nights.

Quiet camping

Guests who have other access requirements but may not have mobility issues may wish to select a camping location that is relevant to them. For example, guests who prefer a quieter spot may wish to camp further away from the house, as it is possible to camp over 110m away from any sound source.

Accessible glamping

Guests with disabilities who are booking glamping should contact the glamping company in advance of or after your order and they will locate you closest to the accessible camping area.


Access to power for specialist equipment in disabled camping area

With notice, our team may be able to supply a limited source of 13amp power to the disabled camping area for breathing apparatus, nebulisers and so on. For safety reasons this must not be used for heating and our electrical team may need to plan with you, so please contact us in advance with any specifics.

Access to power for charging specialist equipment

Disabled guests needing electricity for equipment charging or equipment usage that is appropriate indoors may do so using the house power.

Complex power requirements

Contact us in advance if it is anything more complex than inserting a 13amp plug into a socket.


We are looking into the possibility of arranging a courier to transport bags from London to the venue and return them to London. It would require for you to plan your case/bag plus tent, and their dimensions & weights, in advance, and to get them to a London location by the Monday before the event. We are currently enquiring into estimated costs. It would require for multiple guests to commit to this in order to split the costs.

If you are able to make your own plans please do so. We recommend as a company that can arrange for bags to be picked up from you and delivered to the venue. The nearest town is Lockerbie. This should be enough for you to get advance quotes. Only guests with disabilities may have their bags delivered, and we recommend you arrange for bags to be delivered to the house on Tues 13 Aug.


 All guests including guests with disabilities can drop their bags at the front of the house for a brief period. This does not need to be booked ahead.

 Guests who are staying in bedrooms who have disabilities or access needs may request assistance with bags from our reception team, who will be happy to help. This does not need to be booked ahead.

 Our team cannot assist in carrying bags to the camping area or in the construction of tents. All guests with disabilities are also welcome to have one ticket for £1 for a friend or helper to assist them with these things. Please see the section titled “Tickets for a helper or friend” at the top of this document for information on this.



Guests with access needs may park outside the house is temporarily to drop off bags and guests to the door. This does not need to be pre-booked and guests can simply drive to the front of the house.  Cars must be parked in the car parking lane as shown on the map.

Accessible car parking

Blue badge holders may park at the top of the car parking road closest to the house. No further paperwork is required.



Access from the house to the regular camping area is either via:

  • The front entrance steps and then a 60m sloping grass path - see Grounds plan, or

  • The door onto Rear entrance steps, which are not accessible. These doors might be open during the event itself, but we will not know until the event itself (depending on weather conditions) whether the back doors of the house will be opened.

The camping area is flat grass.

 The ground in most of the regular campsite is flat level grass.

Car park - The front entrance of the house and marquee is about 110 metres from the front of the car park and 300m+ from the edge of it, via a wide, flat, gravel-paved road. Guests with accessibility needs can park closer to the house (see the Car Parking section).

Around front of the house, marquee - There is a drive made of flat gravel that goes around the house and marquee including to the accessible camping area

Dome area behind marquee - This is flat grass



All guests are welcome to bring and prepare their own food at their camp. We do not provide food cooking, preparation or storage facilities.

We ask all guests to limit the amount of alcohol they bring from outside (usually six cans of beer/ale and one bottle of wine per person).

Refrigeration for dietary or medical requirements

The venue will be providing a small refrigerator in the production room (main house). If you have a small amount requiring refrigeration for dietary or medical reasons we can store it and our crew will retrieve it from the production fridge and bring it to you when needed during event / waking hours. The fridge will not be large enough to store multiple meals from numerous guests

 Once on site, to gain access to the fridge, please visit reception and they will arrange for a member of the production team to accompany you.

Drinks in the house

The venue has a permanent full bar on the ground floor of the main house featuring a range of drinks including an extensive whisky collection plus tea and coffee. This room has some seating and tables. Bar is operated by the venue and is subject to change dependent on staffing and demand, but we anticipate it being open Thurs 6pm-9pm, Fri 10am-midnight, Sat 10am-2am, Sun 11am-7pm. Bar takes cash and card.  

Food trucks

Trucks and stalls are located by the entrance to the house close to the marquee. Food serving times vary depending on availability of staff and ingredients, but we expect there to be available for breakfast, lunch and dinner during the following hours: Thurs 6-9pm, Fri 10am-9pm, Sat 10am-9pm, Sun 11am-7pm. Food trucks accept cash and card. Times may change dependent on availability of staff, ingredients and demand; food trucks try to rotate so there is always one on duty; queues will be lowest outside of scheduled break times. 

Exact food retailers are still to be confirmed, but usually there is one vegan provider, one pizza provider, one burger seller and a coffee stand. The pizza and burger sellers are asked to provide vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free elements to their menu.

 We will provide menus on the website. Usually this is available two weeks before. As some items are sourced locally and spontaneously, those with severe intolerances should check with the food truck providers each day about any specific ingredients.

Food is usually served into paper dishes, bowls and boxes with disposable cutlery.


Some waiting is to be expected dependent on time of day. If standing or queuing is difficult please make yourself known to the food truck retailers and they will call you when it’s your turn to order so that you can sit down while waiting and can assist with getting food to your table.


There few benches and tables for diners plus a few scattered chairs. One table/bench/chair set is marked out as accessible for the use of folk with disabilities.

Buffet dining 

2019 will be our first year working in this space with the venue; after 2019 we will be able to provide clearer information plus collaborate with the venue on improvements to aid access.

Buffet dining times are subject to change; as a guideline we estimate:

Thur 15 Aug dinner 19:00

Fri 16 Aug breakfast 08:00 (closes 09:00)
Fri 16 Aug dinner 18:30

Sat 17 Aug breakfast 08:00 (closes 09:00)
Sat 17 Aug dinner 18:00

Sun 18 Aug breakfast 10:00 (closes 11:00)
Sun 18 Aug dinner 19:30

The cuisine is vegan/ vegetarian. As of 2019 no meat will be available for any guest signed up to our buffet dining.

The menu will be available in advance on the website, with all ingredients listed for every day and every dish. Copies of this menu will be held at reception so you can check during your stay.


Buffet dining is in the heated marquee opposite the entrance to the house. The marquee is on the ground floor, with access via a small kerb (see photo). Seating is wooden banqueting seating and should be sturdy enough for heavier people.

Most guests queue to load their plate at each station, which can involve a wait of some minutes. Generally, guests need to carry their own plates and cutlery to the table. We offer free tickets for assistants of disabled people; if this is not relevant or feasible please ask staff to take your loaded plate to the accessible table / seating area.

Guests with severe food intolerances or disabilities can bypass the queue, walking straight up to the end of the food service point to make themselves known to the chef or a member of staff. The chef has a record of the food intolerances for each guest on each day and can provide a pre-prepared plate. Staff can also load a plate on behalf of disabled guests.

The buffet dining order page ends with a form into which you can add any food intolerances or access needs. Guests who have booked a bedroom inside the house will be contacted individually with requests for information including the number of guests in their room, their car registration (if applicable), their estimated date and time of arrival / departure, and any accessibility requirements. Guests who have booked a special offer including both bedroom and food (NB: this special offer is now sold out) will be asked for any food intolerances.


The seating is standard banqueting seating; it is plentiful and our team will be looking out to offer seating to guests with disabilities. There will be one row at the front of seats marked out with signage as dedicated to disabled guests.

The accessible table / seating is closest to where food is served with more space around it compared to other tables.

The dining area seating will be the same as the one used in workshops.

We plan to have a sofa brought in to the marquee and marked and announced as being for people who are disabled or have chronic health issues as well as for any heavier people who might find that useful. We will update this document when this is confirmed.

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[Image description: image shows the buffet dining room, which is in a light airy tent with wooden chairs with yellow seats around long tables with striped tablecloths.]

Water for drinking and cooking 

There are safe permanently-plumbed drinking cold water standpipes/taps in the campsite and at the entrance to the house. A guest camped at the furthest end of regular self-camping might walk 150 metres to the furthest water standpipe. A guest at the furthest area of accessible camping might have to travel 75m.

Washing, toilets & showers

In the case that any toilet or shower gets blocked or requires cleaning or is slippy or malfunctioning or is being used by guests who should not be using it, please go to the reception desk on the ground floor hallway, which is nearest the disabled toilet and shower. They will radio through to the production team who will arrange for them to be looked at.


12 toilet cubicles and six urinals will be available to all on site. This is not including the additional toilets in private bedrooms.

The ratio is expected to be in the range of one toilet for every 30-50 guests. There is occasionally some waiting at peak times but rarely more than a few minutes.

It is usually the case that one or more toilet is unavailable from time to time due to blockage or plumbing issues; toilets are inspected and cleaned several times a day.

 Toilet trailers

There are two toilet trailers, one at the front of the house and one in the camping area. Toilet trailers are accessed via two or three steps - see example photos. 

All toilet trailers are gender-neutral. Each contains 4 toilet cubicles, 3 urinals and sinks for hand-washing. Sinks have cold and warm running water, toilet paper and hand wash.

Toilet trailers are constantly plumbed-in for water and flush like conventional toilets

The tank has capacity enough for the weekend but we will get the tanks emptied on Saturday or Sunday during the event for comfort and safety.

In the case that any toilet or shower gets blocked or requires cleaning or is slippy or malfunctioning or is being used by guests who should not be using it, please go to the reception desk on the ground floor hallway, which is nearest the disabled toilet and shower. They will radio through to the production team who will arrange for them to be looked at. 

Indoor toilets

All toilets indoors are permanently plumbed with flushes direct into the sewage main plus hot and cold running water at the tap. Handwash and toilet paper is supplied and there is a sanitary bin in each indoor toilet.

There are two wheelchair-accessible toilets on the ground floor. At least one of these at any one time will be designated for the sole use of disabled people, with an appropriate sign on the door. Crew and facilitators will be briefed not to use these unless they themselves have a disability or chronic health condition. Pictures of the access requirements (steps and room size) are linked below:

Interior ground floor toilet

Interior ground floor disabled toilet

Wheelchair-accessible toilet and shower

We provide outdoor wheelchair-accessible toilet & shower portaloo cubicle(s) with level access. Location of this as close as possible to the front of the house and accessible camping area. This cubicle is secured by a numerical padlock, the number for which is available at reception to all guests with disabilities. The portaloo is a non-plumbed chemical toilet. Toilet paper and handwash is provided.

Shower trailer

We provide a shower trailer with heated water plumbed in. We expect to have 8 - 10 showers across one or two trailers. To avoid queues for those less able to stand and wait, we advise guests to shower in the late evening or middle of the day.  

Wheelchair-accessible toilet and shower

We provide outdoor wheelchair-accessible toilet & shower portaloo cubicle(s) with level access. Location of this as close as possible to the front of the house and accessible camping area. This cubicle is secured by a numerical padlock, the number for which is available at reception to all guests with disabilities. The portaloo is a non-plumbed chemical toilet. Toilet paper and handwash is provided.



All but one paid bedroom are upstairs in the main house. Most of these bedrooms are up one flight of stairs and are connected by a long corridor.Photos of the stairs and a map of the first floor are linked below:

Interior - first floor main house (private to room guests only)

Interior main staircase (for guests going to first floor of the main house)


Each bedroom comes with two towels, two dressing gowns (sadly these might not fit everyone as they are standard size hotel style robes), two white waffle slippers, and a bar of soap. Bring your own shampoo and conditioner.


We provide one key for each room. The venue has a master key so if you get locked out, they can get you in but you will not be guaranteed a replacement key during the weekend. If you lose a key, we charge £20 to cover the cost of replacement and the venue’s time in ordering them.

Sound level in bedrooms

We have been unable to test how noise travels between rooms, from the ground floor to the first floor or from the back of the marquee to the cottage 110m behind it.

We have enquired and are told that there have never been any complaints in previous events at the venue.

Allocated quiet room

We are allocating a room which is a 110 m walk away from the house. This room is available from Thursday afternoon through to 9pm Sunday. It is specifically for folk with disabilities or chronic health conditions who want some quiet and privacy.  Low level chat is permitted between 9am and 9pm, and silence thereafter. To access this, request details in the Wellbeing Room.

Wellbeing Room

 The Wellbeing Room is set up for:

  • a quiet getaway space for people who wish for some alone time, or to sit drawing quietly

  • a place where a guest can speak in private to a member of the Wellbeing Team, about anything that might be bothering them

 The Wellbeing Room is located on the ground floor of the main house, next to the disabled toilet and the living room..

 The Wellbeing Room has sofas for seating.


If required, we will  book BSL interpreters to sign meetings and workshops Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the event. . If you are in need of BSL signing please mention it on the Access Tickets form, which will help us gauge how many people might be needed.

Where mainstream films are shown, they will have subtitles. Workshops and talks will not by default have subtitles.


Generally guests are not permitted to bring pets, and we do not accept unregistered emotional support animals. Guests with registered / accredited guide dogs / assistance dogs are welcome. If you are bringing such an animal, please contact us by the 1st of August so we can discuss your needs around housing and sleeping the animal.


  • In the case of needing to go to a shop or pharmacy

  • Nearest towns are Lockerbie and Annan - 12 to 15 miles

  • Both have Tesco and a petrol station

  • After 10pm it is unlikely taxis or shops will be available anywhere

  • We do not provide transport to shops or pharmacies

  • We allow entry onto site during daylight hours only, so we recommend guests do not attempt to go shopping during the evening

  • We will have a list of cab numbers, and we recommend  AAA Taxis on 01228 808777

  • Our reception (in the hall of the main house) can help co-ordinate

  • We do not permit guests to re-enter the site after dark 

Nearest pharmacies:

  • See this page for details of pharmacies

  • There are no 24 hour pharmacies in the area

  • 14 miles Boots 88 High Street,Annan, Dumfriesshire, DG12 6DW

  • 15 miles Dalston Pharmacy  75 High St, Lockerbie DG11 2JH 01576 204333

  • 15 miles Well 50 ANNAN ROAD,, DG16 5DG (open u

  • Pharmacy open until 8pm weekdays: Boots, 21-23 Castle Street, Dumfries DG1 1DJ (40 mins by road)

  • We do not cover cost of transport or medical care

  • If you are injured, please ask recption to radio the medic who is part of our security team so they can offer initial assessment and also keep a record. If it is serious, they will be part of escalating the report.

Local Accident & Emergency hospitals

Dumfries & Galloway Royal Infirmary (A&E)
28 miles away - open 24 hours
Main Accident & Emergency department:

Local Walk-in hospital

Castle Douglas Hospital (Minor Injuries Unit)
33 miles away - open 24 hours
Academy Street        
Castle Douglas          


In the case of needing to go home unexpectedly

  • We do not provide transportation or contribute towards the cost of transportation

  • During daylight hours our reception team can help you co-ordinate travel, particularly by taxi.

  • If leaving site, we recommend you check in with our security team so they can log your departure and whether you need to return


Workshops accessibility

Our workshop and talk facilitators range from full time professionals to volunteer community members. All contributors are given a written briefing in advance and an in-person introduction at the start of the event, which includes briefing of our values relating to accessibility. Our team members are not guaranteed to have formal training or qualification in accessibility.

 The relevant entry for each workshop on our website, viewable at reception, contains a mention of any physical exertion related to the activity. At a minimum, we expect facilitators to mention this in their morning introduction, to prioritise space and seating for disabled guests and to keep an eye out for guests who may need assistance.

 The same type of seating will be used in the dining area as in the workshops.


Help during the party

 This year we are planning to have a 24 hour staff member from production and they would be contactable by reception.

The Friday and Saturday night parties will be hosted between the ground floor of the main house, the marquee, and the domes behind the marquee. Each of the domes and the Fungeon will be hosted by a curator and their volunteer assistants; they are the people to approach for any issues.

During the party nights we have security and production team with radios patrolling the house and marquee. 

We have team members and volunteers - including our Wellbeing Team, who are visible with LED pink lanyards - moving between play and party areas; there are no permanently-stationed playroom monitors. You will be able to reach a team member stationed at reception who can radio production, medic or security as needed. There is also a Wellbeing Team member throughout the party; they can be reached via radio if not in the Wellbeing Room, and Wellbeing Team members are able to deal with emotional issues.