Edinburgh Castle of Light 2019: dates, tickets, times and what to expect

Are you heading out to see the Castle of Light? (Photo: Shutterstock)
Are you heading out to see the Castle of Light? (Photo: Shutterstock)
Share this article

Just because the Edinburgh Festival and Fringe is over for another year doesn’t mean that Edinburgh is finished with arts and performances.

With tickets now on sale, this is everything you need to know about the Edinburgh Castle of Light 2019.

What is the Castle of Light?

The Castle of Light is a walking tour which involves an incredible light show projected onto the walls of the iconic landmark.

The event website says to expect “wonder, enchantment and a spectacle of colour” at the Castle of Light, with “stunning visuals and state of the art lighting installations”.

Follow in the footsteps of Scotland’s heroes and watch as the history of one of Scotland’s greatest landmarks illuminates the walls where it all took place.

Described as “a magical experience for all the family”, this is one event you don’t want to miss.

It’s recommended that at least 90 minutes is needed to follow the route and enjoy the entire experience.

When is it on?

These are the following dates that the Castle of Light will be taking place:

14 to 17, 22, 24, 29 and 30 November

1, 2, 5 to 8, 12 to 15, 19 to 22 December

It will be open from 5:30pm until 10pm, with tickets allowing you to book into time slots within these opening times.

It’s recommended that you should arrive 15 minutes prior to your chosen tour time.

Tickets?

You can buy tickets online prior to the event, or you can buy tickets from the castle on the day.

To buy tickets, just head over to the Historic Scotland website here.
There are early bird tickets, which are only available in September:

- Adult (16-59) £18

- Concession (60+) £14.40

- Child (5-15) £10.80

- Family (one adult and two children) £36

- Family (two adults and two children) £52

- Family (two adults and three children) £61

Advance online prices available from 1 October:

- Adult (16-59) £20

- Concession (60+) £16

- Child (5-15) £12

- Family (one adult and two children) £40

- Family (two adults and two children) £58

- Family (two adults and three children) £68

On the day tickets:

- Adult (16-59) £22

- Concession (60+) £18

- Child (5-15) £13.50

- Family (one adult and two children) £44

- Family (two adults and two children) £64

- Family (two adults and three children) £76

Castle members receive a 10 per cent discount and Historic Environment Scotland workers should contact ticketing@hes.scot for information about ticket discounts.

Free entry is offered to carers accompanying visitors with disabilities - there are no carer ticket options, so instead you will need to contact ticketing@hes.scot to arrange a carer ticket.

Once you’ve purchased your ticket, you’ll be given two options:

- Print at home from a PDF file

- Collect your tickets from the Prepaid Ticket Collection machines on the castle esplanade using your order confirmation number

If the weather takes a turn for the worse and the event is cancelled, customers will be contacted with details regarding how to rebook their tickets or a different day, or how to claim a refund.

Tickets are non-refundable outside of the event of cancellation, so if you find yourself unable to attend your chosen booking, you can contact ticketing@hes.scot for information on how to change your booking to a different date.

Rules and restrictions

There are some regulations in place to ensure that the Edinburgh Castle of Light goes as smoothly as possible.

These are:

- Large rucksacks and suitcases are not permitted, and there is no storage space for the likes of luggage, prams, pushchairs and other such items

- You can bring a buggy with you, but be aware that the route has stairs and some uneven terrain and cobbles. Similarly, mobility scooters are welcome, but be aware of the terrain of the tour

- Dogs are not permitted on the tour, apart from assistance dogs. If you’re bringing an assistance dog, they must be accompanied by the appropriate harness and paperwork

- Children under 16 years old must be accompanied by an adult

- There will be strobe lighting

- While visitors are encouraged to take photos and videos of the event, drones are not permitted

The Edinburgh Castle tea rooms and Redcoat cafe will be open throughout the event for drinks and snacks. The Portcullis Gift shop will be open as well with a selection of gifts available to purchase.

Getting there

Edinburgh Castle is the most iconic part of Edinburgh’s skyline and is easily accessible in a variety of ways, no matter how you choose to travel.

Walking

The Castle is around a 10 minute walk from Waverley station, via Market Street.

If you’re coming from Haymarket, it’s around a 20 minute walk via Morrison Street.

Bus

The Edinburgh City Sightseeing Bus Tour is a hop on hop off service that goes to the castle.

Alternatively, get a Lothian Bus to The Mound which is around a five minute walk from the castle.

The bus services you’ll want to keep an eye out for are the 6, 23, 27, 41, 42 and 67.

Driving

The castle is easily accessible by foot and public transport, however if you have to bring the car, do be aware that there is no public parking at Edinburgh Castle.

The nearest on-street parking zones are Castle Terrace and Johnston Terrace.

The NCP Castle Terrace car park offers a discounted rate for castle visitors at £10 for five hours.

Blue Badge holders can request one of the limited numbers of accessible parking on a first come, first served basis. If you’d like to request a space, you can phone 0131 225 9846 and select option three. Alternatively you can email ecadmissions@hes.scot instead.