Castle of Light FAQs

Tickets

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  • Where can I buy tickets from?
    Tickets can be purchased online in advance at www.castleoflight.scot. Early bird prices are available to purchase online up to the end of September 2019. There may be tickets available on the night however we cannot guarantee this. Without tickets or other relevant proof of purchase you will not be permitted access to the event.

  • Do I have to book in advance?
    To guarantee entry at the date and time that you prefer we strongly recommend pre-booking as early as possible. Each timeslot has a limited capacity and once these are full we will not be able to accommodate additional visitors.

  • Can I buy tickets at the castle?
    If we have not already sold out then tickets will be available to purchase in the evening of the event from 1730. You will however receive the best price by booking online in advance.

  • I’m a member, do I get a discount?
    Yes members receive a discount across all ticket categories. Please select the members’ tickets from the website. Member discounted tickets should only be bought for valid members. If you are attending with non-members, then a full price ticket should be purchased for them. Membership cards will be checked on the night against tickets purchased.

  • I’m a member now, but may not be in November/December, can I still buy discounted tickets?
    A valid membership card is required when you attend the event so you must be a member in December when the event is occurring. Membership cards will be checked on arrival at the event.
  • I'm a life member, can I buy my guests discounted tickets?
    Life members are entitled to bring an additional 2 adults; or 6 children; or 1 adult and 3 children per membership card, when visiting our sites. This is extended to the discount for this event. You should purchase discounted tickets for the guests that are included within your guest allowance. Membership cards will be checked on the night against tickets purchased.
  • I work for HES, do I get a discount?
    Please contact ticketing@hes.scot for more information

  • I have an English Heritage/CADW/MANX membership would I get a discount?
    The discount you receive only applies to regular day tickets and not to the Castle of Light.

  • I’m bringing a group, is there a group discount?
    There is no group discount for this event. Regular admission rates apply.

  • I require a helper/carer to assist me, are they free of charge?
    We recognise that some visitors require extra assistance and therefore we offer free entry to carers accompanies visitors with disabilities. No ID will be required. Unfortunately you cannot book carer tickets online. All visitors must be pre-booked therefore please contact ticketing@hes.scot to arrange your carer ticket.

  • How will I receive my tickets?
    When purchasing tickets you will be given two options: print your tickets at home, your tickets will be attached in your email confirmation in a PDF document. Collect your tickets on arrival at the Prepaid Ticket Collection machines on the castle esplanade using your order confirmation number.

  • Can I get my tickets posted to me?
    No, we are unable to post tickets. Tickets can either be emailed to you or collected on the evening.

  • I opted for Print at Home and am now unable to do so, what can I do?
    Tickets will be able to get reprinted on the night. Please ensure you have your order confirmation with you.

  • I have not received an email confirmation, is this normal?
    No, your email confirmation email should arrive shortly after booking. If you have not received this please check your junk folder in the first instance. If you have not received this please contact ticketing@hes.scot with details of your booking and they will investigate and get back to you as soon as possible.

  • I am on the ticket page for Castle of Light, but can't see the ticket options, what do I do? 
    If the web page is not displaying correctly we advise you to clear the cache/cookies on your browser then close the browser and reopen it. The ticketing page should now load correctly.
  • What does my ticket time mean?
    The time on your ticket is when your tour starts, we recommend arriving 15 minutes before tour chosen start time.

  • Should I arrive in advance of my timeslot?
    We recommend arriving 15 minutes prior to your chosen tour time.

  • I have tickets for Edinburgh Castle during the day, will this permit me entry to the Castle of Light?
    No, the Castle of Light is a separate event and tickets for this event would need to be purchased separately.

  • I am visiting Edinburgh Castle during the day, do I need to leave before entering Castle of Light?
    Yes you will need to leave the castle before entering for Castle of Light in the evening. This is so that only ticket holders for Castle of Light have entry and it allows the team to set up for the evening ahead.

  • I have deleted my email confirmation in error, can I get it resent?
    If you cannot find the email confirmation please email ticketing@hes.scot with your booking details.

  • Can I show my email confirmation/ tickets on my phone?
    In order to speed up your entry we recommend that you have your tickets printed in advance however if you are no longer able to print your tickets then the staff on the evening will be able to reprint your tickets.

  • Is there a waiting list if the tickets are all sold out?
    Due to the volume of enquiries we receive we are unable to operate a waiting list. If we receive any returned tickets these will immediately go back onto our website for purchasing therefore we recommend checking back on the website on occasion.

Cancellations, Refunds and Exchanges

  • What will happen if the weather is bad? Will the event get cancelled?
    In the event of severe weather such as strong winds or snow, the event may be cancelled. The castle will close if the weather presents a hazard and a risk to visitors.
    We recommend that you check our website www.historicenvironment.scot/closures and on Twitter (@welovehistory #HSclosure) from noon on the day you are going to visit, especially if severe weather is forecast, as a closure notice will be posted here first. Customers will then be contacted by HES shortly afterwards with details regarding how to re-book or how to claim a refund. If you have not been contacted within 48 hours please contact ticketing@hes.scot. No refunds will be offered if the weather is inclement but Castle of Light is safe to go ahead.

  • If I am unable to attend, can I get a refund?
    All tickets purchased are non-refundable as per our terms and conditions however if tickets are available for different dates then we can alter your existing booking. Please contact ticketing@hes.scot with your booking details.

  • I have booked for the wrong day – can I transfer to another date?
    If we have availability then yes we can alter the date of your tickets, please contact ticketing@hes.scot with your booking details.

Travel

  • Can I park at the castle?
    There are no parking facilities available at Edinburgh Castle with the exception of disabled parking. The Castle of Light customers should make use of the public parking facilities in Edinburgh including the nearby NCP Castle Terrace Carpark.

  • Is there Drop Off/ Pick Up or taxi access available?
    The nearest location suitable for drop off is at the Hub Roundabout which will then require a 2 minute walk uphill to the entrance.

  • I am a Blue Badge Holder, will there be Blue Badge Parking?
    We are only able to accommodate a limited number of spaces on the Castle Esplanade for Blue Badges and these will be allocated on a first come first served basis. If you would like to request a space please contact 0131 225 9846 option 3 during working hours or email ecadmissions@hes.scot, Monday to Friday 9pm to 4pm.

General Information

  • What should I wear?
    Castle of Light takes place outdoors and you may need to queue on busy days. Please wear appropriate clothing and footwear for the time of year. We reserve the right to refuse inappropriately clothed visitors.

  • Are there toilets at Edinburgh Castle?
    Signage will direct you to the public toilets in:
    The ticketing area
    The Tea Rooms
    Redcoat Café
    David’s Tower

    All toilets are accessible to visitors with disabilities except David’s Tower.

  • Does the event have security?
    We will carry out bag searches at the castle entrance as part of our security screening process. Please note this may lead to longer waiting times.

  • Can I take a rucksack/ suitcase?
    For ease of movement, visitor safety and general security suitcases and large rucksacks are not permitted in the castle. Please note we are unable to store luggage, prams, pushchairs or other personal items for visitors.

  • Can I take a pram/ buggy with me as I have small children?
    Yes however please be aware the route does include stairs, some uneven terrain and cobbles.

  • Are dogs allowed at Castle of Light?
    No, dogs and other animals are not allowed at the Castle of Light. We do however allow assistance dogs.

  • Are assistance dogs allowed at Castle of Light?
    Yes, guide dogs for the blind, hearing dogs for the deaf, assistance and emotional support dogs are all permitted. They must be accompanied by the appropriate harnesses and paperwork. Assistance dogs in training are also welcome.

The Event

  • How long does the event last?
    The event can last as long as you like however we suggest that you allow 90 minutes to see everything in the trail. The castle must be clear of visitors for 10pm.

  • What times does the event start?
    The event includes timed entry from 5.30pm to 8.30pm. We recommend arriving 15 minutes before your entry time. The last slot starts at 8.30pm.

  • What time does the event finish?
    We recommend allowing 90 minutes to experience the full spectacle however you can leave earlier/ later if you wish. The castle must be clear of visitors for 10pm.

  • Are there any times that are not attended by children?
    There are no specific times that are solely for adults, however to assist with your planning, our later entry times are slightly less popular with families.

  • Is the route dark or covered?
    The route is open to the elements but there will be indoor catering and comfort facilities available. Visitors can bring torches if they like.

  • Who is Castle of Light suitable for?
    Castle of Light is suitable for all ages. Children under 16 years must be accompanied by an adult.

  • Will there be strobe lighting?
    Please note the event may have strobe lighting and there will some fast moving lighting effects and images.

    For any other general enquiries please email castleoflight@hes.scot

Food, Beverage and Retail

  • Will there be food or drink available at Castle of Light?
    Our Tea Rooms and Redcoat café will be open throughout the run of the event for drinks and snacks.

  • Is alcohol permitted at the Castle of Light?
    You are only permitted to drink alcohol sold by our caterers once at Edinburgh Castle. Any alcohol brought onto the castle grounds will breach our licensing agreement and will be confiscated.

  • What shopping facilities will be there?
    Our Portcullis Gift shop will be open during the evening with an array of gifts to the make the ideal gift for both friends and family or even a treat for yourself.

Additional Needs

  • What access provisions will be available?
    Please note the suggested route of the event does include stairs, some uneven terrain and cobbles. However, there are alternative options available. Unfortunately, the Edinburgh Castle mobility vehicle will not be available at this event. Manual wheelchairs available on a first come, first served basis.

  • Can I bring my mobility scooter?
    Mobility scooters are welcome on site but please note there are cobbles and no charging facilities. The route has a slope of 5 degrees on average and 15 degrees at its steepest point.

  • Are there disabled toilets available?
    All toilets are accessible to visitors with disabilities except for David’s Tower.

  • I am a Blue Badge Holder, can I get parking?
    We are only able to accommodate a limited spaces on the Castle Esplanade for Blue Badges and these will be allocated on a first come first served basis. If you would like to request a space please contact 0131 225 9846 option 3 during working hours or email ecadmissions@hes.scot, Monday to Friday 9pm to 4pm.

  • Do you have wheelchairs or mobility scooters on site for public use?
    Manual wheelchairs available on a first come, first served basis.

Photography

  • Can I take photographs?
    Yes we encourage visitors to take photos of the event and share the experience via Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Remember to use #CastleOfLight.

  • I am a professional photographer/videographer, can I attend?
    There are no shows that are solely for photographers/videographers. If you would like to film or photograph the event in a professional capacity please contact filming@hes.scot to start an application. Please note that we will not permit tripods or monopods and we ask that your proposal is respectful to other visitors.

  • Can I use a drone to film/photograph the Castle of Light?
    Unfortunately we cannot allow any drones to be used at the event.