Access guide

Read our access guide and ask any member of staff for further advice when you arrive.

Carers tickets

In line with best practice in the visitor attractions industry, visitors with disabilities are treated on an equal basis with all other visitors and entry is charged at the appropriate admission category rate - Adult/Concession/Child. Proof of disability is not required.

We recognise that some disabled visitors may need help to visit our sites and we offer free entry for accompanying carers, these can be added when making your booking. Please note this is limited to two carers per transaction.


There are a small number of parking spaces available for ticket holders with accessibility requirements on the Castle esplanade. These are available upon arrival at the Castle, and may also be booked in advance.

Availability may be limited from May to October due to the esplanade hosting the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and its accompanying stadium construction.

Castle Terrace NCP is the nearest car park.

Approach to site

The castle is reached across the esplanade – a wide area of smooth tarmac, with an uphill gradient of 5 degrees. The esplanade is 110m long.

Security and bag restrictions

For reasons of ease of movement, visitor safety and general security, suitcases and large rucksacks (30L or over) are not permitted in the castle. 

We are unable to store luggage, prams, pushchairs or other personal items for visitors.

Visual Stories for Autistic Visitors

Use this guide to help you plan your visit to the castle. Through pictures of staff, the castle spaces and facilities, it will make sure you know what to expect when you visit.

Visual story for adults

Visual story for children

Ear Defenders

A limited number of adult and children’s ear defenders are available at this site. Please ask a member of staff when your ticket is scanned if you want to borrow them.


Only assistance dogs are permitted, including within roofed areas. Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times and not left unattended at any time in the castle or vehicles. Owners must pick up after dogs.

Visitors' dogs are not permitted at the castle.

Visiting the site

  1. Visitors access the castle over a wooden-slatted bridge.

    A mobility vehicle to Crown Square is available on request, and can be arranged by staff at the castle entrance. A maximum of three passengers plus one passenger that uses a wheelchair may use the car at once. It can accommodate wheelchairs and walking aids with the following dimensions:
    height - 103cm, width - 73.5cm, length - 100cm and weight - 150kg.

    Please be aware that the service cannot run between 12.15pm and 1.15pm due to the firing of the One o'Clock Gun and so there will be longer wait times for visitors entering the castle on the 12.30pm and 1pm timeslots.

    Several manual wheelchairs are available for use on a first-come, first-served basis. 
  2. Upon entering the castle, there is a set of adapted toilets to your left, and the ticket office to your right – both reached over an uneven cobbled surface. 

  3. You enter the castle from a steep curved route. It is 15 degrees at its steepest point, the average is five degrees and it is approximately 350m from entering the castle to the top level at Crown Square. It is surfaced with cobbles, which can be uneven.

    The Portcullis Gift Shop has step-free access but is accessed from the steep, cobbled hill.

    An audio guide is available to hire from the audio booth just after the portcullis gate (where your entrance tickets are scanned). It is free to blind and partially sighted visitors. You can use your own mobile phone or one of our devices. The handsets operate by a push button system. Audio guides are available in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Korean, Polish, Portugese (Brazilian), Russian, Spanish and Ukrainian.

    Print versions of the audio guide are available in both large print and Open Dyslexic large print. These are also available to download onto your own device. Please ask a member of staff at the audio booth for a copy.

  4. The One o’Clock Gun is on the level but cobbled area, next to the Redcoat Café. The gun makes a loud and sudden noise when it is fired. It is fired Monday to Saturday. 

    Please be aware that we are currently implementing some new measures with the Ministry of Defence in relation to the viewing of the One O’clock Gun. As part of this, visitors are asked to please arrive at the new marked areas at least 10 minutes before the firing of the gun, and follow guidance from castle staff. We will limit access to some areas surrounding the gun until after it has been fired.

    The Redcoat Café has step-free access. 

  5. Hospital Square is reached down a cobbled ramp of 12 degrees. 

  6. The route continues up the cobbled incline through Foog’s Gate. This is the steepest part of the castle route.

    From here visitors can enter the Prisons of War vaults. The vaults are accessed via numerous short flights of steps, with handrails on both sides. 

  7. Visitors will then enter Crown Square – a large, level, paved area.

    The Great Hall and National War Memorial both have ramped access.

    In the Palace Apartments, there is a short flight of stone steps with a handrail at both entry and exit (The Birthing Room remains closed).

    Adapted toilets are available in Crown Square – please ask a member of staff for assistance.

  8. The surface around St Margaret's Chapel and Mons Meg is cobbled. The Chapel has a small ramp up to a door 810mm wide.

    The Whisky and Finest Food Shop is next to St Margaret’s Chapel and has a small threshold.

  9. Visitors then exit the castle via 70 stone steps with a handrail. Staff will be available to guide you back down through the castle if this exit is unsuitable for you.