Access

For visitor security information, please visit our dedicated page

Parking

There are a limited number of spaces for disabled visitors, please book in advance on 0131 310 5114. On arrival ask the uniformed staff to direct you to a space. 

No parking is available from April to September, when the esplanade is closed for the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The nearest car park is Castle Terrace NCP. 

Mobility vehicle

Our mobility vehicle is available for visitors who are unable to manage the castles steep slopes. The car can take visitors from the esplanade (entrance of the castle) to the castles highest point and back down at the end of their visit.

To make use of this service, simply ask a member of Edinburgh Castle staff to contact the car for you on arrival. Please note, this service is provided on a first come, first served basis so there may be a wait before the car is available. Very occasionally we are unable to provide this service at short notice due to factors outwith our control.

Please contact us 24 hours prior to your visit to check the availability of the mobility vehicle on +44(0)131 225 9846 or email visitor information

A limited number of wheelchairs are also available on a first come, first served basis, and can be requested from the castle staff. 

Approach to site 

The castle is 110m from the furthest point of the esplanade. 

The esplanade:

  • is smooth tarmac
  • has a slope of 5 degrees

Visitor centre

The ticket office and gift shop are on the right after entering the castle. Both have step-free access. 

Disabled visitors are met on the esplanade by castle staff and can be helped to cross the drawbridge. 

Braille guidebooks are available on request from ticket office staff. 

The castle

All areas of the castle are accessed from a steep and curved central route that is about 350m long (from entering the castle to the top level at Crown Square).

The route: 

  • Has a slope of 5 degrees on average
  • is 15 degrees at its steepest point (approach to Foogs Gate)
  • is surfaced with cobbles, which can be uneven

The One o'Clock Gun is on the level, next to the Redcoat Café, but, its exhibition is down 29 even straight stone steps, with handrail. 

The courtyard of the National War Museum is down a cobbled ramp with a 12-degree slope. The museum has a level entrance and a wheelchair for loan to visitors. There is a lift to the two floors.

St Margaret's Chapel and Mons Meg are further up the central route, through Foogs Gate. The area around the chapel and gun is cobbled. The chapel is entered by a small ramp and a door 81cm wide. 

Access to the Honours of Scotland is via a ramp and then a lift to the first floor. There is a bronze replica of the Honours that can be touched and a Braille panel tells their history. 

The Great Hall is accessed by a small ramp.

The Scottish War Memorial has a ramp entrance from Crown Square. 

Access to the vaults is down numerous short flights of steps, with handrails on both sides. There is step-free access to the lower part of the exhibition from Drury's Battery. 

The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Museum and Museum of The Royal Scots and The Royal Regiment of Scotland are also accessible.

Areas unsuitable for wheelchair access

Stairs into the following, make these areas unsuitable for wheelchairs:

  • The Royal Apartments
  • David’s Tower
  • Prisons of War
  • The Military Prisons

Most of these are accessible for more mobile visitors and staff are happy to give advice.

Audio Guide

Audio guides are available for hire just past the castle gates on the right. Handsets use a push button system. Subject to availability.

A summary of the National War Museum displays is included in the main audio tour of the castle. There are transcripts and an induction loop.

Available to hire in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Mandarin.

20% discount for Historic Scotland Members and Explorer Pass holders.

Braille Guidebooks

Braille guidebooks can be borrowed from Visitor Information.

Cafés and shops

The Redcoat Café has step-free access.

Access to the Tea Rooms in the Queen Anne building is via three steps from Crown Square. Step-free access is also available.

The main gift shop is on the right after entering the castle. It has step-free access but is approached up a steep, cobbled hill.

The Whisky & Bookshop is next to St Margaret’s Chapel and has a small threshold.

The Crown Gift Shop in Crown Square has five stone steps to enter.

Toilets

There are three sets of adapted toilets, which are located:

  • to the left on entering the castle
  • in the Redcoat Café
  • in The Tea Rooms, Crown Square

Dogs

Assistance dogs are permitted at all our sites and within roofed areas.

Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times and not left unattended. A no fouling rule applies at all our sites.

Visitors' dogs are not permitted at Edinburgh Castle.

Free for carers

Free admission for carers accompanying visitors with disabilities. Carer admission tickets are not available online and must be collected on-site at the Visitor Information Centre. 

Access Guide

For information on accessibility at Edinburgh Castle and at more than 80 Historic Environment Scotland properties download our Access Guide.

 

 

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