Silhouette image of Edinburgh Castle with a large moon in the background

Castle of Light

Dates

19 Nov 2021 to 9 Jan 2022, Thur to Sun (excls 24, 25, 31 Dec & 1, 2, 6 Jan). Also on Tues 27 to Thur 30 Dec

Times

4.30pm to 10pm (last entry 8.30pm)

Expect wonder, enchantment and a spectacle of colour this festive season as Edinburgh Castle, the defender of the nation, becomes the ‘Castle of Light’ once again.

Look forward to stunning visuals, state of the art lighting installations and Rex, the famous red lion, back to guide you. This year he's got some new friends with him to help you explore the hidden treasures of the castle. Watch as the untold history of this iconic landmark illuminates the very walls that saw it unfold. A magical experience for all of the family - prepare to be dazzled!

Tickets

You must book your tickets online in advance. 

Pick your entry time slot when buying tickets (the last slot is at 8.30pm). It is suggested that you allow around 90 minutes to fully experience the show, but you can take as much or as little time as you like.

Early bird tickets available using code COLSM21 (by 30 September), VIP Package, Crown Jewel Package, Corporate Package and Access Night (25 November).

10% discount on tickets for Historic Scotland Members' (valid membership card required on arrival). Not a Member? Join now to enjoy the benefits.

Prices

Early bird tickets available, please use the discount code COLSM21 at checkout to get 10% discount on below prices. Early bird tickets must be booked before Thursday 30 September.

  • Adult (16-64yrs) £20.00
  • Concession (65yrs+) £16.00
  • Child (5-15yrs) £12.00 *
  • Family (1 adult and 2 children) £40.00
  • Family (2 adults and 2 children) £58.00
  • Family (2 adults and 3 children) £68.00

* Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Castle of Light Terms and Conditions

Consumer Terms of Use

VIP Tickets

Download VIP menu PDF - 110.5 KB

VIP Tickets

This package, aimed at families, includes admission to Castle of Light between 5pm and 5.15pm and dinner at Edinburgh Castle's Queen Anne Room at 6pm.

Adult: 1 course meal & glass of fizz or soft drink on arrival
Child: 1 course & a soft drink

Historic Scotland Members get 10% discount. Not a member? Join now to start enjoying the benefits

Crown Jewel VIP Package

Download the Crown Jewel VIP Menu PDF - 1.8 MB

Adults can upgrade their experience with a two course meal accompanied by Edinburgh Gin cocktails with our 'Crown Jewel VIP Package'.

Includes admission to Castle of Light between 7pm and 7.15pm and dinner at Edinburgh Castle's Queen Anne Room at 8pm.

Historic Scotland Members get 10% discount. Not a member? Join now to start enjoying the benefits

Corporate Package

Download Corporate menu PDF - 3.6 MB

This exclusive use corporate offering is available throughout the festive period. Minimum number 50, maximum capacity 120.

£89.95 includes glass of prosecco on arrival, 2 Course dinner (starter & main or main & dessert), glass of wine, table linens and festive centre piece.

Access night - Thur 25 Nov

On Thursday 25 November, we’ll have help on hand to make Castle of Light: Hidden Treasures a fantastic experience for visitors with specific access needs. Places will be limited so that the castle is quieter on that night, and our staff will provide support to visitors with dementia and visitors with autism.

Book at these times for specific tours:

  • Audio-described tour
  • 5.30pm time slot only
  • Tour the castle accompanied by an audio describer, who will guide blind and partially sighted visitors through the castle, bringing to life the historic surroundings and spectacular light installations. Additional audio equipment will also be available, to ensure that everyone is able to access the tour. Please email castleoflight@hes.scot if you would like to attend this tour.
  • BSL Interpretation
  • 5.45pm, 6.45pm and 7.45pm time slots only
  • BSL interpreters will accompany Deaf and signing visitors around the castle, interpreting the mythical creatures and historical characters of the Castle of Light.
  • Autism accessible visit
  • 8pm time slot only
  • Autistic visitors can tour the Castle of Light, with access to ear defenders and a designated quiet room.
  • Visitors with Dementia
  • All time slots
  • Visitors with Dementia can tour the Castle of Light on a quieter night and staff will be available to provide support.
  • Courtesy vehicle
  • Available on 5.30pm, 5.45pm, 6pm, 6.15pm, 6.30pm, 6.45pm time slots only

Please purchase tickets, including carer tickets, as normal online ensuring you select the appropriate dates and times on Thursday 25 November.

If you would like to attend the audio-described tour, please book the 5.30pm slot on Thursday 25 November and email castleoflight@hes.scot to let them know you'd like to go on the tour.

 

FAQs

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 2021, when using a valid promotional code. There will be no tickets available on the night. Without tickets or other relevant proof of purchase you will not be permitted access to the event.

Do I have to book in advance?

All tickets must be booked online in advance. Entry will be managed by timeslots each with capacity limits. Once these are full, we will not be able to accommodate additional visitors.  

Can I buy tickets at the castle?

No, all tickets must be booked online in advance. 

How do I get the Early Bird discount?

All early bird tickets must be booked online before Thursday 30 September 2021. All tickets will have a 10% early bird discount applied. Historic Scotland members receive a further discount by booking members tickets online before Thursday 30 September 2021 (a valid membership card must be presented upon arrival at the Castle of Light). 


Use the discount 
code COLSM21 at the checkout to receive your Early Bird discount. 


Please note 
this 
discount cannot be applied to VIP tickets or Corporate tickets.

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. 

What is the membership category allowances for tickets?

  • Adult/Concession membership/Young Person Membership - 1 ticket
  • Adult/Concession plus children membership - max of 7 tickets (1 adult/concession plus up to 6 children)
  • 2 Adults/Concessions membership - 2 tickets
  • 2 Adults/concessions plus children membership - max of 10 tickets (2 adult/concessions plus up to 8 children)
  • Life/Senior Life - max of 7 tickets - 3 adults or 1 adult & 6 children or 2 adults & 3 children
  • Joint Life/Senior - max of 10 tickets - 6 adults or 2 adults & 8 children or 4 adults & 6 children. Both members must be present for the maximum allowance


Any children under 5 should also be added into your booking, regardless of your membership category.

I’m a life member, can I buy my guests a discounted ticket?

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’m a member now, but may not be in November/December/January, can I still buy discounted tickets?

A valid membership card is required when you attend the event so you must be a member when the event is occurring. Membership cards will be checked on arrival at the event. 

I’m a member, but can I buy member and non-member tickets at the same time? 

Yes, non-member tickets can be booked alongside member tickets, in the same transaction. Please visit castleoflight.scot to book your tickets. A valid membership card is required for members tickets, membership cards will be checked on arrival at the event.  

I work for HES, do I get a discount?

Staff tickets are available to purchase online

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 accompanying visitors with disabilities. No ID will be required. Advanced booking is required. Up to 2 carer tickets can be added per booking online. 

How will I receive my tickets? 

When purchasing tickets, you will be given two delivery options: print at home/mobile ticket or collect on arrival. For print at home/mobile tickets, your tickets will be attached in your email confirmation in a PDF document. For collect on arrival, you can collect your tickets 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 have not received an email confirmation, is this normal? 

No, your email confirmation 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 castleoflight@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, please arrive within your allocated timeslot. 

Should I arrive in advance of my timeslot? 

No, please arrive only within your allocated timeslot.  

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 castleoflight@hes.scot with your booking details. 

Can I show my email confirmation/ tickets on my phone? 

Yes. If when booking your ticket you have selected ‘print at home/mobile ticket’ as the delivery option, then you will be able to show your tickets on your phone when you arrive at the castle. 

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. 

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. Please see below for more information if the event has been cancelled. 

No refunds will be offered if the weather is inclement (such as rain) but Castle of Light can go ahead - this is an outdoor, all-weather event. Tickets cannot be rearranged in the event of inclement weather. 

What will happen if the event is cancelled? 

The castle will close and Castle of Light will be cancelled for the evening if the weather presents a hazard and a risk to visitors, such as high winds or snow. We recommend that you check the HES website for closures and our Twitter account (#HSclosure) from noon on the day you have booked Castle of Light tickets for, especially if severe weather is forecasted, as a closure notice will be posted here first.   

Customers will be notified with as much notice and information as possible via email on the day of event if it is cancelled. An email will be sent to the email address used to book the tickets. It is the responsibility of ticket holders to check their emails before arriving at the Castle of Light to check for any updates. Please ensure the email entered at the time of booking is correct. Tickets will be automatically cancelled and refunded.  

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 castleoflight@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 castleoflight.scot with your booking details. 

If I become unwell before my visit what should I do? 

Please do not attend the event if you feel unwell with any symptoms of COVID-19. Contact us at  castleoflight@hes.scot with your booking details to re-arrange your tickets. 

Can I park at the castle?

There are no parking facilities available at the castle with the exception of blue badge disabled parking. 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 0131 225 9846 (select option 3) during working hours (Mon-Fri, 9am to 4pm) or email  ecadmissions@hes.scot. 

Will you be using my details for Track and Trace? 

We are participating in NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect measures to help ensure the health and safety of all ticket holders. As such this will mean that we shall be recording the name and contact details of ticket holders making an online booking for the event. This information shall be used to enable NHS Scotland to contact you should you have been at the event at the same time as someone who has tested positive for coronavirus. For further information on how we shall process your data please see our privacy notice. 

Do I need to wear a face covering for my visit? 

In line with Scottish Government legislation and guidance, face coverings are mandatory for ticket holders in any indoor/enclosed spaces, including retail and catering areas (subject to some exceptions). Please note masks will not be provided, so make sure you bring one with you. Face coverings are not required while walking around the external areas of the castle, but if you feel wearing a face covering will make you more comfortable during the event, then please wear one, as we want you to enjoy the event as much as possible. 

What hygiene measures will be in place? 

The health and safety of our ticket holders is our main priority. On entry, a hygiene station will be located, we ask all ticket holders to clean their hands-on entry. Enhanced cleaning regimes will be in place, including all touch points and toilet facilities. Our staff have been fully trained and cleaning regimes will also be constantly under review and will be adjusted as required. 

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.   

Are there toilets at the castle?

Signage will direct you to the public toilets in:

  • The ticketing area
  • The Tea Rooms

All toilets are accessible to visitors with disabilities. 

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.

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 time does the event start?

The event includes timed entry from 4.30pm to 8.30pm. Please arrive during your allocated timeslot. 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 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.

How long does the event last?

We recommend that your visit lasts 90 minutes. You will follow a guided route around the outside of the castle. Please note the castle must be clear of visitors for 10pm.

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

What access provisions will be available?

On Thursday 25 November, we will have some additional measures in place to make Castle of Light a fantastic experience for our visitors with additional access needs. We will be running a reduced capacity across all time slots on this evening making for a quieter event for all, and our staff will be given training in advance so they can better assist visitors with dementia. 

On Thursday 25 November there will also be specified slots for Audio Scribing, BSL Interpretation and an Autism friendly time slot.  

 

 

How accessible is the castle?

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.

There are a limited number of 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 disabled toilets available?

All toilets are accessible to visitors with disabilities. 

I am a Blue Badge Holder, can I get 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 0131 225 9846 (select option 3) during working hours (Mon-Fri, 9am to 4pm) or email  ecadmissions@hes.scot. 

Do you have wheelchairs or mobility scooters on site for public use?

There are a limited number of manual wheelchairs available on a first come, first served basis.

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.

 

Contact

Castle of Light event team

Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm (except UK public holidays)