Edinburgh Castle of Light illuminates the night sky during sold-out opening weekend

Edinburgh landmark lit-up with magic and mystery

There was a sell-out as the Castle of Light: Magic and Mystery spectacular officially opened to the public at the weekend, welcoming visitors to experience the interactive light trail at Edinburgh Castle.

This year’s brand-new show focuses on the magic, mystery and spectacular sorcery from Scotland’s past. The winter spectacular wowed the crowds, creating a charming start to the festive season in the Capital.

Now in its fourth year, Castle of Light is brought together by a consortium of digital and visual talent in partnership with Historic Environment Scotland. With 8,000 visitors attending during the opening weekend, Castle of Light is set to bring magic to locals and visitors alike.

Castle of Light will light-up the city’s skyline for six weeks throughout the festive season on selected dates, until January 3, 2024. Tickets are available to purchase now Adult (16-64) £22; Concessions (65+) £16; Child (7-15) £12. Ticketed entry slots will run every 15 minutes between 4.30pm and 7.30pm each evening, with last entry between 7.30pm and 7.45pm. The event closes at 9pm.

Stephen Duncan, director of marketing and engagement at Historic Environment Scotland (HES), which cares for Edinburgh Castle, said: “The festive period is all about magic, joy and wonder and we wanted to bring this to life through Castle of Light.

“Now in our fourth year, it’s important for us to keep the show fresh so that locals and visitors alike can be transported into a world of wonder as a tapestry of all-new storytelling projections dance across the castle walls.

“Celebrating Scotland’s rich heritage by inviting visitors to step into a history lesson like no other, from reawakening William Wallace and King Robert the Bruce, to exploring the lesser-known parts of the Castle, Castle of Light is a magical evening for all ages and we look forward to welcoming new and returning visitors this year.”

Local resident Andew Neilson switched on the unique after-dark trail, as the winner of the Castle of Light mystery ticket trail which took place in the run-up to the event. Castle of Light partnered with local attractions and venues to create a mysterious trail around the city, with the chance to win tickets along the way. Andrew was travelling on a bus into the city when he saw the clues posted on social media and identified Dovecot Studios as one of the venues hiding a magic card.

He said: “I happened to be scrolling on social media and came across the mystery ticket trail, it was then I put the clues together and realised that the magic card was hidden in Dovecot Studios - and my bus was just around the corner. I hopped off the bus and managed to find one of the winning magic cards!

“It was truly special to be involved in lighting up Edinburgh's iconic castle. People from all over the world celebrate Christmas and Hogmanay in Edinburgh with the castle at the centre of the celebrations. Cheers to a brilliant festive season!"

Tickets for a Castle of Light ‘access night’ on Sunday, December 3 are also available. Designed to cater for people with additional support needs, the evening will feature a range of specific support including British Sign Language interpretation, as well as a designated quiet space and ear defenders.