Castle of Light illuminates the night sky as all new storytelling projections are unveiled at Edinburgh Castle

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Castle of Light illuminates the night sky as all new storytelling projections are unveiled at Edinburgh Castle

The capital’s enchanting atmosphere was kicked up a notch as Castle of Light: Magic and Mystery officially opened to the public at the end of November, welcoming visitors from across the country to experience the interactive light trail at Edinburgh Castle during a sell-out opening weekend.

Greeted with captivating tales and intriguing stories, this year’s brand-new show focuses on the magic, mystery and spectacular sorcery from Scotland’s past. With myths and legends, from fortune-telling runes and Tarot readings to the inner workings of the Portcullis Gate depicted through immersive light and sound displays, the winter spectacular wowed, conjuring a charming start to the festive season.

Officially opening this year’s event for its six-week run, resident Andrew Neilson joined the team behind Castle of Light to ‘switch on’ the unique after-dark trail after securing the coveted opportunity to light up the skyline as a winner of the Castle of Light mystery ticket trail which took place in the run-up to the event.

Castle of Light, local resident Andrew Neilson with partner

In keeping with this year’s theme of ‘Magic and Mystery’, 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 Lothian bus into the city when he saw the clues posted on social media. He identified the world-renowned tapestry studio 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 found one of the winning magic cards!

“It was truly special to be involved in lighting Edinburgh’s iconic castle. People worldwide celebrate Christmas and Hogmanay in Edinburgh, with the castle at the centre of the celebrations. Cheers to a brilliant festive season!”

Now in its fourth year, Castle of Light is brought together by a consortium of Scotland’s finest digital and visual talent and further afield, in partnership with Historic Environment Scotland. With 8,000 visitors attending during opening weekend to experience the spellbinding installations, Castle of Light is set to bring magic to locals and visitors alike throughout the festive season.

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, we must 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. And Andrew did a tremendous job in helping us build excitement and anticipation at the switch-on for the six-week event run ahead.

“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.”

Castle of Light will light up the city’s skyline for six weeks throughout the festive season on select dates until Wednesday, 3 January 2024. Tickets are available to purchase now (adult tickets: £22), with concession rates, family tickets and Historic Scotland members’ discounts available. Ticketed entry slots will run every 15 minutes between 4.30 pm and 7.30 pm each evening, with the last entry between 7.30 pm and 7.45 pm. The event closes at 9 pm.

Tickets for an ‘access night’ on Sunday 3 December are also available. Designed to cater for people with additional support needs, including autism and dementia, the evening will feature a range of specific support, including British Sign Language interpretation, as well as a designated quiet space and ear defenders to help manage noise, in partnership with Scottish Autism.

For more information and to get your tickets, visit Booking is required.


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