First look: Scotland’s mythical past set to light up city skyline with return of Castle of Light

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First look: Scotland’s mythical past set to light up city skyline with return of Castle of Light

The creative team behind Castle of Light has revealed a first look at this year’s ‘Magic and Mystery’ themed interactive light trail at Edinburgh Castle as the countdown to the winter spectacular begins.

Edinburgh’s most iconic landmark will once again welcome locals and visitors alike to experience an immersive after-dark walking trail – with this year’s brand new show focused on tales of magic, mystery and spectacular sorcery from Scotland’s past. With opening weekend just five weeks away, local children Lucas and Isla Brown were invited to the Castle to experience an exclusive glimpse at the enchanting light and sound displays.

Andy McGregor, creative director of Castle of Light: Magic and Mystery, working alongside NL Productions, War Productions Ltd and Double Take Projections, in partnership with Historic Environment Scotland (HES), explains: “This year, we’ll be transporting visitors in time through a mix of large-scale projections and lighting installations to explore Scotland as a place of legend, storytelling and unrivalled mystery.

“Like the experimental alchemists of the 16th century, we use magical tools from our digital era to transport the audience, transform the castle and bring the stone to life. Let immersive installations guide you through Scotland’s colourful past as a tapestry of all-new projections animate the castle walls.

“An enchanting experience for all ages, this year’s show brings together a mix of fantastic interactive elements, including a digital wall of mirrors, a stunning wall of wands and the opportunity to meet Castle of Light’s much-loved lion mascot, Rex, all whilst savouring what has to be the finest view in town from the castle ramparts.”

On-site catering will be available throughout the event run, conjuring up a delectable range of treats, with exclusive Castle of Light cocktails, including the Smoking One O’clock Gun, Edinburgh Gincantation and a Blood Moon Mocktail also available.

Stephen Duncan, Director of Marketing and Engagement at Historic Environment Scotland (HES), which cares for Edinburgh Castle, said: “Crowned for having the best Christmas markets in Europe, Edinburgh already enjoys an exemplary reputation as the ultimate festive city break destination, and Castle of Light truly is a jewel in the city’s skyline.

“Now in its fourth year, Castle of Light has continued to bring even bigger and brighter state-of-the-art projections to the fore, and 2023 is no different – we’re bringing the magic of Scotland’s past to life! And we can’t wait to welcome new and returning visitors to the Castle.”

Castle of Light: Magic and Mystery will run for six weeks throughout the festive season, on select dates from Friday, 24 November 2023, to Wednesday, 3 January 2024. Tickets are available to purchase now (adult tickets: £22), with concession rates, family tickets and Historic Scotland members’ discounts available.

A special ‘access night’ will also take place on Sunday, 3 December, 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.

Stephen continued: “We believe that everyone should be allowed to experience the excitement of Scotland’s heritage, and so we’ve teamed up with experts to make Castle of Light as accessible and enjoyable for all.

“Castle of Light is a great opportunity to get together with family and friends and experience a magical night at the castle. We hope that by addressing specific access needs, we can welcome even more guests into Edinburgh Castle as it is illuminated with secrets of Scotland’s past.”

For more information and to get your tickets, visit

Advanced booking is required.


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