CASTLE OF LIGHT: Dive into Scottish History and Heritage during the festive season

Photo by Léa Levy

Edinburgh Castle will be decorated with festive colours this evening for a special show of ‘Castle of Light’ for people with additional needs.

The after-hours projections and animations show has been running every weekend since 14 November and will go on until 22 December.

Tonight, the extra show will have a limited number of visitors for a quieter evening, enjoyable for everyone.

Special support will be provided for visitors with dementia and autism, and specific tours have been put in place, such as audio-described tours and tours interpreted with British Sign Language (BSL).

Audrey Jones, the ‘Castle of Light’ Project Manager from Historic Environment Scotland, which is responsible for Edinburgh Castle, said:

“We wanted to make it as accessible as possible for people with additional needs. We took our capacity for that night way down, and introduced BSL interpreted tours, an audio-described tour and a special quiet time slot with ear defenders and trained staff to offer enhanced access for autistic visitors and visitors with dementia. It’s really important to us to make heritage as accessible as possible to all sorts of people with additional needs.”

Making this hour and a half show available to everyone was very important for Historic Environment Scotland.

Gillian MacDonald, Head of Business Development & Enterprise at Historic Environment Scotland, said:

“We truly believe that everyone should be given the opportunity to experience the excitement of Scotland’s heritage, and so we’ve been consulting experts and gathering advice from parents in the community on how to make this event accessible and enjoyable for all.”

The show explores 900 years of Edinburgh Castle’s history with state-of-the-art projections and storytelling.

According to Historic Environment Scotland, it is the “biggest light experience to hit the city centre”.

Highlights include a ‘time machine’ tour through the castle’s history, a laser re-connecting the castle to Calton Hill as it used to be, guard box soldiers with Pantomime stars Andy Gray and Grant Stott on screens, the Scottish Makar (National Poet) Jackie Kay telling the history through poems, a dragon and interactive organ tubes.

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Gillian MacDonald added: “Castle of Light invites visitors to watch the history of this iconic landmark come to life as it illuminates the very walls that saw it unfold.

“Guests will have the chance to follow in the footsteps of Scotland’s heroes as they’re welcomed by stunning visuals and impressive lighting installations within the Castle’s walls.”

‘Castle of Light’ runs from Thursdays to Sundays and will be open on December 1-2, 5-8, 12-15, 19-22, from 5.30pm to 10pm.

Tickets must be pre-booked: for more information and to purchase tickets click here.

If you want to learn more about the history behind Christmas traditions, such as the true meaning of the advent calendar, click here.