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2 September 2021

Castle of Light returns this winter celebrating Scotland’s hidden treasures

Uncover the hidden treasures of Edinburgh Castle this winter, as the iconic landmark is illuminated once again with untold tales from Scotland’s past.

Silhouette of Edinburgh Castle with moon in the background

Returning to the capital with even more magic than before, Castle of Light is set to come to life for eight weeks throughout the festive season, from Friday 19 November 2021 to Sunday 9 January 2022. Expect wonder, enchantment and a spectacle of colour, as dazzling animations sweep throughout the castle grounds, transforming the historic attraction into an interactive wonderland - this year, using stunning visuals, state-of-the-art projections and captivating storytelling to unravel the re-discovery of the Crown Jewels.

Early Bird Tickets on sale from 9.30am tomorrow (Friday 3 September).

The event builds on the success of the inaugural 2019 experience, once again bringing together a consortium of the finest digital and visual talent in Scotland to create a truly immersive experience.

With a limited run of early bird tickets set to go on sale from 9.30am tomorrow, Castle of Light invites guests to explore lesser-known stories from the past, with the promise that Rex, the lovable lion rampant, will be back to guide visitors through the mesmerising journey.

Now that the countdown to the event is on, Stephen Duncan, Director of Commercial and Tourism at Historic Environment Scotland (HES), which operates Edinburgh Castle, said:

“We’re so pleased that events are back and we’re kicking off in style as Castle of Light is set to be a truly magical experience for all ages. The untold history of this iconic landmark will illuminate the very walls that saw it unfold, captivating locals and visitors alike throughout the festive period.

Following feedback from the 2019 event run, we’ve also introduced dates during the period between Christmas and New Year, and into January, to ensure everyone gets a chance to experience this immersive adventure.

“With timed entry slots and capped capacities, we’re ensuring it’s not only an exciting evening, but a safe space for all attending – so get your tickets booked and prepare to be dazzled!”

Double Take Projections, NL Productions, Andy McGregor and War Productions Ltd are joining forces again, in partnership with HES, to create the innovative illuminated walking tour, with entry slots every 15 minutes between 4.30pm and 8.30pm each evening. Now in its second year, following a hiatus in 2020 due to the pandemic, Castle of Light is set to be bigger and brighter than before, with bespoke video content, brand new installations and more than double the lighting, cementing the show’s title as the biggest visual experience to hit the city centre.

Andy McGregor, Creative Director of Castle of Light, said:

“It’s really great to be bringing back Castle of Light after the success of the 2019 show and all that’s happened since. This year we’ll be offering the people of Edinburgh and beyond another chance to experience the magic of Edinburgh Castle after dark and enjoy an all-new show with treasures for all the family.

Taking inspiration from the 1818 re-discovery of the crown jewels in a Castle vault, this year’s show will celebrate the lesser-known stories of the Castle and unveil the treasure ‘hidden in plain sight’. There’s so much to discover - fantastic jewels, dancing unicorns, an animated tree and countless other surprises in store.

“But, as before, the biggest treasure of all remains – the location. Being able to explore the Castle grounds after dark makes for a unique experience in itself, then add a spectacular light show, atmospheric soundscape and cutting-edge projection, and you’ve got a true gem in Scotland’s winter programme. We hope everyone is as excited as we are.”

The consortium of creatives involved have provided projection lightshows around the globe, with world class events under their belts, covering everything from The Enchanted Forest in Pitlochry to events at Sydney Opera House among them; with the inaugural Castle of Light event the first joint venture for the group.

Tickets for the light spectacular set within the historic walls of Edinburgh Castle go on sale tomorrow, Friday 3 September, from 9.30am with special early bird rates available during September. Adult early bird tickets cost £18 (using the promo code COLSM21 at checkout), with concession rates, family tickets and discounts for Historic Scotland members also available.

Tickets for an ‘Access’ night taking place on 25 November will also be available, catering specifically for people with additional support needs, as well as a series of special events packages.

Stephen added:

“We know people missed out on the chance to celebrate the festive period with family, friends and colleagues last year, so we want to ensure we’re giving everyone the opportunity to plan an occasion to remember for 2021. That’s why we’ve added a special corporate offering, with the package aimed at workplaces looking to elevate their Christmas parties. With exclusive use of the Queen Anne Building, a meal fit for royalty and the opportunity to explore the Castle of Light trail, make it a night to remember.”

The exclusive use corporate offering has a maximum capacity of 120 and is available throughout the festive period. Families will also have the opportunity to dine in the Queen Anne Building on select dates with ‘VIP tickets’, and adults can upgrade their experience with a two course meal accompanied by Edinburgh Gin cocktails with the ‘Crown Jewel VIP Package’.

For more information and to get your tickets, visit www.castleoflight.scot.

About Castle of Light

Dates: Castle of Light will run every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, starting on Friday 19 November until Sunday 9 January, excluding certain dates (24, 25 and 31 December; 1, 2 and 6 January). The event will also take place on select dates between Christmas and New Year - Monday 27 to Thursday 30 December.

Time: Timed entry from 4.30pm to 8.30pm. Event closes at 10pm. 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 rates (Available September only):
Use promo code ‘COLSM21’ at checkout to take advantage of the early bird offer
Adult (16-64yrs) £18; Concessions (65yrs+) £14.40; Child £10.80 (5-15yr olds must be accompanied by an adult). Family tickets and HS Member discounts are also available.

Tickets are available at www.castleoflight.scot until end of September.

Standard prices

Adult (16-64yrs) £20; Concessions (65yrs+) £16; Child £12 (5-15yr olds must be accompanied by an adult). Family tickets and HS Member discounts are also available.
Tickets are available at www.castleoflight.scot.

Catering packages:

VIP Ticket - aimed at families
Includes entry to Castle of Light at 5pm and dinner in the Queen Anne Building at 6pm. Available on Fridays, Saturdays and the evenings between Christmas and New Year.
Adult - 1 course meal & glass of fizz or soft drink on arrival
Child - 1 course & a soft drink
Adult (16-64yrs) £37.95; Concessions (65yrs+) £33.95; Child £20.95 (5-15yr olds must be accompanied by an adult); Under 5s £8.95. HS Member discounts are also available.

Crown Jewel VIP Package - aimed at adult market
Includes entry to Castle of Light and a two course meal with cocktails in the Queen Anne Building. Available on Friday 3 and Friday 10 December 2021.
2 courses (starter & main or main & dessert) with Edinburgh Gin cocktails
Adult (16-64yrs) £59.95; Concessions (65yrs+) £55.95. HS Member discounts are also available.

Corporate Offer
Includes entry to Castle of Light, prosecco on arrival, a two course meal with wine and exclusive use of the Queen Anne Building (festive décor and table linens included). Minimum numbers of 50, maximum capacity is 120.
£89.95 per person.

About Castle of Light’s Consortium Partners

War Productions Limited

War Productions Limited has been trading since 1989 and has a strong focus towards the artistic use of digital video.

Beginning as a lighting company, WarPro’s creative bent shifted towards the use of live projection in the very early days of the technology as production company for Orbital, Aphex Twin, Shamen and more. WarPro has specialised more and more in the creative use of projection for an ever growing commercial and artistic client base.

Double Take Projections

Double Take Projections Ltd is an innovative Scottish design consultancy specialising in creating immersive visual experiences using a technique called Projection Mapping. It is a bespoke company, creating unique one-off spectacles, and is able to radically alter the character of an environment or object by projecting from different angles onto a variety of surfaces.

Double Take has years of experience of producing and designing some of Scotland’s biggest Light shows. Double Take is a one stop shop for projection activity, designing content, designing social content and marketing material.

NL Productions

NL Productions is a creative event production company based in Leith with more than forty years’ experience in the industry.

Over the years, NLP has built up a large number of professional relationships across a wide variety of industries based on trust, reliability and a high standard of communication and project management.

Andy McGregor

Andy McGregor has over 25 years’ experience as a multimedia artist, designer and creative director. With a background in music, contemporary art and multimedia design, Andy has consistently worked at the boundaries of design, art, technology and performance.

He has produced work for high profile organisations such as The National Galleries of Scotland, Glasgow Life, Venice Theatre Biennale, Edinburgh International Science Festival, Harper Collins Publishing UK, Abbotsord Trust, The Queen’s Gallery at Holyrood House and Drambuie Distillers.

About Historic Environment Scotland (HES) 

  • We are the lead public body charged with caring for, protecting and promoting the historic environment. We will lead on delivering Scotland’s first strategy for the historic environment, Our Place in Time.
  • Historic Scotland, Scran, Canmore, The National Collection of Aerial Photography (NCAP), The Engine Shed, Stirling Castle and Edinburgh Castle are sub-brands of HES.
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