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19 October 2023

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.

A hooded figure with a wand looks at the Castle of Light

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 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 both 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 given the opportunity 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 and 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 www.castleoflight.scot (advance booking required).

About Castle of Light: Magic and Mystery

Dates: 24 & 25 November, 1-3, 8-10, 15-17, 21-23 & 27-30 December and 2 & 3 January. The access night will take place on Sunday 3 December.

Time: Timed entry from 4.30pm to 7.30pm, last entry between 7.30pm and 7.45pm. The event closes at 9pm. It is suggested that you allow around 60 minutes to fully experience the show but you can take as much or as little time as you like.

Cost: Adult (16-64yrs) £22.00; Concessions (65yrs+) £16.00; Child (7-15yrs, must be accompanied by an adult) £12.00. Family tickets and HS Member discounts are also available.

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.

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, V&A Dundee, Venice Biennale, Edinburgh International Science Festival, The National Library of Scotland, The Abbotsord Trust, The Queen’s Gallery at Holyrood House and Adidas.

Double Take Projections
Double Take Projections Ltd is an innovative Scottish design consultancy specialising in creating immersive visual experiences 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.

About Historic Environment Scotland (HES) 

  • We are the lead body for Scotland’s historic environment, a charity dedicated to the advancement of heritage, culture, education and environmental protection. It is at the forefront of researching and understanding the historic environment and addressing the impacts of climate change on its future, investigating and recording architectural and archaeological sites and landscapes across Scotland and caring for more than 300 properties of national importance. We are also the lead on delivering Scotland's strategy for the historic environment, Our Past, Our Future.
  • Historic Scotland, Scran, Canmore, The National Collection of Aerial Photography (NCAP), The Engine Shed, Stirling Castle, and Edinburgh Castle are sub-brands of HES.
  • View our press pack and keep up to date by registering to receive our media releases. Already registered? You can unsubscribe at any time by following the unsubscribe link, included in every email.

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