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Opening times

1 Apr to 30 Sept:
Daily, 9.30am to 6pm
Last entry 5pm

1 Oct to 31 Mar:
Daily, 9.30am to 5pm
Last entry 4pm

Facilities

 

Access

Security

We do not have the facilities to store a range of personal items (e.g. luggage, prams and pushchairs). In addition, due to the current heightened level of national security we will also currently NOT be accepting any rucksacks over 30L or suitcases into the site. Left property will be removed and destroyed if necessary.

We would like to make visitors to Edinburgh Castle aware that we are currently operating random bag searches at the Castle. Please note this may result in longer waiting times for entry, and we would like to thank visitors in advance for their patience and understanding.

It is important to note that this measure does not relate to any specific threat, but is rather part of our ongoing approach to the management and provision of a safe and secure site for our staff and visitors.

We would encourage visitors to Edinburgh Castle to remain vigilant and inform us of anything they see or feel is suspicious.

Parking

Accessible spaces on Castle Esplanade are available to Blue Badge holders. These are limited and must be booked in advance by calling 0131 310 5114.

No parking is available from April to September, when the esplanade is closed for the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Castle Terrace NCP is the nearest car park.

Courtesy vehicle

A courtesy vehicle can take visitors with mobility difficulties from the esplanade to Crown Square.

Two manual wheelchairs are also available for use. Call 0131 225 9846 to book before your visit or ask any member of staff when you arrive.

Approach to site

The castle is 110m from the furthest point of the esplanade.

The esplanade:

  • is smooth tarmac
  • has a slope of 5 degrees

Visitor centre

The ticket office and gift shop are on the right after entering the castle. Both have step-free access.

Disabled visitors are met on the esplanade by castle staff and can be helped to cross the drawbridge.

Braille guidebooks are available on request from ticket office staff.

Monument

All areas of the castle are accessed from a steep and curved central route that is about 350m long (from entering the castle to the top level at Crown Square).

The route:

  • has a slope of 5 degrees on average
  • is 15 degrees at its steepest point (approach to Foogs Gate)
  • is surfaced with cobbles, which can be uneven

The One o’Clock Gun is on the level, next to the Redcoat Café, but its exhibition is down 29 even straight stone steps, with handrail.

The courtyard of the National War Museum is down a cobbled ramp with a 12-degree slope. The museum has a level entrance and a wheelchair for loan to visitors. There is a lift to the two floors.

St Margaret’s Chapel and Mons Meg are further up the central route, through Foogs Gate. The area around the chapel and gun is cobbled. The chapel is entered by a small ramp and a door 81cm wide.

Access to the Honours of Scotland is via a ramp and then a lift to the first floor. There is a bronze replica of the Honours that can be touched and a Braille panel tells their history.

The Royal Palace and apartments have no wheelchair access.

The Great Hall is currently accessed by a small ramp.

The Scottish War Memorial has a ramp entrance from Crown Square.

The Prisons of War exhibition has step-free access from Dury’s Battery.

Access to the vaults is down numerous short flights of steps, with handrails on both sides. There is step-free access to the lower part of the exhibition from Dury’s Battery.

Audio guide

Audio guides are available for hire just past the castle gates on the right. Handsets use a push button system. Subject to availability.

A summary of the National War Museum displays is included in the main audio tour of the castle. There are transcripts and an induction loop.

Available to hire in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Mandarin. 

20% discount for Historic Scotland Members and Explorer Pass holders.

Cafés and shops

The Redcoat Café has step-free access.

Access to the Tea Rooms in the Queen Anne building is via three steps from Crown Square. Step-free access is also available.

The main gift shop is on the right after entering the castle. It has step-free access but is approached up a steep, cobbled hill. 

The Whisky & Bookshop is next to St Margaret’s Chapel and has a small threshold.

The Crown Gift Shop in Crown Square has five stone steps to enter.

Toilets

There are three sets of adapted toilets, which are located:

  • to the left on entering the castle
  • in the Redcoat Café
  • in The Tea Rooms, Crown Square

Dogs

Assistance dogs are permitted at all our sites and within roofed areas.  

Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times and not left unattended. A no fouling rule applies at all our sites.

Visitors' dogs are not permitted at Edinburgh Castle. 

Access Guide

For information on accessibility at more than 80 of our sites download our Access Guide

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