Historic Scotland
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Opening times

1 April to 30 September:
Monday to Sunday, 9.30am to 6pm

1 October to 31 March:
Monday to Sunday, 9.30am to 5pm

Check here for unexpected closures
 

Access

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.

Mobility Vehicle

A mobility 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

A mobility 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.

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 visitor use. There is a lift to the upper floor.

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.

Entry to the Honours of Scotland is by a ramp at the entrance and then a lift to the first floor. Bronze replicas of the Honours 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 (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 Whisky & Bookshop is next to St Margaret’s Chapel and has a small threshold.

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

Toilets

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

  • to the left on entering the castle
  • in the Red Coat Café
  • in the Queen Anne building, Crown Square

Assistance dogs

Assistance dogs are welcome:

  • at all Historic Scotland properties
  • within roofed areas

View our access guide to find out about accessibility at more than 80 of our sites.

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