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See Scotland’s Treasures at Castle of Light!

On selected dates until Sunday 9 January, you can enjoy visiting the castle after-dark and see as it shines in a whole new light. 160-degree projections, a golden dragon and some very special VIP cameos (think Kylie, Bond and even more!) have come together to create our 2021 festive light trail, Castle of Light: Hidden Treasures. 

Edinburgh Castle has long been a treasure trove full of exciting stories, unheard tales and even glittering jewels (it is home to the Honours of Scotland after all!). This festive season these treasures, and many more from throughout Scotland’s history are being brought to life, illuminating the castle walls in beautiful lights and colours. From your first step onto the castle esplanade, you’ll be transported on an unmissable trail…

Colourful projections on the side of a small stone chapel in Edinburgh Castle

From a bespoke catchy soundtrack and all-new displays, to an Instagram-perfect Gem Tunnel, there are hidden treasures around every corner. Our famous red lion Rex will be on hand to guide you round and you can also download our route map, to make sure nothing goes unseen.

Behind the Scenes

In the lead up to the event, there are months of hard work put into the design, creation and animation of the displays, as well as choreographing the overall trail. Team members from across Historic Environment Scotland have been getting involved!

A behind the scenes photo of a stonemason being filmed using traditional tools

Spot Apprentice Stonemason Luke Maher from Doune Castle in a magical sequence at St Margaret’s Chapel and Choreographer/Performer Aaron Jeffrey inspires the mythical dance performance at Foog’s Gate.

A behind the scenes photo of a man wearing a unicorn horn performing a dance for use in an animation

Top Treasures

We’re trying to keep lightyears between us and any spoilers. Still, there’s a few top-picks that we can’t help but share…

  • On a scale of 1 to 10 of excitement, we are at a 10 to meet our newest arrival! You can find them making a golden entrance at point 6 on the event route
  • A tunnel of shimmering gems can be found next to the oldest surviving building in Scotland, St Margaret’s Chapel. It’s the perfect selfie opportunity!
  • Make sure you watch from the esplanade as our friends at The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo make a special cameo appearance, alongside other very familiar faces
  • A fantastic finale re-lives some of the star musicians that have performed at the castle over the years. Have your dancing shoes ready! Each loop reveals different artists, so make sure you hang around to hear them all

Edinburgh’s Wee Treasure

Paul Marshall pressing the button to begin Castle of Light

During November we searched Scotland for a ‘wee treasure’, an individual who shines bright within their community. Our lucky competition winner, Paul Marshall, joined us on our Castle of Light preview night on Thursday 18 November to switch on this year’s event.

Paul has a rare brain disease which has left him partially blind and with learning difficulties. Despite being told that he wouldn’t walk or talk, he’s defied the odds. He lights up the lives of everyone he knows. Who could be better to light up this year’s event! With 199 nominations to his name, we were delighted to share Paul’s story and have him as our Wee Treasure.

Visitors to Edinburgh Castle looking at a colourful projection on the walls of the royal palace


Exploring the castle is hungry work, but fear not as we have lots of options to tantalize your taste buds. From delicious street food and heaps of haggis, to sweet treats and tempting tipples we’ve got something for everyone. You can find our food trucks on the castle esplanade and outside our Redcoat Café. There’ll also be some indoor seating available to rest your feet before you keep exploring.

Our Edinburgh Castle Edinburgh Gin is also available to purchase and carry with you as your explore the event. Don’t forget, we also have our Castle of Light: Hidden Treasures VIP tickets which includes a one course meal and a drink in our Queen Anne Room before you then go outside to enjoy the event. Please visit our website for more information.

A projection of a green dragon above a gate at Edinburgh Castle

Ready for the Treasure Hunt?

We hope this has sent your imagination into a spin and that you are excited to visit Castle of Light: Hidden Treasures over the coming weeks! Please remember to book your tickets in advance.

Light Up Our Night!

There’s nothing we love to see more than everyone enjoying an unforgettable evening with friends and family at the castle. Be sure to share your photos with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by using the hashtag #CastleOfLight

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