Access guide

Read our access guide and ask any member of staff for further advice when you arrive.

Accessing the castle

Special arrangements are currently in place at Edinburgh Castle, to comply with Scottish Government guidance during the Covid-19 pandemic. These arrangements are detailed below, and will be regularly updated.

Although things may be a little different, we hope that you will have an enjoyable visit and will be greeted with a warm and friendly smile by staff.

While some areas may be closed, we will have additional interpretation available on-site so you don't miss out. This may include QR codes so make sure your mobile can read these when visiting.

Safety measures:

  • Our staff have been trained in hygiene and physical distancing and have been provided with the necessary PPE
  • Signage is on site to guide visitors, including one way systems and marked areas that are currently closed to visitors
  • We have introduced enhanced cleaning measures, including our toilet facilities, to make visitors feel comfortable while visiting

Face coverings:

  • In line with Scottish Government legislation and guidance, face coverings are now mandatory if you are visiting any indoor/enclosed spaces at our sites including retail and catering areas (. 
  • Masks will not be provided, so make sure you bring one with you
  • Face shields (e.g. visors) no longer count as face coverings on their own. They can only be worn in conjunction with other face covering
  • Face coverings are not required while visiting external areas of the sites
  • If you feel wearing a face covering at all times during your visit (including in external areas) will make you more comfortable, then please wear one, as we want you to enjoy your visit as much as possible

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Security and bag restrictions

好福利app下载For reasons of ease of movement, visitor safety and general security, suitcases and large rucksacks are not permitted in the castle.

We are unable to store luggage, prams, pushchairs or other personal items for visitors.

Parking

Parking is available near the castle entrance on the esplanade for Blue Badge holders. These are limited and must be booked in advance by calling 0131 225 9846 or email ecadmissions@hes.scot.

好福利app下载Castle Terrace NCP is the nearest car park and offers a discounted rate for castle visitors: £10 for 5 hours. You must validate your parking ticket at the machine opposite the drawbridge during your visit.

Approach to site

The castle is reached across the esplanade – a wide area of smooth tarmac, with an uphill gradient of 5 degrees. The esplanade is 110m long.

A Red Food Truck serving coffee/tea, cakes and snacks, and an ice cream van will be on the esplanade.

Visiting the site

Please note: While a one-way system is in place at the castle, staff are eager to assist any visitors with specific requirements. Please contact the castle (tel 0131 225 9846 or email ecadmissions@hes.scot) or make staff aware if you have any concerns.

Download the numbered route map

  1. A one-way system will be operating within the castle. Staff here will control the flow of visitors, and can provide any additional assistance.

    Visitors access the castle over a wooden-slatted bridge.

    Assistance dogs are welcome. Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times and not left unattended at any time. Owners must pick up after their dogs. Visitors' dogs are not permitted at Edinburgh Castle. 

    The mobility vehicle will not be operating at this time, but two manual wheelchairs are available for use on a first-come, first-served basis. 

  2. Upon entering the castle, there is a set of adapted toilets to your left, and the ticket office to your right – both reached over an uneven cobbled surface. An audio guide is available to hire from the ticket office. It is free to blind and partially sighted visitors, or can be downloaded and played on your own device. The handsets operate by a push button system.

  3. You enter the castle from a steep curved route. It is 15 degrees at its steepest point, the average is five degrees and it is approximately 350m from entering the castle to the top level at Crown Square. It is surfaced with cobbles, which can be uneven.

    The Portcullis gift shop will not be open. 

  4. The One o’Clock Gun is on the level but cobbled area, next to the Redcoat Café. The gun makes a loud and sudden noise when it is fired. It is fired Monday to Saturday. 

    The Redcoat Café has step-free access and will be operating a takeaway service only. The Café toilets will not be available at this time.

  5. Hospital Square is reached down a cobbled ramp of 12 degrees. Visitors follow the one-way route back up the same cobbled slope.

  6. The route continues up the cobbled incline through Foog’s Gate. This is the steepest part of the castle route.

  7. Visitors will then enter Crown Square – a large, level, paved area.

    The Great Hall and National War Memorial both have ramped access.

    In the Palace Apartments, the Laich Hall and Antechamber are open. There is a short flight of stone steps with a handrail at both entry and exit (Mary Room and Birthing Room remain closed).

    好福利app下载Adapted toilets are available in Crown Square – please ask a member of staff for assistance.

  8. The one-way route then leads to St Margaret's Chapel and Mons Meg. The surface around the Chapel and Mons Meg is cobbled. The Chapel has a small ramp up to a door 810mm wide.

  9. Visitors then exit the castle via 70 stone steps with a handrail. Staff will be available to guide you back down through the castle if this exit is unsuitable for you.


Areas/facilities that will be open during your visit:

  • All external spaces with visitor access
  • Great Hall
  • Palace Apartments, the Laich Hall and Antechamber are open (The Mary Room and The Birthing Room will be closed)
  • St Margaret’s Chapel
  • Mons Meg
  • One o’Clock Gun
  • Scottish National War Memorial
  • The Redcoat Café open as a takeaway service only with a reduced menu offer.
  • Red Food Truck on the esplanade serving coffee/tea, cakes and snacks
  • Ice cream van on the esplanade
  • Audio guides available to hire from the ticket office
  • Toilets in Lower Ward (just over the drawbridge) and of Crown Square are open
  • Accessible toilet available in the Queen Anne Building (Queen Anne Tea Room remains closed)


Areas/facilities that remain closed for now: 

  • Palace Apartments, the Mary Room and Birthing Room are closed (the Laich Hall and Antechamber will be open)
  • Honours of Scotland (Crown Jewels & Stone of Destiny)
  • Prisons of War 
  • Fight for the Castle exhibition
  • Regimental Museums
  • National War Museum
  • One o'Clock Gun exhibition
  • Queen Anne Tea Room 
  • Guided Tours 
  • All gift shops