Dates: 6-28 August 2021
Location: Edinburgh Castle, Castlehill, Scotland EH1 2NG
- 2012 marked the 65th Anniversary of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo
- 2005 saw one of the largest gatherings of pipes and drums in the event's history
- 1968 was the first year when The Tattoo was seen in colour on TV
- The first Lone Piper was Pipe Major George Stoddart
- 1952 the first overseas regiment, Band of the Royal Netherlands Grenadiers participated
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo never ceases to amaze and 2021 will be no exception.
You'll get to see some of the very best pipe bands from across the globe such as the award-winning Royal Scots Dragoon Guards and the Royal Highland Fusiliers, providing heart-stopping sights and sounds for the whole family to enjoy. Marvel at the dare-devil motorcycle routines and enjoy a kaleidoscope of music, dance and breath-taking re-enactments of international battles.
The show's finale is probably one of the best, if not sombre, moments of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo as silence again takes over the arena as the 'Evening Hymn' is sung, the sounding of the 'Last Post' and the lowering of the flags. All eyes are then drawn to the Castle ramparts where the Lone Piper plays his haunting lament before a colourful display of fireworks illuminates the skies and voices unite to sing 'Auld Lang Syne'.
Edinburgh Tattoo Coach Packages start from only £199 per person and each breaks typically including: return coach travel, hotel with breakfast, hotel-to-venue transfers plus ticket to the event. Upgraded tickets are also available on some tours.
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Mini Guide To Edinburgh Military Tattoo
What to pack
Brolly, camera and a fleece or jumper as it can get cold in the evenings. Might also be worth taking a few sweets, snacks and a drink to have during the military spectacular. Also, don’t forget to double-check that you have your Edinburgh Tattoo tickets in your bag – you won’t want to be refused entry when you’re there!
What to wear
The wonderful British weather can be temperamental at the best of times but hopefully when you visit it will be a glorious summers evening. It might be worth considering the worse and have a brolly on standby as well as warm clothing as the evenings can get chilly! There is a bit of an uphill climb to Edinburgh Castle where the event takes place so comfortable shoes are a must.
Before you go
Might be worth checking the weather forecast on TV to see what it will be like for the evening that you see the Edinburgh Tattoo. This will help in deciding what to wear for the evening. The Tattoo has never been cancelled due to bad weather and in August it tends to be quite pleasant with a gentle breeze blowing from the west. Still check the forecast though – just in case!
The Edinburgh Military Tattoo is one of Scotland’s biggest & best-selling spectacles in the calendar and attracts an audience of 217,000 people each year. With this in mind, do not disturb the enjoyment of others with your mobile going off at inopportune times, make sure it’s switched off or turned to silent before the show begins.
Where do you queue?
There is only one queue to get into the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and that starts at Johnston Terrace, round the hub to the Castle. It is wise to follow instructions given by the local police and security staff who will make sure you get into the Tattoo safely and on time. If travelling by coach, be prepared for a short walk uphill to the Castle Esplanade as unfortunately coaches cannot park any closer to the event.
When does it start and how long does it last?
Doors open 45 minutes before the start of the performance and spectators are advised to be seated 15 minutes before it all begins. Personal belongings and baggage will be subject to a search. The event lasts for approx. 1.5 hours.
Things to be aware of
It is worth remembering that Edinburgh Castle and the surrounding areas are extremely popular with tourists and can get quite congested so do allow yourself plenty of time to enable you to get through the crowds and to your seat at the Tattoo. Also try to avoid performances where TV recordings take place (12-16 Aug 2013) as the camera gear can get in the way of your enjoyment of the event.
Access to the Tattoo
The location of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo may present some access difficulties for some. There is a short walk of 80 metres up a steep incline along an old cobbled path to the Esplanade. Once in the venue, you will be required to walk a further 60 metres followed by a dozen or so steps to get to the front rows of all the spectator stands. All seating at the Edinburgh Tattoo is quite steeply tiered.
Is it wheelchair friendly?
There are facilities to accommodate wheelchairs at all performances of the Edinburgh Tattoo. All patrons in a wheelchair are required to be accompanied by an able-bodied person. There are disabled toilet facilities located on the Esplanade. Wheelchair spaces are located at the front of Sections 1-5 and 12-17 as well as at the top of Section 10.
You are only allowed to transport wheelchair patrons onto the Esplanade if you have a Vehicle Pass. The area must be cleared at least 60 minutes prior to the start of the performance. The Vehicle Pass does not allow you to park on or near the Esplanade. You are required to report to St Giles Street approx. 100 minutes before the performance to be guided by the Police onto the Esplanade. You will need to apply for a pass at the same time as ordering tickets for the event.
What not to miss
With so much going on at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, it can be easy to miss something vital especially if you need to nip to the loo! You definitely won’t want to miss the fireworks display at the end of the Tattoo on Saturdays (selected dates), the Lone Piper playing on the Castle Ramparts, massed pipes & drums from the Scottish regiments as well as the popular Top Secret Swiss Drum Corps.
What else can you do in Edinburgh?
Whilst in Edinburgh you can hit the shops in Princes Street, enjoy street entertainment along The Royal Mile, have a drink and maybe sample some haggis in one of many quaint pubs in the city. If you’re short of time and want to see as much of Edinburgh as possible, such as Holyroodhouse, Jenners Department Store as well as the Old and New town, hop on a sightseeing bus for a whistle-stop tour of the main sights!
The Edinburgh Military Tattoo miniguide by Door2Tour.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. You may share and distribute the image or PDF format of our miniguide online for the purposes outlined in this licence, but you must attribute Door2Tour.com as the author and provide a link back to this page.
Address: Edinburgh Castle, Castlehill, Scotland EH1 2NG
How to get there: All coach packages will include transfers as close to the castle as possible, however, you will have to make the final approach to the Castle Esplanade on foot. If you are driving to the city, a range of on-street and covered parking facilities are available across the city.