Castle of Light: ‘Hidden Treasures’ at Edinburgh Castle

Once upon a time, there was an incredible treasure ‘lost’ within the walls of Edinburgh Castle for over 100 years. The story that follows seems as if it was written for the plot of an adventure movie, but it is one that did indeed play out among the stone walls of the Castle at the beginning of the 19th century. So, button up your jacket, adjust your scarf and hat, because we are headed into the cold Scottish night to take you on an exploration of Edinburgh Castle’s latest Castle of Light event.



While 2020 was a dark period for many of us, I am happy to say that the city of Edinburgh is shining the light for those returning to our magnificent capital city. Edinburgh Castle has led the way, and we were so happy when they announced that their highly popular Castle of Light event (that debuted in 2019) was making a comeback this festive season. This year’s event is all about ‘hidden treasures’, and centers around an extraordinary story.

Before, we continue our journey, I want to make it clear that our visit was not part of the sponsored media night. Instead, we paid the regular admission price (taking advantage of our Historic Scotland membership discount) and are providing an unbiased account of our evening.


One of our long-time blog friends, Sir Walter Scott, is the hero of this story. However, it isn’t one he made up, but, rather, a real-life adventure with amazing results. You see, way back in 1818, Scott went on his own exploration of Edinburgh Castle. He was looking for ‘hidden treasures’ that had been ‘lost’ for over 100 years.


Amazingly he found Scotland’s crown jewels- known as the Honours of Scotland- buried in a locked treasure chest deep within the Castle. The Honours consist of the Crown, Sceptre, and Sword of State (you can read more about it along with more history of the Castle here). Walter Scott loved Scotland, and I think it is fitting that he is the one who found such important objects of the nation. In fact, the crown jewels have been protected behind the sturdy walls of Edinburgh Castle ever since Scott’s discovery and are proudly on display for locals and visitors to admire. This incredible story is the backdrop for this year’s Castle of Light event. Throughout the Castle complex, eventgoers find stories tinged with hope, drama, whimsy, history, and humour.


One particularly uplifting section is the ‘Tree of Hope’. Just outside the National War Museum of Scotland, the stones are bathed in blue while exquisite projections morph and change as the poem, My Daughter’s Painting, is read in the background.



Making our way up the steep hills of the Castle grounds, we tread softly to not disturb the fire-breathing dragon.



However, as we turn the corner we are met with a much different site- one that is not so scary. In fact, watch closely as the Royal Coat of Arms comes to life…as the two unicorns (our national animal) dance and prance along the Castle wall!



St Margaret’s Chapel has exquisite light projections that highlight its eternal beauty.



The highlight of the event is watching the projection show on the Royal Palace as the story of how Scotland’s hidden treasures were found with a more modern story at the end.



Here are a few more photos from the spectacular Castle of Light (scroll through by clicking on the black arrow):



We recognise our privilege and fortune to live in such a beautiful city as Edinburgh. We also know that travel is still restricted for so many individuals around the world. Therefore, we hope this brief post will help to shine some light and love for those who would like to visit Edinburgh this festive season but aren’t able to make the journey. However, if you are in Edinburgh, be sure to visit The Castle of Light event at Edinburgh Castle which is being held until the 9th of January 2022. Head over to their website for more information and to book your ticket.


One little boy near us mentioned with all seriousness that this was the bat-signal.

Stay tuned for our next article as we continue our celebration of the holiday season festivities in Edinburgh. Subscribing to our blog is the best way to ensure that you get our fun and free articles as soon as they’re published. Not only do we feature Edinburgh, but we often share fun destinations throughout Scotland.


Until next time- Explore & Discover!