One of our favourite things to do is to visit the Edinburgh Tattoo! Although we didn’t have a coach trip planned this year, we managed to get our own little trip to stay with Nigel’s parents in Scotland, and booked a last minute evening to Edinburgh for the Tattoo performance.

We thought the show was fantastic, with some of Sandie’s favourite acts making an appearance (The Top Secret Drum Corps and the US Air Force Honour Guard Drill Team are firm favourites!), and we can’t wait for next year’s show.

But, we thought we’d put together a Survival Guide for you! Here are our top tips for enjoying a fabulous trip to Edinburgh Tattoo:

PONCHOS

Whatever the weather, make sure you bring a poncho! They’re great for the rain, but will also keep you a little warmer (don’t forget the temperature will drop quite a bit during the performance as we head into the evening). Also remember that umbrellas are not allowed in the Tattoo concourse, so if it does rain you’ll be glad of the protection a poncho will give you.

On our coach trips, we supply complimentary ponchos for everyone onboard the coach, but if you’re not travelling with us, make sure you bring one from home as you’ll pay a premium if you buy one on the day

COMFY SHOES

Coaches are only allowed to drop off in very specific places in Edinburgh, so you are guaranteed a walk from the designated coach parking up to the Castle Esplanade. Make sure you choose appropriate footwear for walking through the cobbled streets (and climbing up the stands)

A CUSHION

In previous years, you were able to hire a cushion from the Tattoo staff to sit on, but in 2022 these were only available to buy due to the Covid Pandemic. If you want something to sit on, make sure you bring it with you to save you some pennies at the Tattoo souvenir stand

HAT/COAT/SCARF

We know it’s summer, but it’s also Scotland! It’s best to be prepared for every weather eventuality, so make sure you bring a coat, hat, gloves and scarf – don’t forget the temperature will drop significantly as the sun goes down, so make sure you wear layers to keep warm

A BLANKET OR TRAVEL RUG

It can also be a good idea to bring along a blanket or travel rug to tuck around your knees if you’re worried about getting cold (particularly if you’re high up in the stands).

SUNCREAM

From one extreme to the other! If it’s a particularly hot & sunny evening, it’s probably worth packing some suncream just in case you get burned.

EAR PLUGS

We love the Tattoo, but be warned, it can be VERY loud. If you’re sensitive to noise, it may be worth packing some ear plugs just in case the noise is too much for you

CAMERA

Make sure you pack your camera! You can take photos during the performance, and videos can also be recorded for personal use (maximum of 2 minutes).

FIREWORKS

The Tattoo normally ends with a short firework display (extended on Saturday late performances), so be aware that here will be loud noises and flashes during this part of the performance.

QUEUE

As you approach Edinburgh Castle, you’ll be directed into the queue, which normally snakes along the top of the Royal Mile and down Johnston Terrace. Once the doors open it moves quite quickly, and you’ll have bag checks and ticket checks on the way up the Royal Mile

CHECK YOUR TICKETS IN ADVANCE

Once you’re through the ticket check, you’ll approach the back of the grandstand. It’s a good idea to check your tickets in advance so that you know which Section you’re headed to, to avoid crowding in this area. There are also stewards on hand to direct you in the right direction.

LEAVING THE TATTOO

Make sure you take note of where your coach is parked. There are usually two areas on Chambers Street and on Kings Stables Road, and they are in different directions. It’s very easy to be swept down the Royal Mile with the crowds and miss your turning for the coach parking, so make sure you know where you need to be and move across in good time.

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