The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is one of the most wonderful experiences to be had in Edinburgh, Scotland. It takes place every August as part of the Edinburgh Festival and is guaranteed to be a great time. I would consider this event a must see for anyone visiting Scotland in August.

What is the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo?

Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo Scotland

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is an annual event consisting of performances by British Armed Forces, Commonwealth and international military bands, as well as artistic performance teams. It takes place on the Esplande of Edinburgh Castle. The first Tattoo took place in 1950 and ever since then the event has evolved to the show that takes place today. It takes over 1,200 people to create this spectacular evening of music and dance.

Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo Scotland

You can even expect to see the occasional horse!

Each year there is a different theme, as well. When we attended it was the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force.

This year’s theme is Kaleidoscope, inspired by the device invented by Scottish physicist Sir David Brewster in 1816. Expect an evening of colour, music and light.

Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo Scotland

The show is a very lively 100 minutes and it‘s fun to see Edinburgh Castle illuminated in the background while watching the performances.

It‘s really special and kind of emotional to see all of the performers performing together at the end of the evening.

At the end of some of the performances there is a really nice fireworks display and we were lucky enough to see them.

Tips To Make The Tattoo Experience More Enjoyable

The tattoo is an extremely popular event and hence gets very crowded with nearly 9,000 attendees at each performance. There are portable toilets available as well as seat cushions for hire as the metal tiered seating is grandstand style. I highly suggest renting the cushions!

Royal Military Tattoo Edinburgh Scotland

The show is held outdoors regardless of the weather so bringing a waterproof jacket is advisable if rain is in the forecast. It was spritzy on the evening we went and the show went on! The weather can also be quite cool even in August and I was glad to have extra layers on hand to stay warm.

Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo Logistics

This year, the Edinburgh Military Tattoo will take place from August 2nd to the 24th. Tickets can be purchased here. Be sure to get your tickets early!

The queue to enter starts at the intersection of Johnston Terrace and the Royal Mile. Doors open 45 minutes prior to the start of the show. Shows during the week start promptly at 9:00pm and Saturday performances start at 7:15pm. There are no shows on Sunday.

Have you had attended unique events on your travels that you would consider to be a do not miss experience? Talk to me about them in the comments area below!

Thanks for reading! Cheers!

2 thoughts on “The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

  1. This does look like an amazing experience with a prerequisite nap in the afternoon to get through the evening.

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