The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

There are many reasons people visit the Scottish capital, the history, the culture the shops and the Edinburgh fringe to name just a few. However, one of the most popular events of the year and one that attracts thousands of visitors from at home and abroad is the Edinburgh Military tattoo. The military tattoo is held annually on the Esplanade of Edinburgh Castle and is an integral part of the Edinburgh International Festival.

What is the Edinburgh Military Tattoo

The Edinburgh Tattoo is a series of military tattoos that are performed by the armed forces of the United Kingdom and the commonwealth along with international bands from other parts of the world. The military tattoo is a celebration of the musical ability of the military bands and the skill of display teams from across the globe. Every year’s festival based around a different theme but one thing that never changes is the lone piper playing his refrain silhouetted against the spectacular backdrop of the Castle itself.

When Was the First Edinburgh Military Tattoo

The first military tattoo held in the city took place in 1949 and was inspired by a show titled  ‘Something about a Soldier’ and was held at the Ross Bandstand and in the gardens in Princess Street. The following year in 1950 the first official Edinburgh Military Tattoo was held featuring 8 different items. It attracted around 6,00 spectators who sat on simple benches and scaffolding structures around the Esplanade at Edinburgh Castle. Nowadays, the Tattoo attracts sell out audiences of 8,800 each night which equates to 220,00 over some 20 performances.

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When is The Edinburgh Military Tattoo

The Edinburgh Military Tattoo takes place during the month of August where performances are held every weekday with two on a Saturday. The weekday performances usually start at 9pm and usually last for around 2 hours. The Saturday evening performance starts earlier at 7.30pm. The show features not only marching bands, but also spectacular military displays and mock battles during which soldiers enter the arena from the castle ramparts. As long as the weather permits there will also be a short firework display during the performance. Standard prices for a ticket range from £30-£95 and there are also hospitality packages available starting at £640.

As a nation the Scots are extremely proud of their heritage and culture and the Edinburgh Military tattoo pays homage to that. The music of the massed bands of the pipes and drums are something that is quintessentially Scottish and will forever be associated with the Tartan nation. So, if you want to get a real taste of the history and culture of Scotland then the Edinburgh Military Tattoo is something you should experience.

If you are one of the many foreign visitors flying into the country for the military tattoo why not make the most of your trip by taking advantage of the very affordable Edinburgh airport car hire and exploring some of the beautiful scenery around the city as well.