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Spectacle of Light FAQS

Spectacle of Light FAQS



How do I buy tickets for the event?

There are two methods of buying tickets:

  • Online: take advantage of our advance purchase rate for 10% off. Buy online here.
  • On The Day: On The Day tickets are full price and are only bookable in person from Dalkeith Country Park from 3.30pm onwards on the day of your visit. You can buy these from the Red Ticket Hut at the entrance to Restoration Yard’s courtyard just outside the white gates near Fort Douglas.

Do I need to buy my tickets in advance?

We highly recommend buying your tickets in advance to help prevent any disappointment. Each time slot has limited availability so the most popular slots are likely to sell out quickly. Plus, you’ll save money by buying online in advance – online tickets are the cheapest.

What do I need to bring with me on the day for entry?

Please bring your ticket with the QR code on it. This can be via a printed ticket or mobile phone.

When is my ticket valid?

Tickets are only valid for the specific date and entry time stated on the ticket, selected at the time of booking. You may be refused entry if you arrive after your chosen time.

I’ve booked online but not received a confirmation email.

Please check your junk folder first. If you cannot find it please email or call 0131 322 2566 and we will look into it for you.

I’d like to change my booking, is this possible?

Tickets are only valid for the date and entry time stated on the ticket, selected at the time of booking. Tickets are not transferable. However, it is possible to exchange your tickets for another date or time. Please contact the booking line on 0131 322 2566. They will arrange to refund your existing tickets and then process your new tickets, which are subject to availability and will be charged at the prevailing price plus a £2 administrative fee.

No refunds will be offered if the weather is inclement but the Spectacle is safe to go ahead.

What happens if the weather is bad and you have to cancel the event?

Spectacle of Light will only be cancelled if either extreme weather makes the route unsafe or if there is a major fault in our electrical supply or equipment.

Spectacle of Light is an outdoor event and will not be cancelled due to rain or extreme cold. Visitors are advised to dress appropriately for the weather conditions. No refunds will be offered if the weather is inclement but the Spectacle is safe to go ahead.

In the event of a cancellation, we would attempt to re-allocate your tickets to an alternative evening. However, if this is not possible and you would prefer a refund, payment will be made to you within 14 days.

A decision to cancel the event would be taken at 2pm on the day of the event. Shortly after that we would endeavour to contact you by email, a notice would be posted on our website and updates would be issued through our social media channels.

If you are concerned about the weather conditions on the evening of your visit, please check the website to confirm that the event is going ahead.

I’m a loyalty cardholder. Do I get a discount?

Yes, Loyalty Cardholders received 30% off the full ticket price until 29th July 2019. This special offer has now ended. This is valid for use for up to five people in your booking. You will need your loyalty card number when booking and to present at the entry gate.


What is the Spectacle of Light?

The Spectacle of Light is a magical winter light experience set in Fort Douglas at Dalkeith Country Park. You’ll follow a stunning light trail through the adventure park which will take you up amongst the woodland canopy in Sky Maze, through treehouse forts and across bridges. Imagine a kaleidoscope of illuminated parasols, majestic trees with giant mirror balls, meteors, pixie lanterns and more.

The trail will then take you across the historic Laundry House Bridge over the river where you can take in the majestic sight of the 18th century Orangerie lit up for the event. The Spectacle of Light will be accompanied by sound in specific areas of the trail.

Making the Most of Your Experience

The Spectacle of Light experience is designed to be enjoyed at your own pace so you can spend as long or as little as you like here. Enjoying the full experience means going up on the equipment in Fort Douglas for both adults and children to make the most of the stunning views and photo opportunities.

Of course, if you have children in your group, they’ll also love playing in Fort Douglas at night. Don’t forget adults can go on all the playground equipment too! However, the real magic is from our special viewpoints. Here are our top tips to make sure you get every view of the spectacle:

  • Adventure through the lit-up river bank tunnel and see Spectacle of Light from a completely different perspective. Clamber up our climbing wall or take the steps back up.
  • Take a left at the Fort Treehouse for a beautiful panorama of the lights across to The Orangerie one way and the Fort behind you.
  • Head up to the bridge between the Fort Treehouse and the Zip Wires (accessible by climbing up through the Fort or using the steps at the Zip Wires) for a stunning view over the trees.
  • Make Sky Maze memories. Share magical moments and take in the views of Spectacle of Light across the woodland canopy. Brave the racing slides back down (or take the stairs!).
  • Don’t go back out through the normal Fort Douglas exit. Continue your experience by exiting through the gate past the Fort Treehouse and Zip Wires to get the full view from Laundry House bridge and down by the Orangerie.
  • Continue your journey past the CHAS Wishing Tree if you choose where you can make your wish in return for a small donation.

What dates is it on?

7 – 8 December

13 – 15 December

17 – 23 December

27 – 31 December

2 – 5 January

What times can I book?

You can book time slots at either 4pm, 4.30pm, 5pm, 5.30pm, 6pm and 6.30pm.

What time do I have to arrive?

Please be across the bridge and at the Fort Douglas ticket cabin by your chosen time for entry. Please allow ten minutes from arrival to walk from your car as we have made alternative parking arrangements in the park due to recent heavy rainfall.

What time does the Spectacle of Light close?

The Spectacle of Light will close at 8pm.

Is it suitable for children and adults?

Yes. The Spectacle of Light is suitable for all ages. The equipment in Fort Douglas is built for adults too. Please ensure children and especially the under 5s are accompanied at all times as some parts take you up through Sky Maze. However, please note if you do not wish to walk on Sky Maze you do not have to.

How long does it take?

The full enjoyment of Fort Douglas itself will take approximately 60 minutes, however, we recommend allowing about 90 minutes for the whole experience and you are, of course, welcome to stay as long as you like!

Are there toilets?

Yes, we have toilets in Fort Douglas and around Restoration Yard’s courtyard.



Can I buy food and drink on site?

Yes! There are opportunities to buy delicious food and drink both before and during your light experience. Mulled wine and cider, hot chocolate and a variety of hot scrumptious food will be available both in Restoration Yard’s courtyard and in Fort Douglas itself. Choose from stovies, hot dogs and other cakes and snacks. Or gather round our fire pit and toast marshmallows. Yummy.

Restoration Yard’s Store and Coffee Bar will also remain open alongside the Store until 7pm on dates before Christmas for Christmas shopping and caffeine fixes.

The Kitchen at Restoration Yard will also have extended opening hours with last orders at  7pm on all Spectacle nights except 4th January when we have a private event. You can book a table by calling 0131 322 2572 or book online here. Our winter menu will be served in the evening. You are also welcome to come on the evening without a booking – you may just have a short wait for a table.

Will your store be open?

Yes. Restoration Yard’s famous store will also be open every night until 7pm for some fabulous Christmas shopping on the dates before Christmas: 7th, 8th, 13th-15th, 17th-23rd December.



Where are you located?

We’re based just a few miles outside Edinburgh and are easily accessible from the Edinburgh City Bypass. Take the Dalkeith exit from the Sheriffhall roundabout on to Old Dalkeith Road, drive a few hundred yards and take a left into King’s Gate. Postcodes for SatNav is EH22 1ST. Follow this drive down – it’s a long one – but you’re definitely on the right track! You’ll then see signs for parking. There is ample free car parking and we’ll have stewards there to assist you.

If you miss this entrance don’t worry. Carry on up to Dalkeith High Street, turning left at the traffic lights. Drive straight on and you’ll see a set of gates – take a left here into the park (EH22 2NA).

For more details on walking or getting the bus or train, see our Find Us page.

Please note the bypass can be busy at rush hour – it’s worth factoring this into your journey time. Please allow plenty of time for travel as we cannot guarantee entry if you miss your time slot.

Where can I park?

We have ample free car parking within Dalkeith Country Park and there will be stewards on site to help you. We have some accessible parking spaces in the Laundry House Car Park which is a one minute walk to the entrance. Please allow ten minutes to park and walk to the Spectacle of Light entrance. We’ve had to change some car parking due to recent heavy rainfall so the walk may be a little further than normal.



Is the route accessible?

Unfortunately recent rainfall has made it muddier and wetter than normal on the ground to get around and even assisted wheelchairs may struggle. The route follows the normal paths around Fort Douglas and the grounds which are accessible to those with reduced mobility and specific needs. Please note there is a relatively steep small hill into Fort Douglas which is accessible for assisted wheelchairs. Some paths can be uneven and care should be taken at all times. There are also areas like Sky Maze and the Fort Treehouse included in the route that are unfortunately not accessible to wheelchairs or mobility scooters with the small exception of the area to the left as you first go into Sky Maze. Sky Maze has some steps and narrow walkways. However, you can choose to stick to the ground route if you wish.

Personal caring assistants must be over 16 years of age and capable of supporting their companion with specific needs in the event of an emergency or evacuation of the area. Carers go free when assisting their companion who pays the full ticket price. For capacity purposes we still need to know carer numbers so please select ‘Infant- Under 3s’ ticket at the time of booking to book your free carer ticket.

We have accessible car parking in the Laundry House Car Park which is a one minute walk from the entrance.

Assistance dogs are welcome at the event, however other dogs and pets are not.

Can I take buggy or pram on the route?

We don’t recommend taking a buggy on the route due to possible congestion and wetter than normal conditions. Carrying small children in a body harness where possible is recommended.

Will there be strobe lighting?

There may be flashing lights but no strobe lighting.

Do you have hearing aid loops for the music?

Unfortunately we do not.

What should I wear?

We recommend wrapping up cosy and warm, bringing a waterproof just in case (we are in Scotland after all) and dressing appropriately for being outdoors. Please wear sturdy comfortable shoes appropriate for winter. Wellies are recommended given the recent rainfall as some areas are muddy and wet.



Can I take photographs and video?

Yes, please do! Photography and video for personal use and sharing via social media is encouraged. Share them with us using #spectacleoflight #fortdouglas #dalkeithcountrypark

Just make sure you keep yourself and others safe whilst you do so.

Photography for commercial purposes is strictly prohibited. Please contact us with any specific requests.

Do you allow drones?

No. The DroneCode specifies that drones should not be flown within 150m of a crowd therefore drones are not allowed at the Spectacle of Light.



You are free to explore the sights and sounds of the Spectacle at your own pace but for your enjoyment and safety, certain guidelines should be observed.

Spectacle of Light is an outdoor event held during winter with unpredictable weather so please take some time to read the following advice:

  • Please keep to the pathways at all times and for your own safety, do not walk in restricted areas such as by the river.
  • Some of the pathways can be uneven or muddy, some of the walkways in Fort Douglas and Sky Maze are designed to move. Please wear sturdy shoes or boots and proceed with care at all times. There are sets of steps within Fort Douglas that are not particularly suitable for buggies that may cause congestion – other routes are offered. If you have an option, it is better for very young children to be carried in a harness.
  • Children under the age of 16 should always be accompanied by an adult. Particular attention must be taken with children under 5, ensuring they are always close to and under the control of a responsible adult as there are potential hazards off the designated route.
  • Do not touch any of the electrical or lighting equipment at any time.
  • Smoking is not permitted in any part of the event.
  • Assistance dogs are permitted within the event, but other dogs and pets are strictly prohibited.
  • As an extra precaution, it is advised that one member of your group could have a torch or a Smartphone torch which can be used in the event of a power down.
  • If a power down does occur, please follow the advice and direction of the stewards who will direct you to an appropriate area of safety and advise you when you can continue.



If you have any other questions please don’t hesitate to contact us:


Phone: 0131 322 2566.

We hope you have a brilliant experience at Spectacle of Light!