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Information about parking near Edinburgh Castle
Historic Edinburgh Castle is one of the principle attractions of Scotland’s capital city. As an illustrious events venue, too, there is often a need for parking nearby.
No public parking is available on-site at Edinburgh Castle. While it’s quite hard to find spaces during the festival that takes place every August, there are many on-street and off-street parking spaces near the castle and around the Old Town area.
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Some additional information about parking in edinburgh castle, to cater to all your parking needs
Only 5-6 minutes’ walk from Edinburgh Castle there are many pay-and-display parking spaces on the street. Outside of 8.30 AM to 6.30 PM, these are free to use. Many are in King’s Stables Road. A minute or two farther out, there are several more spaces at Grassmarket.
If you don’t mind a 10-12 minute walk, there is on-street parking at George Street or Lauriston Street, among others.
Most street parking in Edinburgh has a 4-hour maximum stay. If you want to stay longer, off-street parking is available. The nearest to the castle is the NCP Edinburgh Castle Terrace car park with 750 spaces. This is only 8-10 minutes away. There’s discounted parking, too, at the NCP car park for visitors who validate their parking at the castle (except August).
Other off-street parking for Edinburgh Castle entails a few more minutes of walking. There’s the Q-park Quartermile at Simpson Loan with 98 spaces. Then, there are 120 parking spots at the Lothian Road Sheraton Grand Hotel. Attractively priced parking can be found at the Scottish Widows car park on Semple St.
The nearest bus stop to the castle lies on the George IV Bridge opposite Victoria Street. That stop is served by local bus numbers 23, 27, 41, 42 and 67. Some hop-on, hop-off buses stop fairly close to Edinburgh Castle, though not significantly closer than the local service.
Waverley is the nearest railway station to the castle. While it’s not far away, it doesn’t avoid the climb up. Edinburgh’s tram service runs along Prince’s Street, which is also downhill from the castle.
There are a few parking spaces for Blue Badge holders at the Edinburgh Castle Esplanade. These are only reservable by phoning in advance and are unavailable during the annual Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
The nearest year-round disabled parking is at the NCP car park at Edinburgh Castle Terrace. There are also on-street disabled bays close-by, such as those in Cambridge Street and Johnston Terrace. Some climbing is still required to reach the castle from these sites.
The main parking restriction close to Edinburgh Castle is the residents-only parking areas in roads such as Johnston Terrace and Victoria Street.
Free parking in public spaces is allowed during four public holidays in Edinburgh: Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and Easter Monday.
Drivers can drop passengers off at Lawnmarket or the top of Castlehill just short of the Castle Esplanade. During the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Castlehill is not accessible, though Blue Badge holders can be picked up from the Castle Esplanade after the event by prior arrangement.
Attractions close to Edinburgh Castle include the Camera Obscura & World of Illusions and the shops of the Royal Mile, which gradually slope downhill. Below the castle, for those that don’t mind the climb back up, are the beautiful Prince’s Street Gardens.