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surgie

How much time to get to Tattoo on my own?

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We (2 adults) have booked the ship's excursion to the Military Tattoo in Edinburgh for the purpose of having return transportation to the ship when the event is over. However, we plan to get ourselves into Edinburgh as soon as the ships docks at 8:00 am and do sightseeing on our own. 

 

The ship's excursion "begins" at 6:30 pm The Tattoo begins at 9:00 pm.  We will plan to have a light bite to eat somewhere within a mile of the castle. How much time do we need to allow to enter the castle, go through security etc. and get to our seats in advance of the 9:00 start time? Should we be done with dinner by 7:00? Or would this be cutting it too close? 

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34 minutes ago, surgie said:

We (2 adults) have booked the ship's excursion to the Military Tattoo in Edinburgh for the purpose of having return transportation to the ship when the event is over. However, we plan to get ourselves into Edinburgh as soon as the ships docks at 8:00 am and do sightseeing on our own. 

 

The ship's excursion "begins" at 6:30 pm The Tattoo begins at 9:00 pm.  We will plan to have a light bite to eat somewhere within a mile of the castle. How much time do we need to allow to enter the castle, go through security etc. and get to our seats in advance of the 9:00 start time? Should we be done with dinner by 7:00? Or would this be cutting it too close? 

That should be plenty of time, if you are within a mile of the castle when eating dinner. Be aware that the climb to the castle is a continuous uphill walk that takes a little longer than just a mile hike. Also, the area will be really full of people. Getting into a restaurant might be a bit of a challenge. A reservation, if you can get one, would be helpful. 

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Agree that it would be good to be finished with dinner by 7pm.  The streets are very crowded and the walk up to the castle takes a bit more time than it would otherwise.  Many street performances going on around the area as well.  We had no problem entering the castle grounds and finding our seats.  You might consider renting a seat cushion if you are in a normal seat... they are quite inexpensive and help with the very hard seats!  Enjoy the Tattoo...

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I can completely understand you wanting to spend the day in Edinburgh before attending the Tattoo, but have you checked with HAL to ensure there won't be any logistical issues? For example, when do you receive your tickets for entry to the Tattoo? Do you anticipate them being in your cabin upon embarkation, or will they possibly be handed out at the beginning of the excursion, when you aren't there to receive them? I'm sure that you aren't the only ones wanting to plan your day this way, and that HAL must surely have alternate arrangements to accommodate you and others, but it's always good to verify ahead of time.

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Hi. I live in Edinburgh and have been to the Tattoo a few times.  Gates open at 8.15,  they advise you be in your seat by 8.45.  To be honest, you don’t want to get there before 8.15 as it can be very cold at the Castle.  If you want a meal nearby, I would recommend the Whiski Rooms on the mound, it’s 20 mins walk max to the castle from there.  Or the Grain Store in Victoria Street is nearby too but a bit more formal.  Really casual but you can’t book is Bertie’s fish and chip restaurant, it’s huge, very lively and fun but you might have to wait in line as it’s a busy time of year.  All these are 15 to 20 mins walk to the castle.

 

I can give you any other advice if you want.  But make sure to wrap up warm, it’s a great show but it’s cold up there!

 

ps what date will you be in Edinburgh?  If it’s during the festival you should try and take in a fringe show, they usually last an hour.

 

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3 hours ago, Fouremco said:

I can completely understand you wanting to spend the day in Edinburgh before attending the Tattoo, but have you checked with HAL to ensure there won't be any logistical issues? For example, when do you receive your tickets for entry to the Tattoo? Do you anticipate them being in your cabin upon embarkation, or will they possibly be handed out at the beginning of the excursion, when you aren't there to receive them? I'm sure that you aren't the only ones wanting to plan your day this way, and that HAL must surely have alternate arrangements to accommodate you and others, but it's always good to verify ahead of time.

I plan to check with the Excursion desk once on the ship to find out arrangements for receiving the tickets. I don't imagine a phone call to HAL would elicit dependable information. The ship offers many other excursions that day including tours of Edinburgh and the Castle so I'm hoping they don't expect those going to the Tattoo to sit on the ship until 6:30 pm. Yikes! 

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We did a land tour to facilitate the Tatoo.  It is a marvelous event.   Our land tour company toured us early in the day then ran shuttles back to the hotel.   Evening transportation was offered to the event and most everyone had a bite to eat nearby.  Plenty of eateries in the area.  

I would advise touring in the morning then resting up on the ship for the late show.   Don’t plan on a twelve hour day in the city,  your feet will fall off on the concrete jungle.  Enjoy. 

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2 hours ago, surgie said:

I don't imagine a phone call to HAL would elicit dependable information. 

You're probably right. Call three times and go with the majority response! :classic_rolleyes::classic_biggrin:

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One more thing. If you go on your own, make sure you know where the bus will be to take you back to the ship. You will have to walk back down the hill to some assembly point. I saw the tattoo as part of a land tour. It was too hard to get to where our bus was supposed to be. We ended up walking a couple of miles back to our hotel. 

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15 hours ago, sammiedawg said:

We did a land tour to facilitate the Tatoo.  It is a marvelous event.   Our land tour company toured us early in the day then ran shuttles back to the hotel.   Evening transportation was offered to the event and most everyone had a bite to eat nearby.  Plenty of eateries in the area.  

I would advise touring in the morning then resting up on the ship for the late show.   Don’t plan on a twelve hour day in the city,  your feet will fall off on the concrete jungle.  Enjoy. 

OK that makes sense. We can get ourselves back to the ship before 6:30 and regroup. 

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Yes, DEFINITELY rent a cushion (they are available just as you go in.) The bleachers are unbelievably small and uncomfortable. Also, take a PONCHO (NOT a raincoat)...a poncho will keep your whole body dry as you sit through what could be a rainy show (rained cats and dogs for us!).  Definitely find out about the meeting place if you go in on your own. We needed to know the exact street and where our bus left us which might not be a place they would know beforehand. It's CROWDED! It's also a wonderful experience!

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I remember it was a wonderful show, but when 1500 people get back to the port and are waiting for tenders, it was a long wait to get back on the ship.  We got in at 2am and had another tour at 9 am.  Keep that in mind.

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Posted (edited)

 I was at the tattoo this last August. It was from a princess ship so I’m not sure how Holland handles it but want to let you know that the Edinburgh Festival which draws huge crowds also occurs in August and can coincide with the Tattoo.  

. When we were there a lot of the eating establishments were completely filled. If the Edinburgh Festival is going on make sure to get your tickets to tour Edinburgh  castle beforehand. 

 

There is a bus that runs from the dock to central Edinburgh. Only a few dollars and it runs through out the day about every 20 minutes.

Edited by vmom

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Posted (edited)

Do you know where your ship will be docked?  Are you overnighting in Edinburgh or leaving that same night?

 

Agree with others about knowing exactly where your bus will be after the show.  The ports of call board might also have additional info from prior passengers if HAL allows passengers to meet up later or are required to be with the group at the meeting point at the start of the tour.  One time during the Tattoo we tendered.  We took an independent bus specifically for the Tattoo to and from.  Returned to the ship very late at night and tendering took a very long time.  It was all worth it for the experience!  Have a great time.

Edited by syesmar

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