The Tattoo and all of its Glorious History!

Tonight welcomes the opening night of the 2019 Royal Military Tattoo. 

In celebration of this we decided to share some things you may not know!

Image taken by Mel of the Glory Days Team

Etymology of the term “Tattoo”

With the establishment of modern barracks and full military bands later in the 18th century, the term “tattoo” was used to describe the last duty call of the day, as well as a ceremonial form of evening entertainment performed by military musicians.

Early Days

In 1949 Edinburgh held its first Military Tattoo, the modest event was entitled “Something About a Soldier” a the aimed to portray the Army’s support of the International Festival.

The show was held at the Ross Bandstand in Princes Street Gardens which still stands proudly below the castle.

We’d recommend visiting as a good comparison, as now, 7 decades later the show has progressed into the world-renowned showcase we know today.

Girl Power

In 1977 the first female took on the prestigious role of being the lone piper. Officer Elaine Marnoch took the role in her strides as she performed to the full battlements of Edinburgh Castle. Furthermore, in 2016, Scottish solider Lance Bombardier Megan Beveridge made history as the youngest piper to take on the role, aged 21.


The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo performance takes place every weekday evening and twice on Saturdays throughout August and has never been cancelled due to adverse weather conditions. (Us Scots aren’t scared of a bit of ‘dreich’ or ‘baltic’ weather)

Make sure to wrap up with plenty layers to stay warm during the performance.

Image credit to Royal Edinburgh Tattoo

Fit for a Queen

In 2010 HM Queen Elizabeth awarded the event the title of ‘Royal’ to honour the celebration of 60th years running.

Which gives us the title we know it as today, The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Who’s in the Audience?

The stands at Edinburgh Castle can accommodate a nightly audience of 8,800 people.

This means that throughout the multiple live performances 220,000 people can enjoy the tangible atmosphere of the live show.

In 2018 the Tattoo was televised in 40 countries. This year between 100-300 million people are set to enjoy it worldwide.

Did you know?

The Tattoo benefits several charitable causes. It has been estimated that over £10 million have been donated to arts, military and civilian charitable organisations.

Image Credit to Royal Edinburgh Tattoo

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo generates an astounding £88 million in revenue for Edinburgh’s economy annually.

The show benefits local businesses and is readily anticipated by the city.

Running alongside Edinburgh’s Festival Fringe the city is at its peak.

The Edinburgh August buzz is not to be missed! 

Visit the Tattoo with a bespoke travel package built for you by us at Glory Days.

Call us on 0131 556 3840 for more details.

Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo Tickets – Best Seat in the House??

We often get asked on the best seats as it’s always a special occasion to attend the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Attached are some photos of my visits in 2018 – fantastic performance and one view from Section 4 and the other from the Royal Gallery (thanks to the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo for the invite!). The weather was awful on the Royal Gallery preview show but in Section 4 it was a lovely night.

In terms of options there are a few

Arena map









Entry Level – Section 16 (or similar price range)
These are still good seats – they are next to the Castle so some of the lighting displays on the castle and some of the salutes to the Royal Gallery where the guest of honour takes the salute may be restricted.
It provides a great view of all the performers as they emerge from the Castle and are next to the choir area.

Standard Level – Section 4 (or similar price range)

Section 4We have used these for years and they offer a superb view of all the performance.Its not head on to the Castle but a slight tilt of the head and you get the full lighting displays.You get fantastic views of all the performers and often feel a lot closer to the action than the upgrade tickets.




















Upgrade Tickets – Section 7 (or similar price range)
Sections 7-10 are the same price range but section 8&9 are often used for hospitality so not often available within packages. This really is no issue as the front on view of the Castle is spectacular from all these seats. These also provide the best entrance and exit options as close to the main entry of the esplanade.

Hospitality Tickets – Various Sections
The best of the Hospitality is in the Gatehouse or Queen Anne Room as these can include the Royal Gallery but the dining options are hosted in the historic parts of the Castle.
Whilst other options may include fantastic meals and additional tattoo performers we feel if you are going to upgrade then the Gatehouse and Queen Anne provide the best.
The Hospitality also includes Queue jump and often post Tattoo refreshments – a nice way of avoiding the whole crowd if this helps even if the seating is not front on.

I had the honour of listening to the Brigadier who is knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the event (and life in general), definitely worth the admission if you get to hear him speak!

Hospitality is excellent and well worth it but if above your budget please feel free to ask us and we’ll advise on plenty of pre-show restaurant options to cover all tastes.


Royal Gallery

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is quite simply a phenomenal performance in a truly iconic setting.

Feel free to call us on 0131 556 3840 if you have any questions.


David Hardy
Managing Director


Things to do in Edinburgh

Coming to Edinburgh but not sure what to do? I’d recommend you check out this article: . Washing your face with the dew from Arthur’s Seat is a must!

Ryder Cup 2014

Here is an interesting blog from one of our other sites – Destination Edinburgh – on the Ryder Cup 2014

photo gallery image

Photo courtesy of


Check out these new hotels in Edinburgh

A trip to Edinburgh must surely be one for the bucket list, and no wonder.  Full of history, culture and some of the most beautiful architecture in the world, it is a fascinating place that is calling out to be visited.

Visitors to the city are spoiled for choice when it comes to accommodation, and these offerings keep expanding thanks to the city’s popular appeal.  New hotels due to open are:

The Inn Place – the sister hotel to the “Place” hotel on York Place, this hotel is even closer to the centre and the world famous Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Ibis Styles Hotel – Ibis are a well known brand, and their latest offering in Edinburgh, to take them to 3 in total is the Ibis Styles hotel located just off St Andrews Square, a prime location in which to base your stay

The Roxburghe – although always an iconic hotel in Edinburgh, excitingly for 2014, Starwood Capital Group, owners of the beautiful George hotel on George Street have taken ownership of this, and it is set to go through an exciting refurbishment to make it one of the nicest 4* hotels in Edinburgh:

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo Travel Packages office work with a variety of hotels in Edinburgh, including these gems above, and so for the perfect Tattoo 2015 break, check out our deals