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Camera Obscura Machine Locations > Scotland

The Royal Mile 549 Castlehill
Edinburgh, Scotland, EH1 2ND

Phone: 0131 226 3709


Camera Obscura is Latin for darkened chamber or room. It an optical device that projects an image of its surroundings on a screen. Entrepreneurs would take portable obscuras in tents to entertain.
The mechanics of the Camera Obscura are a cross between a giant pinhole camera and a periscope. At the top of the tower is a dark chamber with a mirror on top which reflects light downwards, passing through three lenses before projecting a stunning image of the city onto a large white table. Your guide turns and tilts the mirror to give a 360° tour of Edinburgh while giving a fascinating and fun commentary. Have fun in the mirror maze and Vortex tunnel.

There's also an automated wedding machine here too.
The admission prices are: Adult: £12.95 Student (with ID): £10.95 Senior: £10.95 Child (5 - 15 years): £9.50 under 5's go free.
Hours of operation: July, August: Every day 9:00 am - 9:00 pm (21:00). Your ticket is valid all day! September, October: Every day 9:30 am - 7:00 pm (19:00). Late opening on public and school holidays: 9:30 - 8:00 pm (20:00). November through March: Every day 10:00 am - 6:00 pm (18:00) [Closed 25th December] Half term holiday: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm (20:00). April through June: Every day 9:30 am - 7:00 pm (19:00). Late opening on public and school holidays: 9.30 am - 8:00 pm (20:00).
Parking is very difficult to non existent.

This machine is within easy walking distance (round trip 1 mile) to the Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh Old Town Weaving, The Real Mary King's Close, Edinburgh Dungeons, National Museum of Scotland, and Museum on the Mound (Bank of Scotland) penny machines.

The machine is located in the back doorway of the gift shop. This is the exit area after you pay to see the camera obscura and visit the exhibitions. You could probably ask the people in the gift shop to use it without paying admission. Designs all have a doted border and have 'Camera Obscura' on them:
1. (H) A small camera obscura with 'and world of illusions Edinburgh'.
2. (V) A large camera obscura with 'Camera Obscura'.
3. (V) Vortex tunnel with 'Vortex Tunnel'.
4. (H) Edinburgh castle with 'Edinburgh'.

7/26/18: There is a new machine onsite replacing the old one. It is now situated within the gift shop. The new machine has a hopper which provides the penny.
The images are the same as the old 4 but the dotted borders have been replaced with lined borders.
updated 26/07/18 by A Tait

Machine 2 Gift Shop

Retired 1