I'd seen lots of photos from this place on Facebook and heard people mentioning it to others when asking for recommendations of things to do in Edinburgh, but I couldn't recall ever seeing it in passing when I was in Scotland's capital, so when we were there in November I was really keen on going to Camera Obscura.
Situated super near the castle, up the Royal Mile, Camera Obscura is actually the citys oldest purpose built visitor attraction amazingly dating back to the 1800s!! To read a more detailed (and actually very interesting history of the Observatory and World of Illusion) you can do so here.
In short the Camera Obscura refers to the optical device that Maria Theresa Short (you'll have to read the history to find out who she is haha!) installed on the top of a townhouse she bought. A Camera Obscura, also known as a pinhole camera was the original device that lead to photography and the camera as we know it today, and the one at this visitors centre projects images through a giant periscope into the Victorian rooftop chamber.
But that isn't all this place has to offer. I wasn't able to take any photos in the actual show but we took plenty while exploring the other 5 floors.
There's the Magic Gallery, Electric Room, Mirrors, Lights and Senses, Moving Pictures and Optical Illusions. Within these different sections you'll find a mix of interactive and fun things to play around with or simply look at. Now I know 'looking at' stuff doesn't sound so fun but with different visual tricks and work by artists such as Salvador Dali and many more, you'll leave entertained and perplexed. Plasma balls, funny mirrors, a zoetrope, a praxinoscope and holograms are all among the fun too.
I was a little skeptical to enter when I saw the price of entry (just shy of £14) but I can tell you now that it's more than worth it. They recommend allowing yourself two hours to explore and see the show but I'm sure we were there for at least 3 hours. It was pretty busy when we went so choose your days and times carefully, especially if you don't like kids. Seriously, they'll push in front of you and be noisy during the show so during the week is when I'll next visit - they're open everyday of the year except Christmas you know?!
Even as a 24 year old, with my parents, we had a lot of fun and a lot of laughs - especially in the light tunnel where you feel as if you are spinning upside down while walking over the bridge, and the mirror maze which is sooo much harder than you'd think.
So if you find yourself in Edinburgh and looking for something fun for all ages to do indoors, for sure give this place a go. :)
|Click to enlarge!|
Have you ever been to Camera Obscura? Did you enjoy it? If you haven't is it somewhere that you think would interest you?