Edinburgh Castle is without a doubt the most iconic and dominant building in Edinburgh. This historic fortress dominates the skyline of Edinburgh and also provides the most incredible 360° views of the Scottish Capital from its position on the Castle Rock. The castle has an incredible history dating all the way back to at least the Iron Age and has survived through the many wars and battles that Scotland has seen during her time. The Castle is the most impressively built fortress we’ve ever seen and we had a great time exploring the castle’s many buildings and important historical sights trying to learn as much about this incredible site as possible! If you are planning a trip to Edinburgh, make sure you add a visit to Edinburgh Castle to your itinerary – it is not to be missed!
*We’re sorry the quality of our photos isn’t quite up to our usual standard but mother nature decided to unleash her full force of torrential rain and wind on us during our visit to the castle!*
Depending on how much time you have available there is a number of suggested itineraries online to help you prepare for your upcoming visit. As we only had 24 Hours in Edinburgh we wanted to see and do as much as possible in this time, so we basically followed their ‘Just an Hour‘ tour, but we certainly could have spent hours exploring this incredible historic site. Once we paid our entrance fee we were also given a map and brochure which helped us to navigate the castle and its many points of interest. We strolled up the cobblestoned hill and through the gateway which was built almost 450 years ago following the devastation caused by the Land Siege. Make sure you look up to see the spiked portcullis which is now raised to let visitors inside the castle.
One of my favourite parts of our visit to Edinburgh Castle was the incredible panoramic views of the city, sea, harbour, mountains and countryside we could see from the castle even on a bleak, grey and dreary day! The castle provides unmatched views across Edinburgh, the Firth of Forth and on to Fife and on a clear day you can even pick out the famous Forth Bridges, the Bass Rock in the firth and mountains including Ben Lomond. Even with the weather giving it her all we still had incredible views of the city!
There were banners around the castle detailing the history of the castle and region which dates all the way back to late in the first century AD where a Iron Age hill fort was first established and thrived. It was really interesting to discover the history of this incredible place and also read about how the number of times it had been lost to the English only to be taken back by the Scots again and again.
Dan was most impressed with the large amount of fire power that the castle has in the form of canons especially in the Half Moon Battery, which allowed cannons to fire down on the castle approaches!
The most impressive of the castles firepower is certainly Mons Meg which is one of two surviving ‘bombard gun’s which were presented to King James II by the Duke of Burgundy in 1457. Also if you are visiting Edinburgh it is certainly worth making sure you are at the castle by 1pm to see the Master Gunner fire the gun (which happens every day but Sundays)!
I couldn’t believe how many buildings there were at the top, it was like a village in itself! In addition to the Great Hall, Scottish National War Memorial and a number of museums there is also St Margaret’s Chapel where you can get married! St Margaret’s Chapel is also the oldest building in Edinburgh, which is incredible as this city has an impressive amount of historical buildings! There was a wedding taking place whilst we were there and all I could think was that it would truly be such an incredible and magical place to get married!
One of the most impressive buildings is The Great Hall, where we were amazed by the original hammerbeam roof and the large amount of weaponry and armour on display. The hall was completed in 1511 to host state ceremonies for King James IV. There was also two very energetic, passionate actors giving a presentation during our visit to The Great Hall which was both entertaining and informative!
We then headed into the vaults under the Great Hall where prisoners of war and pirates were held during the 18th and 19th centuries!
We also visited the Scottish National War Memorial and of The Scottish Crown Jewels, both of which are worth taking the time to see! We took our time to visit each, pay our respects in the beautiful war memorial and take a peek at the beautiful crown jewels of Scotland! For obvious reasons photography is not allowed in either of these parts of Edinburgh Castle so take your time to appreciate them whilst you are there.
If you are visiting beautiful Edinburgh then make sure you allow time to visit Edinburgh Castle which is a truly iconic part of this city and of Scotland’s history!
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Adults – £16.50 / Children – £9.90 / Concession – £13.20
Have you ever been to the iconic Edinburgh Castle?
What other castles have impressed you during your travels? x