From the heights of the formerly volcanic Castle Rock, Edinburgh Castle dominates the skyline of the Scottish capital.
Overlooking the Royal Mile, the castle was a royal residence until 1603, after which it was used mainly as a barracks and military stronghold. Over the years it has played a central role in Scotland’s history, involved in the Wars of Scottish Independence and the Jacobite Rising. Despite periodic batterings from cannon-fire, it has survived to take its place as one of Britain’s great early-modern castles.
Apart from the magnificent battlements, notable buildings within the castle walls include the Royal palace, home to the famed Stone of Scone, on which Scottish monarchs were crowned; the 16th-century Great Hall; and the 12th-century St. Margaret’s Chapel, Edinburgh’s oldest building. If you look around you might even spot the statue of William Wallace that inspired Braveheart. And every year on Dec 31st, all these provide the background to the firework display of Hogmanay, one of the world’s biggest New Year parties.
Edinburgh Castle is currently Scotland’s most popular tourist attraction, offering spectacular views of the surrounding area and fantastic insight into Scotland’s heritage. It remains, as it has for centuries, a complicated symbol of Scotland’s tempestuous history.
Tickets start at £16.00 for adults and you can book online to get free fast track tickets and avoid the queues at the ticket booth.
Put your feet up after a long day of exploring Edinburgh Castle in one of the fantastic hotels nearby. Just pick your favourites and send your requirements to receive personalised rates!