I’m ashamed to admit that even though I’ve visited Edinburgh nearly every year since I was born, I hadn’t visited the castle until recently.
Edinburgh Castle is one of the most famous sites to visit in Scotland, and Scotland’s most visited attraction. Sitting on top of the royal mile you are invited through the castle walls to explore some of Scotland’s history.
We were lucky enough to be there on a beautiful day. The sun was shining and we arrived for opening at 9.30am beating the huge crowds (I’d highly recommend doing this).
Visit the crown jewels – known as The Honours of Scotland, they are displayed in the Crown Room and are surrounded by a special exhibition. No photos are allowed inside the room so you have to see these for yourself!
Spend time in the great hall at the heart of the castle, surrounded by suits of armour, swords and shields.
See and learn about the Stone of Destiny, (in the crown room). The Stone of Destiny is a powerful and ancient symbol of Scottish monarchy, witnessing the coronation of its kings for hundreds of years. In legend it was used as a pillow by the Patriarch Jacob when he dreamed of Jacob’s Ladder. Seen as a sacred object it was believed to have been brought first to Ireland, then Scotland.
Some interesting facts about the castle:
The castle was home to kings and queens. Queen Margaret (later St Margaret) died here in 1093, and Mary Queen of Scots, gave birth to James VI in the royal palace in 1566.
In 1996, the Stone of Destiny, on which kings were enthroned for centuries, was returned to Scotland and is displayed in the Crown Room.
From the 1600s onwards the castle was a military base with a large garrison.
Later it also held prisoners of war.
Parts are still a military base, but the castle is now a world-famous visitor attraction and a key element of the Edinburgh World Heritage Site.
Allow around 2 hours for your visit to explore the castle grounds. To view the opening hours click here.
If you only have a few hours in Edinburgh this is the MUST do attraction. Make sure to add it to your bucket list.
Have you been to Edinburgh castle before?