Explore Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

Explore the pride and joy of Scotland. This over 1,000 year old castle has 360 degree views of the city and is the home of the Scottish crown jewels.

This historic castle sits atop Castle Rock high above the city of Edinburgh. Humans have occupied the area with some form of a fortress since the 2nnd century. The first royal castle was built in the 12th century and has continued to present time. The castle is currently home to the Scottish crown jewels, which is worth the price of admission alone. Since the 12th century the castle has gone through many transformations and has worn many different hats. The construction at the castle continued through the centuries. Some due to repair from over 26 sieges and other construction due to expansion. The castle is know as the most besieged place in Great Britain.

The castle has served in the past as military barracks, military prison and of course in defensive of Scottish Independence. Today the castle is the biggest tourists attraction in Scotland. The castle contains multiple chapels including Margaret's Chapel, which is said to be the oldest building in Edinburgh. The castle is home to Scottish National War Memorial, National War Museum, and the Regimental Museum.

The castle is an endless web of stairways, hallways, and rooms for you to explore. I arrived at 10am and explored the Castle for over 6 hours. Each area of the castle is saturated with history and interesting facts. Countless figures of history have had connections to this castle including American prisoners of war who were imprisoned here during the 1800's. Don't miss the one o'clock gun which fires a large military cannon each day at 1pm. The castle offers 360 degree views in which you can see the North Sea and the entire city landscape. There is even a cafe where you can enjoy lunch and a whisky tasting station in the gift shop.

Tickets for the Castle are 17 pounds which is round 20 bucks. I recommend getting there early if you plan on exploring the entire castle. i thought it was going to be quick one hour trip and I was shocked by the amount of history the castle contains. Allow yourself ample time and try to go on a weekday. The weekends can be fairly crowded, which can back up movement through the smaller sections of the castle. The castle also offers audio or personal tours. The castle is open daily from 930am-6pm.

You would think that walking around a castle would be a very casual endeavor, but I walked over 3 miles as I winded my way through the castle and up and down stairs. So bring a good pair of shoes. The hike up the Royal Mile towards the castle is completely uphill on a beautiful cobble stone street. Check out The Scotch Whisky Experience after you explore all Scottish history has to offer. 

Pack List

  • Cash
  • Rain Jacket
  • Camera
  • Good Walking Shoes
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RT Distance 3 Miles
Elevation Gain 500 Feet
Activities Chillin, Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Adult Beverages
Bathrooms
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Groups
Handicap Accessible
Scenic

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Castle

This castle is beautiful! There are so many things to explore! It takes at least a day but can definitely span to two depending on how much you like the exhibits. I would highly recommend having brunch at the tea room while you’re there.


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