No trip to Edinburgh is complete without a trip to its castle on the rocks. One look at this ancient stronghold as you walk up the Royal Mile towards its sprawling esplanade is all you need to appreciate why this fortress is Scotland’s most popular tourist attraction. Agreed, it’s not the most beautiful of the Scottish castles around but I can’t think of any city in the world where its most popular tourist attraction sits atop an extinct volcano. I have been to Edinburgh quite a few times and have walked up to the castle’s sprawling esplanade and gatehouse in the past but never have I had the time to actually go in. Considering I was in Edinburgh for the Christmas Markets with Travelodge and had some spare time on my hand for a change, I decided to go in and explore this wonderful Scottish castle.
I am so glad I did. There is so much to do at Edinburgh Castle. Right from the quaint little St. Margaret’s Chapel with its beautiful stained glass windows to the magnificent yet moving Scottish National War Memorial, which commemorates the dead of the First and Second World Wars, you could easily spend the whole day exploring everything the castle has to offer. I especially loved the Crown Jewels and the Stone of Destiny exhibition. The Stone of Destiny has been part of the coronation ceremonies of most monarchs of Great Britain. It was returned in 1996 to Scotland and has been in the castle ever since. Seb and I also loved the cannons that are dotted all around this magnificent castle – the castle is well and truely protected!
My Top Tips When Visiting Edinburgh Castle
- Make sure to buy tickets in advance to avoid the long queues at the ticketing office. If buying online, the above tickets are fast track at no extra cost and you can choose from immediate print at home ticketing or ticket machine pick up to make it even easier. Buy tickets here.
- The official website of the castle also has a number of itineraries you can print out or save as a PDF on your smartphones to suit your interest and time you have to spare. They even have a quick 1 hour itinerary if you are really short of time. Tailor your visit by picking the perfect itinerary here.
- If you have limited time and still want to see the Crown Jewels and the Stone of Destiny, take the door at the front of the clock tower. This will take you directly in to view the Crown Jewels and the Stone of Destiny without having to walk through the long exhibition narrating the story of these prized possessions.
- The One o’clock Gun is fired at 13:00 hours every day except Sunday, Christmas Day and Good Friday. Time your visit to hear this 105mm field gun do its magic and make your visit even more special.
Have you visited Edinburgh Castle yet? Leave a comment and let me know if you have any more tips when visiting Edinburgh Castle.