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Edinburgh Castle

Overview

Edinburgh Castle has a varied mix of architectural styles that reflect the castle's complex history and role as both stronghold and seat of kings. Key features of the castle include :

  • St Margaret's Chapel - Edinburgh's oldest existing building which dates from the 1100s
  • Crown Square - the principal courtyard which was developed in the 15th century
  • The Great Hall with its impressive hammerbeam roof built by James IV
  • The Half Moon Battery created in the late 16th century and lined with 19th century canons.
  • The Scottish National War Memorial added after the First World War.  With books listing the names of the fallen.
  • The Dungeons that once held French and American Prisoners of War (very interestingly recreated).
  • The Honours of Scotland (Scotland's crown jewels). There is a walk through exhibition explaining the history of the Honours that culminates in entering a steel vault where the priceless artefacts are kept. Expect a bit of a queue.
  • The enormous 15th century Mons Meg canon that could fire a canon ball over 2 miles!

It is an essential attraction to visit in order to understand Scottish history. Although the price is high and it is swarming with tourists, we really recommend Edinburgh Castle but you have to set aside a good 2 hours in order to make the most of the entrance fee. The views over Edinburgh are fantastic, but try to go early and pre-book your tickets online so that you can avoid too much time wasted in queues.

The castle also contains the National War Museum of Scotland and the Regimental Museum of the Royals Scots Dragoon Guards. These are worth a visit and we expect everyone will find something of interest in them.

Try to time your visit for the firing of the “One O’Clock Gun” as this is a real crowd pleaser!

Save money on visiting this attraction by buying an Explorer Pass

Address:

Castle Hill, The Royal Mile, Edinburgh

Operated by:

Historic Environment Scotland

Opening Hours:

1 April to 30 September: Monday to Sunday 9.30am to 6.00pm. Last entry at 5 pm. / 1 October to 31 March: Monday to Sunday 9.30am to 5.00pm. Last entry at 4 pm. / Closed 25 & 26 December, open 01 & 02 January - please call for opening hours

Admission:

Adult £19.50, Child (5 - 15 yrs) £11.50, Concessions £16.00 / Lower prices if you buy tickets online at www.edinburghcastle.gov.uk

Parking:

No

Languages:

English speaking guides OR audioguides in 6 languages (German, French, Spanish, Japanese, Italian & Russian) for £ 3.50 per adult, £ 1.50 per child, £2.50 concession rate.

Accessibility:

Most areas of the Castle are accessible for wheelchair users, but there are lots of cobble surfaces and steep inclines.

Toilets:

Yes

Shop:

Yes

Cafe/Restaurant:

Yes

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