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Scottish Travel Centre

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

Title: Edinburgh Castle: A Journey Through Scotland's Storied Past


Perched atop the volcanic Castle Rock and overlooking the city of Edinburgh, the majestic Edinburgh Castle stands as a testament to Scotland's rich and storied past. As one of the most iconic landmarks in the country, this historic fortress has played a pivotal role in Scottish history, serving as a royal residence, a military stronghold, and a symbol of national pride. In this blog post, we'll explore the fascinating history of Edinburgh Castle, delve into its most captivating features, and offer practical tips for planning your visit.

A Rich History

The history of Edinburgh Castle stretches back over a millennium, with the first known settlement on Castle Rock dating back to the 2nd century AD. The castle as we know it today began to take shape during the reign of David I in the 12th century, and over the centuries that followed, it became a focal point for power struggles between England and Scotland. Throughout its storied past, Edinburgh Castle has been besieged, attacked, and captured numerous times, with each era leaving its mark on the fortress.

Notable Attractions Within the Castle

Edinburgh Castle is home to an array of captivating attractions that offer a glimpse into the lives of the royals, soldiers, and other notable figures who once called the castle home. Some highlights include:

  1. The Scottish Crown Jewels: Also known as the Honours of Scotland, the Crown Jewels consist of a crown, scepter, and sword, and are among the oldest regalia in Europe. Visitors can marvel at these priceless treasures in the castle's Crown Room.

  2. The Stone of Destiny: This ancient and symbolic stone was used for centuries in the coronation of Scottish monarchs. It was returned to Scotland in 1996 and is now on display alongside the Crown Jewels.

  3. St. Margaret's Chapel: The oldest surviving building in Edinburgh, this charming chapel was built in the early 12th century and is dedicated to Queen Margaret, who later became Saint Margaret.

  4. The Great Hall: Completed in 1511, the Great Hall is an impressive space featuring a stunning hammerbeam roof, beautiful stained glass windows, and an array of historic weapons and armor.

  5. The Royal Palace: Once the royal residence for Scottish monarchs, the Royal Palace is home to the beautifully restored Laich Hall and the birth chamber of King James VI and I, the first monarch to rule over both England and Scotland.

  6. The Prisons of War: Explore the castle's dungeons, which once held prisoners from various conflicts, including the American War of Independence and the French Revolutionary Wars. The prison cells offer a fascinating glimpse into the lives of these captives.

Planning Your Visit

To make the most of your visit to Edinburgh Castle, consider the following tips:

  1. Purchase tickets in advance: Save time and avoid long queues by purchasing your tickets online before your visit.

  2. Arrive early: Beat the crowds by arriving early, ideally as soon as the castle opens its gates.

  3. Join a guided tour: To gain a deeper understanding of the castle's history and significance, consider joining a guided tour led by knowledgeable guides.

  4. Allocate enough time: With so much to see and explore, plan to spend at least 2-3 hours at the castle.

  5. Don't miss the One O'Clock Gun: Witness the daily firing of the One O'Clock Gun, a tradition dating back to 1861, which was originally used to help ships in the Firth of Forth set their timepieces.

A visit to Edinburgh Castle is an unforgettable journey through Scotland's rich history, offering a fascinating insight into the lives of the monarchs, soldiers, and other figures who have shaped the country

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