It was a dark and stormy night....
Top Reasons to go:
Mary Queen of Scots exhibit
Stone of Scone
Honours of Scotland
Ok, so it was mid afternoon, but it was pissing it down. Still I soldiered on determined to see what this great big castle on this even more massive outcrop of volcanic rock was all about.
I'd like to just say here that there's nothing that can truly prepare you for when you first see Edinburgh Castle on top of it's great enormous hill. I vividly remember my first trip to Scotland, driving down the streets of Edinburgh having a look around, getting the feel for the city, looking down the side streets and suddenly seeing this great big f-ing castle perched on top of this enormous black rocky outcrop. You sort of question yourself, what the hell was that that I just saw?!? I remember waiting anxiously to get to another narrow side street to peek down as the car went whizzing by. When I caught a better look and saw that it was indeed a castle, I knew at that moment I had to go there. One of the coolest things I'd ever seen. No wonder it's has the honour of being the most besieged castle in the entire world.
Sadly we only made it as far as the car park. At the time I was a student at University and our budget indicated we had money for pints in the pub, not perusing around places of public interest. There was time for one sad lingering look back as the car pulled away. I knew I'd be back someday.
And so, some years later (I'm not going to say how many because that would be telling) I arrived back at Edinburgh Castle car park, yet again on another dark and rainy afternoon. Umbrella in hands I ventured in the gates not quite sure what I'd find inside this seated castle high in the ever dripping clouds.
More to come. Watch this space.
The firing of the One o’clock Gun dates back to 1861 when it allowed ships in the Firth of Forth to set the maritime clocks they needed to navigate the world’s oceans. The idea was brought to Edinburgh from Paris by businessman John Hewitt.
Don't forget to pay the piper!
Hours of Operation & Fees
Open 7 days a week
Opens at 9:30am
Summer closing time: 6pm
1 Apr - 30 Sept last entry at 5pm
Winter closing time: 5pm
1 Oct - 31 Mar last entry 4pm
Adult (16 - 59 yrs) £17.00
Child (5 - 15 yrs) £10.20 Concession (60 yrs+ and unemployed)* £13.60
Under 5 - free!
Free for active British Armed Forces
(prices may vary throughout the year, check the website)
Tron Kirk - A market with rather cool local craft items in a very cool converted 17th century church. Free entry and the bureau de change here won't rip you off.
Real Mary King's Close, very cool underground 15th century Edinburgh experience, reasonably priced, brilliantly acted. Very informative and entertaining.
St. Giles Cathedral.
Great place to go with the kids. Loads to do and see. Check their website for kid themed events. Bring the baby carrier! Some of the interior areas are difficult to access with a push chair.
The only castle I've been to (so far) that has free whisky tasting inside. Perfect on a cold rainy day, such as the one I visited on, or any other day for that matter. They also ply you with chocolate...so wrong.
Tons of different events going on through out the year. Check their website before you go to see what's happening and plan your visit accordingly.