Sitting atop the volcanic Castle Rock, Edinburgh Castle dominates the city skyline and is the most popular paid visitor attraction in Scotland. Events at the castle include regular re-enactments of events from its history, occasional concerts by big-name performers, and in August, the Castle Esplanade is the venue for the world-famous Military Tattoo. Other attractions include James IV's famous cannon, Mons Meg, the One O'Clock Gun with its own exhibition, lots of military silverware and, of course, The Stone Of Destiny, used to crown Scottish kings since time began. There are also various guided tours to make the most out of your visit: you can take the Morning or the Afternoon tour, the Royal Route or the Military March. If you get hungry or feel like getting a nice cup of tea, the Redcoat Café has lighter snacks while The Tea Rooms offers a more elegant surrounding for your refreshments. And what better way to finish your time in the castle than to pop in to one of the various gift shops and surprise yourself with some traditional Scottish culinary items or a lovely tartan scarf.
A proud and majestic symbol of Scotland, famous the world over. Unmissable highlights of Edinburgh Castle’s wealth of treasures are the crown jewels, The Honours of Scotland, which are amongst the oldest in Europe and The Stone of Destiny. The Great Hall has a striking arms and armour display. Also off Crown Square is the Royal Palace including the birthing chamber where Mary Queen of Scots gave birth. Don’t miss St Margaret’s Chapel, Edinburgh’s oldest building. The Scottish National War Memorial, a moving experience, is the shrine to those who gave their lives in conflict. Ask our team about our recommended 10 highlights.
Enjoying a Visit A free tour by one of our experienced guides will help make the most of your visit. Audio guides in eight languages are also available for hire. A children’s trail is specially designed for our youngest visitors.
Gifts & refreshments • The castle’s three gift shops sell a wide range of high quality souvenirs, books and gifts • The Redcoat Café offers a hot carvery, light meals, sandwiches and drinks. The Queen Anne Café is a stylish venue which provides distinctive Scottish cuisine and afternoon teas
Visit… • In Edinburgh at the top of the Royal Mile • Open all year. 1 April - 30 September 9.30am to 6pm and 1 October - 31 March 9.30am to 5pm. As Easter follows early in 2016 the summer opening times will be 25 March - 30 September 9.30 am - 6pm. Last tickets sold 1 hour before closing. Closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Please note that opening times for the independent museums may vary • We recommend at least 2 hours to see the major attractions within the castle • Parking for drivers with a blue disabled badge • Steep inclines and steps - courtesy vehicle available • VisitScotland grading ★★★★★
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Preview: Deep Time – 'We're trying to make it as epic an experience as we can'2 Aug 2016
After the phenomenal success of its opening event in 2015, the Edinburgh International Festival is kicking off with another big bang
Ten thousand people were expected to show up on Lothian Road last year for the International Festival's landmark opening extravaganza, The Harmonium Project. Instead, twice the number came out, proof if any were needed that public spectacles of this…
The Best Activities for Kids and Families in Edinburgh3 Mar 2015
Places to go and things to do in Auld Reekie
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A guide to Edinburgh Castle16 Feb 2011
The capital's most iconic landmark is a must-see for any visitor
Castle Rock, the plug of an extinct volcano, is estimated to be 350 million years old. Archaeologists say that its grassy shoulders were the site of a settlement at least as early as 900bc, and by ad600 there was probably a feasting hall on the…
Take Me Out2 Apr 2009
From cycling, pirate ships, dolphin watching and woodland walks to face-painting, castles, beaches and alien designs, Anna Millar handpicks some of the finest days out and events this Easter, whether you’re a big or a little kid