Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle
The Esplanade, Edinburgh, EH1 2NG
  • Telephone 0131 225 9846
  • Opening times 1 Apr–30 Sep 9.30am–6pm; 1 Oct–31 March 9.30am–5pm.
  • Website www.edinburghcastle.scot
Photo of Edinburgh Castle

Jump to times, articles or comments

Edinburgh Castle

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 ★★★★★

Text supplied by third party.

Events at this venue

There are 15 events at this location

Sorted by title / date & time

Bolts and Bodkins

Join castle archer, Rusty Bodkins for an explanation of how the Scots used the medieval longbow and crossbow. Learn about different types of arrowheads and how arrow wounds were treated. Get dressed for battle and join the garrison!

Tue 17 Mar

Free with admission / 0131 668 8885

Wed 18 Mar

Free with admission / 0131 668 8885

Thu 19 Mar

Free with admission / 0131 668 8885

Fri 20 Mar

Free with admission / 0131 668 8885

Brother against Brother

Not all Scots followed Bonnie Prince Charlie. Come hear from one Scot loyal to King George and find out why he chose to stand against the fearsome Jacobite tide.

Mon 9 Mar

Free with admission / 0131 668 8885

Tue 10 Mar

Free with admission / 0131 668 8885

Wed 11 Mar

Free with admission / 0131 668 8885

…and 2 more dates until 13 Mar

Crime and Punishment

Gilbert Savage', the Executioner! An Englishman, a prisoner of the Scots, who, given the choice of either to kill or be killed, is now the Executioner. Resplendent in black and equipped with 'heading axe', ropes, knives, and all the other 'tools' of his gruesome trade, he recounts the nature of crime & punishment…

Fri 7 Feb

Free with admission / 0131 668 8885

Sat 8 Feb

Free with admission / 0131 668 8885

Sun 9 Feb

Free with admission / 0131 668 8885

…and 4 more dates until 13 Feb

Gun Salutes

We will be hosting a series of 21 gun salutes to mark the following special occasions. Each gun salute unless otherwise stated takes place at 12 noon. For more information on gun salutes including their occasions and dates visit www.royal.uk/gun-salutes Accession of HM Queen Elizabeth to the Throne Birthday of HM…

Thu 6 Feb

Free with admission / 0131 225 9846

Tue 21 Apr

Free with admission / 0131 225 9846

Tue 2 Jun

Free with admission / 0131 225 9846

…and 3 more dates until 14 Nov

In Memoriam – A Forgotten Story

The Scottish National War Memorial was opened in 1927. The top artistic talent of the day were employed for its interior decoration and amongst these was Alice Meredith Williams who made a most significant contribution. Her role in this magnificent building is largely forgotten, but today the record will be set straight.

Tue 25 Feb

Free with admission / 0131 668 8885

Wed 26 Feb

Free with admission / 0131 668 8885

Thu 27 Feb

Free with admission / 0131 668 8885

Fri 28 Feb

Free with admission / 0131 668 8885

Inglis' Amazons

They smoke, they wear trousers, and they have driver’s licences! Meet a member of Dr. Elsie Inglis’ Scottish Women’s Hospital fundraising in Edinburgh and hear the tales of this incredible all-female medical unit as they save lives at the front and fight prejudice at home.

Sat 28 Mar

Free with admission / 0131 668 8885

Sun 29 Mar

Free with admission / 0131 668 8885

Medieval Fashion

Meet Lord and Lady Brechin, Earl and Countess of Angus as they guide you through how fashion of the Kings court here in Edinburgh Castle changed through the medieval period for both men and women.

Sat 1 Feb

Free with admission / 0131 668 8885

Sun 2 Feb

Free with admission / 0131 668 8885

Music through the Ages

Meet King James V’s musician. He has been asked by the King to explain some of the music and instruments that the King expects in his court. He will also tell tales of these instruments, some of which may even be true!

Sat 15 Feb

Free with admission / 0131 668 8885

Sun 16 Feb

Free with admission / 0131 668 8885

Rebels and Redcoats

The Jacobite war of 1745 was one of the most turbulent in Scottish history. Come along and learn what role the castle played in this great conflict and meet characters from the period. This presentation includes a weapons and costume demonstration.

Mon 23 Mar

Free with admission / 0131 668 8885

Tue 24 Mar

Free with admission / 0131 668 8885

Wed 25 Mar

Free with admission / 0131 668 8885

Thu 26 Mar

Free with admission / 0131 668 8885

The Road to Bannockburn

Meet one of Robert the Bruce’s men who served under the command of Thomas Randolph during the capture of the Castle in 1314. Learn about the medieval weapons and tactics of a Scottish foot soldier.

Tue 21 Jan

Free with admission / 0131 668 8885

Wed 22 Jan

Free with admission / 0131 668 8885

Thu 23 Jan

Free with admission / 0131 668 8885

…and 5 more dates until 5 Mar

Rob Roy MacGregor

Often remembered by some as a hero and by others as a rogue. Come hear stories of Rebellion, clan warfare and self-preservation.

Mon 17 Feb

Free with admission / 0131 668 8885

Tue 18 Feb

Free with admission / 0131 668 8885

Wed 19 Feb

Free with admission / 0131 668 8885

…and 4 more dates until 31 Mar

Schiltron!

Edinburgh Castle is steeped in war. From the Wars of Independence through to the Civil Wars of the seventeenth century, Scots relied on pikes in battle. Come along, find out what a Schiltron was, how pikes were used and have a go yourself. One for the whole family to get involved in and enjoy!

Sat 22 Feb

Free with admission / 0131 668 8885

Sun 23 Feb

Free with admission / 0131 668 8885

Sat 7 Mar

Free with admission / 0131 668 8885

…and 3 more dates until 22 Mar

The Script

Mainstream indie pop in the vein of Snow Patrol and Maroon 5 from The Voice judge Danny O'Donoghue. They are currently touring with their latest album Sunset & Full Moons.

Fri 17 Jul

£54.45 / 0131 225 9846

Their Name Liveth

The fighting is over by a decade and the Scottish War Memorial is open for the first time. Hear the true stories of of a veteran as they recount their tales of service across four years of war and many battlefields and continents.

Sat 14 Mar

Free with admission / 0131 668 8885

Sun 15 Mar

Free with admission / 0131 668 8885

Trebuchets and Trickery

In March 1314, the forces of King Robert the Bruce captured Edinburgh Castle. Meet the commander, Thomas Randolph and hear how he used guile and local knowledge to capture this almost impregnable fortress. Learn of the weapons and equipment in use and find out what Bruce did to the castle afterwards.

Sun 1 Mar

Free for members / 0131 668 8885

Reviews & features

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 Edinburgh

3 Mar 2015

Places to go and things to do in Auld Reekie

Visitors have been climbing to the top of Camera Obscura’s rooftop chamber for over 150 years, so they must be doing something right. Up there, you can view Edinburgh through a giant periscope, ‘pick up’ a bus or person on a piece of paper, and learn…

A guide to Edinburgh Castle

16 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…

Post a comment