Castle, Edinburgh

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    Views from the castle
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  • Castle
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  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo

    One Thousand Years of History

    by scottishvisitor Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Edinburgh Castle stands on an extinct volcano like a giant sentinile - dark & brooding - always watchfully guarding her City. The Castle pre-dates Roman Times and bears witness to Scotland's troubled past. It really is worth the entrance fee - One million visitors can't be wrong. Edinburgh Castle - now owned and managed by Historic Scotland stands 2nd. only to the Tower of London as the most visited attraction in the United Kingdom.Allow at least two hours to get the most out of your trip the views from the ramparts are simply stunning. Take note of the two heros who guard the castle entrance - William Wallace and Robert the Bruce their bronze statues were placed at the gatehouse in 1929 a fitting tribute to two truely Great Scots.
    Adults £10.30
    Children £4.50
    Concession £8.50
    Opening Times
    April - September 9.30 - 6.00
    October - March 9.30 - 5.00

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  • slothtraveller's Profile Photo

    A fine castle

    by slothtraveller Written Feb 22, 2012

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    Edinburgh Castle in all its glory!
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    Edinburgh Castle is a stunning fortification perched on top of a huge rock created by volcanic activity. The walk uphill is definitely worth it as you can take in some fantastic views of Edinburgh from here. When visiting the castle, you should allow a least 2-3 hours to see the castle's highlights, although I imagine you could spend a lot longer here if you wanted to explore the castle in more depth.
    We bought our tickets for the castle from the booth on Waverley Bridge for £28 for two adults. We also decided to buy our sightseeing bus tickets at the same time which brought the fee up to £30 each. Not bad considering these were our main priorities and reasons for visiting. Buying the tickets at the booth meant that we did not have to queue at the castle entrance. We just showed our tickets to the man and walked through. I believe you can do the same if you buy your tickets online.
    Once inside the castle, we took some photos of the fantastic views over Edinburgh. We then took a look inside the National War Museum of Scotland (see separate tip). After this, we went into the castle prison and saw the doors which included original graffiti from the prisoners kept there. We also saw the dog cemetery where the various regiments' dogs were laid to rest. We then climbed the final ascent to the top of the castle and visited the peaceful St Margaret's Chapel and the Scottish National War Memorial, a tremendous tribute to those Scots lost in conflict. We took a quick tour of the Royal Palace before we went to see the Scottish Crown Jewels. It was amazing to see the crown jewels so close up. The Scottish coronation stone was also exhibited here, although there is speculation that the stone is not the original. Could it be that the original Stone of Destiny is gracing someones patio somewhere? Who knows.
    I enjoyed visiting Edinburgh Castle immensely and it was without doubt the highlight of my time in the city.

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    It dominates the City

    by Suet Updated Mar 4, 2008

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    Edinburgh Castle
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    Edinburgh Castle... you can see it everywhere in the city. A good landmark for when you get lost, but also steeped in history. We hold the Tatoo here every year in the Summer, seats are sold out well in advance, BUT it is possible to get tickets on spec as ATYPIC and his wife Pascale did, and join in the fun.

    I have shown my guests this castle and I always find more to see. There is a good exhibition of the small prison they have there. Incredibly spartan and must have been freezing in winter. I don't know if they heated the water in the shower stalls, but imagine how cold it was if they didn't!

    The ramparts are huge and you can get good views of the City of Edinburgh from up there.

    The website below is particularly good for all the things you want to find out about if you visit here.
    There is another good exhibition of how the soldiers slept in the cramped spaces between the bunks. The bunks had hammocks strung above them, 18 inches shoulder room per man.

    At Hogmanay, the whole place is lit up with waterfalls of fireworks, flares, synchronised music and fireworks, truly well worth the fortune Edinburgh Council spends on their magnificent City. You can see the Scottish Crown Jewels and learn about the hatred for the English..... still (unforntuantely) present to this day. The jewels are worth looking at, but wait til you see the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London... sorry guys... A good exhibition and worth the trip.

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    A Big Gun Indeed!!

    by scottishvisitor Updated Apr 22, 2006

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    Mons Meg
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    Mons Meg has been fired almost every day since 1861 at precisley one o'clock. The gun is Europes oldest surviving medievil cannon. The cannon is now in retirement at Edinburgh Castle & stands proudly beside St. Margaret's Chaplle. If you are in Edinburgh at 1 o'clock you will still here a different cannon booming out the hour. Mons Meg is still in focus today = check out the Bonnie Lassies pictured beside this geat icon.

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  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo

    Edinburgh Castle

    by HORSCHECK Written Nov 14, 2004

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    Edinburgh Castle from the south

    The famous Edinburgh Castle was the seat of the Scottish King. It houses the oldest building of Edinburgh, which is the tiny Norman St. Margaret's Chapel. The Chapel is about 900 years old and survived all sieges and bombardements of the Castle.
    From the Castle you get splendid panoramic views of the New Town and the Firth of Forth to the north, and the historic Old Town to the East.

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  • MalenaN's Profile Photo

    Edinburgh Castle

    by MalenaN Updated May 28, 2005

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    Edinburgh Castle

    You can easily spend several hours exploring the castle. The castle is not one building, but consist of towers and many separate buildings. Here you can visit the Scottish National War Memorial, the Great Hall (used by the Scottish Parliament until 1639), the Royal Palace (with the Honours of Scotland), Royal Apartments (were Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to James VI), the Castle Vaults (used to be a prison of war in the 18th century), the National War Museum (with a display of Scotland’s military history) and the Batteries with canons (from where you have a nice view over the city).

    After entering the main gate you will be able to rent an audio guide for 3 pounds. The audio guide will give you a lot of information and stories, but there are also small signposts around the castle.

    Entrance fee I February 2005 was 9.80 pounds.

    The castle is opened every day of the week.

    25 March – 30 September: 9.30 - 18.00
    1 October – 24 March: 9.30 – 17.00

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    The Castle, what else?

    by evaanna Updated Jun 7, 2007

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    Edinburgh Castle

    Edinburgh Castle has stood on the volcanic rock high above the city since as long ago as the 11th century, at least that is when its oldest building, St. Margaret's Chapel, was built by King David I and dedicated to his mother, St. Margaret. A copy of her Gospel Book can be seen on display inside the chapel. But archaeologists claim that the first traces of human presence on the rock date back to about 8000 B.C., i.e. the Stone Age.
    The Castle's story is a reflection of the turbulent history of Scotland, even if in the 16th century, when the Palace of Holyroodhouse was built, it lost its importance as a royal residence and served more and more the military purposes. Besieged a number of times, it was not an easy target. The only place from which the enemy could access the castle was what now is The Royal Mile, that is, once they forced the Portcullis Gate, which was going to be a hard job. Still, the castle did fall into the English hands a few times. For centuries it served as a prison too, complete with instruments of torture and its own guillotine, popularly called the Maiden. From the time it was founded the Castle witnessed many a murder, like the ones following the infamous 'Black Dinner' in 1440, when the sixth Earl of Douglas and his brother were beheaded after having been presented with a bull's head, a sign of condemnation to death.
    Exploring the whole castle will take you a few hours. Use the audio guide, which, when I was there, was to be had free, but apparently has to be paid for nowadays. Admire the fantastic views of the city the Castle offers and above all, don't hurry. Considering the entrance fee, you may never decide to go back there again.

    Photograph by Izabela Szymanska

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    EDINBURGH CASTLE

    by GrantBoone Written Jun 22, 2004

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    Entrance gates of the castle.
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    Edinburgh Castle can be seen as soon as you leave Waverley station. Cross the Princes gardens and make your way up the royal mile, which is the steep winding street leading to the castle itself. The entrance fee is £9.50. Once inside the Castle walls be prepared for stunning views of the city.!

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    Edinburg Castle

    by dvideira Updated Sep 17, 2004

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    edinburgh castle

    To enter or not to enter ? ?

    Inside the Castle, there is much to see. It was the seat (and regular refuge) of Scottish Kings, and the historical apartments include the Great Hall, which houses an interesting collection of weapons and armour.

    The Royal apartments include a tiny room in which Mary, Queen of Scots gave birth to the boy who was to become King James VI of Scotland and James I of England upon the death of Queen Elizabeth in 1603.

    The ancient Honours of Scotland - the Crown, the Sceptre and the Sword of State - are on view in the Crown Room. Nearby is the Scottish National War Memorial, a building designed and created shortly after the First World War; a moving experience.

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  • MalenaN's Profile Photo

    St Margaret's Chapel

    by MalenaN Updated Mar 15, 2005

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    St Margaret's Chapel in Edinburgh

    St Margaret’s Chapel is the oldest building at the castle (and in Edinburgh) and it is also the building standing on the highest point of Castle Rock. The chapel was built between 1124 – 1153 in memory of Queen Margaret (St Margaret). It is a very small chapel built in Romanesque style.
    Just outside the chapel is the huge canon Mons Meg.

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  • scotlandscotour's Profile Photo

    Edinburgh Castle - Impregnable - So pay to get in!

    by scotlandscotour Written Apr 30, 2004

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    Edinburgh Castle - A Mighty Fortress

    Those not wishing to part with money can get excellent views of the City from the Castle Esplanade for free. (Best in the morning before it is packed with coaches and people).

    The Castle is expensive to get in (9.50 I think nowadays) so if your budget is tight, don't worry, inside isn't so great. Like so many things, its the fear of missing out that persuades you to go in, then its a disappointment. For that money it is questionable.

    If you want to see inside, go early and beat the crowds! Historic Scotland membership is very sensible.

    www.historic-scotland.org.uk

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    A symbol of Scotland's nationhood

    by tzuki Written May 1, 2004

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    Inside the Castle of Edinburgh

    The Castle of Edinburgh is superb and a symbol of Scotland's nationhood. This Fortress is one of the top tourist attractions known throughout the world and an ancient monument. The Castle rock has been inhabited since 800 BC and the great which grew upon it has become a symbol of.
    Inside of this Castle there are several emplacements and it offers such splendid panoramic views towards the North, South, West and East of the city. Also it is available to visit the "Honours of the Kingdom" exhibition showing the Scottish Crown Jewels, The Stone of Destiny and Saint Margaret’s Chapel, one of the oldest chapels in Edinburgh.
    St. Margaret's Chapel is a tiny Norman building which has been standing there intact for more than 900 years. It has survived all the sieges and bombardments to which the fortress on the rock was subjected during that period. On several occasions the castle was razed - but the demolishers invariably spared the chapel of the good St Margaret because of its religious significance.

    Opening Days/Times:
    Jan - Dec.
    Apr - Nov: Mon - Sun 0930 - 1800.(last ticket sold 1715).
    Nov - Mar: Mon - Sun 0930 - 1700.(last ticket sold 1615).

    Prices:
    Entry Free : N
    Adult Charge : £ 9.50
    Child Charge : £ 2.00
    Concession : £ 7.00 Senior Citizens & Unemployed.
    Maximum age for child price : 15
    Children under 5 free.

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    Honours of Scotland

    by MalenaN Updated Mar 19, 2005

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    The Royal Palace at Edinburgh Castle

    The building on the photo is the Royal Palace at Edinburgh Castle. On the upper floor the Honours of Scotland (the crown jewels) are displayed. Before reaching the crown, sword and sceptre and Stone of Destiny you will walk through rooms telling the story of the Honours of Scotland.
    At coronations Scottish kings used to put their feet on the Stone of Destiny, until it was stolen and taken to England 1296. It was not returned to Scotland until 1997.

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  • Kaspian's Profile Photo

    Edinburgh Castle

    by Kaspian Updated Jan 6, 2006

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    Edinburgh Castle (2005)
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    Edinburgh Castle may be one of the most foreboding, gray, cold, scary, and sinister looking things I've ever seen when first setting foot in a city. It sits on top on an extinct volcano, perched on the edge of a rock cliff, and it dominates the Edinburgh skyline as though in a constant watch for enemies. This is the most visited historic site in the entire country.
    Guided tours of the castle are an absolute must to even begin to understand the long and complex history of this site! Tours leave every 15 minutes from inside the drawbridge and audio tour handsets are available in many languages. There is a security check of all handbags and backpacks entering the castle.
    Do not miss: Scotland's Crown Jewels, "The Stone of Destiny" (a traditional coronation stone returned to Scotland from Westminster Abbey in 1996), St. Margaret's Chapel (Edinburgh's oldest building built in the 1100s), the room where King James I (of England) was born by Mary Queen of Scots, Laich Hall, the giant cannon, the firing of the one o'clock gun, the National War Museum of Scotland, and the "Prisoners of War" exhibition in the eerie castle vaults (this was my favourite display, recounting tales of imprisoned seafarers, American and French revolutionaries, and pirates complete with props and sound effects.)

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  • spocklogic's Profile Photo

    Edinburgh Castle Does Dazzle

    by spocklogic Updated Aug 22, 2013

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    Edinburgh Castle - early morning
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    The castle of Edinburgh is a recognizable symbol of Edinburgh as it makes a presence from many parts of the city in sitting atop castle rock, a volcanic formation some 350 million years old. Human habitation here can be traced back to the 9th century, though there is some evidence that it was known in Roman times as early as the 2nd century. The castle itself was a royal residence and defensive position since the 12th century. It’s quite clear to see why it was chosen as a defensive position and it becomes even more clear once inside. It’s quite an impressive castle and takes at least several hours to tour.

    The tour of the castle is 16 pounds (~$25 USD), a bit expensive perhaps, but it’s the major tourist attraction in Edinburgh. Aside from the grounds of the castle itself, which are quite large, there are museums inside (including a place for the Crown Jewels). Many fantastic panoramic views of Edinburgh from all compass points can be enjoyed. Although expensive to enter, I suppose it is worth it for all it has to offer. Here is a list of some things to see inside the castle with a brief description or summary of each item for convent reference:

    1.) Honors of Scotland – Otherwise known as the Crown Room, here the nation’s treasures are kept including the stone of destiny (Stone of Scone), the coronation stone of Scottish monarchs.

    2.) The Great Hall – Built by King James IV in 1511, it holds a fabulous display of armor & weapons as well as the ‘key’ to the castle. Other uses included conducting business of state, and as a garrison by Oliver Cromwell's army

    3.) Royal Apartments – Dating from the 15th century, where Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to the boy who became James VI of Scotland and James I of England

    4.) St. Margaret’s Chapel – The oldest building in the Edinburgh, dating from the 12th century to commemorate Queen Margaret, the mother of David I

    5.) The Prisons Vaults – An atmospheric recreation of the life of prisoners at the end of the 18th century, originally built in the 15th century

    6.) Mons Meg – One of Europe’s oldest siege guns that fired stones weighing 150kg (330lbs) over 3.2kg (2 miles) has not been fired since 1681

    7.) The One o’clock gun – The famous time signal has been fired almost daily since 1861 except Sundays and Good Friday

    8.) The Scottish War Memorial – A shrine to those who gave their lives in conflicts from World War I onwards and first opened in 1927

    9.) The National War Museum of Scotland – Displays artifacts and exhibits covering 400 years of Scottish military history. There are also two regimental museums

    10.) Crown Square – The principle courtyard of the castle dating from the 15th century

    There is much to see here, but this list serves to target the major ones. To see everything in detail you would likely have to spend the entire day here. If time is available visit it on two separate trips if you have a multi-day city pass or such.

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