Castle, including National War Museum and National War Memorial, Edinburgh

4.5 out of 5 stars 255 Reviews

Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NG +00 44 (0)131 225 9846

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  • Views from the castle
    Views from the castle
    by slothtraveller
  • Castle, including National War Museum and National War Memorial
    by elpariente
  • Castle, including National War Museum and National War Memorial
    by elpariente
  • Alex_kiki's Profile Photo

    Almost as good as Stirling

    by Alex_kiki Written Feb 11, 2015

    Definitely worth seeing if you are in the city. The castle towers above the city, affording visitors panoramic views to the north, south, east and west. It's history is turbulent and tragic and definitely worth looking into while there.

    Go in the morning or book your tickets in advance online. This way you'll avoid the massive lines of tourists standing in line to get in. There's always loads of tour bus groups arriving later in the day and it can take some time to get your tickets last minute.

    It's one of my favourite castles in Scotland, and almost as good as Stirling!

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    Edinburgh Castle

    by antistar Updated Nov 26, 2014

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    Such a natural fortification as Edinburgh's Castle Rock was never going to be overlooked for long. The volcanic plug of solid basalt rock has sheer, unscalable cliffs on all sides but one, a gentler slope to the east which now makes up the tall, crowded buildings of Edinburgh's High Street. The rock has been occupied since at least the Iron Age, and a castle has existed there since the 12th century. Despite its formidable location, its occupiers have been defeated many times throughout history, with its greatest vulnerability probably being English siege weapons.

    Today the castle is stately residential, reflecting a Victorian rebuilding program that has resulted in one of Britain's most iconic buildings. The castle can be seen all over the city, but it's also Scotland's most visited paid for attraction, with over a million visitors a year. Many of those come especially to see the Royal Marines performing the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

    Edinburgh Castle Edinburgh Castle Edinburgh Castle Edinburgh Castle Edinburgh Castle

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    Craigmillar Castle

    by Dabs Updated Nov 5, 2014

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    Craigmillar Castle was the last castle I visited in Scotland and in some ways my favorite, it wasn't at all crowded, the approach to the castle from the field gave a stunning view of the castle and it was just a short bus ride from the center of Edinburgh.

    To get here, all of the instructions were slightly different and there are several different bus lines that go here but I liked the route I took, the #33 bus to Craigmillar Castle Road where there's a sign for cars to turn, I walked through a gate, up a hill and at the top of the hill, there's a beautiful view of the castle.

    Craigmillar's place in history is that the plot to kill Mary Queen of Scots 2nd husband, Lord Darnley, was hatched here. Mary Queen of Scots did not live at this castle but she had been known to visit it.

    The castle was included on my Explorer Pass which I bought when they were having a winter special, otherwise there is an admission fee if you want to wander around inside of the castle.

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    The Castle

    by solopes Updated Jun 13, 2014

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    When I said (in my Intro page) that I would come back, it could be for the tattoo. The castle impressed me a lot, but as an appreciator of folk arts and dance, I think that the tattoo that happens each year in the castle, would be "the cherry on top of the cake".

    I’m not going to tell you anything about the castle, because you may find it for yourself at, for instance,

    http://www.geo.ed.ac.uk/home/tour/castle.html

    But, how am I go to convince Fernanda to come to Edinburgh in August for the festival?

    Edinburgh - Scotland Edinburgh - Scotland Edinburgh - Scotland Edinburgh - Scotland Edinburgh - Scotland
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  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    Castle Rock

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Feb 14, 2014

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    Castle Rock is a volcanic plug upon which Edinburgh Castle sits.
    Its height is 130 metres above sea level and 80 metres from the surrounding landscape. It has misterious rocky cliffs to the south, west and north.

    You can watch my 3 min 53 sec Video Edinburgh Castle Rock out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.

    Castle Rock Castle Rock Castle Rock Castle Rock Castle Rock
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    Edinburgh Castle

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Feb 14, 2014

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    Edinburgh Castle is a famous fortress which was my main purpose in Edinburgh.
    It is located on the Castle Rock and dominates the skyline of the city.
    It was built in the 12th century, and renovated many times since then.
    Unfortunately last admission is 1 hour before closing and we were late to come inside the castle and were able to observe it only from outside.
    Opening times:
    Summer 9:30am - 6pm
    Winter • 9:30am - 5pm

    Edinburgh Castle Edinburgh Castle Edinburgh Castle Edinburgh Castle
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    Edinburgh Castle

    by Drever Written Jan 25, 2014

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    Edinburgh Castle the crowning glory of the Scottish capital stands on a plug of volcanic rock and makes a dramatic view from Princess Street. To enter the Castle cross the esplanade built in the 18th century as a parade ground. Here in August the area comes alive with colour and music with magnificently outfitted marching bands and regiments during the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. From here you see this historic fortification at its most dramatic. The curving ramparts give Edinburgh Castle its distinctive appearance from miles away.

    Walking across the drawbridge and through the gatehouse built in the 1880's statues of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce dating back to 1929 greets the visitor. Further on is the Half-Moon Battery where the one-o'clock gun that goes off with a bang every weekday at 1 pm, frightening visitors and reminding people to check their watches in an impressively anachronistic ceremony.

    Climb up through a second gateway and you come to the oldest surviving building in the complex, the tiny 11th-century St. Margaret's Chapel named in honour of Saxon queen Margaret (1046-93). She was born around 1045, into the royal family of England. After the Norman invasion of 1066, she fled to the court of Malcolm III of Scotland. They soon fell in love and were married. In 1250, Margaret was canonised as St Margaret of Scotland, for her many acts of piety and charity in her adopted country.

    The Royal Palace Built in the 1430’s was where the royal family stayed when in Edinburgh. It was not very comfortable. The royal family preferred Holyrood Abbey, at the other end of the Royal Mile, but the castle was more secure. It contains the Crown Room, a must-see. It houses the "Honours of Scotland" - the crown, sceptre, and sword that once graced the Scottish monarch. These date from the late 15th and early 16th century. These still play a vital role in Scotland’s ceremonial life. They are formally presented to each new sovereign; and the crown is present at State openings of the Scottish Parliament.

    On the Stone of Scone, also in the Crown Room, Scottish monarchs once sat during the crowning ceremony. In the Queen Mary's Apartments, Mary, Queen of Scots, gave birth to James VI of Scotland.

    The Great Hall built in the fifteenth century as the nation’s chief place of ceremony and state assembly is steeped in history. The parliament meetings met here until 1840. Its greatest state occasion was a banquet in honour of Charles I, the night before his coronation as King of Scots in June 1633. Although most of its present decoration dates from Queen Victoria’s the fine hammerbeam roof survives from the original construction. It is one of only two medieval roofs left in Scotland. The hall displays an extensive armoury.

    Foreign prisoners of war were brought to the castle at various times. French, Dutch, Spanish, Irish, Italian, Danish, Polish and American troops were held here during the Seven Years War (1756–63), the Napoleonic Wars (1803–15) and the American War of Independence (1775–83). The exhibition in the castle vaults recreates the sights, sounds and smells of life in the prisons at that time and gives us some insight into the lives of these prisoners of war. Some of these were very creative. The Prisons of War exhibition includes artefacts they produced, from a detailed scale model of a warship to forged banknotes.

    Military features of interest include the Scottish National War Memorial opened in 1927 as a tribute to those killed in the First World War. It also now commemorates Scottish servicemen and women who died in the Second World War and later conflicts. The building incorporates scenes from the First World War in stone, bronze and stained glass.

    Other military features include the Scottish United Services Museum, and the famous 15th-century Belgian-made cannon Mons Meg. This enormous piece of artillery has been silent since 1682, when it exploded while firing a salute for the Duke of York; it now stands in a hall behind the Half-Moon Battery.

    The Governors house build in 1742 is now the tearooms - a good place to have a break during or after your tour if the crowning glory of the Scottish capital.

    The castle stands on a plug of volcanic rock Mons Meg is a giant siege gun A View over Edinburgh from the castle The one o' clock gun The Great Hall was completed in 1511,

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  • elpariente's Profile Photo

    Edimburgh Castle - El Castillo de Edimburgo

    by elpariente Updated Nov 13, 2013

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    On the hill of an extinct volcano was built strategically the Castle where they could control and defend the communications between the North of England and the North of Scotland
    The entrance to the Castle, 16 Pounds is not cheap , but I liked the visit.
    Castle is a sober, no luxuries, used by the military, where the visit , which can last several hours, is pleasant and interesting by the breathtaking views from the sites that are installed batteries of guns , where you see all of Edinburgh from Princess Street and New Town to the coast and the hills and villages that are in the estuary of the River Forth ( Firth of Forth ) . There are also interesting visits as the National War Museum , St. Margaret 's Chapel , the cannon Mons Meg of 500 Pounds , the Prisons , the Memorial of the Scottish Wars , the Great Hall and the Royal Palace where are the " Honours Scotland " , which are the Crown Jewels and among them are the crowns that used James V , Bruce ... and the the Stone of Destiny ...
    As curious details we may say say :
    That the flag that stands at the highest point of the Castle is the Union Jack and not the Scottish Saltire, , because it is a military castle that is under the armed forces of the United Kingdom
    At one o´clock you may listen " One o´clock Gun " , which is just a cannon that shoots at one to serve as a time signal to mariners who were in the " Firth of Forth "

    Sobre la colina de un volcán extinto se construyó el Castillo desde donde estratégicamente se podían controlar y defender las comunicaciones entre el Norte de Inglaterra y el Norte de Escocia
    La entrada al Castillo no es barata 16 Libras , pero a mi me gustó la visita .
    Es un castillo sobrio, sin lujos utilizado por militares, en el que la visita, que puede durar varias horas, se hace agradable e interesante por las impresionantes vistas que hay desde los sitios en que están instaladas las baterías de cañones , desde donde se ve todo Edimburgo, desde Princess Stret y New Town hasta la costa y las colinas y pueblos que están en la ría del río Forth ( Firth of Forth ) . Además hay visitas interesantes como el Museo Nacional de la Guerra, La capilla de Santa Margarita, el cañón de 500 Libras Mons Meg, las prisiones , El memorial de las guerras de Escocia, el Gran Salón y el Palaco Real donde están los "Honores de Escocia", que no es otra cosa que las Joyas de la Corona y entre ellas están la corona que utilizaron Jaime V, Bruce , La Piedra del Destino...
    Como detalles curiosos diremos:
    Que la bandera que se alza en el punto más alto del Castillo es la Union Jack y no la Bandera Escocesa, pues es un castillo militar que está integrado en las fuerzas armadas del reino Unido
    A la una funciona el "Cañón de la una en punto", que no es más que un cañón que se dispara ba a la una, para que sirviera como señal horaria a los navegantes que estaban en la "Firth of Forth"

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    The esplanade - La Explanada

    by elpariente Updated Nov 12, 2013

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    The Castle esplanade , is the site where is assembled a grandstand with a capacity of 8,600 people, to witness the Military Tattoo held during the month of August
    The stands are used little more than one month a year, but most of the rest of the year is spent installing and removing them. The work is done very carefully and piece by piece to be quiet and not disturb the neighbors, so the esplanade is pretty busy all year
    Here is the well of the witches, which commemorates that burned of 300 women accused of witchcraft in the sixteenth century
    The Miltary Tattoo it is a great spectacle that worth to visit it , but only is performed in August

    La esplanada del Castillo, es el sitio donde se montan unas tribunas, con capacidad de 8.600 personas, para presenciar el Military Tattoo que se celebra durante el mes de Agosto
    Las tribunas se utilizan poco más de un mes al año , pero casi el resto del año lo pasan montando y desmontándolas . Los trabajos se hacen con mucho cuidado y pieza a pieza para no hacer ruido y no molestar a los vecinos , por eso la esplanada está prácticamente ocupada todo el año
    Aquí está el pozo de las brujas, donde se conmemora que se quemaron 300 mujeres acusadas de brujería en el Siglo XVI
    El Miltary Tattoo debe ser un espectáculo que vale la pena , pero sólo se realiza en Agosto

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  • spocklogic's Profile Photo

    Edinburgh Castle Does Dazzle

    by spocklogic Updated Aug 22, 2013

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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.

    Edinburgh Castle - early morning Great Panoramic Views Crown Square Honors of Scotland (The Crown Jewels) Half-Moon Battery
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  • xoxoxenophile's Profile Photo

    Don't miss the amazing Edinburgh Castle!

    by xoxoxenophile Written Aug 20, 2013

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    One of Edinburgh's most impressive features is Edinburgh Castle. It's perched on top of a dormant volcano, which makes it look very intimidating. You can get some great views of the castle from below from Princes Street or Princes Street Gardens, which is what we did on our first day in Edinburgh.

    On the second day in Edinburgh, we visited the Castle, and it was a great experience! The views of the surrounding city are fabulous from the castle's well-situated vantage point, which was one of the first things we noticed. I definitely recommend starting with a guided tour, as we did. Our guide's name was Gavin and he was a fount of information about the castle, but also very hilarious--he mocked the movie Braveheart and used expressions like "as useful as a chocolate teapot". We then went on to see the Scottish Crown Jewels and the Stone of Destiny, tour the Scottish War Memorial, see one part of the castle that was set up as it was when it was a prison, St. Margaret's Chapel (the oldest surviving part of the castle), and the Regimental Museum. At one o'clock everyday they shoot off the One O'Clock gun, which is quite loud. Everyone flocks around it, but you can get a better view or shot of it from above. Another thing I recommend doing while there is eating at the Edinburgh Tea Rooms. My travel companion and I hadn't eaten lunch yet, and decided to just stop in and get scones to eat. We each had a scone, jam, and clotted cream (which I thought sounded gross but was just like really rich butter), and it was one of the top five things I've ever eaten--delicious!

    There's just so many things to see at Edinburgh Castle--you can't go inside, but the Governor of Scotland actually lives in an area there!--that I definitely recommend a visit, and I also recommend starting with the guided tour (to get you started and have a few laughs). Outside of the castle is the Royal Mile (which ends at Holyrood Palace), with plenty of tourist shops for any sort of tartan souvenir your heart could desire.

    Edinburgh Castle The Castle from Princes Street Gardens Amazing scone, jam, and clotted cream! Part of Edinburgh Castle View from Edinburgh Castle
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    Edinburgh Castle

    by Emmjai Written Apr 11, 2013

    A great place to visit, especially on a warm sunny day. St Margaret's Chapel is quaint, and popular for (small) weddings. Service records are also available in the castle, great for genealogists. And of course there is a cafe, the 'one o'clock gun' and lots of folk in kilts!

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    The view dominating Castle.

    by Askla Updated Dec 22, 2012

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    Of what we can see of the castle nowadays, no parts are older than the 16th century, except St. Margareth's Chapel which dates from the early 12th century. It was built by king David in honor of his mother, queen Margareth who died in 1093. It is the oldest building in Edinburgh.
    For the sightseeing of the castle you have to be prepared to pay quite a lot, Oct to May 14,50£ and June to Sep 16£ for an adult.

    The Edinburgh Military Tattoo is given every year in August at the outer court seen on the picture. Book WELL in advance if you would like to watch it live.

    View towards Artur's Seat from the castle. View towards Waverly Station and Calton Hill.
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    National War Museum

    by mickeyboy07 Written Nov 10, 2012

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    Situated in Edinburgh Castle is the National War Museum,a unique collection of exhibits,pictures and stories of Scotlands finest moments in British military history.There are lots of old weapons,militaria and sketches from great battles like 'Waterloo' and 'Battle of the Bulge' up to present day conflicts like 'Afghanistan' and 'Kosovo'.The entry is free as its part of your Castle entry fee.Opening times are the same as the castle 9am till 5pm.

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    Edinburgh Castle

    by mickeyboy07 Written Nov 10, 2012

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    The Castle dominates the skyline of Edinburgh from its position atop the volcanic Castle Rock.Human habitation of the site is dated back as far as the 9th century BC,although the nature of early settlement is unclear.There has been a Royal Castle here since at least the reign of 'David I' in the 12th century,and the site continued to be a Royal residence until a 'Union of the Crowns' in 1603.Few of the present buildings pre-date the 16th century when the fortifications were largely destroyed,the most notable exception being 'St.Margaret's Chapel' which is the oldest surviving building in Edinburgh.The Castle also houses the 'Honours of Scotland' and the 'National War Museum of Scotland'.The Castle is Scotland's most visited paid tourist attraction with over 1.4 million visitors a year.
    Open 9.30am till 5pm all year round.Prices:Adult-£14.50,Child-£8.60,Under 5's-free

    Edinburgh Castle Entrance One o'clock gun Armoury room Scottish Piper
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