Edinburgh Castle was the first castle that we visited during our trip to Scotland. Edinburgh Castle is a historic fortress which dominates the skyline of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, from its position on the Castle Rock. We explored The Great Hall, The Stone of Destiny, The Crown Jewels, Mons Meg medieval gun, the great curved wall of the Half Moon Battery and the Prisons of War.
No matter how frequently you see them in the UK, you stop and take a photo at the Red Phone Booths! You will see a different set in this post too! These shots were taken on our walk from the Car Park to the castle.
Great events have taken place within its wall and it has witnessed many sieges. From the 1600s onwards the castle was a military base with a large garrison. Later it also held prisoners of war. Parts are still a military base, but the castle is now a world-famous visitor attraction and a key element of the Edinburgh World Heritage Site.
Mons Meg: capable of blasting a 150kg gunstone for 3.2km (two miles)!! Mons Meg was at the cutting edge of military technology. In 1558, it fired a gunstone to Wardie Muir, now the Royal Botanic Garden, to celebrate the marriage of Mary Queen of Scots. The barrel burst in 168. After 75 years in England, Mons Meg made a triumphant return to the castle in 1829, escorted by cavalry and infantry from the docks at Leith.
Half Moon Battery: The Half Moon Battery gives the castle its unique profile and is a wonderful place to stand and view the city. The Half Moon Battery allowed cannons to fire down on the castle approaches. Today’s cannons are 18-pounders made in 1810 during the Napoleonic Wars. It was originally defended by the Seven Sisters, bronze guns cast in the castle for James IV in about 1500.
No cameras allowed at The Scottish Crown Jewels. Something to see but note... not as impressive as the Crown Jewels in The Tower of London!
Prisons of War: This prison recreation offers a glimpse of life for the prisoners of many nationalities who languished here. They came from as far apart as France, America, Spain, the Netherlands, Ireland, Italy, Denmark and Poland.
Note to find this location: The entrance to the Prisons of War is located within Dury’s Battery. This is at the top of the hill, past the Royal Scots Museum and through the set of gates directly ahead.
1) TIMING: We had a later start to the day just arriving the day before and ended up visiting the castle around 12:00 noon. It took us about 4 hours to explore the premise. Advice: arrive before opening time to get in line or towards the later end of the day. The castle property was rather large, and there was a lot to see, but it was very very crowded!
2) Leave plenty of time in your schedule to view the Edinburgh Castle. We spent about 4 hours here, and I'm not sure with all the crowds if we were able to see everything.
3) You can purchase tickets ahead of time on their website, it would save you the time of standing in the long ticketing line if its busy.
4) Photography is tricky here with all the crowds, try and be patient!
5) Take some photos of the city of Edinburgh from inside the premise. It's some of the best skyline shots of the city we captured! You will see those city shots in an upcoming blog post!
6) There is a Car Park down below on the walk up to the castle. If you have a vehicle it's much easier to pay to park there than to try and find something closer with street parking near the very busy Royal Mile!
7) Watch your step! There is a lot of uneven walking around the castle, so please watch your step!
Edinburgh Castle Address: Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NG // Tel: +44 (0)131 225 9846