Photo: David Monniaux

Dominating the skyline of the city, Edinburgh Castle is positioned on top of an old volcano – Castle Rock. Human inhabitation of the top of this foreboding rock dates back to the 9th century BC, and the presence of a royal castle goes back to the reign of David I in the 12th century.

A visit to Edinburgh Castle will throw you back to the colourful and turbulent history of the Castle, which saw it being used as a royal residence, a military base and being seized back and forth between the English and the Scottish. The remaining holdings are generally dated after the notorious Lang Seige of the 16th Century, which saw the castle’s medieval fortifications obliterated by artillery bombardment.

One exception to this is St Margaret’s Chapel – the oldest surviving building on Edinburgh. Of course you cannot leave Edinburgh Castle without visiting St Margaret’s Chapel, built in around 1130 and named after St Margaret of Scotland who reportedly died of a broken heart when her husband Malcom III of Scotland was killed in an ambush.

A highlight that Edinburgh Castle visitors will witness is the Great hall, with an original hammerbeam roof dating from 1511. Mons Meg, a mighty medieval siege gun remains one of the world’s oldest, at over 550 years old. Learn about the Castle’s history and its inhabitants on a guided tour, and take in stunning views of Edinburgh from the Castle Rock.


Edinburgh Castle, Castlehill, Edinburgh, EH1 2NG
Tel: +44 (0) 131 225 9846
Times: April – September, daily, 9.30am – 6.00pm
October – March, daily, 9.30am – 5.00pm