With over two million visitors flocking to Edinburgh Castle annually, it is arguably one of the most popular attractions in Scotland. Read on to discover what’s inside this iconic Scottish Castle steeped in culture and history.
Built in 1511 for King James IV, the Great Hall at Edinburgh Castle is where state functions and banquets were held. Although King James IV was killed in the Battle of Flodden shortly after its construction, the hall now displays weaponry and armor reflecting the castle's military history.
The Royal Palace, constructed in the early 1500s, served numerous British monarchs. From the Crown Square within the quadrangle, it witnessed pivotal events in Scotland's history, including the birth of James VI, who later became the first monarch of England and Scotland. The birth chamber is a highlight of the castle.
Symbolizing Scottish regal heritage, the Stone of Destiny is linked to the coronation of Scottish monarchs. It's a pink-tinged limestone, steeped in folklore and mystery, with disputed origins. Its significance lies in its representation of Scotland's royal past.
Built by King David I in memory of his mother, Queen Margaret, St. Margaret's Chapel is among the oldest structures in Edinburgh. Surviving multiple invasions and battles, including the Lang Siege in the 16th century, it remained untouched. Initially used for royal prayer, it was later repurposed as a gunpowder store.
The Mons Meg, a colossal siege gun, was a technological marvel in its time, gifted to James II in the late 15th century. Legend has it that its immense weight limited its travel. Used in various castle attacks, it returned to Edinburgh Castle after a significant period in England.
Known as the Scottish Crown Jewels, the Honours of Scotland comprise the Sceptre, Sword of State, and Crown. These regal artifacts were integral to royal ceremonies and coronations, representing the monarchy's history.
A testament to historical conflicts, the castle's dungeons held prisoners of war from various battles, symbolizing the challenges faced by captives from conflicts like the American Revolutionary War and the Napoleonic War.
Fired daily, except on specific days, the One o'Clock Gun was historically used to signal time adjustments for ships in the Firth of Forth. Dating back to 1861, this tradition continues, drawing crowds to witness the spectacle.
Constructed to fortify the castle, the Half Moon Battery protected against enemy attacks, built upon the ruins of David's Tower and housing the Seven Sisters guns, a significant defensive measure.
Nestled within the castle walls, the National War Museum is a significant attraction, offering insights into Scotland's military history through artifacts, weapons, and memorabilia from various historical conflicts.
Replicas of embroideries stitched by Mary Queen of Scots during tumultuous times adorn the ante-chamber of the Royal Apartments. Created during sieges, these embroideries reflect the perseverance of her supporters.
Primarily dedicated to The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, the museum also showcases the heritage of other Scottish military regiments. With displays of historic artifacts, it provides a nuanced understanding of military traditions and history.
You will find a range of historic buildings, museums, and attractions inside Edinburgh Castle, including the Queen’s Embroideries, One o’Clock Gun, Mons Meg, the National War Museum, and the Half Moon Battery to name a few.
Yes, you can go inside Edinburgh Castle, provided you have a valid ticket.
You can enjoy the various attractions within the castle and the entire experience at your own pace as long as you have a valid entry ticket.
Some of the must-see highlights inside Edinburgh Castle include the Megs Mon, the Queen’s Embroideries, the One o’Clock Gun, Regimental Museums, the National War Museum, Prisons of War, the Half Moon Battery, and the Honours of Scotland.
Yes, you need a ticket to go inside Edinburgh Castle. You can book your tickets online or from the ticket counters at the entrance of the castle.
Visitors are allowed to take non-commercial pictures inside Edinburgh Castle.
Although there isn’t any dress code, it is a good practice to wear appropriate and respectful clothes while visiting historical places.
Going inside Edinburgh Castle is worth it for different reasons including the rich cultural experience, educational value, historical significance, and the architectural beauty of the attraction.