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Explore what's inside Edinburgh Castle | Main highlights & attractions

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.

What’s inside Edinburgh Castle?

Edinburgh castle Inside

The Great Hall

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.

Edinburgh castle Inside

The Royal Palace

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.

Edinburgh castle Inside

The Stone of Destiny

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.

Edinburgh castle Inside

St. Margaret’s Chapel

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.

Edinburgh castle Inside

Mons Meg

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.

Edinburgh castle Inside

Honours of Scotland

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.

Edinburgh castle Inside

Prisons of War

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.

Edinburgh castle Inside

One o'Clock Gun

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.

Edinburgh castle Inside

The Half Moon Battery

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.

Edinburgh castle Inside

National War Museum

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.

Edinburgh castle Inside

Queen’s Embroideries

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.

Edinburgh castle Inside

Regimental Museums

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.