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Edinburgh Castle - Our Top Ten Must-Sees

A mighty fortress, the defender of the nation, and home of the famous Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo – Edinburgh Castle has dominated the skyline for centuries and is part of the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site.


Edinburgh Castle has played many roles over the centuries. The castle’s powerful stone walls have withstood siege after siege and its sumptuous apartments were an important residence of Scottish kings and queens. Built on steep volcanic rock, the castle is naturally well defended. To this day, the Army has a military and ceremonial presence here.


Today countless treasures are protected by the castle walls. Marvel at the nation’s crown jewels, smell the gunpowder after the One o’Clock Gun fires, hear the castle’s great story on a guided tour and taste the best of Scottish produce – all in this magnificent fortress.


The views from the castle’s battlements are outstanding. Dramatic views to the west, south and east can be seen from the castle, but the view north in particular is among the most spectacular in Scotland.


With more than a million visitors a year, from across the globe, the castle offers a fabulous day out – an experience not to be missed.


Top 10 Highlights

  1. The Crown Room – where the nation’s treasures are kept including the Stone of Destiny.
  2. The Great Hall – holds a fabulous display of arms and armour as well as the ‘key’ to the castle.
  3. Royal Palace – birthplace of James VI.
  4. St Margaret’s Chapel – the oldest building in the capital, built to commemorate the mother of David I.
  5. The Prisons of War – an atmospheric recreation of the life of prisoners at the end of the 18th century.
  6. Mons Meg – could fire a 150kg stone for up to 3.2km (2 miles).
  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 National War Memorial – a shrine tom those who gave their lives in conflicts from World War I onwards.
  9. The National War Museum of Scotland – and individual regimental museums.
  10. Panoramic views – stunning views across the capital.


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Written by: Historic Scotland
Published: 27 April 2014

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