edinburgh-top-left castle

Edinburgh Castle What To See And Do

What to see and do at Edinburgh Castle.

 

Key features of the castle include:

St Margaret's Chapel - Edinburgh's oldest building which dates from the 1100s

Crown Square - the principal courtyard which was developed in the 15th century

The Great Hall with its impressive hammerbeam roof built by James IV

The Half Moon Battery created in the late 16th century

The Scottish National War Memorial added after the First World War.

 

Prisons of War exhibition

Edinburgh Castle was a prison for sailors from many countries in the 18th and 19th centuries, including crewmen who sailed with John Paul Jones, founder of the American Navy. Their graffiti, handmade ships and other items are on display in the Prisons of War exhibition.

 

Other attractions include:

The Honours of the Kingdom exhibition - tells the story of Scotland's Crown Jewels saved from Cromwell to become some of the oldest surviving regalia in Europe

The famous Stone of Destiny - taken to Westminster Abbey in 1296 and returned to Scotland 700 years later.

Listen out for or watch the One O'Clock Gun and see a fascinating display on the history of time guns and timekeeping.

The giant medieval siege cannon Mons Meg once again standing proudly on the castle ramparts

The magnificent Laich Hall

The National War Museum of Scotland.

Portcullis Gate - This is the main gateway into the castle and consists of two outer doors, an iron portcullis and another door at the rear.

Lang Stairs -Climb the narrow steps that were the original way up into the castle in the Middle Ages.

Argyle Battery -Built in the 1730s, the Argyle Battery was the main artillery defence on the north side of the castle.

 

The Crown Jewel shop in the Royal Apartments offers exclusive lines of specially designed jewellery.

 

Edinburgh Castle

Castle Hill,

Edinburgh, EH1 2NG

Tel 0131 225 9846

 

Opening times

Summer 1 April to 30 September - 9.30am to 6.00pm.

Winter 1 October to 31 March - 9.30am to 5.00pm.

Last entry 1 hour before closing.

 

Museums at the Castle - The opening times for independent museums may vary. Please telephone to check opening times prior to visit.

 

There are guided tours of the castle available, provided by the castle stewards. There is also an audio guide tour available, this takes the visitor around the castle, explaining its architecture and history. This guide is available in English, French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Japanese and German.

 

There is a courtesy vehicle available that can take visitors with a disability to the top of the castle. Ramps and a lift give access to the Crown Jewels, Stone of Destiny and associated exhibition; and ramps provide access to the war memorial. For those with impaired vision, there is a free Braille guide and hands-on models of the Crown Jewels with Braille texts.