Results 1-10of 41 Reviews
Ayr, Scotland, United Kingdom
January 22, 2012
From journal Castles, Museums and Vaults
by Cindy Grant
June 24, 2011
From journal The Scotland Ghostour
derry, New Hampshire
May 6, 2011
by Red Mezz
Inverness, Scotland, United Kingdom
January 25, 2008
From journal A Local's Essential Scottish Castle Tour...
November 26, 2006
From journal Our Scotland Tour
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
August 25, 2006
From journal London Fog
by Taylor Shelby
Charleston, South Carolina
March 21, 2005
Just outside the chapel, is Mons Meg, the largest cannon I have ever seen. The six-ton gun was given as a gift to James II and was made in present-day Belgium. You could probably fit your whole head in there, but don’t encourage your kids to put their faces near firearms.
The main area is Crown Square, which is the actual royal residence as laid out by the Stewart dynasty. The Royal Palace itself is most impressive and quite enjoyable. Really the entire palace was a highlight. Much of the castle has been painstakingly restored, and you almost feel like you are walking through time in those rooms. One of the most popular sights is the room that holds the Honours of Scotland, or the Crown Jewels. The Honours comprise a crown, scepter, and sword, which were first together to crown the infant Mary Queen of Scots in 1543. The jewels were actually forgotten about from the early 1700s until 1818, when Sir Walter Scott pressured a search of the castle. They were found unceremoniously locked in a chest.
The Royal Apartments were my most memorable part of the castle. Here you can see the rooms lived in by the Kings and Queens, mostly Stewart. The most touching room is the tiny wood-paneled chamber in which Mary, Queen of Scots gave birth to King James VI, who would one day unite England and Scotland under one crown
Also in the upper ward, there is the Scottish National War Memorial. The touching memorial is in a large structure, not unlike a cathedral, that is quite touching. The restored great hall is also located here, an impressive room that gives you some sense about what being a King or Queen may have been like.
Admission to the castle is steep, just like the climb (har, har). Adults are ₤9.80 and kids are ₤3.50. But seriously, it is so worth it. Millions of visitors can’t be wrong.
From journal Enchanting Edinburgh
It was first used as a royal palace in the 11th century, when King Malcolm and Queen Margaret held court here. During the reign of David I (1124-1153), it was converted into a true royal fortress. The English King Edward I, one of the greatest military leaders of all time, was able to take it by force in 1296, but by the 1340s, it was back in the hands of the Scots, never to be lost again. It last saw action in 1745, when the armies of Bonnie Prince Charlie made a half-hearted attempt to take the fortress. Until the 1920s, it was used as the British Army’s main base in Scotland.
The castle is one of the most expensive things I saw, but it is literally the sight in Scotland. The admission price is worth it because there is so much to see. You could easily spend 3 or 4 hours visiting every site on the rock. Frankly, the views of the city are almost worth the admission price alone. You can see for miles, and on a clear day, it is astonishing.
The hilltop is actually a large complex of buildings, with the actual castle only taking up a small portion. The castle is divided into two areas, the lower ward and the upper ward. The lower ward is the first you will come to. The first thing you will see after passing through the Portcullis is the renovated barracks, today a very large gift shop. After you climb a little hill, you will arrive at the main battery. At this battery, you will find the 1 o’clock gun, a WWII artillery piece that fires daily at one, so you know if your watch is right. Look out for this. I almost wet my pants when it went off.
Past the battery, there are a few buildings that are closed to the public. The British Army still uses the castle as an operational base, so those buildings are for their use only. If you continue past those, you will reach the National War Museum of Scotland. Despite the seemingly small size, it is actually quite massive. The museum houses displays of weaponry, uniforms, and miscellany related to Scottish military history. They do a very good job of telling personal stories that really make the artifacts come to life. I very much enjoyed the museum, so don’t miss it. There are also small museums dedicated to specific Scottish regiments that have some wonderful displays of uniforms.
August 10, 2004
There are various ways to go to the castle. You can either walk there direct or board any of the "Edinburgh Tours" buses. I purchased the Mac Tours pass for only £8.50. It is valid for 24 hours from the date of purchase. With that pass, I could hop on the bus anytime and visit other attractions. I was also entitled to a 10% discount on the entrance to the Edinburgh Castle, 10% off on any of the Hard Rock Café merchandise and lots more.
The tour starts at Waverly Bridge and it takes about 10 minutes to reach the castle. There’s a tour guide on board who will brief visitors on various historical buildings and monuments along the way. I alighted at the third stop and headed to the entrance of the castle. The queue is quite long and it takes about 5 to 10 minutes to reach the ticket booth. The entrance fee to the Edinburgh Castle is £9.50 but with my Mac Tours pass, I paid less than that. Before I entered the castle, there was a guy dressed up like Mel Gibson in Braveheart, and tourists took pictures with him. I managed to take a picture with him too. Then, my journey begins…
Once I enter the castle, I feel like I am in the medieval times. I feel like the queen of the castle. The city of Edinburgh is in my hand because I can see the whole city. I always thought that all castles are the same. They are huge and old but Edinburgh castle is simply beyond words. The castle is stupendous. It may take one a whole day to cover each and every room and read every bit of the history behind this massive castle. The interesting part is, Mary, the Queen of Scot, was crowned here when she was only six months old. That is shockingly amazing.
My favourite room is The Crown Room where the Royal crown and jewellery were displayed. I love the Ruby Ring. I bet it looks nice on me. Just kidding! There are lots of other rooms such as the Prisoner of War and the Military Prison.
After touring the magnificent castle, I thought of dressing up in Scottish costumes and having my photo taken, but it was fully booked. Well, I still had fun. Anyway I managed to take lots of photos in the castle so that was ok. As I need to visit other attractions, I have to say goodbye to Edinburgh castle. I managed to take one last photo at the entrance of the castle and then leave feeling pleased, contented, and delighted.
From journal A weekend trip to the Majestic Edinburgh
April 8, 2006
How much did it cost? Entrance into the castle was less than 10 pounds a person. An audioguide was available for an extra fee. It was well worth the money!
What was using the audioguide like? Throughout the castle small numbers are on display beside certain significant features. We punched these into our audioguides and heard wonderfully detailed narratives that added to our experience.
For example, outside of a tiny chapel dedicated to Saint Margaret, we learned how this eleventh century queen loved her husband so much that she died of a broken heart shortly after he fell on the field of battle.
Finding tales of war far more interesting than tales of love and woe, my son stared from dizzy heights across the battlements as he listened to a dramatic recounting of the "long siege" in which the supporters of Mary Queen of Scots were forced to surrender after a two-year-long hold out.
We couldn't listen to every story, however, because there were several museums to explore as well as the crown jewels to see!
What highlights are worth a mention? I liked standing in the tiny room where Elizabeth Tudor's cousin Mary Stewart gave birth in the 1500s to the boy who would eventually be the first king of Scotland AND England. American visitors will find it interesting to learn that some American sailors were held prisoner in the castle as evidenced by the carvings of a young nation's flag still preserved in a prison cell's wooden door. There is also a solemn memorial chapel to visit that honors all the men from Scotland who have fought to defend her.
Is there food here? There is a small cafe in which we got coffee and snacks. The warm drinks were especially nice because the weather is so brisk in December.
How much time should be alotted? We spent the better part of a day happily exploring the castle, but I would say you'd need at least a half-day to do the attraction justice, even if you went at a faster pace.
What ages does this attraction appeal to? This will be a hit with everyone in the family. Our son liked is as much as we did. With that said, I'm not sure how friendly it would be to people who have a hard time walking. Some of the fun is going up the narrow staircases and exploring. I may be wrong, but I didn't see a lot of handicap access.
Bottom line? A must see.
From journal Excellent Edinburgh