Results 1-10of 41 Reviews
Scotland, Scotland, United Kingdom
August 4, 2012
From journal Edinburgh and the Lothians
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
June 21, 2012
Ayr, Scotland, United Kingdom
January 22, 2012
From journal Castles, Museums and Vaults
by Cindy Grant
June 24, 2011
From journal The Scotland Ghostour
March 3, 2010
by Red Mezz
Inverness, Scotland, United Kingdom
January 25, 2008
From journal A Local's Essential Scottish Castle Tour...
June 28, 2000
From journal My view of beautiful, historic Edinburgh
November 28, 2005
We bought admission tickets and the self-guided audio tour for Edinburgh Castle which sits on top of a rocky extinct volcano in the middle of the city. There are several buildings within the castle walls. Our first stop was the National War Museum Of Scotland. This museum tells the history of Scotland in battle from the 17th century to modern times through displays of weaponry, uniforms, medals, short films, diaries, and battle scene paintings. Being new to the audio tour experience, we started off listening to just about every narration available in the museum. Before we knew it, three hours had gone by and we had only seen one building of the castle. We put the headphones away and headed out of the war museum to explore the rest of the castle.
Since the castle sits on a hill, it provides great views of the city and the River Forth (Firth Of Forth). Our view of the city was enhanced by the sight of a beautiful rainbow that followed one of the daily sporadic rain showers.
Over the centuries, Edinburgh Castle has been conquered, destroyed, and rebuilt several times. The only two original structures that remain here are the tiny 12th-century Chapel of St. Margaret and David's Tower. We had to walk down steps to get to the remains of the David's Tower because the rest of it was destroyed during an attack in 1573. The interior of the tower looks like an old dungeon with a quarry of rocks.
One of my favorite castle attractions was the Crown Room, which houses the Honors Of Scotland (Crown Jewels). The crown was first possessed by Mary, Queen Of Scots who was crowned in 1543 at the age of 9 months. The story of how the crown has been passed from ruler to ruler over the years is told through paintings, mannequins, dioramas, and audio narration. In the medieval days of Scotland, the castle and throne were constantly changing hands. The crown had to be smuggled and hidden during these upheavals. In 1707, the royal crown, scepter, and sword were hidden in a chest in Edinburgh Castle not to be found again until 111 years later. Our tour through the nearly 500 years of history presented in this building ended at the Crown Room where we were able to gaze upon the actually crown, sword, and scepter we had spent the last twenty minutes learning about. The relics were guarded and enclosed in a glass display in the middle of the room. Unfortunately, photography is not permitted.
We enjoyed our time at Edinburgh Castle. The views were great, and we were able to take in some Scottish history. I recommend purchasing the audio tour, because there is a great deal of information to enhance your visit; however, use the audio in moderation if you hope to have time to see any other attractions in the city.
From journal Sightseeing Weekend in Scotland
June 20, 2000
From journal Visit to Scotland with my brother
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