on January 25, 2008
Edinburgh Castle is the first to list on our castle trail for more than one reason. As a resident of the city of Edinburgh - I don't think I'm overly biased in choosing it as one of the most spectacular castles in Scotland. One of the most spectacular castles in the world, in fact. But more than that, I list this castle first as it is one of the easiest and most likely castle for a visitor to Scotland to see. If you are flying or driving into Edinburgh, you can not help but see the huge and imposing castle - perched atop its rocky base as you drive in. If you do fly into the city, I highly recommend the shuttle bus from the airport - not only is it quick and easy to use, but gives an awesome view of the castle driving in from the west end of Princes Street. Even if you are coming into Glasgow - the chances are good you will be in Edinburgh at some point during your trip - and from there, like everything else in this little city, seeing the castle is very easy. After a short walk up to castle hill along what is known as The Royal Mile (you can't miss it, it's where all the souvenir shops are) you arrive directly at the castle gates. The fee for this castle is, I believe, a bit high. The general rate at the castle is £11.00 for adults and £5.50 for children. When you translate this cost into dollars it gets quite pricey. But because I believe this is one of the greatest castles in Scotland - there is another route for those not happy to spend that much money to go inside and walk around the castle. In my humble opinion, the outside is the best part of Edinburgh castle at any rate. Walk up the Royal Mile and you can mill happily around castle gate with a wonderful and very picturesque view (minus all the tourists) of the castle. There is also a wonderful view of the city from two sides here. But if the weather is permitting - I highly recommend that you do the 'castle walk' which leads down around the front of the castle, and clear up to castle gate or around the back. In the spring and early summer the hill around the castle is covered with daffodils, making for a beautiful spectacle against the back drop of such a commanding fortress. Many locals stroll the path where there are benches or grassy spots to stop and have a picnic or just relax if you choose. This walk is free and starts just across from the museums on the mound. I highly recommend you take this route (weather permitting) even if you do want to pay the price to get in and see the interior of the castle. There is also a wonderful view from the top of the Scott Monument (the wonderful gothic monument on Princes Street) which is also something that should be done on a trip to Edinburgh. For £3 you can make your way to the very top - which gives a breath taking view of the city. Also note when you are in town around 1:00 - the cannon fires from the castle there every day.
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