There is no more magnificent and awe-inspiring sight, especially at night, than Edinburgh Castle dominating the city of Edinburgh and lighting up the skyline.
My first visit here was as a schoolboy.
It was magical then, and it still is today.
It was back then that I first heard the story of Greyfriars Bobby, and it could have been this lovely little tale that inspired me to return many times over the years. Every time I visited the Castle I found something that interested me, and the same can be said for the whole Royal Mile. Mind you, I had no idea that someday I would be researching and writing about all of this. I am, so here goes …..
Built high upon the remains of an extinct volcano, the Castle provides visitors with impressive views of the city and landscape beyond. It’s one of the oldest and most famous castles in the world, and I was surprised to learn it had been a prison for sailors from many countries during the 18th and 19th centuries. The prisoners included crewmen who sailed with John Paul Jones, founder of the American Navy, and during the Napoleonic Wars, French prisoners were kept in the Castle dungeons.
The Castle was besieged many times in the Middle Ages. It was taken by Edward I of England in 1296, and recaptured by Robert Bruce’s valiant nephew Thomas Randolph, Earl of Moray, in 1313, in a daring raid with only 30 men. The English took it back in 1335, but in 1341 Sir William Douglas again removed the invaders.
Over one thousand years of history sit on top of the famous Edinburgh rock, and when you see Edinburgh Castle you will understand why it attracts over a million visitors a year. Listen out for or watch the One O’Clock Gun and see a fascinating display on the history of time guns and timekeeping. Inside the walls is a remarkable fortress and former Royal residence, packed with history. Edinburgh Castle also offers splendid views for you to appreciate the surrounding hills, sea and volcanoes.
The City of Edinburgh and it’s architectural styles grew outwards from the Castle rock, and the first houses in Edinburgh were built on the area in front of the Castle, which is now known as the Lawnmarket, and then the house building continued down the High Street and The Cannongate towards the Royal Palace of Holyrood House.
No visit to Edinburgh is complete without a visit to Edinburgh Castle, and if you venture up to the highest parts of the Castle’s structure, you will be overwhelmed by the spectacular views of Edinburgh afforded from this Scottish “Castle of Castles”.
A series of spectacular performances known as the Edinburgh Military Tattoo takes place on the Castle Esplanade each year during August. The basis of the performance is a parade of the pipes and drums of the Scottish regiments, but after more than fifty years, the Tattoo has developed a more complex format which includes many invited performers as diverse as (in 2006) a Choir of Ugandan orphans and a Kung Fu troupe.
The Tattoo runs for 3 weeks, during Edinburgh’s busy august calendar, that includes the fabulous Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and this is another event not to be missed.
When you visit the Castle you will probably understand why the early inhabitants of the area made settlements here, in what is now the City of Edinburgh.
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More Scottish Castles :
A brief look into the history of the Castle of Castles.
One of the most famous, especially since ‘Braveheart’.
Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan Castle is one of our most beautiful.
Behind the majestic appearance lies many dark secrets.
Well worth a visit for the history and the views.
Built on cliffs surrounded on three sides by the North Sea.
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A stay in one of our Scottish Castle Hotels is the ultimate when it comes to treating yourself to something a little bit special. Explore Scotland in beautiful surroundings and a relaxed atmosphere.
Imagine the many banquets, stately dinners and balls that have taken place in the great halls of these Scottish Castles. You can have a traditional wedding with a formal white dress and veil.