Edinburgh Castle

Finally wrapping up our Edinburgh trip with a quick trip around Edinburgh Castle. You can't go to Edinburgh without visiting Edinburgh Castle. Well, I guess you could but then everyone will ask you "What was the castle like?" and then you will feel silly! So we made the obligatory trip to Edinburgh Castle. When we arrived, several hours after I had planned on arriving, we quickly noticed the enormous line to get in. I was NOT going to wait an hour to get into this castle! Luckily, I noticed a sign that said Historic Scotland pass holders were to pick up their entry tickets in the visitors center. We do not have these passes, but we do have English Heritage passes. And you get a discount with English Heritage! So I decided to play dumb tourist and head on into the visitor center.

I used my sweet innocent 'we are English Heritage members, can we purchase our tickets here' spiel and it worked like a charm!! So no waiting in line...woohoo! And to be honest, I would have been greatly disappointed if we would have waited in line. Not that Edinburgh Castle isn't great! But it is more of a military fortress rather than the fairytale castles that I so adore.

We purchased our audio guides, had a quick laugh with some of the hilarious Scottish staff and headed on in just in time to see some military guards walk in to head to their post. We later found out that they guard the Scottish National War Memorial, which I will talk about a little further down.

The views from the castle were incredible and luckily we had great weather while touring the castle. Being July, I was so amazed to be wearing a sweater and a scarf! Gotta love Scotland! The Castle is perched upon Castle Rock, which is a volcanic plug which is estimated to have risen some 350 million years ago. Archaeologists have found that early establishments formed on the rock sometime around the 2nd Century AD. It is quite a sight to see this large formation with such a castle a Edinburgh perched on top.










There were some very interesting sites throughout the castle such as St. Margaret's Chapel, Mons Meg, the dog cemetery, the Scottish National War Memorial and the One O'clock Gun.

St. Margaret's Chapel
The chapel is actually the oldest surviving building in Edinburgh. Constructed around the early to mid 1100s, this chapel was built to honor King David I's mother, St. Margaret. It was tiny but very interesting!


Mons Meg
Mons Meg is a massive cannon that was constructed in 1449 as a gift to King James II. It weighs over 13,000 pounds!!!

BOOM!! (St.Margaret's Chapel in the background)


View from Mons Meg
Dog Cemetery
The dog cemetery....as a pet lover I loved this!! They have a special cemetery for the canine military members. What a privilege for these special little pups! It has been in use since the 1840s.


The Scottish National War Memorial
This is where the soldiers had been making their way to (see the picture at the top). The guards change every so often and they protect this War Memorial. No photos are allowed inside out of respect for the fallen. I so wish I could have taken photos because this was actually my favorite part of the castle. There were two long corridors with large books that contained the names of all Scottish soldiers lost in war dating back to the First World War. In the center, there is a large oak carving of St. Michael. It is absolutely breath taking. Here are a few photos from the exterior.





One O'clock Gun
Every day at 13:00, this gun below is fired. For what reason? I didn't pay attention so I'm sorry. I was more concerned with standing next to the guys that alerted everyone to the time for the gun!! But I do know that this has been happening every year since 1861!

Everyone waiting for the gun


So overall, yes, if you are in Edinburgh you should visit the castle!! But would I make a special trip to Edinburgh just for the castle? I think not! But is Edinburgh really awesome anyways? You bet!

Happy Travel Tuesday!



Travel Tuesday

26 comments

  1. Edinburgh Castle looks like a great place to visit once we get to Scotland. Love teh Defend Mons Megs sign:) #TravelTuesday

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  2. I loved, loved, loved Edinburgh Castle when we visited back in 2011--the views were spectacular! We also froze the day that we visited (though it was November, so I should have been expecting the cold weather!), but it was worth braving the cold to see this piece of Scottish History. We also visited Holyroodhouse, too, and it was interesting to see the differences in usage, architecture, etc.

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  3. I love Edinburgh Caste. However, I agree. It's a great place to visit if you're already in Edinburgh, but no need to plan an entire trip around it. It was raining when I went!

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  4. This sounds like an awesome place! I especially love the dog cemetery! I'm stopping by from the Travel Tuesday Link Up!

    Kristin
    Crumbs & Curls

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  5. The castle is really worth it! I mean it's a bit expensive, but I have a Historic Scotland card so I went in for 'free' and I skipped the line, but my friends went through the long line and it went by really quickly - I walked around taking pictures of the town a little bit during that time! The view alone over the town is worth it though - especially on good weather like yours! :) My favourite part was definitely the chapel! And I loved seeing the stone of destiny :)

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  6. It might not be a fairy tale castle but it still looks lovely! x

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  7. Awesome!! I am going in a few weeks and really want to visit the castle. How much is it to get in? Do you think it's reasonable?

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  8. I think it was £16 for an adult ticket? Then the audio guide was another £3-4. We got a discount with out heritage passes but I think it's a tad pricey. The history is interesting though and it's huge! It's seems as though the verdict in the comments is yes, it is worth it :)

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  9. Of course....any castle is still pretty awesome!

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  10. Don't you love having those passes!! Ahhh....and I forgot about the stone of destiny! See, this is why I shouldn't delay my posts :) Thanks for reminding me!

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  11. Thanks for stopping by kristin! I am going to have to scour your Greece posts...heading there in a week!!

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  12. The weather there is so unpredictable...hence my wellies in my pictures. It was supposed to rain and didn't....how weird is that?!

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  13. The views were amazing weren't they? Sadly, we only got to see Holyroodhouse from the outside :( But thankfully the weather was nice!

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  14. Isn't that sign funny! I love the Scottish sense of humor!

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  15. It looks great, we only got to see it from afar. I loved your pictures!

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  16. My favorite part about that castle is how it looks looming over the city--and the views from it! It's just so beautiful. It was fun to tour but you're right--lots of dungeons and weaponry exhibits! I DID love getting tea at the (over-priced) cafe though...just to say we'd had tea in a castle ;)

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  17. I agree with Amy, I loved the views! When we visited the first time it was a lovely day, so we didn't go inside. The second time it was so stormy we barely glanced at the views before racing inside! I agree that the War Memorial is stunning. I also loved learning a bit more of the history and seeing the crown jewels!

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  18. Wow, the view is amazing!! I've been hoping to make it to Edinburgh one day! Great photos. Glad I found ya through the Travel Tuesday linkup!

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  19. It's so gorgeous at night too! It's pretty incredible how high up it is!

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  20. Oh yes, the crown jewels were pretty cool. And yes, the views were amazing :)

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  21. Yes! They were spectacular. And Edinburgh is just cool in general :) Thanks for stopping by!

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  22. Wow, you did get a beautiful day! When I went a few years ago, it was a gray, cloudy day, and I also had huge bags under my eyes because I was sick and pregnant! lol Hopefully I can go back one day!

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  23. I love, love, love the Edinburgh Castle, and just Edinburgh in general too. It was definitely my favorite stop on our tour of the United Kingdom!

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  24. Oh no! Yeah, the weather up there can get pretty rough! We totally lucked out although we did get stuck in a downpour while playing golf the next day! Hopefully you will make it back!!

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  25. Edinburgh was so so cool. I hope we get to make it back eventually. I could live there!!

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