Edinburgh Castle is the most visited, paid tourist attraction within Scotland and despite already visiting the castle in May 2012, I couldn’t resist another visit at the end of October while the Mr and I were exploring the city.
The historic fortress positioned on Castle Rock dominates the skyline of Edinburgh and believe me when I say, it is worth every single penny of entrance.
Top tip: Don’t plan your castle trip in advance, wait until the skies are blue and go on a whim as you can purchase tickets online.
There are a handful of ways in which you can get to the Castle, but I personally prefer to walk as a) it’s exercise going up the steep hills and b) you see more when you’re on foot. We walked from Princes Street up along The Mound, before taking a right turn onto Ramsay Lane and before you know it, you’re there.
Entering the Castle is quite an easy process.
We purchased our tickets online the evening before, knowing that the weather would be chilly but the skies would be clear. Advanced tickets are £17.00 and with that price, you are able to select a date and time for your visit. We opted for the slot between 9:30am and 11am, just after breakfast with a chance to walk over to the entry point. This slot doesn’t mean you need to be there at 9:30am and you get the boot at 11am (which the Mr thought!), but they do mean that you need to get into the castle before 11am.
It isn’t a trip to Edinburgh Castle without bringing along a very old and battered copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is it?
These photos are from Argyle Battery and One o’clock Gun which are one of the very first points of call in which you enter the Castle.
When you do arrive at the Castle, you have the chance to pick up a recorded guide in which you listen to while you walk around and in all honesty, I find these hold you back from really exploring.
I’ve never been a fan of guides, I’m much more of a self explorer as I like to wander on my own accord without feeling the need to slow down or walk a bit faster because of the recording.
Personal preference and all that.
Forwall Battery is the place to be if you want a spectacular view of Calton Hill because oh my, it truly is beautiful.
Top tip: if you are here around lunch time, view this area before 12:30pm as they tend to close it off to prepare for the 1pm gun shots.
We finished our time off at the Castle with a pit stop in the café which serve the most delicious scones before viewing the prisons, the Great Hall and the War defences.
All around the Castle, the views continue to get better and better, but it doesn’t stop there as once you leave, there are still plenty of opportunities to take incredible photos.
You’ll have to wait for an upcoming blog post to see where those photo spots are…