Edinburgh Castle

Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NG, UK

Perched on a great rock above Edinburgh’s New Town, this impressive castle dominates the city. Iron Age warriors understood the site’s military potential and built a fort here in the late first century C.E. It changed hands several times during the Wars of Independence, but was retaken from the English in 1314 and served for many years as the home of royalty, from Queen Margaret to Mary Queen of Scots. From the 1600s onward, the castle functioned as a military base with a large garrison and later held prisoners of war. Today, it’s a world-famous attraction, home to the Stone of Destiny on which kings were enthroned for centuries.

Guests can tour the Great Hall and the Royal Palace, admire the Scottish crown jewels, and visit Edinburgh’s oldest building, St. Margaret’s Chapel. Also on-site is the National War Museum, which details 400 years of Scotland at war, and the Scottish National War Memorial, honoring those who gave their lives for the nation. For even more military history, check out the cavernous stone vaults beneath the Great Hall that once held war prisoners, or head to the Regimental Museum, which cover everything from the Covenanters to Napoléon and Waterloo. Visit in the early afternoon and you’ll witness the firing of the One O’Clock Gun—a beloved Edinburgh tradition.

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View Of Princes Street From The Castle

Great viewing spot....even on grey day in Edinburgh.

New Year's Eve at Edinburgh's Hogmanay

In Scottish, Hogmanay means the last day of the year. It’s a time for celebration to welcome in the new year. And no place does it better than Edinburgh. Its three days of celebrations begin with a torchlight procession on December 30 where 40,000 people carry lit torches through the city. On New Year’s Eve itself, the city turns over to music concerts at every corner - the Street Party on Prince’s Street, small concerts in the Gardens below Edinburgh castle, and a traditional Céilidh with Scottish music and dances. At midnight, the sky lights up and the ground shakes from the fireworks display. A wonderful way to ring in the new year!

Looking Up in Edinburgh

En route to Edinburgh Castle, the historic fortress is a sight to behold through a spray of springtime foliage.

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