Edinburgh Castle

Year after year, Edinburgh Castle consistently tops the list of Scotland’s most perennially popular visitor destinations.

The first known mention of the ‘fortress on the rock ‘ – or Din Eidyn – can be traced back to 638AD when invading Angles from the south captured it and renamed it Edinburgh. Dominating the Edinburgh skyline, the familiar contours that now adorn any number of biscuit tins and tea towels in the area’s many souvenir shops reflect the continuous additions to its original structure that have taken place over the centuries.

Today, its key attractions include The National War Museum of Scotland, The Scottish Crown Jewels, St Margaret’s Chapel, The Royal Scots Regimental Museum, its magnificent Great Hall and Royal Palace, the legendary Stone of Destiny and the world’s largest remaining medieval siege gun Mons Meg.

In August each year during the Edinburgh International Festival, the Castle Esplanade plays host to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, drawing excited crowds from all over the world. To close the Festival and as the climax to the capital’s new year Hogmanay celebrations, the Castle again occupies centre stage as spectacular firework displays are fired from its ramparts.

And talking of big bangs, listen out for the One O’ Clock gun which has traditionally been fired on the stroke of 1pm each day since the ceremony was inaugurated in 1861.