Mon 28 Nov 2016
I’ve lived in Edinburgh for over 14 years and worked in the tourism industry for a decade. However, I’d never visited Edinburgh’s number one tourist attraction .. until yesterday! I’d been right up to the front entrance many times, but hadn’t actually gone inside.
My husband and I always meant to make a visit to Edinburgh Castle, but as students we thought it was too expensive. And now we have two children, who are 1 and 3, and they get tired and bored of looking around such places.
This weekend entry was free as part of the St Andrew’s Ticket Giveaway. So we thought this was a great opportunity to go with the kids. As it meant we could just make a short visit without paying for a full day ticket.
We arrived quite early, before 10 am, and it wasn’t too busy to say it was a freebie weekend. We found our own way around rather than taking a guided tour as it was easier with the kids. But there was a lot to see and we didn’t manage to cover it all in the two hours we were there.
There was so much history to take in! There have been settlers on Castle Rock since 900BC. And some form of castle has been there since the 12th century. The castle we see today dates from the early 1500s. We saw many of the highlights including the Royal Palace, Great Hall, Crown Jewels, Scottish National War Memorial and National War Museum.
We had lots of fun exploring and it was surprising to see how many different parts there were to it once we got inside. It’s a group of buildings rather than one big building. It is beautifully kept, inside and out – not your usual castle ruins! In fact the royal family still use it today, although no longer as a residence. I felt we rushed through a lot of it and didn’t get chance to take in all the information. We will definitely return in a few years time to do the guided tour, when the kids are old enough for it.
I would highly recommend a visit to Edinburgh Castle. You could spend the whole day there as there’s so much to see. I’ll be looking out for more free tickets for Historic Scotland attractions next St Andrews weekend – such a fantastic offer!
Edinburgh Castle, Castlehill, Edinburgh, EH1 2NG