Wherever you are in the city, you can’t escape Edinburgh Castle’s looming presence. Built on the rocky outcrop of a long-dormant volcano, it dominates the skyline, peering down on the city and its people below.
Communities are believed to have lived on the site since the ninth century, and there has been a Royal castle here since the time of David I in the 11th century. It has been the subject of many battles, sieges and sackings, despite the fact that its unique position supposedly afforded unparalleled protection.
Today, almost all of the medieval fortifications are long gone, but structures from the 15th century still stand, and the castle is not one but a conglomeration of buildings pieced together from its various incarnations. Nowadays, the spectacular Edinburgh Tattoo takes place there every August, and tourists can visit at any time of the year.
It draws almost two million visitors annually, making it is Scotland’s most popular paid-for visitor attraction. There are a whole host of things to see and do at the castle, and you could easily spend most of the day there. However, do try to time your visit to coincide with the firing of the One O’ Clock Gun, Edinburgh’s famed time signal which can be heard all over the city.