Castles & Historic sites

What to do in Edinburgh - castles and historic sitesEdinburgh Castle

Perched high on an extinct volcanic outcrop, Edinburgh castle dominates the capitals skyline with stunning views across the old and new towns and out to the firth of forth.
As a royal castle it has been a residence of Scotland’s Kings and Queens. Every occupant modified or added to the original structure, so that today it is a rich archi tectural mixture of palace, fortress, barracks, chapel and memorial.

For today’s visitor Edinburgh Castle has much more to offer than at first meets the eye. Visitor’s can see the recently restored Laich Hall returned to the splendour evident at the time of James VI’s homecoming in 1617.
Visitor’s can see the recently restored Laich Hall returned to the splendour evident at the time of James VI’s homecoming in 1617.
Edinburgh Castle is the home of the Scottish Crown Jewels, the oldest Royal regalia in Britain. Displayed with the Crown Jewels is the Stone of Destiny, returned to Scotland after 700 years in England.
With many more sights to see, from the giant medieval siege gun Mons Meg to the room where Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to James VI and I, the first ruler of Scotland and England.
Edinburgh Castle offers an absorbing mixture of entertainment of education. For more information visit

Located in Edinburghs Old Town.Tel: 0131 225 9846.
.Open all year seven days a week.
April to September 9.30am to 6.00pm
October to March 9.30am to 5.00pm.
Last ticket sold 45 minutes before closing
Closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day:

One O’Clock gun not fired on Sundays, Christmas Day and Good Friday.
Car and coach parking, toilets, reasonable wheelchair access including courtesy vehicle from the esplanade sponsored by the Bank of Scotland, toilet facilities for visitors with a disability.

Admission prices from January 1 to December 31 2010:

Adult £13.00 Child (under 16) £7.00

The Scott Monument

This monument to Sir Walter Scott commands a great view of the city centre. East Princes Gardens. Admission £2.50 Tel. 0131 624 6200

The Nelson Monument

Perched high over the city centre, this monument to Nelson’s victory at the battle of trafalgar provides a stunning panorama of the city and surrounding region. Admission £2 Tel. 0131 529 7902

Lauriston Castle

Lauriston Castle is a 16th Century tower house, with later additions standing, in tranquil grounds overlooking the Forth at Cramond. Admission £4.50, £3 children and concessions Tel. 0131 336 2060

Linlithgow Palace

This magnificent Royal Palace was birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots, and residence of all the Stewart kings. Later it housed Cromwell, Bonnie Prince Charlie and, after Culloden, the Duke of Cumberland. Open all year. Tel 01506 842896

Craigmillar Castle

Handsome 15th and 16th Century ruin where the death of Darnley, the husband of Mary, Queen of Scots, was plotted. Open all year. Tel 0131 661 4445

Tantallon Castle

A remarkable 14th Century castle on the edge of cliffs overlooking the Bass rock. Open all year. Tel 01620 892727

The Wallace Monument

The 220ft Victorian Gothic tower dominates the skyline and acts as a fitting tribute to Scotlands National hero, Sir William Wallace, who recently leapt to remewed fame as a result of Mel Gibson’s Oscar winning ‘Braveheart’
Learn about Wallace’s fascinating life and brutal execution – you can even see his mighty broadsword. Then visit the Hall of Heroes to meet many other famous Scots from the fields of literature , exploration, science, politics and entertainment.
Open Daily all year, Admission £3.30 Children £2.30 Tel. 01786 472140

Blair Castle

Dating from 1269 Blair castle has been the home of the Atholl family for over 700 years. It is reputed to be the last castle in Britain to have been besieged. The forces of Bonnie Prince Charlie and those of the government both laid siege at different times during the Jacobite Rising of 1745-46.

Today Blair Castle welcomes you as Scotland’s most visited private home. You can walk through some 30 fully furnished rooms of infinite variety displaying beautiful furniture, fine collections of paintings, arms and armour, china, Atholl Highlanders’ display, lace and embroidery and other unique treasures which present a stirring picture of Scottish life from the 16th century to the present day.
Blair Atholl, Pitlochry, Perthshire Tel. 01796 481207 Admission £6.25 Children £4.00 . For more information visit

Stirling Castle

The grandest of all Scottish castles, both in its situation and in its architecture. Magnificent Renaissance Palace, Great Hall and Chapel Royal. Open all year. Tel. 01786 450000

Glamis Castle and Gardens

Glamis Castle is the family home of the Earls of Strathmore and has been a Royal residence since 1372. It is the childhood home of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and the legendary setting of Shakespeare’s play ‘Macbeth’. Guided tours, exhibitions, gardens, shops, retaurant. Open Daily 31st March – 28th October. Tel 01307 840393 for more information visit

The Palace of Holyroodhouse

The Queen’s official residence in Scotland. At the end of the Royal Mile, situated in the shadow of Arthur’s Seat, this baroque palace is closely associated with Scotlands turbulent past. Open every day. Tel (0131) 556 1096

Historic Scotland

Historic Scotland cares for more than 300 historic sites across the country. From Edinburgh castle to Skara-Brae – the extraordinary stone age village on Orkney, from the Abbey on Iona in the West to Edzell Castle and its delightful garden in the East.

The Scottish Explorer, 3, 7 or 14 day ticket offers exceptional value. Buy a ticket and you get free entry into 70 Historic Scotland attractions. For further information tel. (0131) 668 8800 or visit