Edinburgh Castle: The Castle on the Rock

Scotland is famous for castles and its capital Edinburgh has a huge one located atop the volcanic Castle Rock. The castle’s haunting silhouette is a prominent feature that seems to constantly be overlooking the city.

Edinburgh Castle marks the beginning of the Royal Mile – the famous cobbled street which leads all of the way to the Queen’s official Scottish residence, Holyrood House.

There has been a castle on this site since the 12th century and habitation of Castle Rock itself dates back to 900 BC.


Located in the grounds of Edinburgh Castle is the Scottish National War Memorial. This was built in 1927 as a tribute to those killed in the First World War. However it now also remembers those killed in the Second World War and more recent conflicts.

There were records of fallen comrades available for public viewing.

My dad is Scottish and I spent some time looking for my surname, Sandilands, in the records. I found quite a few soldiers under this name and wondered if any were relations. Probably not, I thought, but you never know.

The Scottish National War Memorial


A daily ritual, six days a week, is the firing of a gun at 1pm. The One O’Clock Gun, as it is known, has taken place at Edinburgh Castle since 1861. Be warned: It is really loud. Even though I knew it was coming, it still made me jump.

If you are into your wartime history, the castle’s Regimental Museum is worth a look. There is a friendly bagpiper statue outside which is the perfect cheesy photograph opportunity.

People were queuing up to have a photo with this chap.

Be sure to take a walk up to Edinburgh Castle at night as it looks really pretty lit up.

For great views of the castle, go to Princes Street Gardens.

Edinburgh Castle Part Two will feature photographs of the beautifully dressed rooms inside the castle.


  1. February 28, 2012 / 23:09

    Great pics! The castle there is very cool as is the inside of the National War Memorial.

  2. March 7, 2012 / 19:29

    Really great pictures. The one time I was in Edinburgh it was SO freaking cold. We opted for a warm cafe for hot chocolate rather than the castle. We got close enough that I have a self-picture of me infront of the place. This was about the time I could stand the cold. it really does loom over everything though in a cool fashion.
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    • March 10, 2012 / 12:27

      The cold can make sightseeing difficult, but it wasn’t too bad when we there. It’s funny as people warned me to take thermals if we’d be walking around a lot, but it was quite mild. The castle was bracing though as it was really windy, as was Arthur’s Seat.