Impossible to miss for visitors to Edinburgh, the castle is an iconic landmark that presides over the city, perched on a rocky outcrop dominating the skyline from every angle. This magnificent structure which was built on rock created by an ancient volcano's activity dates back to the 9th Century and there has been a royal castle in its place since the reign of David I in the 12th Century. It has an amazing past which has seen many wars between the Scots and the English to claim it. Edward I of England captured the castle after a three day siege in 1296 only for the Scots to recapture the castle in 1314. The castle again changed hands in 1334 but just eight years later it was taken back by the Scots. Much renovation and additional buildings were commissioned from then on until 1650 when Oliver Cromwell invaded Scotland and captured the castle! This forced 'The Honours of Scotland' (the Crown, Sword and Screptre) to be buried near Stonehaven so that Cromwell could not find them. The Jacobites attempted to capture the castle in 1745 but failed. Thankfully for visitors to the castle today it is now in the care of Historic Scotland so that visitors to the city can learn for themselves about its turbulent history.
Over one million people visit the castle every year and with tours, events and highlights including the Great Hall, Mons Meg, the one o'clock Gun and the royal palace you will need more than just the day to look around.