Some blocks away from the Surgeon’s Hall Museum, atop the Royal Mile on the castle rock is the Edinburgh Castle. The historical icon looks grand and magical looking at it from afar. Its walls, weathered through time, tell a rich history of victories and defeat, a silent witness sharing the incredible stories to the people who can only experience the past ever so slightly through various type of information posted on the walls, re-enactments and knowledgeable guides. For me, it’s a different excitement walking through the castle grounds and corridors where monarchs and other important people used to have walked through especially if you know the story of Mary, Queen of Scots.
The afternoon was getting sunnier as we walked pass shops after shops. The sun was peeking out through thick clouds promising a little bit of sunshine, at least for that time being, although the cold wind still giving us numbing chill on our exposed faces and hands. It was getting a little bit crowded around Castle Hill too as tourists gathering around taking advantage of that little bit of sun for better photos and look of the city from the Esplanade.
A little glimpse of the castle gate can be seen at the ticket booth. If we went in around noon, we would have seen the One O’clock Gun which is being fired every day since the 1800s.
I had been there few years ago and it seems like nothing has changed really– if there were, I didn’t notice them. Aside from going inside the museums, I enjoyed looking over the city from the battery as it offers superb views, watching what seemed like tiny dots of people walking the streets and of course, admiring those eccentric looking buildings.
…and while I was enjoying the views…
He definitely deserved a comic strip for this post. He’s so funny and curious. I was too surprised to move on my spot. He was just beside me then I heard this rattling noise and when I turned around he was pulling the chains already 😂. It was a hilarious moment and glad to have captured it!!😅.
Exploring the castle ground can take about two hours and if you’re interested to know more, going inside the exhibits can take even longer than that. For me though, less than an hour inside the museums was enough.
- Butts Battery offers a panoramic view of the rear side of the castle
The Crown Square or the Palace Yard includes:
- The Scottish War Memorial
- Royal Palace
- Great Hall
- Former Royal apartment, this is where Queen Mary of Scots gave birth to King James VI
- It also houses the Crown Jewels and the Stone of Destiny (only leaves Scotland when there is a coronation in Westminster Abbey
It was almost Christmas when we visited and this was the massive tree inside the Great Hall. The Great Hall also houses collections of weapons and armory which lined the walls and its impressive wooden roof with intricate carvings is one to look out for. There are also short re-enactments during the day and it was just starting when we got inside.
Three days in Edinburgh—with only one full day (like a half day really as it was getting dark around 4pm!), wasn’t enough. It seems like a small city but when you start looking for places to visit, the city has a lot to offer. I wished we’ve been to more places but there’s always a next time for that and a third time for me! Probably if we had more time we wouldn’t be squeezing three destinations in six hours. Getting in one place alone can be about 2 hours at least. Though a bit rushed, it was definitely a well spent day and I really did enjoy the quick city break. Being there the second time and with Date was just as good.