Late last year I had to speak at a conference at the famed golf course of St. Andrews in Scotland and decided the weekend before to go up to Edinburgh. More than five years ago I wrote a blog post about wanting to visit Edinburgh, Scotland so it was nice that this worked out so well and I had a chance to see quite a few of the hotspots including Edinburgh Castle.
If you have been a reader of Sparkles & Shoes for a while you will know that I love castles, big and small, and I knew this one had to be good when I saw it was voted the top United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland) Heritage Attraction in the latest British Travel Awards. As far as attractions go it is a bit pricey – an adult ticket is £18.50 or £17 if you buy ahead of time – but there is a ton in the complex.
The number one thing I wanted to see was the Crown Jewels, called The Honours of Scotland, and for a lot of hype I was a bit disappointed as there were really only three things – a sceptre, a crown, and a rock. No pictures were allowed so we breezed through and then paused at the very top of the castle complex to take in the Remembrance Day celebration. Remembrance Day is a holiday all across England, on the 11th of November, celebrating the end of World War I and it was very special that we were there on the 100th anniversary. At 11am on the 11th of the 11th month they set off cannons from the castle and all of Edinburgh stood still – it was quite the site.
Afterwards we went to Margaret’s Chapel, the battery, the prisons, and the museum. It was easy to tell that the castle had been built during different reigns and eras based on the architecture and design elements. I would call it more of a fortress than a castle but it was beautiful, especially the 360-degree views from one of the highest points of the city. I highly recommend a visit if you want to see 800 years of Scottish history and take in a beautiful view of Edinburgh, though just know, the Crown Jewels will not be much to write home about.