King at the castle
"More than one thousand years of history... described as the castle of castles, it is visitors' number one destination" - The Independent
Nobody misses the castle when they come to Edinburgh, if only because it dominates the skyline from its volcanic rock, and is an imperious point of reference from wherever else in the city you happen to be. Besides this, it is Scotland's most famous visitor attraction. Why? To start with, because it houses the crown, sword and sceptre which are Scottish Crown Jewels; and also the Stone of Destiny, the ancient stone on which Scottish kings were crowned until the English King Edward I took it from Scone in 1296 (it was returned 700 years later).
These may be star attractions, but there is much more of great interest to see at the Castle. Within these ancient stones is the Great Hall, the original banqueting hall dating from the 16th century; the Royal Apartments, including the room where Mary, Queen of Scots gave birth to the future King James VI of Scotland (James I of England); and Edinburgh's oldest building, St Margaret's Chapel, built by David I in the 12th century in memory of his mother Margaret. From inside the Castle, you will see some of Edinburgh's most spectacular views, over the Pentland Hills in one direction and over the Firth of Forth to the Kingdom of Fife, the other.
No shrine to antiquity, Edinburgh Castle has a busy modern working life in the care of Historic Scotland. It forms the superbly dramatic annual backdrop to the sell-out Edinburgh Military Tattoo and the Esplanade is a stunning venue for rock concerts. It also has three excellent spaces - the Jacobite Room, the Queen Anne building and the Gatehouse Suite - which can be set up for exclusive private receptions or dining. And what an invitation that would be.