You know you’ve hit the jackpot with your guy when he treats you to a trip to Edinburgh for Valentines Day! Of course, it also so happens to be his birthday – so it’s a joint celebration – but how exciting!! He knows how deep my love of Scotland goes (I’m half Scottish) and thought it’d be a lovely way to spend the weekend – he wasn’t half wrong!
I’ve never been to Edinburgh before so the castle was on the top of my list of attractions to visit. We arrived in plenty of time for the 11am slot Mr S had booked online. Unfortunately we arrived and he realised he’d left the tickets at home!! I started to panic a little, thinking we’d have to pay again, or even worse – wouldn’t be allowed in – but he spoke to a staff member who was amazing. Run through all the records to try to find our details and reprint our tickets. Unfortunately he couldn’t find them & after some investigation it turns out Mr S hadn’t booked them directly with the castle as he had first thought. A little while later crisis was diverted when he found the email on his phone, had it scanned and we were allowed in and on our way! Phew!
The castle itself is magnificent. It proudly stands on a hill and is a centre focus for all to see. We stood from ground level admiring it before we climbed up to see more. On the day we attended the weather was freezing!! It even snowed for a while. The wind up there on the hill was pretty chilly and blew us all over the shot. Top tip – don’t bother straightening your hair before you go! haha
There is so much to see and do in the castle grounds. So many places to walk – up and down stairs with incredible views all over Edinburgh. There is a war and regimental museum inside the grounds too – I’ll save that for another post though so as not to make this one too photo heavy!
I got some great photos of us all around the grounds, but this is one of my favourites. So many opportunities for creative photos at different levels with brilliant backgrounds. Take a decent camera with you and don’t rely on your phone!
Be aware that at one O’clock in the afternoon every day, a 105mm field gun is fired from right here! We were wandering around and suddenly happened upon lots of tourists perched in good view to see the gun go off. It lets off a massive bang, a little bit of smoke and then everyone carries on like nothing happened! We were very surprised! Apparently it’s been a tradition since the dawn of time lol – we had no idea. Another reason why a little research in advance is always a good thing!
The castle was home to kings and queens. Queen Margaret (later St Margaret) died here in 1093, and Mary Queen of Scots, gave birth to James VI in the royal palace in 1566. You can feel the history as you walk around.
I thought it would perhaps have been busier, however as Adam pointed out we kept walking in the opposite direction to the crowds! I have a habit of doing that. I like exploring places no one else is going!
We spent the best part of four hours walking around and exploring the castle and on the way out we were lucky to happen upon a piper and he was wearing my families tartan too which made it even more special! I felt for him, standing there in the bitter cold wind, but he was clearly used to it. Very talented too!
There were a number of gift shops around the castle, this one was manned by a lovely lady from Michigan in America. We always seem to get chatting to strangers when we’re on our travels and she was explaining how she was over here travelling herself. She knew so much about the castle too, we were impressed. In fact all the staff were lovely.
Adam purchased this cute snow globe for me as a token memory from our visit here. Every time I look at it, I am reminded of standing at the top of the castle, freezing cold in the first snow of the year! Not sure how he will top it next Valentines Day !!