Published: 16 February 2012 // Updated with additional new photos: December 2020

I don't go inside tourist attractions of the historic house and castle variety all that often. The occasional objects of interest on display aren't usually worth the effort of wading through the endless antique chair arrangements and the endless lists of lords who have sat in the antique chairs.

Edinburgh Castle has a little of that. The Honours of Scotland (crown jewels), for example, are laid out in display cases on velvet cushions, if you're excited by that sort of thing. But it has something else, too: a fantastic situation.

The Castle Rock is a volcanic plug, left standing after the ice age, when glaciers cleared the weaker rock from around it. The hill has been inhabited for almost two millennia, with the Castle first developing a thousand years ago and Edinburgh Old Town following on the "tail" of the hill.

And that now contributes to Edinburgh having one of the nicest skylines and cityscapes of any British city — one which looks as great from the top of the castle as it does with the castle in it.

Gallery: Edinburgh

Explore all of these photos and more in the Edinburgh gallery.

Browse the Edinburgh gallery


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