Family Days Out

History, views, and more at Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle is a fantastic family-friendly attraction in this most family-friendly of cities. We visited recently and absolutely loved it. Here are seven reasons why you should make sure Edinburgh Castle is on your list of “must-visits” next time you head to the Scottish capital:

1. The views are spectacular. When you visit somewhere with so much history as Edinburgh Castle, it doesn’t make much sense to spend so much time staring out at the views, but when they are this amazing, you can’t help it! There are helpful viewing information points to let you know what you’re looking at dotted around, which is great for showing little ones the history that surrounds them.

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2. Mons Meg. This cannon represented cutting edge technology at the time in the 1400s. In her time, she could blast a 150kg gunstone around two miles towards a target, which is quite remarkable if you think about it. It’s amazing to touch the cannon and know that you’re touching something so old but so well-constructed, and it’s also fascinating to read about the cannon’s journey (it’s slow, slow, SLOW journey!) to Scotland.

3. The One o’clock gun looks pretty modest when viewed after Mons Meg, but it’s a great sight nonetheless. The gun is fired at 1pm every day and is part of an age-old tradition that Edinburgh is very proud of.

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4. The wooden roof of the Great Hall is one of the finest in Britain. The armour and weapons on display in the Great Hall will appeal to kids with an interest in history and to little ones who love pointing at shiny things!

5. The Crown Jewels. The Honours of Scotland are beautifully displayed inside a special exhibition. You can get so close to the Crown Jewels that you feel you could almost touch them (you can’t, obviously).

6. Prisons of War. The Prisons of War recreates life inside the castle prison. It’s full of sights, smells, and sounds that make you feel you’re transported back 300 years to the time when French privateers were captured during the Seven Years War. The carvings and ‘graffiti’ from prisoners hundreds of years ago on the wooden doors are an amazing sight.

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7. The gift shop. It seems silly to include a gift shop in our list of highlights, but Edinburgh Castle gift shop is a good one! It’s well worth a look around, especially if you have family to buy for during your stay.

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So there you have it. Edinburgh Castle is a brilliant draw for families with kids of all ages. It’s certainly worth the walk up the Royal Mile, and the queues for tickets which inevitably start mid-morning at the weekend.

Where it is: Castlehill, Edinburgh, EH1 2NG

Cost: Adult (16-59) £16.50, Child (5-15) £9.90, Concessions (60+ and unemployed) £13.20

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