Edinburgh Castle dominates one of the world’s most heroic and bloody national histories. Set on a dead volcano, the castle is an imposing sight with its thick defensive walls. This 2-hour tour gives you an insider’s view of the city’s number one attraction, first letting you skip the line and then revealing the secrets of this fortress, from one of the world’s few official dog cemeteries to the smallest shrine in the world. Learn about the castle’s wicked and wonderful history from the guide.
A few facts about Edinburgh Castle: there has been human occupation on the rock upon which the castle sits since the 2nd century AD. And since 1840, the castle grounds have been home to a cemetery for soldiers’ best friends: dogs.
Make your way to the castle to meet your guide and experience one immediate advantage to this 2-hour walking tour: you get to bypass the usually long line and go right into the castle. No waiting. Then listen as the guide shares the insider’s view and secrets of this ancient spot. Learn, for example, about the bloody battles and invasions that have taken place here over the centuries. Visit the National War Museum to get an up close view of the battles that have shaped Scotland and Edinburgh. Walk through Crown Square, the main courtyard of the castle. See the Crown Jewels of Scotland, including the Stone of Destiny, an oblong block of red sandstone that was used in the coronation of Scottish monarchs.
In addition, visit the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots, the 16th-century monarch who was beheaded for plotting to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I. You’ll also see the dog cemetery, the final resting place for canine companions of regimental officers and one of the few cemeteries dedicated to dog in the world. At the end of the tour, you can stay on and explore more of the castle on your own.