They’re on many a holiday itinerary and group activity and I’ve probably racked up more castles in my 53 years than Richard the Lionheart, and a fair few racks too! I’ll kick of this series where Robert the Bruce’s nephew Thomas Randolph kicked out the English.
It’s the castle I know best… we’d take every visitor through there from Glasgow when I was a child and as an adult I worked on the same street, the Royal Mile.
Hewn from volcanic rock , it has been inhabited since the Iron Age and was a royal residence of Scottish monarchs from the 12th to the 17th Century.
At the heart of many of the pivotal moments in Scottish history it was besieged 26 times in its 1100-year history, making it one of the most attacked garrisons in the world although today it’s mainly Americans and Asians wielding cameras.
Just in case there’s another siege, although it’s really for ceremonial reasons, at 1pm every day they fire a gun ‘The One O’Clock Gun’ from a cannon (don’t worry, it’s not live ammo).
Also home to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. No, the battalions don’t show off their conquests on their arms, that’s what they call a massed display of miltary bands. If you like kilties and the swirl of the pipes this is for you. Starting Friday, it runs to August 24.
Visit www.edinburghcastle.scot. www.edintattoo.co.uk. www.visitscotland.com. Aer Lingus www.aerlingus.com and Ryanair www.ryanair.com both fly to Edinburgh.
MEET YOU ON THE RAMPARTS
Next week: Lourdes Castle.