Edinburgh Castle Facts

Posted on Jun 15, 2023 by Questo Team

Majestically positioned atop an ancient volcano in Scotland's capital city, Edinburgh Castle remains one of the most significant and emblematic structures in the country.

For centuries, it has been at the heart of Scotland's tumultuous history, serving as a royal residence, military stronghold, and the backdrop for countless sieges and power struggles. In this detailed guide, we will explore the fascinating construction of the castle, the best times to visit, interesting trivia, and captivating curiosities.

Additionally, we'll share an exciting way for travelers to explore the area surrounding the Edinburgh Castle using the Questo app.

Construction Details

Edinburgh Castle's strategic location has made it a central figure in Scotland's history. Its unique position atop Castle Rock, a 700-million-year-old extinct volcano, offers impressive, wide-ranging views of the city below, making it a naturally fortified position.

The earliest known structure on Castle Rock is the small chapel of St. Margaret, which dates back to the 12th century. However, the majority of the castle's current structure was constructed later, with the Great Hall added in the early 16th century, the Royal Palace and the Half Moon Battery in the late 16th century, and the Scottish National War Memorial after the First World War.

Best Time to Visit

The Edinburgh Castle is open all year round, excluding some public holidays. The busiest period tends to be during the summer months, in line with the Edinburgh Festival in August. To avoid crowds, consider visiting in the late morning on weekdays, preferably outside of the peak holiday seasons.

Explore with Questo

Your journey doesn't have to end at the castle gates. The surrounding area of Edinburgh Castle, known as the Royal Mile, is rich in historical and cultural experiences. To make your exploration more engaging and enjoyable, we recommend using the Questo app. This tool transforms your journey into an interactive game, making learning about the area's history fun and engaging. Unearth hidden gems, local legends, and tales tied to the historical heart of Edinburgh with Questo.

Fun Facts

  1. Edinburgh Castle is home to Scotland's crown jewels. Besides the Crown, Sceptre, and Sword of State, visitors can also view the Stone of Destiny, used in the coronation of Scottish rulers.

  2. Every day at 1 pm, except Sundays, Good Friday, and Christmas Day, a gun is fired from the castle in a tradition dating back to 1861. This was originally a time signal for ships in the Firth of Forth and the harbor of Leith.

  3. The castle was a royal residence until 1603, after which the royal court moved to London following the Union of the Crowns.


Edinburgh Castle has many fascinating stories and legends attached to it. It is said to be one of the most haunted places in Scotland, with reported sightings of ghosts, including the spirits of French prisoners from the Seven Years War and colonial prisoners from the American Revolutionary War.

Furthermore, it houses a tiny dog cemetery, established in the 1840s as a burial place for officer's pets and regimental mascots.


Edinburgh Castle stands as a testament to Scotland's vibrant history. Its towering presence over Scotland's capital invites exploration and offers insights into the country's past. Beyond the castle, the Questo app provides an exciting, interactive way to explore the city and learn about its historical significance in a captivating manner. A visit to Edinburgh Castle and its surrounding areas offers not just an enriching journey into Scotland's past, but also an engaging, memorable adventure.