Scotland’s famous icon, Edinburgh Castle, is the ‘crowning glory’ of our list of places to visit in Scotland. It is the symbol of both the City and the country of Scotland, appearing on the coats of arms. The castle is part of the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site and is home to the Honours (Crown Jewels) of Scotland, the Stone of Destiny and the National War Museum of Scotland.
Built on a dormant volcano and dominating Edinburgh’s skyline, the Castle has centuries of history behind it and has certainly had many owners. It is believed to have been originally built as an Iron Age settlement and became a royal residence from the 12th Century.
From 1296 and for over 500 years, it was occupied and fought over by the Scots and the English and is probably the most attacked place in the UK ever. From the 18th Century until relatively recently it was used as a prison housing many war prisoners.
It’s not surprising then that many believe the Castle to be haunted. Many ghosts have been reportedly seen including a headless drumming man and the Castle’s legendary Lone Bagpiper, whose echoing pipes have been heard along the building’s underground tunnels. Funnily enough, you’re actually more likely to see one of these spooky characters than a real Edinburgh University student. Why? Well, legend has it that any student who passes through the Castle gates will fail their exams, so many don’t want to risk it! Just one of the many myths and stories that surround this building seeped in turmoil, history and intrigue.