I went to Edinburgh Castle today, perched mightily on a volcanic rock, overlooking the city. With my annual membership of Historic Scotland, entry to the castle is free and whilst I enjoyed my visit, I must admit I was relieved that I didn't have to pay the standard £14 entry fee - I think I might have been a little disappointed. Anyone planning on visiting Scotland - take advice from the Scot.....if you really want to see a great castle visit Stirling Castle.
Take a walk to the esplanade of the castle in Edinburgh and have a look, but for views over the city climb Arthur's Seat for free and then catch a train to Stirling and visit the castle there. This summer, the culmination of a £12M restoration project , will open at Stirling Castle. The Palace Project will return the six ground floor apartments in the castle's Renaissance palace to how they may have looked in the 16th century. This has included a wide array of traditional skills - creating magnificent 4-poster beds; heraldic decorations on the ceiling; carved toy soldiers 4.5cm tall; the creation of 7 tapestries to decorate the Queen's Inner Hall and more.
The castle has recently created a gallery to house the Scottish Heads.....33 carved oak medallions which once decorated the ceilings of the royal apartments in the castle, carved with the faces of Scottish kings and queens.
The castle has already seen the successful renovation of the Great Hall, the largest banqueting hall ever built. It was built in 1503 and restored to its 16th century glory in 1999.
So, I enjoyed Edinburgh Castle, but really can't wait to be back here extolling the glory of Stirling Castle.