For the second in this series of monthly 'hotspots' I'm introducing you to three of Edinburgh Castle's many highlights...
As you enter the castle, you will walk between two statues of iconic Scots figures. To the left of the archway is King Robert the Bruce, and on the right is the warrior William Wallace, known as 'Braveheart'. Few people realise that it was originally Robert the Bruce who was known as 'the Brave Heart' after his heart was carried in a lead casket on the crusades through Europe in the fourteen century. A Hollywood screenwriter associated the nickname with William Wallace in the early 1990s...
At the very top of the castle is the Scottish National War Memorial, built in the aftermath of World War One, now containing the records of every Scottish soldier lost in conflicts during the twentieth century. It's a poignant and peaceful building, with access included in your castle entry ticket.
And the small antechamber in the former royal palace buildings was accessed through Mary Queen of Scots's bedchamber. It was in this room that she gave birth to her son in 1566, who became James VI of Scotland after her death, and later became the first king to rule Scotland and England together, as James I of England.
I usually advise visitors to allow at least two hours to visit the castle, to give time to explore all the buildings and enjoy the views out over the city. And (most importantly!) book your castle tickets online in advance to save queuing up to an hour for tickets in the summer...
Explore the city in more detail with my Up-Close and Personal private walking tours - contact me for more information!
Edinburgh Expert is run by Gareth Davies, an adopted native of Edinburgh with 18 years of experience living and working in the city.