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Day Trips to the Ancient Castles near Edinburgh

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Day Trips to the Ancient Castles near Edinburgh

If you find yourself in Edinburgh, Scotland, you are in for a treat! Not only is the city itself a treasure trove of historical landmarks and stunning architecture, but it is also surrounded by ancient castles that will transport you back in time. These castles, perched on rugged cliffs or nestled amidst lush greenery, offer a glimpse into Scotland’s rich history and are perfect day trip destinations for locals and tourists alike.

One such castle is the imposing Edinburgh Castle, which is situated right in the heart of the city. This majestic fortress stands atop Castle Rock and offers panoramic views of the cityscape. As you wander through its stone walls and various buildings, you’ll learn about the battles and sieges it endured and the royal residents who once called it home. Don’t forget to catch the firing of the One o’clock Gun, a tradition that has been carried out daily for over a century, and explore the Crown Jewels on display. Edinburgh Castle is a must-visit for anyone interested in Scotland’s royal heritage and military history.

Just a short drive from Edinburgh lies the enchanting Linlithgow Palace, the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots. This picturesque ruin sits on the shores of Linlithgow Loch and is surrounded by beautiful gardens. As you explore the palace, you can imagine what life would have been like for the royal court in the 16th century. Marvel at the elegance of the Great Hall, stroll through the majestic courtyard, and admire the splendid fountain that once entertained the castle’s inhabitants. If you’re feeling adventurous, take a boat ride on the loch and experience the tranquility of the surroundings.

Another castle that is definitely worth a visit is Dunnottar Castle. Located on a dramatic cliff overlooking the North Sea, this medieval fortress will leave you in awe of its sheer beauty and rich history. With its rugged landscape and imposing stone walls, Dunnottar Castle offers a truly unforgettable sight. Take a walk along the winding path that leads to the castle and immerse yourself in its fascinating past. From battles with Vikings to visits from Scottish kings, this castle has seen it all. Don’t forget to bring your camera, as the views of the sea and surrounding landscape are breathtaking.

For those seeking a more mystical experience, a trip to Rosslyn Chapel is a must. This 15th-century chapel, adorned with intricate carvings and mysterious symbols, has captivated visitors for centuries. Believed to be the resting place of the Holy Grail and steeped in legends and myths, Rosslyn Chapel is a place where history and mystery intertwine. Marvel at the delicate stonework, explore its crypts and listen to the fascinating stories that the chapel’s guides have to share. Located just a short drive from Edinburgh, Rosslyn Chapel offers a unique and unforgettable experience.

Lastly, no discussion of ancient castles near Edinburgh would be complete without mentioning Stirling Castle. This grand fortress, perched on a volcanic rock, played a pivotal role in Scotland’s history. From its commanding position, Stirling Castle has witnessed numerous battles and royal ceremonies. Step inside its walls and immerse yourself in the opulence of the Great Hall, explore the beautifully restored Royal Palace, and visit the Chapel Royal. Make sure to also take in the panoramic views of the surrounding countryside from the castle’s ramparts, and don’t miss the chance to see the iconic Stirling Heads, a collection of intricately carved oak portraits of Scottish royalty.

With its proximity to Edinburgh, exploring the ancient castles is an experience that should not be missed. Whether you are a history enthusiast or simply appreciate stunning architecture, a day trip to these castles will transport you to a bygone era. So, pack your camera, bring your sense of wonder, and embark on an adventure to discover the ancient castles near Edinburgh.

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