Edinburgh travel tips

Edinburgh travel tips

Edinburgh welcomes millions of travellers every year eager to enjoy the sights of an amazing city .Here are my two top travel tips for anyone visiting the capital for the first time .

1 Castle explorer pass

Scotland has over a thousand castles . Whether you are an Outlander or a Game of Thrones fan or just fascinated with history , Scotland is the best place in the world to explore castles . Edinburgh Castle is probably the most famous castle in the UK. If you want to visit a few castles during your stay I recommend an Explorer Pass , available from Historic Environment Scotland . The pass allows you skip the line entry to all of the castle and country houses run by HES , including Edinburgh Castle, Stirling , Doune and Blackness Castle , Linlithgow Palace and many more places. Castle tours are available from Private tours Edinburgh .

Phone 0131 549 9785 for details of our daily tours from Edinburgh

2 UK SIM card

For most of us internet access on our phone is essential to keep up with email and social media. Most phone , electrical shops and supermarkets in Edinburgh can supply a UK SIM card for your phone with special deals on data for a month for up to £10.

Doune Castle tours – Monty Python and the Holy Grail , castle Winterfell in Game of Thrones.

Four ancient Scottish castles feature in this tour – Drummond Castle and Gardens , Stirling Castle , Doune Castle and Linlithgow Palace. Phone 07305-294773 for more details or contact us online .

1 Drummond Castle and Gardens

Drummond Castle and Gardens – the grounds, which date back to 1630, are considered “the best example of formal terraced gardens in Scotland”. The castle was used as the Palace of Versailles in an episode of TV drama Outlander.

2

Doune Castle

doune castle , outlanderOriginally dating to the 13th Century, Doune Castle near Stirling plays Castle Leoch, home to Colum MacKenzie and his clan in Outlander TV series .

Doune Castle tours - Monty Python and the Holy Grail , castle Winterfell in Game of Thrones.
Doune Castle tours – Monty Python and the Holy Grail , castle Winterfell in Game of Thrones.

It also features in the 20th century episode when Claire and Frank Randall visit the castle on a day trip. Doune has appeared several times on screen and was widely used in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It also represented the castle Winterfell in Game of Thrones.

doune castle, outlander tours

Once a Royal residence, Doune Castle was rebuilt by Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany in the late 14th Century.

Doune castle tours
Once a Royal residence, Doune Castle was rebuilt by Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany in the late 14th Century.

3

Linlithgow Palace

This royal pleasure palace and birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots became the backdrop for some of the most harrowing scenes of the TV show Outlander .

Linlithgow Palace tours , castle tours
Linlithgow Palace tours

Depicted as Wentworth Prison, the prison corridors and entrance were used in episode 15 of the first series when Jamie Fraser was brutally incarcerated by his adversary, Black Jack Randall.

Built in the 1400s and 1500s, the now-ruined palace is set among the spectacular surrounds of Linlithgow Loch and Peel.

4 Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle is one of Scotland’s most impressive castles due to its imposing position and impressive architecture.

This day trip from Edinburgh is ideal for solo travellers and small groups of up to to 4 people .

Day trip from Edinburgh

Your tour guide/ driver is David . Find out more about him on Tripadvisor

Drummond Castle Gardens tour

 

Drummond Castle Gardens tour


Drummond Castle and Gardens – the grounds, which date back to 1630, are considered “the best example of formal terraced gardens in Scotland”. The castle was used as the Palace of Versailles in an episode of TV drama Outlander.

Drummond Castle Gardens, which are protected as a category A listed building — in contrast to the B listed castle — already attract thousands of visitors per year, and are included on the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland.The gardens — complete with peacocks — feature ancient yew hedges and the remaining beech tree planted by Queen Victoria in 1842.But the grounds — which also featured in 1995 feature film Rob Roy, starring Liam Neeson — could now see a huge boost in tourist numbers thanks to the so-called “Outlander effect”.

Visit four ancient Scottish castles in our unique tour – Drummond Castle Gardens , Stirling Castle , Doune Castle and Linlithgow Palace. Phone 07305-294773 for more details and bookings

Tour of four ancient Scottish castles

Four ancient Scottish castles feature in this tour – Drummond Castle and Gardens , Stirling Castle , Doune Castle and Linlithgow Palace .

1 Drummond Castle and Gardens

Drummond Castle and Gardens – the grounds, which date back to 1630, are considered “the best example of formal terraced gardens in Scotland”. The castle was used as the Palace of Versailles in an episode of TV drama Outlander.

Drummond Castle Gardens, which are protected as a category A listed building — in contrast to the B listed castle — already attract thousands of visitors per year, and are included on the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland.The gardens — complete with peacocks — feature ancient yew hedges and the remaining beech tree planted by Queen Victoria in 1842.But the grounds — which also featured in 1995 feature film Rob Roy, starring Liam Neeson — could now see a huge boost in tourist numbers thanks to the so-called “Outlander effect”.

2

Doune Castle

doune castle , outlanderOriginally dating to the 13th Century, Doune Castle near Stirling plays Castle Leoch, home to Colum MacKenzie and his clan in Outlander TV series .

It also features in the 20th century episode when Claire and Frank Randall visit the castle on a day trip. Doune has appeared several times on screen and was widely used in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It also represented the castle Winterfell in Game of Thrones.

Once a Royal residence, Doune Castle was rebuilt by Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany in the late 14th Century.

doune castle, outlander tours

 

 

3

Linlithgow Palace

Linlithgow Palace photos , 44 printThis royal pleasure palace and birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots became the backdrop for some of the most harrowing scenes of the TV show Outlander .

Depicted as Wentworth Prison, the prison corridors and entrance were used in episode 15 of the first series when Jamie Fraser was brutally incarcerated by his adversary, Black Jack Randall.

Built in the 1400s and 1500s, the now-ruined palace is set among the spectacular surrounds of Linlithgow Loch and Peel.

 

4 Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle is one of Scotland’s most impressive castles due to its imposing position and impressive architecture.

From Stirling Castle’s ramparts, visitors can take in views of the Forth Valley and Ben Lomond , as well as two of Scotland’s most important battle sites – Stirling Bridge (1297) and Bannockburn (1314). The castle is at the head of Stirling’s historic old town.Like Edinburgh Castle , Stirling sits on a volcanic rock dominating the city skyline .

stirling castle tours

Stirling Castle is not only one of Scotland’s grandest and most imposing castles, it was also a real favourite with Scotland’s kings and queens. And their investment in it demonstrated just how much they loved to use it, as well as their desire to ensure it both impressed all who visited it, and represented a statement of their power and wealth. James IV created the Great Hall, the largest medieval banqueting hall ever built in Scotland, and James V’s Royal Palace, with its lavishly decorated Renaissance façades, was a masterpiece of the period.

Major conservation work has been carried out at Stirling Castle over many years to preserve the attraction as a major national and international monument. The refurbishment of the Great Hall was completed a couple of years ago . A particular feature of the Great Hall is stained glass windows featuring clan crests . A number of banquets and concerts are held in the Hall throughout the year .

Scottish Castles Tour

Four ancient Scottish castles feature in this tour – Drummond Castle and Gardens , Stirling Castle , Doune Castle and Linlithgow Palace .

1 Drummond Castle and Gardens

Drummond Castle and Gardens – the grounds, which date back to 1630, are considered “the best example of formal terraced gardens in Scotland”. The castle was used as the Palace of Versailles in an episode of TV drama Outlander.

drummond castle gardens , Outlander tours
Drummond Castle Gardens  tours

Drummond Castle Gardens, which are protected as a category A listed building — in contrast to the B listed castle — already attract thousands of visitors per year, and are included on the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland.The gardens — complete with peacocks — feature ancient yew hedges and the remaining beech tree planted by Queen Victoria in 1842.But the grounds — which also featured in 1995 feature film Rob Roy, starring Liam Neeson — could now see a huge boost in tourist numbers thanks to the so-called “Outlander effect”.

Doune Castle

doune castle , outlanderOriginally dating to the 13th Century, Doune Castle near Stirling plays Castle Leoch, home to Colum MacKenzie and his clan in Outlander TV series .

It also features in the 20th century episode when Claire and Frank Randall visit the castle on a day trip. Doune has appeared several times on screen and was widely used in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It also represented the castle Winterfell in Game of Thrones.

Once a Royal residence, Doune Castle was rebuilt by Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany in the late 14th Century.

doune castle, outlander tours

Linlithgow Palace

Linlithgow Palace photos , 44 printThis royal palace and birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots became the backdrop for some of the most harrowing scenes of the TV show Outlander .

Depicted as Wentworth Prison, the prison corridors and entrance were used in episode 15 of the first series when Jamie Fraser was brutally incarcerated by his adversary, Black Jack Randall.

Built in the 1400s and 1500s, the now-ruined palace is set among the spectacular surrounds of Linlithgow Loch and Peel.

4 Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle is one of Scotland’s most impressive castles due to its imposing position and impressive architecture.

From Stirling Castle’s ramparts, visitors can take in views of the Forth Valley and Ben Lomond , as well as two of Scotland’s most important battle sites – Stirling Bridge (1297) and Bannockburn (1314). The castle is at the head of Stirling’s historic old town.Like Edinburgh Castle , Stirling sits on a volcanic rock dominating the city skyline .

stirling castle tours

Stirling Castle is not only one of Scotland’s grandest and most imposing castles, it was also a real favourite with Scotland’s kings and queens. And their investment in it demonstrated just how much they loved to use it, as well as their desire to ensure it both impressed all who visited it, and represented a statement of their power and wealth. James IV created the Great Hall, the largest medieval banqueting hall ever built in Scotland, and James V’s Royal Palace, with its lavishly decorated Renaissance façades, was a masterpiece of the period.

Major conservation work has been carried out at Stirling Castle over many years to preserve the attraction as a major national and international monument. The refurbishment of the Great Hall was completed a couple of years ago . A particular feature of the Great Hall is stained glass windows featuring clan crests . A number of banquets and concerts are held in the Hall throughout the year .

This tour costs £240 for a private group of up to 4 people . Phone 07305-294773 or contact us online for more details.Day trips from Edinburgh contact Private tours Edinburgh +44-131 549 9785 – daily tours of Scotland

Outlander castles tour

The Outlander TV series has been a huge hit on both sides of the Atlantic ,  with much of the series shot in Scotland . Three castles and the town of Falkland feature heavily. This our selection of unique Outlander castles featuring the film locations in Scotland on our Outlander castles tour .

Doune Castle – Castle Leoch

doune castle , outlanderOriginally dating to the 13th Century, Doune Castle near Stirling plays Castle Leoch, home to Colum MacKenzie and his clan.
It also features in the 20th century episode when Claire and Frank Randall visit the castle on a day trip.
Once a Royal residence, Doune Castle was rebuilt by Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany in the late 14th Century.
Doune has appeared several times on screen and was widely used in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It also represented the castle Winterfell in Game of Thrones.

Outlander photo gifts

 

 

Linlithgow Palace – Wentworth Prison

Linlithgow Palace photos , 44 printThis royal pleasure palace and birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots became the backdrop for some of the most harrowing scenes of the show.
Depicted as Wentworth Prison, the prison corridors and entrance were used in episode 15 of the first series when Jamie Fraser was brutally incarcerated by his adversary, Black Jack Randall.
Built in the 1400s and 1500s, the now-ruined palace is set among the spectacular surrounds of Linlithgow Loch and Peel.

Outlander photo gifts –

38 different gifts available

 

 

Blackness Castle – Fort William army headquarters

blackness castle, outlander tours

One of Scotland’s most impressive strongholds, Blackness Castle near Linlithgow was used as the Fort William headquarters of Black Jack Randall.
The 15th-century ex-artillery fortress overlooks the Firth of Forth and is known as “the ship that never sailed” due to its unusual shape.
It was built in the 15th century by one of Scotland’s most powerful families, the Crichtons.

Outlander photo gifts

More Outlander tours pictures on Pinterest

Outlander castles tour

[wpecpp name=”Outlander castles tour” price=”250.00″ align=”center”]

Stirling Castle’s medieval knight revealed

Stirling Castle's medieval knight revealed
Stirling Castle's medieval knight revealed on BBC

A medieval knight whose skeleton was discovered at Stirling Castle has been identified. This Thursday, BBC Two’s History Cold Case series will attempt to discover the identity of the warrior who may have been killed during Scotland’s Wars of Independence with England in the late 13th and 14th centuries. The castle changed hands several times and scientific tests have been used to work out whether he might have been a Scot, an Englishman or even French. The programme focuses on two of 10 skeletons excavated from the site of a lost royal chapel at the castle.A team led by Professor Sue Black, a world-renowned forensic anthropologist from Dundee University, wanted to find out how, why and when the knight, and a woman buried nearby, met violent ends at the castle. Historic Scotland, which cares for over 50 Scottish castles , has announced that it is commissioning further research to find out more about the 10 skeletons, which include two infants.
Painstaking research has revealed that, not only was the knight likely to have come from the south of England, but he was almost certainly at the centre of efforts to repel sieges of the castle when Scots were trying to reclaim it in the 14th century. Forensic experts, archaeologists and historians have joined forces on a project that has unearthed a likely name for the warrior – Sir John De Stricheley – after records showed an English knight of that name died in the castle in October 1341. The remains were found with nine other skeletons under a paved floor in a lost royal chapel in 1997, but their identities were shrouded in mystery until recently, when new scientific tests were carried out.
This work will be carried out by Dr Jo Buckberry of the University of Bradford and archaeological scientists Dr Janet Montgomery (University of Bradford) and Professor Julia Lee-Thorp (University of Oxford). Plans are also being made to include the facial reconstruction, and the other research results, in a permanent exhibition due to open at Stirling Castle next spring.
Richard Strachan, Historic Scotland Senior Archaeologist, said: “Professor Black and her team have done a great job in finding out more about two of the skeletons.

“The facial reconstruction of the knight gives a powerful impression of what a warrior who died in the 1300s may have looked like.
“He was a very strong and fit nobleman, with the physique of a professional rugby player, who would have been trained since boyhood to handle heavy swords and other weapons and who would have spent a great deal of time on horseback.
“We are building on this work through a project with Dr Buckberry, and her colleagues, to use the latest archaeological techniques to discover more about the lives and origins of all the people found buried in the chapel.

“This includes where they were brought up and the food they ate, where they were from, how they died and possibly why they were buried in the castle.”

One intriguing avenue of research will be to compare the results from the Stirling skeletons to those of soldiers found in mass graves who were killed at the Battle of Towton, the decisive clash of England’s Wars of the Roses, in 1461.

Dr Buckberry, a biological anthropologist, said: “Techniques have advanced a long way since the skeletons were discovered in 1997 and we can now tell much more about where people came from, their lifestyles and causes of death.

“This group is highly unusual, because of where and when the people were buried, suggesting that they might have been socially important and have died during extreme events such as sieges.

“As the castle changed hands a number of times these are people who could have come from Scotland, England or even France and one of my hopes is that we will be able to find out where at least some of them originated.”

The skeletons, which date from the 13th to 15th centuries, were found during preparatory work for Historic Scotland’s £12 million refurbishment of the castle’s Renaissance royal palace, returning it to how it may have looked in the 1540s.

Part of the project involves the creation of superb new displays telling the story of the castle through the centuries.

Gillian MacDonald, Stirling Castle Executive Manager, said: “The BBC’s research, and the further investigations we are carrying out, will be an important part of the new exhibitions that visitors will be able to enjoy next spring.

“They will be able to see the reconstruction of the knight, who seems to have survived many terrible wounds before finally being killed.

“The displays will tell the castle’s story from its days as a royal stronghold through to more recent times. These and the newly refurbished apartments in the royal palace will mean there is lots more for visitors to do and see.”