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Edinburgh Castle dominates the city of Edinburgh like no other castle in Scotland, and Edinburgh Castle is unequalled in the whole of the British Isles. Over one thousand years of history sit on top of the famous Edinburgh rock, and when you see Edinburgh Castle you will understand why over a million visitors a year visit Edinburgh Castle.
When you come to Scotland and visit Edinburgh Castle you will see why the early inhabitants of the area we now call Edinburgh, made their first settlements here, in what is now the city of Edinburgh. People have always sought a safe refuge, and the volcanic rock that forms the base of Edinburgh Castle, has always afforded the ultimate safe and defensive position in Edinburgh.
The City of Edinburgh grew outwards from the Castle rock, and the first houses in Edinburgh were built on the area in front of Edinburgh Castle, which is now known as the Lawnmarket, and then the house building continued down the High Street and The Cannongate towards the Royal Palace of Holyrood House. These streets collectively form a single street known as The Royal Mile. The Royal Mile acquired its name over the ages as Scottish and English kings, queens and royalty in general, have travelled to and fro between the Palace of Holyrood House and Edinburgh Castle - hence the name The Royal Mile.
No visit to Edinburgh is complete without a visit to Edinburgh Castle, and once you have ventured up to the highest parts of Edinburgh Castle’s structure, you will be overwhelmed by the spectacular views of Edinburgh afforded from this Scottish "Castle of Castles".
Edinburgh Castle is every schoolboy's dream of what a castle should look like and the Edinburgh Castle website endeavours to give the Edinburgh visitor an in-depth view of Edinburgh Castle and it's history from early times right up until the present day.
The visitor to the Castle is awarded with magnificent panoramas in every direction when they visit the Castle. No matter whether you are on the lowest levels of the Castle, or the highest points, visitors are delighted by what can be seen. When you look to the north, on a clear day, you can see the mountains of The Kingdom of Fife in the distance and immediately below you are the world famous Princes Street Gardens. Princes Street is unique in that the shops along its length are only on the north side of the street, so from them you have an uninterrupted view of the Castle. Beyond Princes Street is George Street the most original of Edinburgh's Georgian New Town Streets - with shops along its length. Continuing to the north you have Queen Street which runs parallel to it. Beyond Queen Street the remaining New Town Preservation area is mostly residential, and the city can boast of having the most intact Georgian city in the whole of Europe, and has Unicef World Heritage Site status.