Craigmillar Castle - Highlight
Craigmillar Castle has long been one of my favourite castles. On the outskirts of Edinburgh, it used to - at least in my childhood mind - feel as though it was out in the wilderness, although in the last couple of decades the city has slowly crept in around it. And whilst the journey there, and the roads around it, feel quite a bit busier - the castle itself hasn’t changed.
It’s a castle to capture your imagination, most of it still very much intact. Stepping into the courtyard, through the large wooden doors to be met with the towering walls casting shadow over you, even on the sunniest of days, you have this sense of being transported from one world to another. These almost fantastical trees that guard the door greet you, one of whose ancient trunks curves in such a way that invites you to climb. And leading off from the courtyard are number of doorways to choose from, some eerily dark, making them all the more inviting.
To me, Craigmillar has always felt very Famous Five-esque. Stepping down into the cold, damp dungeons, or wandering through the many passages & rooms, peering into nooks and crannies, you can imagine you’re on Kirrin Island exploring George’s castle. A highlight of which has be climbing the winding stone stairs to very top and walking out along the battlements, with these incredible views across Edinburgh.
And if you’re thinking that Craigmillar might look somewhat familiar, it’s recently been used in quite a few book to screen adaptations, including Outlander and Game of Thrones, as well as the new film Outlaw King.
I couldn’t count how many times I've visited Craigmillar, and yet every time it is as thrilling as before. As mentioned above, it has become a little busier over the years, especially since being featured in screen productions, but unlike Edinburgh’s other castle, it has never felt crowded, and with so many winding passages and rooms to explore, you would be forgiven for thinking you had place to yourself.
Craigmillar Castle Road, Edinburgh, EH16 4SY
1 Apr to 30 Sept:
Daily, 9.30am to 5.30pm
Last entry 5pm
1 Oct to 31 Mar:
Daily, 10am to 4pm
Last entry 3.30pm
For more information and to discover the castle’s history, visit: