Trip Planner:   Europe  /  UK  /  Scotland  /  Edinburgh  /  Castle Rock

Castle Rock, Edinburgh

4.6
#8 of 22 in Parks in Edinburgh
Castle Rock is a volcanic plug in the middle of Edinburgh upon which Edinburgh Castle sits. The rock is estimated to have formed some 350 million years ago during the early Carboniferous period. It is the remains of a volcanic pipe which cut through the surrounding sedimentary rock, before cooling to form very hard dolerite, a coarser-grained equivalent of basalt. Subsequent glacial erosion was resisted more by the dolerite, which protected the softer rock to the east, leaving a crag and tail formation.The summit of the castle rock is 130m above sea level, with rocky cliffs to the south, west and north, rearing up to 80m from the surrounding landscape. This means that the only readily accessible route to the castle lies to the east, where the ridge slopes more gently. The defensive advantage of such a site is clear, but the geology of the rock also presents difficulties, since basalt is an extremely poor aquifer. Providing water to the Upper Ward of the castle was problematic, and despite the sinking of a 28m deep well, the water supply often ran out during drought or siege, for example during the Lang Siege of 1573.
Plan to visit Castle Rock and other customer-reviewed, writer-recommended Edinburgh attractions using our Edinburgh vacation generator.
Source
Create an itinerary including Castle Rock
map
Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
139 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • August 2, 2017
    The rock is visible from distance in all directions. It seems a great place to build a castle and they did. It is the heart of the city.  more »
  • July 24, 2017
    I remember learning about the castle rock in geography at school many,many years ago. It is a volcanic plug with a "tail". The castle is built on the plug and the esplanade is the "tail". As it is hig...  more »
  • June 29, 2017
    The castle is great (even for European standards) so it is worth the hike up to the castle from below. Their are enough areas to keep everyone in your party entertained. Just pray for good weather and...  more »

Plan your trip to Edinburgh

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Edinburgh

Edinburgh hides a maze of cobbled streets dotted with boutique hotels offering inexpensive rooms and outstanding restaurants. Many of the city's Gothic buildings house chic hotels with easy access to most of the city’s main tourist sites. For a uniquely Scottish experience, consider staying in the famous old town. Despite being in this historical district, many hotels here feature contemporary decor with lots of glass walls and muted color schemes. They’re also known for offering spacious rooms, comfortable beds, and restaurants serving classic European cuisine, with a modern Scottish twist.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in Edinburgh by other users

5 days in Edinburgh & Bengaluru BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES November, historic sites, museums, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: November, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 10 days in Scotland BY A USER FROM GERMANY October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 26 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 31 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM QATAR December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in Scotland BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES November, historic sites, museums, shopping, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: November, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 10 days in United Kingdom & Sardinia BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM June, culture, beaches, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: June, culture, beaches, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 60 days in Europe BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM January, culture, beaches, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, culture, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Scotland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 28 days in United Kingdom, Tel Aviv & Barcelona BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA April, kids, popular PREFERENCES: April, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Scotland BY A USER FROM ITALY November, kids, popular PREFERENCES: November, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 21 days in Spain, Ireland & Scotland BY A USER FROM INDIA November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 17 days in Europe BY A USER FROM INDIA November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans