Few sights can match the romance of a
Scottish castle set upon a small island in the middle of a quiet loch.
These formidable retreats, often in remote settings, were built all
over the Highlands, where incursions and strife between the clans were
common. From the earliest Pictish brochs (Iron Age stone
Towers) and Norman-influenced motte and bailey castles, the
distinctively Scottish tower-house evolved, first appearing in the
14th century. By the mid-17th century fashion had become more
important than defense, and there followed a period in which numerous
huge Scottish palaces were built.
Standing upon the basalt core of an existing
volcano, Edinburgh castle is an assemblage of buildings dating from
the 12th to the 20th century, reflecting its changing role as a
fortress, royal palace, military garrison and state prison.
This most famous of Scottish castles has a complex
building history. The oldest part, St Margaret’s Chapel, dates from
the 12th century; the Great Hall was erected by James IV around
1510; the Half Moon Battery by the Regent Morton in the late 16th
century; and the Scottish National War Memorial after the First
The castle houses the Honours (Crown Jewels) of
Scotland, the Stone of Destiny, the famous 15th-century gun Mons Meg,
the One o’ Clock Gun and the National War Museum of Scotland.
In addition to guided tours provided by the castle
stewards, there is an audio guide tour available in six languages. The
audio tour takes the visitor on a tour around the castle, explains its
architecture, and tells its dramatic history. This guide is available
in English, French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Japanese and German.
::Edinburgh Military Tattoo::
From its early days, the Edinburgh
Tattoo has been an international favourite. Performers from 30
countries have presented here, and around 35 per cent of the
217,000 audience each year are from overseas.
In addition, the Tattoo has been
televised in 30 countries. An annual television audience of 100
million watches the coverage worldwide.
The international flavor of the Tattoo
has been deliberately developed as a key element in its capacity to
entertain a huge, cosmopolitan audience.
Standing on a cliff's edge in an extensive parkland
estate, the 16th century keep of Culzean (pronounced Cullayn), home of
the Earl of Cassillis, wqas remodeled between 1777 and 1792 by the
Neo-classical architect Robert Adam.
Rising high on a rocky crag, this magnificent
castle, which dominated Scottish history for centuries, now remains
one of the finest examples of Renaissance architecture in Scotland.
::Eilean Donan Castle::
On a bright
day, particularly in autumn when the colors are so warm and varied,
Scotland can boast of no more picturesque castle. It appears a
photographer's dream, yet each year more disappointing pictures must
be taken of this site than any other in the country, for no photograph
can begin to capture the totality of the scene. However, those wishing
to disprove that statement may like to start by climbing the old road
to the isles, running through the trees above the A87.
For more information on the above locations, please
www.Affordabletours.com or check out the links below: