Afternoon

1. Foog's Gate

Walk in the footsteps of countless soldiers through this gate that was built during the reign of Charles II in the late 1600s - and look out for the musket and cannon openings on either side. The meaning of its name is a mystery.

2. Mons Meg

Stare down the barrel of this celebrated siege gun and imagine the power it once unleashed. Given to King James II in 1457, Mons Meg could fire gunstones weighing 150kg for up to 3.2km (two miles) - one was fired over the city in honour of the marriage of Mary Queen of Scots.

3. St Margaret's Chapel

Enter the oldest building in the castle for a brief moment of peace. The chapel was probably built in about 1130 in memory of King David I's mother Queen Margaret, who was later canonised. Look for the beautiful, decorated arches that may originally have been painted.

4. Panorama of Edinburgh

Take in unmatched views from the battlements across Scotland’s capital city, the Firth of Forth and on to Fife. On a clear day, you can pick out the famous Forth Bridges, the Bass Rock in the firth and Highland peaks including Ben Lomond – as well as many of Edinburgh’s historic sights.

5. Dog Cemetery

Look for the names of the beloved pets of British Army officers and regimental mascots, who have been buried here since the 1840s. Some of these animals travelled the globe to accompany their military masters on campaign.

6. Forewall Battery

See where our cannons are pointing from this battery built in the 1540s on the line of the castle's medieval defences. The iron basket carried a beacon that was lit to raise the alarm. The Fore Well, almost 34m deep, was the Castle's main water supply from the early 1300s

7. Half Moon Battery

Look out from the top of the impressive curved rampart of the Half Moon Battery that gives the castle its distinct profile. This great structure was built around the ruins of the medieval David's Tower, destroyed in the Lang Siege of 1573.

8. David's Tower

Descend beneath the Half Moon Battery to a temporary barracks built in the wake of the Lang Siege of 1573 over the ruined remnants of the once colossal David's Tower.

9. Honours of Scotland and Stone of Destiny

Step inside the Crown Room to see the oldest Crown Jewels in the British Isles. The priceless Crown, Sceptre and Sword of State were first used together for the coronation of Mary Queen of Scots in 1543. You can also see the iconic Stone of Destiny, used to inaugurate monarchs for centuries.

10. Royal Apartments 

Explore the castle’s royal residence, where monarchs stayed when they sought the safety of this mighty stronghold. Look for the fine fireplaces, the beautifully restored Laich Hall and – above the entrance to the apartments – the gilded initials MAH, for Mary Queen of Scots and her second husband Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley.

11. James VI Birth Chamber

Enter the little room where the future King James VI, first monarch of both Scotland and England, was born in 1566. It is still decorated as it was for his golden jubilee celebrations when he returned to his birthplace in 1617.

12. Great Hall

This magnificent hall was completed in 1511 for the state ceremonies of King James IV. You can still see the original hammerbeam roof - look for carvings on the stones holding it up. There is a remarkable collections of weapons and armour around the walls.

13. Scottish National War Memorial

Reflect on the sacrifice made by those who fell in the First and Second World Wars and subsequent military campaigns. This remarkable memorial was opened in 1927, drawing on the talents of some of Scotland's finest artists and craftsmen and women.