Morning

1. Portcullis Gate 

Pass through a gateway built almost 450 years ago following the devastation wrought by the Lang Siege. Look up to see a spiked portcullis, raised today to let visitors inside. The top floor was added in the 1880s.

2. Argyle Battery

Stand on a six-gun battery, built in the 1730s. The views over the city towards Fife are spectacular. The cannons here were made in about 1810, at the time of the Napoleonic Wars with France.

3. Lang Stairs

Take the direct route to the summit of the Castle Rock, up a great flight of steps that once constituted the original entrance – there is a gentler but longer alternative route around the cobbled hill.

4. Argyle Tower

Step inside the upper floor of the Portcullis Gate. It dates to 1887 but is named after the 9th Earl of Argyll, imprisoned close by before his execution for treason in 1685. The exhibition here tells the story of Victorian plans to rebuild the castle.

5. Prisons of War Exhibition

Explore the vaults under the Great Hall where prisoners of war and pirates were held in the 18th and 19th centuries. Learn about the sailors who were incarcerated here, including many Americans and a five-year-old French drummer boy captured at the Battle of Trafalgar.

6. Military Prisons

This miniature version of a Victorian prison was reserved for offending soldiers. Inmates were kept in solitary confinement and compelled to do hard punishment such as working a treadmill for hours on end for offences such as being 'drunk on guard'.

7. Royal Scots Museum

Explore the heritage of the Royal Scots, formerly the oldest serving regiment in the British Army and known as 'Pontius Pilate's Bodyguard'. In this independent regimental museum there are stories from more than 350 years of campaigning, including the heroics behind the six Victoria Crosses on display.

8. Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Museum

Discover more about the history of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, the senior Scottish regiment in the British Army in this independent regimental museum. Don't miss the French Eagle and Standard captured at the Battle of Waterloo in an epic cavalry charge.

9. New Barracks

Built during the Napoleonic Wars with France, this seven-storey building once housed a full infantry battalion. The military continues to use the barracks today and hence they are off limits to visitors.

10. Governor's House

The Georgian lodgings built in 1742 for the castle's Governor are still used for their original purpose. The Ordnance Survey, the organisation that maps the country, may have had its genesis in the house's basement. It is not accessible to visitors.

11. Western Battlements

Take in the spectacular views to the west of Edinburgh from this high rampart, with distant Highland peaks visible on clear days, particularly when capped with snow.

12. National War Museum

Learn more about Scotland's proud military history through an outstanding collection. Look out for iconic paintings like The Thin Red Line, military kilts and bagpipes and modern-day weaponry - and don't forget to say hello to Bob the dog.

13. One o'clock Gun Exhibition

Read about Scotland's most explosive time keeper. The 105mm field gun is fired every day at 1pm, except Sundays, Good Friday and Christmas Day. A gun has been fired here since 1861 as a time signal to shipping in the Firth of Forth.

14. Low Defences

Take the steps down by the One o'Clock Gun to a two-gun battery directly below the Argyle Battery. You may have the uninterrupted view across the city to yourself.