• Kaitlyn Chatwood

Craigmillar Castle open with Living History Event and Get into Summer Initiative.

This summer, be sure to visit Craigmillar Castle; perfect for the family, as an educational trip or simply to admire the beautiful, medieval castle in Scotland. Situated in Edinburgh, this castle is a hidden gem waiting to be explored and they are offering ‘Living History’ events where historical figures come to life.

For anyone and everyone interested in learning more about Scottish history and the people who inhabited the castle such as Mary, Queen of Scots, Craigmillar Castle has set out a programme throughout summer where you can meet various characters from the Middle Ages who have come to life. You can learn the life of a scribe, a Man-At-Arms or information from a real Jacobite Soldier. There will also be extra events from the 17 July – 1 August as part of CastleFest.

Craigmillar Castle has been an important part of Scottish history since figures such as Mary, Queen of Scots resided there twice, including one occasion when she was ill after childbirth.

She also used the castle as a safe haven in 1566 as its owner, Sir Simon Preston, was a loyal supporter of Mary. Today, the castle remains intact and is one of the best preserved medieval castles in Scotland, as it has multiple levels, including the basement, and the top floor has fantastic panoramic views of Edinburgh. There is a courtyard, a Tower House, Gilmour Range as well as Preston Range and the East and West gardens are open.

Most of the spaces within the castle and ranges are open with measures in place to ensure visitors can safely explore the site or enjoy the views: some inside rooms such as the wine cellars have been closed off as physical distancing is not possible, and a one-way system has been introduced in other locations. Visitors will need to pre-book tickets which can be accessed here and face coverings will be required to enter internal spaces.

Craigmillar Castle is managed by Historic Environment Scotland (HES) which is a registered Scottish charity and responsible for caring, protecting and promoting the historic environment. This amazing charity is also the lead on delivering Scotland’s first historic environment strategy, Our Place in Time, and they’re currently responsible for more than 300 properties around Scotland.

Stephen Duncan, Director of Commercial and Tourism at HES said: “We’re delighted that Craigmillar Castle is reopening its doors once more and know how keen our visitors and members have been to get back to enjoying the castle and its spectacular history. As part of the reopening of the castle, we’ve got a packed programme of entertainment to coincide with the start of many school holidays and we’re very much looking forward to welcoming visitors back into the castle.”

For those looking to provide a fun day out for the family or to offer an educational experience for their children, another good reason to go is that kids under 16 get in for free. This is part of the Scottish Governments Get into Summer initiative to ensure that families hit by the pandemic can access sporting, art or any other activity without a cost barrier.

Craigmillar Castle has a variety of fun activities and places to explore in its grounds, as an educational experience or simply to have fun – be sure to book in advance and keep an eye out for special events.