Historic Scotland
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Opening times

1 April to 30 September:
Monday to Sunday, 9.30am to 5.30pm

1 to 30 October:
Monday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm

20 November to 31 March:
Daily except Thursday and Friday, 10am to 4pm

Craigmillar Castle will be closed from Tuesday 31 October to Saturday 25 November.

Check here for unexpected closures

Facilities

 

Overview

Step inside Edinburgh’s ‘other castle’, which stood a mile outside the old city walls, providing a retreat from Scotland’s capital. Craigmillar Castle was close to the political cauldron of Edinburgh, but pleasingly separate from it.

Mary Queen of Scots famously used the castle as a safe haven in 1566. Ironically, its owner, Sir Simon Preston, a loyal supporter of Mary, would turn her jailer just a year later.

What to see and do

  • Climb the tower house, one of Scotland’s oldest, which houses fascinating features like a fine great hall and a prison
  • Admire the views from the tower across Edinburgh – spot Holyrood Park and Edinburgh Castle among other landmarks
  • Get lost in Craigmillar’s nooks and crannies – its many mysterious chambers make it a great castle to explore
  • Look for the remains of an unusual fishpond in the grounds – it’s laid out in the shape of a letter P, for Preston
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