Phillida Marino

Phillida Marino

Published: 18 Sep 2023


Craigmillar Castle is a historic landmark located in Edinburgh, Scotland. With its rich history and stunning architecture, it has become a popular tourist destination. This medieval fortress has witnessed centuries of intrigue, battles, and royal escapades, making it a fascinating place to explore. In this article, we will delve into 16 astounding facts about Craigmillar Castle that will ignite your curiosity and deepen your appreciation for this remarkable site. From its connection to famous historical figures to its hidden underground tunnels, there’s so much to discover about this hidden gem. So, let’s embark on a journey through time and unravel the secrets of Craigmillar Castle!

Table of Contents

A Medieval Fortress

Craigmillar Castle dates back to the 14th century and was originally built as a fortified tower house. It served as a defensive structure in times of conflict, featuring walls that were over 2 meters thick.

The Craigmillar Pact

In 1566, Craigmillar Castle became the backdrop for the infamous Craigmillar Pact. This secret agreement allegedly discussed the murder of Lord Darnley, the second husband of Mary, Queen of Scots.

Stunning Architectural Design

The castle boasts a stunning mix of architectural styles, including a courtyard, a tower house, and a great hall. Its intricate details and picturesque setting make it a favorite among photographers and artists.

An Enchanting Garden

Craigmillar Castle is surrounded by a charming garden known as the Hawkhill Garden. This serene space offers beautiful views of the castle and provides a peaceful retreat for visitors.

A Royal Residence

Craigmillar Castle has housed many notable figures throughout history, including Mary, Queen of Scots. She sought refuge at the castle on multiple occasions and is said to have enjoyed its tranquil atmosphere.

The Tower of Craigmillar

The tower, known as the Tower of Craigmillar, is the oldest part of the castle. It offers visitors the chance to explore the fascinating medieval architecture up-close and provides panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

Historical Battle Connections

The castle played a role in various historical battles, including the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh in During the battle, the castle was used as a military hospital by the English forces.

Ghostly Legends

Legend has it that Craigmillar Castle is haunted by a ghost known as the White Lady. Visitors and staff have reported witnessing mysterious apparitions and unexplained phenomena within the castle’s walls.

A Filming Location

Craigmillar Castle’s captivating ambiance has attracted the attention of filmmakers. It has been featured in various movies and TV shows, contributing to its mystique and allure.

Open to the Public

Craigmillar Castle opened its doors to the public in the 20th century and has since welcomed visitors from around the world. It offers guided tours, educational programs, and stunning event spaces for special occasions.

Ruins and Restorations

Over the years, Craigmillar Castle has undergone several restoration projects to preserve its historical significance. While many areas remain in ruins, the castle still exudes an air of grandeur and elegance.

A Hub of Intrigue

Craigmillar Castle’s connections to political and historical intrigue make it an exciting destination for those interested in Scotland’s tumultuous past. Exploring its nooks and crannies is like stepping back in time.

Breathtaking Panoramic Views

From the highest points of the castle, visitors are treated to breathtaking panoramic views of Edinburgh and the surrounding countryside. It is the perfect spot to capture memorable photographs.

Home to Wildlife

The castle’s vast grounds provide a habitat for various wildlife species. Visitors may spot birds, squirrels, and even deer while exploring the castle’s extensive estate.

A Cultural Heritage Site

Craigmillar Castle is recognized as a scheduled monument and is protected by Historic Environment Scotland. Its historical significance and architectural beauty contribute to its status as a cultural heritage site.

The Magic of Craigmillar Castle

Craigmillar Castle has an undeniable charm that captivates all who visit. Its fascinating history, stunning architecture, and natural surroundings combine to create a truly magical experience.

These 16 astounding facts about Craigmillar Castle showcase the castle’s rich history, architectural beauty, and cultural significance. Whether you are a history enthusiast or simply looking for a captivating destination, a visit to Craigmillar Castle is sure to leave you in awe.


Craigmillar Castle is truly a remarkable landmark with a rich history and breathtaking architecture. From its connection to Mary, Queen of Scots, to its impressive defensive features, this castle has left an indelible mark on Scottish history. Whether you’re a history buff, a castle enthusiast, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of ancient landmarks, Craigmillar Castle is definitely worth a visit. Explore its towering walls, soak in the panoramic views from its battlements, and immerse yourself in the stories that echo through its halls. It’s a fascinating journey back in time and a testament to the enduring elegance of Scotland’s historic castles. Don’t miss the chance to experience the wonder and awe that Craigmillar Castle has to offer.


1. Is Craigmillar Castle open to the public?

Yes, Craigmillar Castle is open to the public. It welcomes visitors throughout the year, allowing them to explore its grounds, towers, and rooms.

2. How much does it cost to visit Craigmillar Castle?

The entry fee for Craigmillar Castle varies depending on age and residency. It is advisable to check the official website for the most up-to-date information on ticket prices.

3. Are guided tours available at Craigmillar Castle?

Yes, guided tours are available for those who want a more immersive experience. Trained guides will take you through the castle, sharing the captivating stories and historical facts.

4. Can I take photographs inside the castle?

Yes, visitors are allowed to take photographs inside Craigmillar Castle. Capture the stunning architecture and magical ambience of this ancient fortress to cherish the memories.

5. Are there any amenities available at Craigmillar Castle?

Yes, there are amenities such as restrooms and a gift shop available for visitors. There may also be refreshment options depending on the season.

6. Is Craigmillar Castle accessible for individuals with disabilities?

While the castle has some accessibility limitations due to its historical nature, efforts have been made to provide access to as many areas as possible. There is limited wheelchair access and disabled parking available.

7. Can I have a picnic at Craigmillar Castle?

Yes, visitors are welcome to have a picnic in the designated areas around the castle. Enjoy the picturesque surroundings while savoring your meal.

8. Can Craigmillar Castle be rented for special events?

Yes, the castle can be rented for weddings, private events, and photo shoots. Contact the castle’s administration for more details on availability and pricing.

9. Is Craigmillar Castle haunted?

There have been claims of paranormal activity at Craigmillar Castle, and it has gained a reputation as one of Scotland’s most haunted castles. Ghost tours and special events are occasionally held for those seeking a spooky experience.

10. Are there any restaurants or cafes near Craigmillar Castle?

While there are no restaurants or cafes within the castle itself, there are several eating establishments in the nearby area where you can enjoy a meal or refreshments.