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Castle Rock, Edinburgh

4.7
#9 of 32 in Parks in Edinburgh
Geologic Formation · Hidden Gem · Architectural Building
Castle Rock is a volcanic plug in the middle of Edinburgh upon which Edinburgh Castle sits. The rock is estimated to have formed some 350 million years ago during the early Carboniferous period. It is the remains of a volcanic pipe which cut through the surrounding sedimentary rock, before cooling to form very hard dolerite, a coarser-grained equivalent of basalt. Subsequent glacial erosion was resisted more by the dolerite, which protected the softer rock to the east, leaving a crag and tail formation.
The summit of the castle rock is 130 metres (430 ft) above sea level, with rocky cliffs to the south, west and north, rearing up to 80 metres (260 ft) from the surrounding landscape. This means that the only readily accessible route to the castle lies to the east, where the ridge slopes more gently. The defensive advantage of such a site is clear, but the geology of the rock also presents difficulties, since basalt is an extremely poor aquifer. Providing water to the Upper Ward of the castle was problematic, and despite the sinking of a 28-metre (92 ft) deep well, the water supply often ran out during drought or siege, for example during the Lang Siege of 1573.
Take a look at our Edinburgh planning site to schedule your visit to Castle Rock and learn about what else to see and do during your holiday.
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Castle Rock reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
280 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • It is incredible that the famous Edinburgh Castle was built on top of such an enormous rock which was created by a volcanic explosion 350 million years ago. It is a steep climb up to the castle but...  more »
  • Castle rock is the rock fortifications around Edinburgh castle and yes you will get great views from the landing and note the historical significance but not much else.  more »
Google
  • This hostel could receive a much better review cause it's wonderful location, great common areas, good breakfast and cheap. But...OMG the dorms! so dirty, full of hair of previous guests, the floor has not been cleaned in ages, there are even insects in the beds! I wonder how comes this cause there so many staff members walking around and playing pool or discussing in the kitchen. Why there's no floor manager telling them to go back to work and clean the dorms?
  • Great Edinburgh and very well maintained by Edinburgh for tourist attractions. Beautiful, breath taking views from the castle of the Edinburgh city. Inside views of the castle was awesome and it's interesting to see how people lived few hundred years ago. If you are in Edinburgh, this Castle is definitely a place you will never want to miss. (Please like my review if it was helpful and if you would like me edit then please suggest edit).

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