Just an hour

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.

2. 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.

3. St Margaret's Chapel

Enter the oldest building in the Castle for a brief moment of peace. The chapel was probably built in about 1130 in memory of King David I's mother Queen Margaret, who was later canonised.

4. Mons Meg

Stare down the barrel of this celebrated siege gun and imagine the power it once unleashed. Given to King James II in 1457, Mons Meg could fire gunstones weighing 150kg for up to 3.2km (two miles) - one was fired over the city in honour of the marriage of Mary Queen of Scots.

5. Panorama of Edinburgh

Unmatched views from the battlements north across Scotland’s capital city, the Firth of Forth and on to Fife. On a clear day, you can pick out the famous Forth Bridges, the Bass Rock in the firth and mountains including Ben Lomond, as well as many of Edinburgh’s historic sights.

6. Honours of Scotland and Stone of Destiny

Step inside the Crown Room to see the oldest Crown Jewels in the British Isles. You can also see the iconic Stone of Destiny, used to inaugurate monarchs for centuries. Enter through the Clock Tower door to skip the exhibition if you really haven't much time.

7. Great Hall

This impressive hall was completed in 1511 to host state ceremonies for King James IV. You can still see the original hammerbeam roof - look for carvings on the stones holding it up. There is a remarkable collections of weapons and armour around the walls.

8. 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.

9. 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.