Edinburgh Castle voted most beautiful landmark in UK on TripAdvisor
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The iconic fortress, which is home to Scotland' s crown jewels, beat the London Eye, The Tower of London, Tower Bridge and Buckingham Palace to the top spot in the survey of "beauty reviews" on TripAdvisor.
The attraction was fourth in the world behind the Golden Gate Bridge, in San Francisco; The Eiffel Tower, in Paris; and the Trevi Fountain, in Rome. The Colosseum, also in the Italian capital, came fifth.
The study by ParkSleepFly analysed TripAdvisor reviews for famous landmarks, to see how many people reviewed them, using the words beautiful, pretty, picturesque, and stunning to reveal which landmarks people consider the most beautiful.
Edinburgh Castle received 3,091 "beauty" reviews, ahead of the four London attractions that made up the UK top five, The London Eye (3048), Tower of London (3024), Tower bridge (2446) and Buckingham palace (2330).
Other Scottish attractions also made the UK's most beautiful list. The Kelpies, near Grangemouth, in Stirlingshire, was named the tenth most beautiful UK attraction, with 2157 beauty reviews, while Edinburgh's Royal Mile was 17th (1946 reviews), the Palace of Holyrood House was 24th (1599 reviews) and the Glenfinnan Viaduct was 34th with 362 beauty reviews.
ParkSleepFly said: "The highest-ranked castle on our list, this iconic landmark dominates the skyline of the old city, perched on top of an extinct volcano.
"It is noted for its beautiful views over the Scottish city and the pretty St Margaret’s chapel featuring the original ornate arches and more recent stained glass windows."
It adds: "This historic landmark is the second most visited paid tourist attraction in the UK, as well as being one of the most iconic attractions in Scotland. The ancient fortress looms over the Royal Mile, providing a pretty view of the city."Martin Jones, chief executive and travel expert from ParkSleepFly, said: "Edinburgh Castle ranks as the fourth most beautiful landmark in the world in our study. Not only this but the castle is also named as the most beautiful landmark in the UK.
"This is no surprise as the castle is one of the oldest fortified places left standing in Europe, with such historic architecture providing a stunning sight for visitors to the city.
"Alongside its beautiful architecture, Edinburgh Castle offers stunning views across the city thanks to being built on a volcano.
"The castle was constructed on what is now known as 'Castle Rock' in the 12th century, making the castle a prominent feature of the city’s skyline, which can be seen throughout Edinburgh."What was once residence to many Scottish monarchs, is now home to a museum which attracts thousands of visitors per day.
"With individual tickets costing up to £15.50 per person, there are plenty of things to do, including tours of the impressive castle grounds and interiors, which makes it a well-worth day out for all of the family."
Edinburgh's Castle Rock has been a stronghold for over 3000 years. The castle itself was constructed in the 12th century and is home to the Scottish Crown Jewels, which are among the oldest regalia in Europe, and the Stone of Destiny.
It also hosts events including rock concerts and spectacular firework displays at the end of the Edinburgh Festival and at New Year.
The One O'Clock Gun has been fired almost every day from Edinburgh Castle since 1861 and St Margaret's Chapel, the oldest building in Edinburgh, is one of the most romantic places to get married.
Scotland’s top paid-for visitor attraction, it attracted more than two million visitors per year pre-lockdown.