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Edinburgh Castle is a unique venue and visitor attraction situated in the heart of Scotland's capital.

A star-studded cast will take visitors to Edinburgh Castle on a journey through the castle’s history as Historic Environment Scotland (HES) launches a brand-new audio guide at the iconic fortress.

An array of notable names from the fields of film, television and entertainment have lent their voices to the new guide, including four-time Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan, celebrated TV and movie actor Bill Paterson and Outlander’s Andrew Gower.

There are also writers such as Inspector Rebus creator Ian Rankin, Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin and Scots Makar Jackie Kay; historians including Clare Jackson, Allan MacInnes and David Caldwell; Ian Hamilton, who took the Stone of Destiny from Westminster Abbey in 1950; war correspondent Orla Guerin; comedian Susan Morrison and The Proclaimers.

The guide is narrated by broadcasters Sally Magnusson and Eddie Mair. Many of the cast read first-person accounts of important events and episodes from the castle’s rich history, bringing to life figures such as Bonnie Prince Charlie, Sir Walter Scott and Oliver Cromwell. Others are interviewed to shed light on particular stories and buildings and to explore its living legacy.

The celebrity cast is joined by a host of experts and specialists who work in the castle today, offering visitors an insight into the workings of the 21st century castle. They include the One o’Clock Gunner, the man who descended to the bottom of the Fore Well and the woman who conserves the armour.

Also included in the audio guide are readings of poetry, prose and biography, with some verses in Gaelic, medieval Scots and Old Welsh that go back 1,400 years into the castle’s past. Two pieces of music from the 13th and 18th centuries were recorded specially for the project.

The new audio guide, developed by HES and produced in collaboration with Antenna International, is believed to be the first of its kind to tell both historic and contemporary stories about a heritage site through such a wide range of different voices. It is available in 11 languages, with the translation offer increased to include Korean and Brazilian Portuguese.

Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of HES, said:

“Edinburgh Castle is Scotland’s top paid-for visitor attraction, and we are committed to investing in the site and finding new and inventive ways of engaging a wide range of people with its history. We’re delighted that a host of talented figures – including our own staff – have been involved in this project and contributed to the ongoing legacy of the castle in such a unique way.”

“This new audio guide will allow visitors to connect more closely with the living history of the castle and gain new insights into the story of Scotland’s greatest fortress. This new audio guide will allow visitors to connect more closely with the living history of the castle and gain new insights into the story of Scotland’s greatest fortress.”

The new audio guide is available now, priced £3.50 for an adult, £2.50 for concession and £1.50 for a child

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