Calton Hill

One of Edinburgh's best vantage points

Calton Hill -- often misinterpreted by tourists as Carlton Hill -- is one of Edinburgh's seven hills. Be it day or night, sunset or dawn, the view from the top there is extraordinary, making Calton Hill one of the best vantage points in Edinburgh. A visit to Edinburgh would not be complete without a walk up Calton Hill.

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Calton Hill gives you a varied selection of views: Leith (the Docks), Firth of Forth, Arthur's Seat and Salisbury Crags. You can see Holyrood Palace and Holyrood Abbey at the foot of Arthur's Seat as well as the new Scottish Parliament. You basically see the best Edinburgh has to offer in one sweeping view. The best view is that looking along Princes Street towards Edinburgh Castle.

Nelson's Tower and the Scottish National Monument

Situated on top of Calton Hill is Nelson's Monument and the Scottish National Monument dedicated to those who died in the Napoleonic Wars. Nelson's Tower commemorates the victory of Lord Nelson over the French and Spanish at the battle of Trafalgar.

The National Monument was to become the Scottish equivalent of the Parthenon of Athens, but the City ran out of money so the Monument was never finished. Some say that it's more charming this way than it would have been if it had ever been finished.

The Dugald Stewart Monument on Calton Hill is dedicated to the distinguished philosopher by the same name. It was built as a Grecian temple which now stands near the Observatory on Calton Hill. People always include the Dugald Stewart Monument in their pictures to enhance the entire panorama.

The tower resembling an up-turned telescope is Nelson's Tower, the highest vantage point in all of Edinburgh. On the interior there is a circular stairway to the top where you have the best possible view of Princes Street and Edinburgh City Centre. However, it does take some stamina to climb all stairs. The view from the top is worth it, though.

St Andrew's Square that can be seen from Calton Hill takes its name from the Patron Saint of Scotland. In the middle of the square there's the 37 meter high Melville Monument. The Viscount Melville was very influential in Scottish political affairs and was nicknamed 'the Un-crowned King of Scotland'.

More Calton Hill information:

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All Princes Street articles:

  • Edinburgh New Town introduction Overview of the New Town including best places to visit plus tips and advice.
  • Princes Street highlights Visitor information about the shops and attractions on Princes Street.
  • Princes Street Gardens Overview of the most popular green space in Edinburgh.
  • Scott Monument Information about the unmistakable neogothic monument dedicated to Sir Walter Scott.
  • National Gallery of Scotland Information about the top free attraction in Edinburgh and one of the finest art galleries in Britain.
  • Calton Hill While not at the end of Princes Street itself, Calton Hill plays a very big part in the distinctive Edinburgh panorama but also as an excellent viewpoint.
  • Ramsay Gardens Although at the top of the Royal Mile, Ramsay Garden is a distinctive part of Edinburgh's skyline that can be seen from Princes Street.
  • Photos of Edinburgh City Centre Picture gallery of Princes Street, the gardens, Scott Monument, the Balmoral Hotel, Calton Hill and the New Town.
  • Attraction Details - Princes Street Princes Street tourist information including opening times and contact details of the Tourist Centre and attractions on Princes Street and Edinburgh City Centre.
  • Princes Street on the web Links to other web pages related to Princes Street, the Gardens and the heart of Edinburgh.

Also see:

Accommodation near City Centre in Edinburgh

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