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'.