Edinburgh without this landmark would not be the same
The Scott Monument in Princes Street Gardens is, along with the Balmoral tower clock and Edinburgh Castle, the most important landmark in Edinburgh. The skyline of Scotland's capital simply wouldn't be the same without it. Although visitor numbers to the Scott Monument itself aren't very high, it's probably the second most photographed attraction in Edinburgh.
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Scott Monument facts
- The monument cost just over £16,000 to build, having started with a budget of £5,000
- The monument is 200ft and 6in high (61.1m)
- There are 287 steps and no elevator
- A total of 67 figurines from Sir Walter's Scott novels feature on the monument
Views from the Scott Monument
The monument has 4 levels, each narrower at the base than the previous one. The first level houses the Museum Room with information about the monument and the figurines and gives first hand views of the Old Town, the Balmoral Clock Tower, Edinburgh Castle, the National Galleries of Scotland, the gardens and of course, Princes Street and at its very end the spires of St Mary's Cathedral.
The higher up you go, the more breathtaking the views get as you are literally higher up than any other structure in Edinburgh City Centre, except for the castle and the Balmoral Hotel clock tower. The staircase gets quite narrow at the very top and it can also get very windy on the upper levels.
Best time to go up the Scott Monument
The best time to visit the Scott Monument is early in the morning, between 9 and 11am during the summer. The views towards the castle and Princes Street will be sharp and unobstructed by strong sunlight. Visiting the monument in the afternoon allows better views in the direction of the Old Town, Calton Hill, the Balmoral Hotel, North Bridge, Arthur's Seat and Salisbury Crags.
Whichever time of the day you pick, you will receive a certificate to prove that you're climbed all of the 287 steps up Scott Monument.