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This one of the best places to go to get those photos of the castle and Princes Street as it has a really good view from up there without being too far away. You can also see over to the Pentland hills on one side and Leith, the River Forth and the Forth bridges to the other. A short walk around the hill gives views over Holyrood Palace, Arthurs Seat and the new Scottish parliement. Definitely well worth taking the time out to climb up here. On a sunny day I could quite happily sit there for an hour or two!
- Adventure Travel
Calton Hill and its monuments
Calton Hill is one of the main hills in Edinburgh. It is located in the middle of the city. I took this photo from the Edinburgh Castle. There are several things to see on Calton Hill. One is the unfinished monument to the Napoleonic War. This is the Athenian looking set of columns behind the tall towers. The column itself is the Nelson Monument. It was unveiled in 1816 to celebrate Nelson's victory at the Battle of Trafalgar.
I wrote out a long winded description of my various trips up this hill but got lost when I tried to upload a photo so here's the abridged version. Easy hill to get up - can even make the summit by car!
Goodish views from on top but nothing like Arthurs Seat.
There is the tomb of the great 18th century philosopher David Hume and the City Observatory up there too.
- Arts and Culture
Calton Hill is another hill (108 m) with excellent views on the city and also on the Firth of Forth. It contains several interesting building, like the National Monument (an unfinished monument which shall resemble the Parthenon in Athens), Nelson’s Monument, Dugald Stewart Monument and the old observatory.
On top of Nelson's monument, there's a time ball that was used in addition to the one o'clock gun of Edinburgh Castle to help the mariners to have to correct time. We missed the demonstration, but you can still see it today: shortly before 1pm, this ball is raising to the top of the mast of the document and is dropped at 1pm when the gun is fired.
- Historical Travel
The hill of wonders
I first saw Calton Hill from afar, going by bus on one of the bridges. The view, with all the amazing constructions, looked like something taken from Greece and yet it was Scotland. I stared at it every time I passed it, at least twice a day, but it only whetted my curiosity. I never went there - didn't have the time. Left it as something to look forward to on my next visit. In the meantime I did find out what the strange buildings were: the giant columns looking like the Parthenon were supposed to commemorate Napoleon's defeat at the Battle of Waterloo. Never completed for shortage of funds, they give the view of Calton Hill that Greek flavour. The reddish tower looking like a lighthouse is Lord Nelson's Column with a ball at the top, which is lowered at noon and allows the passing ships to get their time right. You can climb the tower for great views of Edinburgh and the Firth of Forth. The monument you can see in the picture is Dugald Stewart's Memorial by the architect W. H. Playfair and dedicated to a professor of moral philosophy at the University of Edinburgh in the early 19th century.
An oasis of peace most of the time, on 30th April Calton Hill comes alive with the celebrations of the coming of summer in the old Celtic calendar, the Beltane Fire Festival.
The painted faces of the dancers performing the ritual fire dance, the drums, the fire eaters in the darkness of the hill all create a great spectacle (I've only seen pictures of it in The Scotsman). The Scotsman says there is also a lot of alcohol, noise and litter left afterwards but that's the price to pay for the fantastic show. I should certainly love to witness it at least once in a lifetime.
Photograph by Barbara Godlewska
- Historical Travel
Calton Hill is one of Edinburgh's main hills, set right in the city centre. It is unmistakable with its Athenian acropolis poking above the skyline.
Building began in 1822, but funds ran dry and celebrated Edinburgh architect William Playfair only got to see a facade of his building completed. It was dubbed "Edinburgh's shame" at the time (and some still say a reflection of the Edinburgh temperament - make your own conclusions), but it's now a popular landmark and it's a lot of fun crawling up and down its giant steps. Plans since to complete the building never really get much support.
The top of Calton hill is an excellent and usually quiet place to come on any day, with its grassy slopes and panoramic views of the city, including down the length of Princes street (the main shopping thoroughfare) and Edinburgh castle. There is a good view North of the ruddy-coloured cliffs of Salisbury Crags and the undulating slopes of Holyrood Park.
Calton Hill is in the centre of Edinburgh, at the east end of Princes Street and has several 19th century monuments at the top. One of them being the National Monument - an acropolis that looks like a monument from Athens, Greece as originally it was to be a reproduction of the Parthenon at Athens, but only 12 columns were to be completed. You can also see Nelson's monument up there - built in 1816 to commemorate Nelson's victory over the French and Spanish at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The monument in the foreground of the picture is the Dugald Stewart monument and is another Greek influenced structure.
It is well worth going up Calton Hill for the lovely views across Edinburgh and down Princes Street.
Great for views and such
Besides being an excellent location for views of the city, Arthur's Seat and the official royal residence (haha), Calton Hill is also a great option for picnics or a simple lie-down/nap/conversation with the skies. Also has a handful of monuments and Greek columns for the trigger-happy. For those who are too lazy to do the 45minute walk up Arthur's Seat, Calton Hill is a good bet as it only takes 5 mins to reach the top.
- Family Travel
From Carlton Hill
When I am in Edinburgh, a treat for me is to climb Carlton Hill a little before sunrise. I take some hot tea and a scone with me. It is quite remarkable to sit up there and watch the sunrise. At the same time the city is awakening for it's new day of adventures. I smile as I think of it.
Here is a collection of monuments and a great place to enjoy the view of the city. And it's free.
Carlton Hill has two observatories, one dating from 1792, and the other from 1818. They now have exhibits and viewings of the night sky (that is, the little of it that is still visible today).
Perhaps the best-known monument is the Stewart Dugald Memorial. Dugald Stewart was a professor at Edinburgh University (as was his father); among his students was Walter Scott. This monument was designed by Sir William Playfair, and built in 1831.
Another prominent monument is Nelson's Tower, built to commemorate his decisive victory over the French and Spanish fleets at Trafalgar in 1805.
One that was never actually completed is the National Monument. Nicknamed "Scotland's Shame", it was intended as a memorial to those killed in the Napoleonic Wars. But during the Great Depression, the funds ran out. And this was over a century after the laying of its foundation. It's still a popular site to visit.
- Historical Travel
- Hiking and Walking
Calton Hill: One of the best views in Edinburgh!
Besides the views from Arthur's Seat and Craighouse Campus (which are the slightest bit better!) Calton Hill gives you a spectacluar view of Leith, the Old Town and New Town!
I go for a lot of walks around Edinburgh, and usually end up on the top of Calton Hill. The monuments there are in tribute to the people who died in the Napoleonic Wars, meant to be a replica of the Parthenon in Athens. Apparently it's unfinished, it's a great place to get pictures of the city though!
I also watched the fireworks on Guy Fawkes night there! So, if there are ever any fireworks events in Edinburgh, you know where to go!
- Adventure Travel
The National Monument, aka National Disgrace, was started back in the 1800's and never finished. It looks like something imported from Athens and stuck on Calton hill at the whim of some council toady because "that's what the boss likes". It does appear a bit weird but there you go.
- Historical Travel
Edinburgh is a city chock full of great views, whether it be from the top of Edinburgh Castle, the top floor of the Museum of Scotland, Arthur's Seat (didn't get up there) or Calton Hill. If you do find yourself climbing up Calton Hill, be sure to walk all around it, from different sides there are dramatically different views, the Firth of Forth, Holyrood Palace and much of Edinburgh. I understand that an even better view can be had if you climb the Nelson monument but I was there too early for that.
The monuments on top of Calton Hill don't seem to have any connection, they all just seem to be placed there, independent of the others. The National Monument, meant to honor Scottish soldiers killed in the Napoleonic Wars is the oddest, designed to look like the Parthenon in Athens, funds ran out and it was never finished. Also found on top of the Hill are the Nelson Monument, the city observatory and the Dougal Stewart Monument. I never did locate the Robert Burns Monument, it's supposed to be somewhere on the southern slopes of the hill.
To get to the top, take Princes Street to Waterloo Place, just past Calton Hill, take the steps up to the top.
Worth the view, beware the wind!
I went up there one blustery Sunday morning, it was a beauitful view and definitely worth standing around in all that wind. I'd suggest going early morning on like a Sunday so there aren't as many tourists. There's a half finished Parthenon looking structure atop the hill as well that's a bit interesting, but really, its the view that you're after, absolutely spectacular!! Enjoy the panoramic views of the city and revel in the history of Edinburgh. There are no tall sky scrapers or anything of the sort, and on a clear day like we were there on, you can see quite far over the city and the river. We didn't stay long lest our awaiting cousins got hungry waiting for us to bring breakfast, but definitely a view not to miss......
- Family Travel
- Castles and Palaces
A walk in the sunshine
I really enjoyed the walk on Calton Hill, it's a nice park over the city. That day it was sunny and warm, we could relax and rest between a visit and another. Nothing special to vist over there, only nature and belvedere.
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