This is not the best view point for Edinburgh although its not bad. Its a hell of a dizzying climb up very narrow stairs for a few minutes of viewing not really worth in my opinion. Check out Black ford Hills for the best view.
Unique Suggestions: Hit the stairmaster first and make sure when you do it its a nice day.
Fun Alternatives: Hit Blackfort hills (see must do activities.)
The Scott Monument is one of those things that you really should see. It is only a tourist trap in that it is geared toward the tourists and you CAN find plenty of vendors, as well as less legally inclined persons, around the monument. And of course if you go in August like I did, there will be a line of tourists waiting to pay their 2.5 pounds to climb the 287 stairs to the top.
The Scott monument was great to look out from, but a pain to climb! I'm a small person and even I had a hard time getting up the last few stairs that were incredibly narrow. Once you get up though, it's beautiful and great photo ops appear. I met a hippie guy named Bill (studying in Aberdeen) & his father at the top. We wound up hanging out the rest of that day and went to Calton Hill together. It made the day much nicer to have people to share the experience with.
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