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Calton Hill - The best views in Edinburgh

I love taking open top bus rides when I first get to a city. Not only do you get a quick round-up of the best sights, but you also get local knowledge that helps you plan out the days ahead.

Stone stairs to Calton Hill

And it was thanks to our dry witted, passionate and knowledgable bus guide Colin, that I found myself on top of Calton Hill.

On our tour the day before, Colin had pointed up at a stone staircase leading away from the road, and had made the bold statement, “the best views of the city could be found from the top of Calton Hill”.

He wasn’t wrong.

As well as having amazing views across the city, Calton Hill holds some architectural splendours of its own. It’s home to the Nelson Monument, the National Monument, the Dugald Stewart Monument, the old Royal High School, the Political Martyrs’ Monument, the Robert Burns Monument and the City Observatory.

The National Monument


That’s quite a name-drop and makes it a worthwhile visit just for those!

But the reason I was here, was to make the most of the remarkable late February weather, and snap me some iconic photos of the beautiful city of Edinburgh. 

The Nelson monument, Edinburgh

So having left my dad at the bottom, and scaled the 143 steps to the top of the Nelson Monument, here are my best efforts.

If these don’t convince you to visit Calton Hill I don’t know what will!?

Where To Find Calton Hill


All of these photos were taken from the top of The Nelson Monument.

Arthur’s Seat, Holyroodhouse Palace, Dynamic Earth and the Scottish Parliament

Calton Hill - The best views in Edinburgh

Princes Street with Edinburgh Castle in the Background

Looking down Princes Street with Edinburgh Castle in the Background

The Observatory, New Town and the Firth of Forth

View back across Calton Hill, the New Town and the Firth of Forth

Panoramic view from Arthur’s Seat across to Princes Street

Panoramic view of Edinburgh from Calton Hill

The Unfinished National Monument with Leith in the Background

Hi Dad!

Nelson Monument Edinburgh



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