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Calton Hill

Grab your camera and head for the hill that features monuments, superb views and the seat of the Scottish government.

Visit Calton Hill to see a collection of monuments and magnificent buildings dotted around the summit of this extinct volcano. Calton Hill also has some of the best views of the city.

The hill is 561 feet (171 meters) above sea level. It only takes a few minutes to walk to the summit. There are steps on the south side of the hill to make your trek a little easier.  

Once you are at the top, pause for a moment to enjoy the sights. Immediately to the south are the Salisbury Crags and Arthur’s Seat. Look to the west and follow The Royal Mile all the way up to the castle. To the north you’ll see stretches of Fife’s coast and the Forth Estuary.

For even loftier vistas, stand on the public viewing gallery of Nelson’s Monument. This 100-foot (30-meter) tower is the tallest structure on the hill. It resembles a telescope and commemorates Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson’s famous victory at Trafalgar. Watch the huge time ball drop from the mast at the top of the monument. It falls to coincide with the firing of the One O’Clock Gun at Edinburgh Castle. Ships used to set their chronometers by both signals.

Climb the steps and weave in and out of the Doric columns of the National Monument. This replica of the Parthenon in Athens was commissioned to commemorate Scottish soldiers who died in the Napoleonic Wars. Construction began in 1826, but the project ran out of money and was never restarted.

Have your picture taken by the Burns Monument, dedicated to Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns. Admire the art deco architecture of St. Andrew’s House on the southern slope of the hill. This is the headquarters of the Scottish government.

Calton Hill is about a five-minute walk from the east end of Princes Street, Edinburgh’s main shopping street. There is metered parking near the south and east access to the hill.


Guide to Exploring around Calton Hill


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Calton Hill

See all 3,655 Properties near Calton Hill
Point A Hotel Edinburgh Haymarket ¥5,089
Point A Hotel Edinburgh Haymarket

Point A Hotel Edinburgh Haymarket

152 Morrison Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
     
    3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Haymarket, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC), Usher Hall, and Royal Lyceum Theatre. Princes Street and George Street are also within 15 minutes. Edinburgh Haymarket Station is 6 minutes by foot and Edinburgh Waverley Station is 22 minutes.

    Edinburgh Grosvenor Hotel ¥6,138
    Edinburgh Grosvenor Hotel

    Edinburgh Grosvenor Hotel

    Grosvenor Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Haymarket, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) and Princes Street. Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and Usher Hall are also within 15 minutes. Edinburgh Haymarket Station is only a 2-minute walk and Edinburgh Waverley Station is 26 minutes.

      Hilton Edinburgh Carlton ¥10,871
      Hilton Edinburgh Carlton

      Hilton Edinburgh Carlton

      19 North Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Old Town, this eco-friendly hotel is steps from City Art Centre, Princes Street, and Royal Mile. Real Mary King's Close and St. Giles' Cathedral are also within 5 minutes. Edinburgh Waverley Station is only a 2-minute walk and Edinburgh Haymarket Station is 27 minutes.

        Jurys Inn Edinburgh ¥7,240
        Jurys Inn Edinburgh

        Jurys Inn Edinburgh

        43 Jeffrey Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Old Town, this eco-friendly hotel is steps from Museum of Childhood, Princes Street, and Royal Mile. Real Mary King's Close and St. Giles' Cathedral are also within 10 minutes. Edinburgh Waverley Station is only a 2-minute walk and Edinburgh Haymarket Station is 29 minutes.

          ibis Edinburgh Centre South Bridge - Royal Mile ¥6,995
          ibis Edinburgh Centre South Bridge - Royal Mile

          ibis Edinburgh Centre South Bridge - Royal Mile

          77 South Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Old Town, this hotel is steps from Edinburgh Vaults and Princes Street. Royal Mile and Festival Theatre are also within 5 minutes. Edinburgh Waverley Station is only a 4-minute walk and Edinburgh Haymarket Station is 25 minutes.

            YOTEL Edinburgh ¥7,040
            YOTEL Edinburgh

            YOTEL Edinburgh

            Erskine House, Queen Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in New Town, this hotel is steps from Assembly Rooms, Princes Street, and George Street. Princes Street Gardens and Scott Monument are also within 10 minutes. Edinburgh Waverley Station is 12 minutes by foot and Edinburgh Haymarket Station is 23 minutes.

              Holiday Inn Express - Edinburgh City Centre ¥6,995
              Holiday Inn Express - Edinburgh City Centre

              Holiday Inn Express - Edinburgh City Centre

              Picardy Place Top Of Leith Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in New Town, this hotel is steps from Omni Centre Edinburgh, Princes Street, and Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre. George Street and Calton Hill are also within 10 minutes. Edinburgh Waverley Station is 10 minutes by foot.

                The Balmoral Hotel ¥20,474
                The Balmoral Hotel

                The Balmoral Hotel

                1 Princes Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
                   
                  5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in New Town, this luxury hotel is steps from Waterloo Place and Princes Street. Scott Monument and George Street are also within 5 minutes. Edinburgh Waverley Station is only a 4-minute walk and Edinburgh Haymarket Station is 24 minutes.