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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.


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Lodging Near Calton Hill

See all 2,630 Properties near Calton Hill
Apex Grassmarket Hotel $153
Reviewed on Jun 22, 2019
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Apex Grassmarket Hotel

Apex Grassmarket Hotel

31-35 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, Scotland
     
    4.3 of 5
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    The location was close to everything in old town including the castle.

    Principal Edinburgh George Street $151
    Reviewed on Jun 23, 2019
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    Principal Edinburgh George Street

    Principal Edinburgh George Street

    19-21 George Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
       
      4.5 of 5
      5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Excellent location. Easy access to everything - shopping, dining, parks, public transportation. Would definitely return to this hotel in beautiful Edinburgh.

      Jurys Inn Edinburgh $95
      Reviewed on Jun 21, 2019
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      Jurys Inn Edinburgh

      Jurys Inn Edinburgh

      43 Jeffrey Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
         
        3.9 of 5
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Good location just a block off the Royal Mile. Expect to traverse a steep close or go around the block to walk there. Rooms is okay - no A/C but had a portable fan. No computer/printer in lobby. Breakfast is an extra 11 pounds. Good value.

        Apex Waterloo Place Hotel $147
        Reviewed on Jun 24, 2019
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        Apex Waterloo Place Hotel

        Apex Waterloo Place Hotel

        23-27 Waterloo Place, Edinburgh, Scotland
           
          4.5 of 5
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          it was a great and easy stay for our family and they were accommodating to both my three year old's needs and my nine-year-old. The staff was excellent and always ready to help and it was a good location for what we wanted to do in Edinburgh.

          Apex City of Edinburgh Hotel $105
          Reviewed on Jun 23, 2019
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          Apex City of Edinburgh Hotel

          Apex City of Edinburgh Hotel

          61 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, Scotland
             
            4.4 of 5
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            I thought the location was excellent and they had off street parking the girl in check on was extremely pleasant and because our room wasn’t ready on time she gave us 2 beverages for the inconvenience which was only a few moments but the women in the bar was very unfriendly all in all rooms were ...

            Motel One Edinburgh-Royal $121
            Reviewed on Jun 24, 2019
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            Motel One Edinburgh-Royal

            Motel One Edinburgh-Royal

            18-21 Market Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
               
              4.4 of 5
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Great location next to the train station and steps from the Royal Mile. Room was clean and modern. staff friendly. would stay here again.

              Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh City Centre $170
              Reviewed on Jun 25, 2019
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              Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh City Centre

              Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh City Centre

              80 High Street The Royal Mile, Edinburgh, Scotland
                 
                4.5 of 5
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Helpful, friendly staff. Food was excels t with a varied selection.

                Cairn Hotel $67
                Reviewed on Jun 24, 2019
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                Cairn Hotel

                Cairn Hotel

                10-18 Windsor Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
                   
                  4.1 of 5
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Great location...everything was walkable in this beautiful city. One thing...the hotel bar needs a wine opener 😜