Monday, June 20, 2016

Calton Hill, Edinburgh

View of the North Sea from Calton Hill
  If you ever find yourself in Edinburgh (pronounced “Edinbra”) you must visit Calton Hill. This spot is a great place to start your adventure in this city for the view and the historical significance.  There is a lot to see in Edinburgh, in fact, it was my favorite city we visited while on the Scotland and England Study Tour this past May with Columbia College of Missouri. On the east side of the hill you can gaze out over the sea. From the other side you get a wonderful view of the city. From this point you can also see Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace, Arthur’s Seat, New Town, and Old Town. There is really no bad view from this hill!
The National Monument of Scotland
     On the hill itself is also many buildings including Nelson’s Monument, Playfair Monument, Dugald Stewart Monument,the City Observatory, and the National Monument of Scotland.  I did not see all the monuments here but a good chunk of them. The hill has many paths that you can walk or hike around.
   The National Monument of Scotland is also known as “Scotland’s Disgrace” as it was never completed. The monument is half of a building with tall pillars. But even unfinished the monument is very impressive! It also is a great spot to get a group photo if you climb up on it.
Nelson's Monument
      Nelson’s Monument is also located on Calton Hill. It is a tower that is near the National Monument of Scotland. You can go up the stairs to the top of the tower to get a lovely 360 degree view of the city. It was designed to look like a telescope which is appropriate since it is on the same hill as the City Observatory.
    The Playfair Monument was named after William Playfair who was the architect of many historical sites, buildings, and monument in Edinburgh, including the National Monument of Scotland and the Dugald Stewart Monument on Calton Hill.
   After we finished taking in the beautiful view of Edinburgh from Calton Hill we stopped in at a tea shop in Holyrood Palace and then were dropped off at St. Giles Cathedral to explore the city. St. Giles Cathedral is a beautiful building with stained glass windows, a large organ, and high ceilings. We walked along the street of old town which is where the famous Elephant House coffee shop is located.  J.K. Rowling was supposed to have written some of Harry Potter from this coffee shop.  The Writer’s Museum was a neat find as well. The National Museum of Scotland is also located in Edinburgh and has free entry! The museum was so huge we only saw part of it including Mary Queen of Scots’ jewelry, whale skeletons, and many mechanical inventions from different time periods.

Edinburgh Castle
      The city of Edinburgh is a huge place and there is something for everyone no matter your interests. Walking along Calton Hill, reading about authors from Scotland at the Writer’s Museum, and walking through the National Museum of Scotland were all highlights for me on this trip! I hope I encourage you to one day go to Edinburgh as it is now one of my favorite places.
2 Responses
  1. Robert Says:

    Yes, I much enjoyed Edinburgh. I did have a coffee at the Elephant Room, but not sure I wrote another Harry Potter. Just a few postcards.

  2. Lee Says:

    Victoria Street, the inspiration for Diagon Alley in Harry Potter, was fun to walk. I also visited the Elephant Room. The graffiti in the bathrooms is pretty cool too. Definitely a city to return to.

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