The other day we urged you to walk down the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. And today, we shall ask you to walk some more and climb the Calton Hill. As I sat down to write about Calton Hill, I realise that the city of Edinburgh is gearing up to celebrate its annual Beltane Fire Festival tonight, at the hill. Celebrated every year on 30th April, the Beltane Fire Festival marks the start of summer in Scotland.
How to reach Calton Hill? In case you are at the east end of the Royal Mile, ie., Holyrood House, turn left, take the Calton Road which will lead you to the Calton Hill. Alternatively, if you are at Princess Street, keep walking straight, go past Museums Galleries Scotland and soon you will reach Calton Hill.
Why Go To Calton Hill? You’d be surprised with your find there. From atop the Calton Hill, you can see the entire city of Edinburgh. Spread over a huge area, Calton Hill is for the tired traveller who wants to sit down for a while, laze around and gaze into a bustling city – modern in one side and ancient on the other. Walk over from one edge to the other and crane your neck to see if you can spot the Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, the bustling Princess Street, Holyrood Palace, Scottish Parliament and others. What’s more! Calton Hill has its fair share of history and monuments.
- Nelson Monument: There’s the towering Nelson Monument with a viewing gallery right at the top, open to public. Pay 4 pounds, brave the 150 stairs and you will get an awesome view of Arthur’s Seat, the dormant Volcano across Holyrood Palace. The tower is open from morning to early evening every day. Visitors also wait for the tower ball to fall exactly at 1pm every day, excepting Sundays.
- National Monument: We stared in disbelief at what looked like the Pantheon from Athens. This was the National Monument, constructed in the memory of soldiers who gave their life for Scotland.
- Old City Observatory: Used as a gallery now, the City Observatory is open to public every day from morning to evening, excepting on Mondays.
How Long Does It Take To Tour Calton Hill? Up to you. Spend an entire morning, spend an entire afternoon, or spend an entire day. As I said, up to you!