Here are the top three viewpoints in Edinburgh
Edinburgh is one of my favourite cities in the UK. After three visits I feel like I’m becoming more familiar with it, but I know there is still so much to see and do.
One of the first things I want to do in any city is to see it from above, and my travel research always begins with finding the best views on offer. If you’re the same then you’re in luck! I’ve done the work for you. Here are the top three places you need to go to get the best views in Edinburgh, Scotland.
PS. Notice how different the photos are? They’re from all three of my trips which took place between 2012 and 2018!
We’ll start at the top of the Royal Mile, and the hill, at Edinburgh’s famous castle. Don’t worry, you can’t miss it. Edinburgh Castle sits at the top of Castle Rock, leaving the rest of the city to sprawl down around it. This fortress dates back to the 12th century and was home to royals for upwards of four centuries. It has been part of dozens of wars and sieges and is apparently one of the most attacked castles in world! (Who knew?).
Today you can visit the castle and learn all about its history for £18.50. They recommend that you leave two hours to do the full tour. If you plan on going through every additional exhibit they offer, you’ll definitely need the time!
As for the views, peek over every ledge to see the city below. When you first enter there are cannons to your right, and around there is the perfect place to get sprawling views of the city including the Royal Mile, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Arthur’s Seat, the New Town, and the North Sea.
It’s a 20 minute walk into the new town from Edinburgh Castle to Calton Hill, which sits just off bustling Princes Street. There are a good number of stairs to get to the top, but the views are worth the leg workout. Here you can find a number of monuments, including the National Monument, the Dugald Stewart Monument and the City Observatory. These three are the ones that stick in my mind every time I leave the city.
On my last trip I was lucky to get to Calton Hill at sunset, and the photos were unbelievable.
This light hike will take you around 45-60 minutes to reach the top, depending on how spritely you’re feeling, but it’s on an easy enough incline so can be done by all fitness levels. The path is well worn, so once you’re on your way you’ll find it easy to reach the summit. Make sure you dress for the elements and bring a bottle of water!
If you’re thinking of doing this in the winter months, make sure you leave yourself enough time to get back down before it gets dark. Although it’s an easier hike, you still don’t want to make a wrong turn in the dark!
What are your favourite views in Edinburgh?
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