Where to find the best views in Edinburgh.

The historic capital of Scotland, Edinburgh is best known for its history and dramatic geological crags.

While visiting Edinburgh don’t miss the best views of the city!

Best Views in Edinburgh: Climb the 287 stairs up the Sir Walter Scott Monument for brilliant views.
Climb the 287 stairs up the Sir Walter Scott Monument for brilliant views. ©MDHarding 

Finding the Best Views in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle is well worth a visit but if you don’t have time to stand in the queues and see the crown jewels, the view from the esplanade will only take a few minutes.  Beware of the one o’clock canon! Castle Rock was formed after a volcano erupted over 340 million years ago. Castle Rock has been a military base for centuries but known as Edinburgh Castle and what we see today dates back to the 12th Century.

On a clear day you can see all the way to Fife from Edinburgh Castle.
On a clear day you can see all the way to Fife from Edinburgh Castle. ©MDHarding

Climb the 287 steps of the Sir Walter Scott Monument, which will take you above 200 feet (61 metres) high. The foundation stone for the Sir Walter Scott Monument was laid in 1840 and the monument completed 6 years later to the day. Not only are the views splendid but look out for the many gargoyles, a feet of architecture of its time. Not for the faint hearted!

Best Views in Edinburgh: Stunning views from Sir Walter Scott Monument.
Stunning views from Sir Walter Scott Monument. ©MDHarding

Last August St Giles Cathedral opened up a terrace viewing platform for the first time.  Now not only can you see the magnificent interior, flooded with colourful light from the stain glass windows but also have the opportunity to see the views down the Royal Mile.  Did you know the oldest street in the old town of Edinburgh – the Royal Mile was given its name, as the distance between the Castle and Holyrood Palace is one mile long.

Best Views in Edinburgh: The Royal Mile in the Heart of Edinburgh's old town.
The Royal Mile in the Heart of Edinburgh’s old town.©MDHarding

Calton Hill a UNESCO heritage site with some iconic buildings such as the Nelson Monument.  One of the best places to watch the sunrise over the city.  Only 143 steps to the top of the Nelson Monument, you can see across to the Firth of Forth and its grand industrial crossings – The Forth Rail Bridge (125 years old, just this week) and the younger Forth Road Bridge which celebrated 50 years old last year.

Best Views in Edinburgh: Can you spot the Royal Yacht Britannia?
Can you spot the Royal Yacht Britannia?. ©MDHarding

One of the must see attractions in Edinburgh is the National Museum of Scotland, with its many exhibits and more on the way! After being closed for refurbishment for a few years, it is now better than ever.  Exhibits include from prehistoric times, animals and even Sir Jackie Stewarts racing car!  Something for everyone.  While exploring the many exhibits at The National Museum of Scotland located on Chambers Street, don’t miss the views from the roof top terrace.  Looking out over towards Edinburgh Castle you can see the grave yard, featuring in the story of Greyfriars Bobby. The others out to Calton Hill and the Firth Of Forth.  (Please note the roof top terrace is currently closed for refurbishment and scheduled to re-open in April.  For further information please contact the National Museum of Scotland).

Best Views in Edinburgh: Edinburgh Castle from the National Museum of Scotland.
Edinburgh Castle from the National Museum of Scotland. ©MDHarding

Whether you are visiting Edinburgh from a cruise ship or doing a stop and stay, there is lots to see and do in Edinburgh and the surrounding areas.  Not to mention the vast varying accommodation available throughout the city and beyond.

Do you know other ways to get the best views in Edinburgh? We would love to hear from you.  Please comment below. Thanks!

About MichelleDeansHarding

Website: http://WWW.MDHardingTravelPhotography.com

 Michelle has a love of travel and photography, which has currently taken her to six continents. Experiencing other cultures/history and food both independently and while working on-board luxury cruise ships. Discover more about Michelle, her enthusiasm for travel and photography via: www.MDHardingTravelPhotography.com

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