Nelson Monument, Edinburgh

Nelson Monument, Edinburgh (must see)

Another monument worth visiting while you are on Calton Hill is the Nelson Monument, which was put up in honour of Horatio Nelson’s victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 and his subsequent death from wounds sustained during the battle.

The monument was built in 1815 on the highest point of the hill, on the site where a mast was once used to send signals to ships entering the Firth of Forth. The monument was designed by the architect Robert Burn in the appropriate form of an up-ended telescope.

It is 32 metres high and its 143 stairs lead to the public gallery, where you will have a wonderful view of the city and the Firth.

In 1853 the Astronomer Royal of Scotland, Charles Piazzi Smith commissioned a time ball to be placed on top of the monument. The ball was connected to the City Observatory by an underground wiring system.

Each day, just before one o’clock in the afternoon the ball was raised and at 1pm precisely it was lowered. Ships in the Firth set their marine chronometers by the time ball. Accurate time-keeping helped sailors determine their longitude once they were out at sea.

The time ball was in use until 2007 when it was damaged in a storm. It was restored and brought back into use in 2009, but as the City Observatory is now closed, the raising and lowering of the ball is done mechanically from a room at the bottom of the monument.

Why You Should Visit:
The stair takes a while and the parapet at the top is very narrow; however, here's where you'll get those stunning photo shots down Princes Street and out to sea.

Tip:
£5 to access the stairs to the top; admission is free at the museum at the foot of the tower.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am-4pm (Oct-Apr); 10am-7pm (May, Sep); 10am-9pm (Jun-Aug)
Last admission 30 mins before closing

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Edinburgh, Scotland within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Nelson Monument on Map

Sight Name: Nelson Monument
Sight Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) containing this sight: New Town Walking Tour   City Orientation Walk  

Walking Tours in Edinburgh, Scotland

Create Your Own Walk in Edinburgh

Create Your Own Walk in Edinburgh

Creating your own self-guided walk in Edinburgh is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Old Town Walking Tour

Old Town Walking Tour

With a lot of famous museums, art galleries, theaters, old churches, countless historic landmarks, shopping avenues and amazing architectural and recreational attractions all over the city, Edinburgh can seem quite daunting when it comes to sightseeing. The Old Town of Edinburgh, the oldest part of Scotland's capital, has preserved much of its medieval street plan and many Reformation-era...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 km
Kids Entertainment Tour

Kids Entertainment Tour

Edinburgh is a city with a thousand and one things for children to enjoy. There are many sources of amusement for children of all ages, from tots to teens, such as playgrounds, toy stores, children's museums, sweet-shops, and wonderful ice cream stores to keep them happy. Take this tour and discover the best kids entertainment venues in Edinburgh!

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 km
Royal Mile Walking Tour

Royal Mile Walking Tour

The Royal Mile is not in fact a street, but the name given to a succession of streets forming a thoroughfare at the heart of Edinburgh's Old Town. The thoroughfare is about a mile long and runs between the famed Edinburgh Castle and the Holyrood Palace. The Mile is home to the Courts, St. Giles Cathedral, the City Chambers, John Knox's house, and also numerous shops and restaurants. Take...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 km
Cannongate Walking Tour

Cannongate Walking Tour

The Canongate district takes its name from the main street called the "Canongate" and forms the lower, eastern half of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh's historic Old Town. It contains some other notable public buildings, including Huntly House (now the Museum of Edinburgh) and the historic Canongate Tolbooth (now housing the People's Story Museum), as well as the Canongate Kirk and...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 km
Souvenir Shopping

Souvenir Shopping

It would be a pity to leave Edinburgh without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Edinburgh, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 km
Famous Squares and Streets Walking Tour

Famous Squares and Streets Walking Tour

While in Edinburgh, discover the popular avenues, boulevards and streets that lead to its most famous squares. While exploring these streets, you can find a copious amount of historic and religious edifices, fashion boutiques, classy restaurants, famous market areas, and other sites. Check out the most popular Edinburgh squares and streets in the following self-guided tour.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 km

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