Not packed in a bus. Not herded with a group. Self guided walk is the SAFEST way to sightsee while observing SOCIAL DISTANCING!
Nelson Monument, Edinburgh

Nelson Monument, Edinburgh

Another monument worth visiting, while on Calton Hill, is the Nelson Monument. It honours Horatio Nelson’s victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 and his subsequent death from wounds sustained during that battle.

The monument was put up 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. It was designed by architect Robert Burn in the appropriate form of an up-ended telescope. The monument stands 32 metres high and its 143 stairs lead to the public gallery, from where one can enjoy 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 at sea.

The time ball remained in use until 2007 when it was damaged in a storm. It was restored and brought back into use in 2009, but now, with the City Observatory 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; still, the photo shots of Princes Street and open sea down below, taken from here, are really stunning and well worth it.

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:

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.
Literary Landmarks Tour

Literary Landmarks Tour

For centuries, Edinburgh has prided itself on being a home to many great writers – Robert Burns, Robert Louis Stevenson, J.K. Rowling, just to name a few. Fortunately, the tradition doesn't seem to die out any time soon, and keeps producing more and more authors and literary heroes in whose footsteps people still wish to tread. To explore some of the memorable places of Edinburgh that have...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 Km or 2.2 Miles
Old Town Walking Tour

Old Town Walking Tour

Popularly known as the Old Town, the oldest part of the Scottish capital has preserved much of its medieval street plan and many Reformation-era buildings. Together with the 18th/19th-century New Town, it forms part of a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995. The abundance of museums, art galleries, theaters, ancient churches, countless historic landmarks, shopping and recreational...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles
Royal Mile Walking Tour

Royal Mile Walking Tour

A succession of streets forming the steep thoroughfare at the heart of Edinburgh's Old Town, The Royal Mile is one of the city's busiest tourist destinations, lined with numerous shops, pubs and casual eateries, souvenir shops and small museums. It runs on a downwards slope for almost exactly a mile (hence the name, coined in 1920), from the famed Edinburgh Castle to the Scottish...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 Km or 1 Miles
Historical Religious Buildings Walking Tour

Historical Religious Buildings Walking Tour

Amid the variety of other attractions, the historic city of Edinburgh abounds in numerous religious sites. The oldest of them, magnificent Christian churches, represent great interest from both historical and architectural standpoints. To visit some of the most notable and beautiful places of worship of Edinburgh, follow this self-guided walk!

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles
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 hidden gems. Check out a few popular Edinburgh squares and streets in this self-guided tour.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Harry Potter Trail

Harry Potter Trail

Years after the release of the last Harry Potter book and movie, the cultural phenomenon of Harry Potter doesn't seem to fade away and the fandom continues as strong as ever. For a true Harry Potter fan, adding Edinburgh – the city in which the author J.K. Rowling lived while writing the books and still lives today! – to their travel bucket list is a must. On this self-guided Harry Potter...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles

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