Scott Monument
Travel United Kingdom

Scott Monument: Adventure in the City Centre of Edinburgh

Scott Monument was one of our biggest adventures on this trip. Located in the very centre of Edinburgh, next to Waverly Train station and Princes Street Garden East, many people don’t even realize you can climb to the top of this monument built for Sir Walter Scott. It turned out the entrance fees was twice as much as I had read in an old blog article, but gazing up at the monument, we knew it’d be worth the view.

More Adventurous Than Anticipated

Upon entering, we were told a specific way in which to hold our backpacks, in case we find the staircase too narrow. Entering the museum through the broader stairs at the bottom, we thought it was just the museum attendant’s sense of humour. But the higher we climbed the monument, the smaller and narrower the winding steps became.

On the first level, there is a small room inside the tower, which doubles as museum and gives you background knowledge about Sir Walter Scott. Although it’s not that high yet, the view is already gorgeous, as you walk around all sides of the level.

Scott Monument

The Best Views

In our opinion Level 3 are the best views, so if that’s enough adventure for you, you don’t have to go any further. Level 4 is where we hit our own limits. Being a Hobbit Julia was doing fine with the small enclosed space of the staircase. But coming closer to the top of the monument, even she held her breath, scared she might get stuck. In front of us a lady decided to turn around half-way through and we couldn’t blame her. It’s important to know your own limits. Also, to be fair, being at the top of the monument wasn’t as spectacular as expected.

Edinburgh: Scott Monument

Knowing When to Turn Back

The platform there is very small and due to the number of people, we weren’t able to move anymore. We all just stood there, squeezed together like sardines. More people tried to come up and squeeze onto the platform. While I understood people didn’t want to go through that narrow staircase twice, it took quite a while until we were able to convince people they physically couldn’t move further up onto the platform and to go back down, so we could leave. In the end, the view doesn’t allow you to see any further than Level 3, so if you don’t want to go up to the last level, you’re not really missing anything.

Dog at Scott Monument

Bonus Tip

There’s only one staircase for people going up and down. This can get awkward, especially with how the staircase narrows with each further level. To make it easier, announce yourself, whenever you step into the staircase with something like “Going up” or “Coming Down”. It helps other people stop at one of the floors and let you pass.

 

tl;dr

How to get there: Located in the middle of the city centre it’s easy to reach by foot, bus, tram or train

Why go: an adventure in the middle of the city, stepping a little out of your comfort zone, stunning views

Best time to visit: early in the morning when there are less people although we imagine very late with the sunset is also very nice; on a clear day where you’ll be able to see farther

Price: £8

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Scott Monument

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