Designed by self-taught architect George Meikle Kemp, the Scott Monument has the distinction of being the largest monument dedicated to a writer. Beneath the central arch of the monument is a statue of Sir Walter Scott and his beloved dog, Maida, carved from a solid block of Carrara marble. Also carved into the monument are 64 characters from Scott’s novels. The Museum Room on the first floor offers more insight into the building of the monument itself, as well as the life and work of Sir Walter Scott.
The Scott Monument features on many Edinburgh guided tours, along with other top attractions such as Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyrood House, and Calton Hill. Or take a hop-on hop-off bus tour to visit the sites at your leisure.
Things to Know Before You Go
You need to have a reasonable level of fitness to climb the 287 steps to the very top; do not attempt if you have heart problems, vertigo, or limited mobility.
There are flour platforms on the climb from the base to the top of the monument where you can take a break and take in the views.
Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture spectacular views from the monument.
It can be quite windy at the observation deck at the very top.
The monument is not wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
The Scott Monument is located in East Princes Street Gardens, in New Town, Edinburgh. It’s easily accessible by bus, train, and tram. The nearest bus and tram stations are at Princes Street, and the closest train station is Waverley Station.
When to Get There
The Scott Monument is open daily, year-round, with extended hours June through August and much more limited hours in the winter (October to March). Last admission is 30 minutes prior to closing time. For the best views, visit on a clear day. Adverse weather conditions, such as high winds or snow, can affect opening hours.
Stained Glass Windows in the Museum Room
Don’t miss the four stained glass windows in the Museum Room. Designed by Scottish artist David Roberts and made by James Ballantine, they feature St. Andrew, St. Giles, and the coats of arms of the City of Edinburgh and of Scotland.
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