Nelson Monument
Nelson Monument
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Top ways to experience Nelson Monument and nearby attractions

The area
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Neighbourhood: Broughton & Calton
Lying where grandiose New Town townhouses give way to malls and utilitarian housing, Broughton and Calton have long been transitional neighbourhoods with a mixed identity. It’s here that Edinburgh’s gay village found a home in the 1980s. But gay culture is anything but overt along bustling epicentre Broughton Street; even if polished pubs, hip bistros, smart delis and art galleries all speak of affluent good taste. The top of Leith Walk is more ragged. This major thoroughfare boasts a famously gritty gay club, as well as a strip of good Indian restaurants. Regal Georgian and Victorian townhouses preside over largely deserted streets in Calton, where only the occasional restaurant or hotel brings much life. Even so, a steady trickle of idlers and picnickers pass by to climb Calton Hill for its wide-open lawns, wonderful city views, and curious monuments – an Athenian-style temple among them.
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles352 reviews
Excellent
113
Very good
156
Average
70
Poor
10
Terrible
3

Mirka J
36 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Solo
Looking towards the monument from the Castle, one gets the impression that it is one of the historical dominants of Edinburg. It might well be, but not for me. There is nothing much to it, beyond the nice view from there over the city.
Written 21 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

HINA W
Islamabad, Pakistan7,316 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022 • Family
This monument is located on the Calton Hill. It is dedicated to Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson who was a British war hero. He is famous for his victories at sea specially the Battle of Trafalgar, fought in 1805, in which he was mortally wounded. Nelson died after the Battle of Trafalgar. The Scots decided to commemorate his death. It was completed in 1816. I feel that this monument looks like an upside down telescope. A Time Ball was added to it in 1852. This was done to assist the seamen moored in the Firth of Forth to set their chronometers. This Times Ball still drops at precisely one o’clock daily.
Written 17 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

michaeljamesgamm2018
Arbroath, UK37 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022
it is the first monument you see when you walk up calton hill and nice views of Edinburgh and the surrounding area of Edinburgh and over to fife
Written 18 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ljubica B
London, UK7,487 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2022 • Family
Nice place to visit unfortunately was closed I believe the views will be even better from the top of the tower. Is lovely to see the transition from day to night…. I advice to bring a pair of trainers
Written 20 November 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brian T
London, UK8,053 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022 • Solo
Calton Hill has a number of monuments which you can see from afar, and which you can also see at fairly close range if you climb the series of steps you’ll find on the path leading off the eastern end of Waterloo Place (the continuation of Princes Street). The path up is clearly signed, and not too steep though understandably there’s a good few steps to climb.

Perched at the highest point on Calton Hill is probably the most curious of all the monuments on the hill. It looks a bit like an upturned telescope. It is the Nelson Monument, and commemorates Admiral Lord Nelson's victory, and death, at the battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1805. The monument was designed by the architect Robert Burn, and was built between 1807 and 1815. It’s 105 feet (32 metres) tall. The castellated design reflects the castellated prison buildings which stood on the south side of Calton Hill in the early 19th century. A mechanized time ball was added to the Monument in 1852 to enable captains of ships moored in the Firth of Forth to set their chronometers for accurate navigation by observing the dropping of the ball at one o'clock GMT each day. The firing of the One O’Clock Gun at Edinburgh Castle was synchronized with this to augment this time-keeping feature.

Unfortunately the small free museum at its base, and the viewing platform 143 steps up the monument, have been closed since the pandemic. You can walk around its base and that will give you a good idea of its perspective.

Combine it with a visit to the other monuments on Calton Hill and you will have a reasonable outing for an hour or so, and you’ll be able to enjoy the wonderful views of the city and surroundings from the hill.
Written 5 November 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

James P
Cambridge, UK2,652 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
A telescope shaped monument on top of Calton Hill, built to celebrate Nelson's victory at Trafalgar. Currently there is no access up the tower.
Written 30 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TheShis
Tel Aviv, Israel41,095 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
This is an impressive monument on Calton hill, which is, unfortunately, closed, due to Covid-19.
So currently all you could do is look at the structure from outside.
Written 17 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

IAN D
Wigan, UK25,478 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021 • Solo
Monument to celebrate Nelson winning the battle of Trafalgar. 143 steps up this 105 feet monument give great views. In city centre
Written 4 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

malc1005
Kettering, UK5,279 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021 • Couples
A nice monument to Nelson, on top of the hill, bit of a climb, but well worth it. Highly Recommended.
Written 8 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

johnhouston2
Knaresborough, UK5,092 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020
The Nelson Monument is a distinctive-looking structure in that it is constructed in the shape of a telescope, which is entirely fitting. Other than that, I agree with previous reviewers who suggest that the monument on its own isn't really worth making a great effort to visit, particularly during these Covid times when it is closed.

That said, however, Calton Hill is most certainly worth visiting - so you may as well visit the monument while you're here!
Written 15 November 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Nelson Monument - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

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