The Best Panoramic Views of Edinburgh
We’re sure you’ll agree that Edinburgh has a pretty spectacular skyline. With Edinburgh Castle towering majestically over the city, the extinct volcano Arthur’s Seat looming in the distance, and early examples of skyscrapers rising in a disordered fashion in Old Town. It’s quite a sight to behold. Thankfully, there are various locations to stand and admire panoramic views of Edinburgh and we’ve selected six of our favourite locations. So in no particular order, let’s begin!
1. Blackford Hill
- Price: Free
- How to get there: www.walkhighlands.co.uk/blackford-hill
Blackford Hill is a 164 metres hill in Edinburgh. It is considered to be an easier hike than it’s neighbour Arthur’s Seat, yet with equally wonderful panoramic views of the city. The hill is also a popular spot for runners and dog walkers. The Edinburgh Royal Observatory is located near the summit and Blackford Pond is next to the hill on the north side.
2. Calton Hill
- Price: Free
- How to get there: www.walkingbritain.co.uk/caltonhill
Marked as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Calton Hill is a landmark and has some of the city’s best views. As well as stunning panoramic views of the city, Calton Hill has several monuments including, The National Monument, Dugald Stewart Monument, and Nelson’s Monument. The National Monument, in particular, has an interesting story. William Playfair was commissioned to design the monument to be a memorial to those who had died in the Napoleonic Wars. It was designed to be a replica of the Parthenon and despite support from the likes of Sir Walter Scott, the project ran out of funding and the monument was left in a half-finished state. It was quickly termed “Edinburgh’s Disgrace”. However, nowadays, the unfinished monument proves to be a very popular photo opportunity amongst tourists.
3. National Museum of Scotland
- Price: Free
- How to get there: www.nms.ac.uk/#gettinghere
The National Museum of Scotland is a must-visit place if you’re visiting Edinburgh for the first time. It’s a beautiful blend of old and new architecture, countless exhibitions (ranging from Scottish history to animal life), and there are wonderful interactive play areas for children. To top it off, the National Museum has a roof terrace (located on the 7th floor) which has wonderful views of Old Town; including Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, Greyfriars Kirk, and the University of Edinburgh.
4. Arthur’s Seat & The Crags
- Price: Free
- How to get there: www.walkhighlands.co.uk/arthurs-seat
Arthur’s Seat is an ancient volcano which sits 251m above sea level and is part of a 640 acre Royal Park adjacent to Holyrood Palace. Salisbury Crags is a series of 150 foot cliff faces next to Arthur’s Seat. Both locations provide breathtaking views of Edinburgh. Although, we would recommend opting to hike Arthur’s Seat or the Crags on a nice day, as it can be a bit dangerous in windy or wet weather.
5. Edinburgh Castle
- Price: £17
- How to get there: www.edinburghcastle.gov.uk/getting-here
Edinburgh Castle was recently voted top UK Heritage Attraction in the British Travel Awards and is Scotland’s number one paid-for tourist attraction. It is also home to Edinburgh’s oldest building, St Margaret’s Chapel, which dates back to the 12th century. As well as exploring the Castle and learning about its colourful history, the 360 degree view of Edinburgh from the Castle is spectacular.
6. Camera Obscura
- Price: £15
- How to get there: www.camera-obscura.co.uk/findus
Edinburgh’s Camera Obscura has sat proudly next to Edinburgh Castle since 1892. Currently, the building still holds the camera obscura and has the added attraction of the Word of Illusions. The attraction itself is well worth visiting, especially with children, but, one of the best features is the view from the roof! The terrace allows visitors to look down the Royal Mile and over into New Town.
Featured Home: 89/(75) Holyrood Road
This wonderful two bedroom apartment is situated directly next to the Scottish Parliament, the Royal Palace of Holyrood, Dynamic Earth and minutes from The Royal Mile you’ll be hard pressed to find a better location to stay in. At the front of the apartment is the lovely open plan sitting room, kitchen and dining area. This room has spectacular views across to Arthur’s Seat and has a small balcony to enjoy a morning coffee while watching the world go by.