on March 15, 2006
Calton Hill is located at the east end of Princes Street. It is instantly recognizable as the hill with what was intended to be a Parthenon, like the one in Athens. It was started in 1816 after Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo, but never finished. It is called the National Monument, sometimes it is called Edinburgh's shame, but it is a great place for a view of the city.Getting to the top of Calton Hill is really a walk rather than a hike. Calton Hill is easily accessed and less strenuous than a climb up Arthur's Seat, another good spot for a great view. To get to Calton Hill, we walked to the east end of Princes Street and climbed about 5 minutes from the staircase at Waterloo Place. It is also possible to drive up most of the hill and park. There is a path that runs around the edge of the hill. On top, in addition to looking at and climbing on the unfinished Parthenon structure, we walked around to view historic memorial structures and two observatories: the Old Observatory, designed by New Town architect James Craig in 1792; and the City Observatory, built in 1818, which has exhibitions and viewings of the night sky. Opening times are limited, so check before you go because it wasn't open when we were there.One of the best things about getting to the top of Calton Hill is the view down the length of Princes Street, the Princes Street Gardens to the Castle. Looking south, it overlooks the new Scottish Parliament and provides a good view of Arthur's Seat and Salisbury Crags.Nearby is the Calton cemetery where some famous residents, like David Hume, are buried.
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