on August 18, 2006
The Scott Monument is one of the most impressive pieces of architecture in the city. You can't miss it - it's the huge, soot-blackened, pointy thing in Princes Street Gardens; the one with a statue of Sir Walter Scott and his wolfhounds on a raised platform in the centre.It is well worth taking the time to go and see it, even if you only see it from the outside, as it's beautifully made and really quite awe-inspiring - particularly since its repair and rejuvenation in the late nineties, with much of the fine detail being recreated from scratch and painstakingly restored to bring the monument back to something close to its original splendour. Having said this, of course, if you're even moderately fit then I strongly recommend spending the paltry £3 entry fee and climbing the winding stairs that take you up the inside all the way to the distant spire.When you go inside you get a certificate to say that you've taken on the 287 steps and lived to tell the tale, so you get a keepsake into the bargain. The staircase is very narrow, particularly as you near the top, so if you're claustrophobic then either think carefully before going in or make sure you go on a quiet day to avoid squeezing past other visitors. Even if you are a little uncomfortable in confined spaces though, the climb is staggered so you get space to stretch a bit and feel the wind on your face at regular intervals and it's only right near the top that the walls of the staircase really start to close in on you. It is all old stairs of course, so there's no disabled access.As you climb, you stop off at several landings, where you can wander round the circumference of the building and take in the views. These get steadily more impressive as you climb, so make sure you save some shots on your camera for the top. On one of these landings there is some history of the structure and its recent rebirth, which is very interesting if you have time to stop and have a look. The view from the top is what you're really paying for though, and it's a bargain at £3. You can take in stunning views along Princes Street, the Castle, Arthur's Seat, Calton Hill and away in all directions, as far as the far side of the Firth of Forth to the north, North Berwick Law to the East, Hillend to the south and away past the city to the west. A true bird's eye view of one of the most beautiful cities in the world. A must see.
©Travelocity.com LP 2000-2009