The Heart of Midlothian: The Scott Monument

In the lovely Princes Street Gardens is a towering attraction to honor one of Scotland’s most treasured poets.

Princes Street Gardens

Princes Street Gardens

The Scott Monument, dedicated to Sir Walter Scott is a recognizable figure in Edinburgh. At over 200 ft tall, it is the largest monument to commemorate a writer in the world.


definitely believe that…I climbed the 287 steps to the top.

To get to the top of the Scott Monument takes a bit of fitness (there’s no elevator) and zero claustrophobia.


That spiral staircase is tight. There is barely room for a grown man’s shoulders to fit the width. And if you happen to be going up (or down) while someone else is going down (or up) you’ll end up hugging the walls trying to squeeze past each other.

But don’t worry- that doesn’t happen often!

There are 4 different levels of the monument for you to exit the staircase and see 360 degree views of Edinburgh (and rest your legs).

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The first level has multiple listening stations that play recordings of information on Sir Walter Scott and give details on his life, writings and the creation of his Binny Sandstone monument.

And starting there, each level above you brings you higher and higher above the city until you’re hovering high above Princes Street.


 I made the trip up on my last day in Edinburgh and it was a very windy afternoon, but a perfect way to say goodbye to the city I called home.

If you’re up for the staircase challenge (come on, it’s easy enough!) and brilliant views of Scotland’s capital, then be sure to pay a visit to this historic spot.

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Have you visited the Scott Monument? Could you handle a bit of a claustrophobic climb to the top?

Scott Monument
East Princes Street Gardens
April through September:
Mon-Sat, 10am-7pm
Sun, 10am-6pm
October through March:
Mon-Sat, 9am-4pm
Sun, 10am-6pm

  • Melissa Swedoski

    I am beyond jealous! Scotland is one of my all-time favorite places to visit and I can’t wait to share it with my husband and kids!
    p.s. when I first saw Midlothian in the title, I so thought you were talking about the Texas town, lol. We live in Waxahachie, so it really caught my eye!

    • Thanks Melissa! You definitely need to bring your family to visit with you. Such a lovely place!

      Haha I didn’t even realize there was a Midlothian in Texas! The other day I was talking to a Texan about Aberdeen which caused some confusion because apparently there’s an Aberdeen in Scotland and Texas too

  • Ahhh I can’t believe you climbed that! We climbed the Notre Dame when I was in Paris and it had about 350 steps but the staircase wasn’t so narrow! I hate tight spaces so the thought of climbing up that tiny space makes me squirm! Such beautiful views though!!

    • It was really tight! Especially as you got closer to the top. I don’t have very wide shoulders and I felt really cramped. My boyfriend could barely fit!

      I never went up Notre Dame when I was in Paris because the lines were always so long, but I bet it offered great views!

  • I would totally climb to the top!!! Love your pictures! The views are spectacular!

    • Thanks, Taylor! It was definitely worth the climb, although I didn’t realize what I was getting myself into until we were already inside the monument.

  • What glorious views! Good thing I’m not claustrophobic! Maybe by the time I get to travel to Scotland I’ll be more athletic? I’ve got a couple years though 😀

    • Haha! I’m embarrassed to say my quads were a bit sore the next day.

      The only thing that kept me going up the stairs was that I didn’t want to have to stop inside the tiny staircase

  • These are beautiful pictures! I feel the traveling bug coming on now! Thanks for sharing! I”m coming over from TXWB

    • Thank you! And thank you for stopping by and reading! I definitely recommend adding Edinburgh to your travel bucket list. It’s beautiful