National Monument of Scotland

National Monument on Calton Hill in Edinburgh, Scotland



I am still sorting through photos from my trip to Scotland, but I’m so excited to share some of the sights that I thought I’d just start at the beginning.

We landed in Edinburgh around 10:00 in the morning. After getting my newest passport stamp, I collected my luggage.


Getting to the City Center of Edinburgh from the Airport.

We then made our way to the tram information center. The tram was not running all the way into the city center stop that we would need because of an accident. We were advised to take the bus instead.

We would later find out that there had been a horrific accident involving a bicyclist getting her wheel stuck in a tram track on Princes Street and subsequently being hit by a bus. Unfortunately, she did not survive.

We took the bus to Waverly Bridge and relied on Google and Apple maps (who would prove to be one of the most useful items brought with me). We followed the little blue man walking on my map to Waterloo Street. I did not see an obvious sign of the hotel so I pulled up my reservation. I matched the picture to the building across the street and found that there were signs, just not visible from where I was standing due to the bus stop alcoves.


Princes Street Suites.

To our surprise, our room at Princes Street Suites was ready.


We dropped off our luggage and went across the street to Howie’s where I had the casserole of the day.  We then decided to split a chocolate & beetroot torte served with Mackie’s vanilla ice cream.  It was De-Li-Cious! There’s also another Howie’s location on Victoria Street.

From our outdoor table, we could see Calton Hill was a short walk away.

After lunch, we decided to take a stroll there.


Calton Hill.

Calton Hill is marked as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

There are sweeping views from the Hill as well as some iconic Scottish monuments and buildings.


National Monument.

One of which is the National Monument.

The foundation stone was laid in 1822. It is a national memorial to the fallen Scottish soldiers and sailors who died during the Napoleonic Wars. It was inspired by the Parthenon of Athens. Only half completed due to lack of funds, it has stood as it is, with its 12 Doric columns rising up from its base, for almost 200 years.


I was surprised to read that it is sometimes called “Scotland’s Disgrace” amongst a few other negative names due to its lack of completion.

I guess beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder.

Because I found this monument to be an impressive feat of craftsmanship perched high atop the hill with the piercing blue sky shining through its ordered columns.


Nelson Monument.

It was a beautiful day.

Perfect for lying in the grass, face up to the sun.

Which is exactly what I did (after sneaking in a shot of my aunt and mom).

Nelson Monument is the building rising to the right of the National Monument.

My mother and I climbed to the top for a 360˚ view of Edinburgh.

And even though that is a photo story for a different day, you can sneak a peek through the window in this post.

update: I’ve shared many more posts from my time in Scotland. They can be found in the UK category under Destinations, but here are a few from Edinburgh to get you started:

Prisons of War Exhibit at Edinburgh Castle

St. Giles Cathedral

Greyfriars Kirkyard

Views from the top of Princes Street Suites

The Millenium Clock at the National Museum of Scotland


Let your light shine!



23 thoughts on “National Monument of Scotland

  1. I feel like that happens to me while I’m traveling all the time–a guide or a local will say that some monument is supposed to be either the thing they are most proud of or something they are ashamed of–and I think the opposite, lol. You are right, eye of the beholder. I like hearing other people’s perspectives as well cause sometimes I’m too quick to judge things. Hoping to get to Scotland soon. Great post, thanks!

    1. Thank you. 🙂
      Scotland was beautiful. I hope you make it there soon.
      It was great to hear other’s perspectives. I did take a city bus tour, which I don’t usually do, but I learned a lot of interesting facts about the cities (the name-calling of the monument I learned about online, not on the tour) 🙂

  2. One of my favorite quotes 🙂
    I don’t find it a disgrace, I find it beautiful! And whoa, what a glorious day!

    PS: I am all about beets and chocolate and wish we’d get back to REAL red velvet cake and souffles.

    1. It really was a beautiful day. We were mostly lucky with the weather since the forecast originally called for rain every day.
      I had a slice of red velvet cake while there. Now I’m wondering if it was real. I could taste the beet flavoring in the other, but the icing on the red velvet took center stage.

  3. I was just watching a few minutes of some show on PBs this afternoon- Monarch of somewhere- I don’t remember exactly where- just to hear the Scottish accents:) Lovely photos- it’s a real treat being able to travel and see other parts of the world.

    1. The Scottish accents are the best!! 🙂
      It’s so funny that I don’t think of having an accent since I’m not from New England or the South, but the woman at the genealogy library could tell we were American by our “accent”.
      It was a real blessing to be able to travel there. 🙂

  4. I love that quote. “Seeing with new eyes” is how I feel since I started carrying a camera.
    Great photos with your new Sony. Glad you are liking it.

    I really like the look of Nelson’s Monument. What an interesting looking structure. It looks like black stone which is quite unusual … at least to me.

    1. I feel that well as well with a camera strapped to my side. 🙂 Are you enjoying your new camera?
      Nelson’s Monument is a very interesting structure. I’ll be jumping a bit ahead in my next post, but I do want to share the others I have of it after I process them. It wasn’t black stone, but does appear that way in the photo. Some of the aging stone was darker in some spots than others, but I suspect this was lighting on my part. 😉

      1. I LOVE my new camera. I’ve been so pleased with the photos I’ve taken so far. I’ve already decided I need a zoom lens and will likely buy one sooner rather than later 🙂

  5. I had no idea there was a reproduction inspired by the parthenon in Scotland. very cool. And love your Pinterest-ready images. I’ve scheduled the featured image to pin – both so everyone else can consider an unexpected vacation destination, but also because it will help me look like a savvy Pinner!

    1. Thanks so much Gabe. You must be a much more savvy Pinner than I am 😉 I’ve not made it to scheduling Pins and have only recently read about creating more visually interesting Pinterest-ready ones. 🙂

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