The Scott Monument

This iconic Edinburgh landmark is situated on the edge of Princes Street Gardens and Princes Street opposite Jenners, Scotland’s oldest surviving department store.

Standing just over 200 feet high (61 metres), this classic example of Victorian Gothic architecture was built during the 1840s as a tribute to the life and works of Sir Walter Scott, best known as the author of the Waverley series of historical novels. It took six years to complete, and various stages of its construction became the subject of some the earliest photographs ever taken.

Recently described by writer Bill Bryson as looking like a ‘gothic rocket ship’, it entices visitors to climb its narrow spiral staircase of 287 steps to four levels offering panoramic views across the city. Those who successfully complete this not inconsiderable challenge can actually obtain an official certificate commemorating the event.

The long climb up is punctuated by 64 statues of characters from Scott’s books, and the statue at its base looking out over Princes Street is of Scott and his dog Maida, carved in special imported Italian marble.