Picture of Nelson Monument on Calton Hill with a blue sky in the background.

Nelson Monument

New Town
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The Nelson Monument is a commemorative tower overlooking Edinburgh in honour of Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson, designed by architect Robert Burn.

  • Nelson Monument photographed on a sunny day with tree and foliage surrounding it at the bottom.
  • Nelson Monument lit up with blue and purple lights on Calton Hill.
  • View of Edinburgh featuring the Nelson Monument. Includes the skyline, surrounding trees and sea.


Reopening Saturday 25 May. Please note the Monument will be temporarily operating on a cash-only basis.

This monument commemorates Vice Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson and became a naval signalling station soon after it was completed. A visit to the Nelson Monument offers a great opportunity to explore one of Edinburgh's most famous landmarks and stunning views of the city.

The upturned telescope was designed by the architect Robert Burn, and was built between 1807 and 1815. Then 1853, a large time ball was introduced, which was lowered as the one o'clock gun was fired from Edinburgh castle each day.

For anyone visiting the Nelson Monument, they will first and foremost want to see the spectacular views from the elevated platform. The platform affords some of the finest panoramic prospects of the city, and on a clear day it is possible to see the new Queensferry Crossing spanning the Forth estuary to the west, and Berwick Law and the Bass Rock to the east. The Kingdom of Fife stretches out to the north, and the Pentland Hills and Scottish Borders to the south.

However, the views are not the only reason to visit. Inside the base of the monument are a series of museum displays. Our current exhibition explores the life of Charles Piazzi Smyth, photographic and spectrographic pioneer, inventor of mountain top astronomy, popular author, Egyptologist and originator of the One O’Clock Gun and Time Ball.

This special exhibition presents the story of this extraordinary man, whose pioneering work at Calton Hill changed the practice of astronomy across the world.

Tower admission £6 | Recommended donation for Museum £3

Unfortunately due to the historic nature of the building, the monument is accessible by steps only.

Key Information


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Additional Information

Key Features



Payment Methods

Cash only




On Public Transport Route

Public Parking Nearby


Town Location

City Centre

Nearby to Nelson Monument

Approximate duration and distances shown are from Nelson Monument.

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