No trip to Edinburgh is complete without a trip up the treacherous steps of the Scott Monument. And when I say treacherous, I do mean treacherous. The monument was built in 1844, although I have to imagine it was a pretty tight fit for the people then, even if the average person is bigger now. It’s 287 narrow and winding steps to the top. The staircase becomes only more narrow and winding the higher up you get. By the end, we were practically bent over double, especially the hubby!
We chose to visit on an overcast weekday. This meant our view at the top wasn’t quite so clear, but it also meant the monument was less crowded. Plus, dreary days (and Scotland has plenty of them!) have their own magic. I’ve heard the monument can be quite dangerous on a clear weekend. Even on a slower day, it required some fancy footing to pass anyone going the opposite direction. As we were coming down, we passed a Scottish gentlemen and his girlfriend. We were near the top where things were narrowest. I had to stand awkwardly to one side with my body stretched across the hallway, my hands on the opposite wall for balance and support. The couple had to duck underneath my arms like we were in a game of London Bridges and then squeeze past the hubby who was above me where it was even narrower. With typical wry Scottish humor, the man commented, “It’s a good thing we all know each other so well. Otherwise, this would be awfully awkward.”
The monument is located at E. Princes St. Garden. It’s open April through September from 10-7 on Monday through Saturday and from 10-6 on Sunday. It’s open October through March from 9-4 Monday through Saturday and from 10-6 on Sunday. It includes a museum with information on Scott’s life and works as well as sculptures of characters from his novels. The trip to the top might be long and a bit tiring, but it’s worth it for that beautiful view!