Photo locations – Edinburgh part 1

Recently I have visited Peak District and came across a book that gave me an idea of sharing some local knowledge.

If you wonder where to head to take beautiful photos of Edinburgh then I hope you will make use of some little hints and tips in this post.

If you find the information here useful – let me know in a comment or a message. I will do my best to share more knowledge in the following weeks.

So… Edinburgh…

Beautiful city that enchants with its history and architecture. I am sure you have seen loads of magnificent photos and wonder where to go to get the best views of the city, so here is a couple of practical tips.

Calton Hill

It is probably one of the best places to head to get views of Princes Street, Balmoral Hotel tower, and the old town. Most postcards will feature the view from just near The Old Observatory House. Another view is that of Princes Street taken from the bottom of Nelson Monument.

On the other side you get the views of Arthur’s Seat and the Crags, and the north of the town – Leith and the firth of the Forth.

Best times to visit: very early morning or at sunset. It can be really busy!

Salisbury Crags and Arthur’s Seat

Great for the photos of Edinburgh Castle (especially the Crags), Royal Mile, Calton Hill, Holyrood Palace and the Scottish Parliament. All round views from top of Arthur’s Seat.

Best times to visit: anytime. Arthur’s Seat can be busy and windy!


Calton Hill from the Crags at sunset


Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle

These are great but extremely busy. Some magnificent photos can be taken of closes in Royal Mile (especially White Horse Close near Holyrood and the Parliament, Barrie’s Close near the Court Building, Writer’s Court). Closes are interesting on its own and well worth exploring. Check this site for more info: Royal Mile closes map

Other points of interest on the Royal Mile – Tolbooth Building, St. Giles cathedral, Upper Bow, Victoria Street, Cockburn Street, Canongate Kirkyard. Unfortunately, cars and tourists make it a difficult place to photograph.

Edinburgh Castle

It is a bit tricky to photograph but offers unparalleled views of the Old and New Town and the Forth.

Best times to visit: very early morning or night (but be careful).


Another iconic location – everybody must know Bobby and the statue of a little dog. Plus the kirkyard nearby make it an interesting and exciting place to visit.

When to visit: anytime.

Scott Monument and Princes Street

Climbing Scott Monument gives the opportunity to enjoy great views of Princes Street and the Castle. Well worth the effort and the £5, can be a bit claustrophobic though.

When to visit: during opening times (usually 9-5).

As far as Princes Street is concerned, a stroll through the gardens gives you a chance of not having to navigate around aimless wanderers, plus there is a well known Gardener’s cottage, Statue of Bear Wojtek, and at the end of Princes Street – Ross Fountain and yet another classic view of the castle, plus St. John’s Kirkyard.

Best time to visit: anytime.

Grassmarket and the Vennel

Another great location for photos of the castle, cobbled square, view up Victoria Street. One of my favourites.


Best time to visit: any time, particularly good at night and sunrise (but again-be careful).

Contact me if you ever want to go for a wander around Edinburgh and I will happily show you all the places.

More photos in my posts: Edinburgh 1 and Edinburgh 2.

More of my work on Flickr, 500px and Facebook.


My Edinburgh

Very early morning on a Saturday… The thing I was dreaming about was staying in bed and yet I decided, joined with two recently met photo hobbyists, to take a walk through Edinburgh almost empty streets.

It is not the real Edinburgh, as you should smell the afterparty and see the rubbish that is left, or the seagulls ripping apart bags of waste… Or homeless people sleeping in cemeteries or at the doorstep of St. Giles cathedral.

But it is the place I came to love, that I keep discovering each and every time I wander around.

Camping in Lake District – day 1

Last weekend camping in Lake District…

Nights were freezing, days were much warmer… though I bet on much warmer weather than in Scotland. Well, I guess not this time…

But as far as walking, views and thrills alike are concerned – great area.

Day 1 we walked up Cat Bells – a hill that is lower than most but still a good challenge and offering wonderful views over Derwent Water.

Then just a couple of random places to fill the day – Bowder Stone, Lodore Falls, Brassenthwaite.

Altogether I gather we walked around 10 miles. And the sunset over Derwent Water was just a cherry on top. And then another cold night in the tent.

Weekend in the Isle of Arran

Arran has been on my to do list for a while and finally an opportunity presented itself to visit this beautiful little island when my walking group organised a weekend trip. We stayed in Brodick, where the ferry lands, and also the biggest town/village.

Needless to say, despite being so little, the island offers a lot. Geology, history, walks, landscapes, views…

4 days spent there were not enough and I would definitely want to come back to discover more.

Walks done:

Day 1: Glenashdale falls from Whiting Bay, Eas Mor waterfall near Kildonan, walk around Brodick, all walks – around 8 miles.

Day 2: Lochranza to Laggan, then back over the hills – 10 miles.

Day 3: Brodick – Fairy Glen – Glen Cloy (6 miles)

Day 4: King’s Caves (3 miles), Machrie Farm (3 miles), Brodick country park (ca. 2 miles).

Came home knackered, went to work to rest 🙂

Cademuir Hill in the Scottish Borders

Yesterday, despite not too good weather forecast and a bit of fear I decided to join one of the friendly groups on a walk near Peebles in the Scottish Borders. I am, after all, quite heavy, and this was to be 8 miles on a hill (not the highest in Scotland, but still). Luckily, the pace was slow enough for me and the weather turned out to be magnificent. So magnificent that we could see a full rainbow and there was also double rainbow after a short rainy spell.

8 miles was quite challenging at the beginning but definitely worth it. The views… Scottish Borders are just magnificent. And the Tweed valley in particular. We walked past Neidpath Castle whose setting is just stunning.

One of the best walks so far.

Highlands road trip

My best friend visited me for a couple of days and I took her up north to Fort William and Oban. Great road trip showcasing some of the most beautiful scenery of Scotland including Macbeth, Trainspotting, Harry Potter and other filming locations. The weather was typically Scottish but it cleared towards the end of the day allowing for a short walk in Oban with the best fish and chips ever for our tea.

St. Mary’s Loch in the Scottish Borders

I got inspired by beautiful photos of a like-minded photographer that showcased the trees and mystical atmosphere of this loch and decided to explore it. Initially I wanted to walk around it as apparently there is a circular path, but I couldn’t find it (I did later on). Not too sure how long this whole adventure would take, we just walked about 4 miles on part of the Southern Upland Way admiring the loch, enjoying peace (hardly anybody there) and the hills of the Scottish Borders.