Hey everyone. Today I will walk you through Calton Hill photography locations. These are great for couples engagement photos or to do some romantic proposals. I also use the same spots to do vacations photos for families. If you are looking for more great photography locations around Edinburgh, please check my Edinburgh proposal location guide.
From the moment when I arrived in Edinburgh back in 2005, Calton Hill has been one of my favourite spots to visit. Calton Hill is one of the most iconic Scottish National Monuments in Edinburgh. It makes an amazing backdrop for photography and to explore.
Amazing views of Edinburgh Castle and Arthur Seat. You can walk around it and each side gives you a different perspective of the city. Watch this video to see various photography locations and photos in these places.
After 2019 renovations of the Calton Hill, they have opened a nice cafe for you to sit down and enjoy the views. Renovations also have given few more gorgeous photo spots. You will see them in the video.
Watch Video about these locations.
Let me show you some of the most popular photography spots around Calton Hill.
1. Edinburgh Castle and Balmoral Hotel Clock from Calton Hill.
This is normally the first spot where I would take couples or families for photos. It is probably the more standard photography location on Calton Hill. It looks amazing during summer times. During winter time it does get quite muddy and slippery so you might need to watch out. It has around 40-degree slope.
2. The corner of the Calton Hill with Edinburgh castle view.
It is probably the most crowded spot for taking photos on Calton Hill. For this reason, I try to be very quick there. Tourists always keep coming into the shots. It is the highest vantage point, but quite narrow.
Actually I prefer to step away a bit from that corner and sit down couples on the rocks and then take a castle view photos. It is quieter photography location and passers-by would stop while I take portraits.
3. The seaside side from the Calton Hill.
This flat wide space is great for more open space shots. You have a seaside view and you can step a fair bit back to avoid including building in the photos. Bear in mind that many tourists gather here too. Depending on how busy it is on the day, I might not come for the photos here.
4. Observatory House garden.
This location became available after 2019 renovation work. Now there are few places where you can take beautiful portraits either of couples or families alike. You have a wall where you could climb. You have top of the hill where you can take nice photos behind the Observatory house.
5. Photography Locations around Nelson Monument.
I love taking photos with Princess street view. You can have a nice vantage point and during wintertime, you can see princess street lit up as well. I also go behind the monument and you can have a few nice photos next to the fence. These places are normally quiet too, not many tourists come here.
6. Arthur’s seat view photos from Calton Hill.
One more of my favourite locations in Edinburgh. You have a seating area with Arthurs seat view, but I try to avoid this as it is always super busy with people. Instead, I walk further up and take photos there. I love this angle better and there are very few people walk through shots. You might need to wait for a few to pass, but you can have nice mountain look portraits done.
7. Around National Monument of Scotland.
It all depends on how challenging you want this to be. You can climb the steps and try to get up. However, saying that I try to avoid that as there are always tons of tourists sitting on the top and it is super hard to remove them in post-production. My preference is to walk around and create photos with the monument is the background. Here are some spots where you could do that. It can give you a good variety of portraits.
Hope you enjoyed this little guide. If you planning your own either engagement or family photo shoot while visiting Edinburgh. Please check out the information pages.