6 Top Locations to Photograph an Edinburgh Sunset

I wish I could have made this a top sunset and sunrise blog post but not being an early morning person, sunset locations will have to do!

Of course, there are millions of places to photograph the sunset from, but not all of them will have anything to interesting in the shot. I’ve tried to avoid city centre locations s there are literally millions of places, what I’ll concentrate on there are the more full on landscape sunsets.

Some of these are pretty seasonal depending on the position of the sun and I’ll attempt to tell you when best to go and take your sunset pictures from there, as always, Suncalc is an invaluable resource in planning your location and timings.

1. Calton Hill

Calton Hill Sunset 11 October 2010 - Explored

Classic Edinburgh - Explored & FP

Calton Hill is undoubtedly one of the best locations for a sunset but it’s seasonal. From roughly October to March the sun will come down in view of the front end of the hill, i.e. the bit that looks onto Edinburgh Castle. The rest of the year your Calton Hill sunsets will have either St James Centre or the roof of the Omni Centre in the foreground, not the most attractive buildings it has to be said. The first shot below was late October and the 2nd one was early February. If you want the sun behind the Castle, early to mid November is the time to aim for.

2. Salisbury Crags

Edinburgh Castle at Sunset HDR

This one is pretty much an all year round location but autumn and spring will see the sun down nearest the castle. Due to the height it’s a challenging place to photograph the sunset and I don’t feel I’ve got a shot I’m happy with from here yet. Don’t go up with a really wide angle lens though; otherwise you’ll get the undesirable flats of Dumbiedykes in the foreground of your shots.

3. Forth Bridges

Forth Bridge Sunset June 4 2010

Forth Road Bridge sunset - Explored

South Queensferry is such a good location if I could only take one picture again it would be this one and the Bridges. Get down the little road to the right of the rail bridge and you can get both bridges in one shot, it’s a summer shot though as the sun comes down too far to the left once you get to late October.

The road bridge is easier to get in the sunset shot but again, it’s best in summer unless you go over to the North Queensferry side.

4. Cramond

Cramond sunset

Cramond Sunset 4

Cramond again is best in summer, later in the year the sun will come down over the land and not the water, far less spectacular. In the height of summer on a calm night, try getting the boats moored at the mouth of the Almond or get out onto the causeway at low tide and get the sun reflecting in the wet sand. You might even want to risk some wet feet and get the sun through the submarine defences, do take care to check the tide times though.

5. Newhaven Harbour

Newhaven Lighhouse at Sunset

Sunset is possible at Newhaven Harbour most of the year but later in the year the sun will set over Granton and you’ll lose the reflections on the water. Earlier in the year you’ll be able to get the lighthouse and long reflections of the sun in the Firth of Forth or from further back, even directly through the mouth of the harbour itself.

6. Blackford Hill

Sunset over Edinburgh from Blackford Hill

Edinburgh Sunset from Blackford Hill - Explored

Blackford Hill is a bit of a funny location for the sunset. Ideally you’d want the sunset with Edinburgh Castle as your main focus from here but the sun comes down nowhere near the Castle from Blackford, you’ll only get that orange glow bleeding that far over the sky on the most perfect sunset nights. Otherwise, you’ll need to get right to the top at the trig point to make the best of it. The sun will come down roughly behind Corstorphine Hill in summer moving round to behind Braid Hill in winter. Best foreground interest will be the houses of Morningside or Craiglockhart Hill.

So, that’s my 6 favourite locations, how about adding some more in the comments below?

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4 responses

  1. Ali

    Excellent shots, love them all,,,

    November 14, 2010 at 10:11 pm

  2. Stunning! All of them.

    November 15, 2010 at 12:19 am

  3. If you didn’t say that’s Forth Road Bridge, I would have thought it was our Bay Bridge in San Francisco for some reason. Weird how even though you are on the other side of the world that the structure is so similar looking.

    December 30, 2010 at 6:10 am

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