Get up close and personal with some of the statues and monuments that tell the story of Edinburgh’s greatest literary achievements. Take a picture to preserve the memory – perhaps it will inspire a story or a poem?

Sherlock Holmes image

Sherlock Holmes

A statue marking Doyle’s birthplace celebrates Sherlock Holmes, one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle‘s most enduring characters. When the statue was moved in 2009 due to tram work, it was discovered that Holmes hid a time capsule beneath him, the sleuth and his secret were reinstated at Picardy Place in 2011.

Robert Burns image

Robert Burns

Back in 1812, a marble statue of the nation’s most famous bard Robert Burns was produced – and a monument built to house it. However, while the monument still stands proud on Regent Road, the statue has been relocated to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, where it is (presumably) equally comfortable.

Robert Louis Stevenson image

Robert Louis Stevenson

RLS famously didn’t want any statues, but his childhood haunt of Colinton got round that with a statue which shows him as a young boy, with his head in a book and his Skye Terrier by his side. Erected in Colinton and unveiled by Ian Rankin in 2013, this is one of the newest additions to Edinburgh’s literary statues.

Scott Monument image

Scott Monument

Sir Walter Scott is one of the world’s most eminent author’s, so it’s only right that his monument also happens to be the world’s largest dedicated to a writer. Towering over Princes Street Gardens, there are 287 steps up to the top of the monument and you can look at a cast of Scott’s famous characters as you climb.

Robert Fergusson image

Robert Fergusson

Often thought of as ‘Scotland’s forgotten poet’, Robert Fergusson was a talented young man who died at the tender age of 24. He was an inspiration to Robert Burns, and his statue can be seen striding down the road outside Canongate Kirk where he’s buried.

Adam Smith image

Adam Smith

Adam Smith was one of Scotland’s foremost and first economists as well as the author of The Wealth of the Nations and a philosopher. His imposing bronze statue stands tall on the Royal Mile atop a large stone plinth.

David Hume image

David Hume

Philosopher David Hume‘s statue sits pondering outside of the High Court on the Royal Mile. The man behind one of the most important books in the history of philosophy – A Treatise of Human Nature – is the one with the shiny toe.

James Clerk Maxwell image

James Clerk Maxwell

Often considered one of Scotland’s unsung scientific heroes, James Clerk Maxwell was honoured with a statue on George Street in 2008. One of only three scientists to merit a picture in Einstein’s study.

Allan Ramsay image

Allan Ramsay

Allan Ramsay was a playwright, publisher, wig-maker and poet responsible for reviving Scots vernacular in verse. He also opened Britain’s first circulating library on the Royal Mile. Say hello to his statue on Princes Street.

Greyfriars Bobby image

Greyfriars Bobby

Sat atop a plinth on George IV Bridge, Bobby‘s devotion to his dead master inspired many books, films and works of art as well as the statue and the pub behind him.