Edinburgh Central

Point H - Scottish Parliament

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Location: East end of the Canongate

The Scottish Parliament was reinstated in 1999, following a 300-year recess. The devolved Parliament is thoroughly European and was designed by a Spanish architect, Enric Moralles. The European flag flies outside.

Scottish Parliament

The interior design evokes a European style of democracy. The Members of Scottish Parliament (MSPs) sit in a semi-circle and are elected according to a system of Proportional Representation which increases the likelihood of coalition government.

The politics of Scotland represented within are overwhelmingly pro-European. Of the 129 MSPs, more than 3/4 represent unambiguously pro-EU parties, and reflect the very strong feelings for Europe.

Politics in Scotland’ is one of European social democracy, with 4 of the 5 parties in the Chamber representing broad centre-left internationalist policies. Consensus, too, is crucial in function of government here, which sets it apart from the more adversarial, first past the post, two-party, system of government in Westminster.

Free tours of the Scottish Parliament can be booked in advance. Free tickets to sit in the gallery during parliamentary debates can be obtained on the day of the visit (once Covid restrictions are lifted). See this link for more information.

The next stop on the Eurowalk is Calton Hill which involves about one kilometre of mostly uphill walking.

Exit the Scottish Parliament main exit and walk across the roundabout at the bottom of the Canongate to Calton Road, the second left road (about 100 metres). Walk about 100 metres up Calton Road till you find a small entrance to the New Calton Burial Ground on your right. Walk up the steep New Calton Burial Ground until you reach Regent Road (about 250 metres). Turn left on Regent Road and walk up to the roundabout (about 300 metres). Turn right up the Access Road to Calton Hill. Climb up the Access Road road to the top of Calton Hill (about 400 metres).

Picture Credits: Stuart Baillie Strong/Edinburgh4Europe 2021