Image of Graham Fagen's work, A Drama in Time, made up of 5 neon illustrations under bridge. The entrance to Jacob's Ladder sits on the left.

Jacob's Ladder

From the shadows below the rail bridge – where New Street meets Calton Road – the steps of Jacob’s Ladder offer an ascent from earth to the after-life, or a steep shortcut from the ‘Old’ to the New Town.

Jacob’s Ladder stretches up from Cannongate, and leads up to the Enlightenment monuments of Burns and to the National Monument on Calton Hill. Head past the top of the ladder and onto the hill to catch panoramic views over the Firth of Forth. You can also stop in at Collective, housed in Edinburgh’s former City Observatory.

The foot of the ‘ladder’ is home to A Drama in Time (currently closed), created by Graham Fagen and Commissioned for Edinburgh Art Festival 2016. Inspired by Burns, the work references the poet’s 1786 passage on a ship called The Roselle from the port of Leith to Kingston and Savanah-La-Mar, Jamaica – intending to work as an overseer of slaves on a sugar plantation. 

More information on the work can be found here.


Jacob's Ladder, Calton Rd / New Street Rail Bridge, EH8 8DL Google Maps

0131 226 6558


Opening times

Daily, 24hr

Nearest bus stop

Header image credit: Graham Fagen, A Drama in Time, 2016. Photograph by Ross McLean / StudioRoRo.

Jacob's Ladder

Jacob's Ladder, Calton Rd / New Street Rail Bridge, EH8 8DL