|Panorama from the top|
One of my favorite things about Europe is their dedication to green space and Holyrood Park is yet another example of this. Just a few hundred meters from the city center sits this expansive green
|The ruins of St Anthony's Chapel|
Today the peak and green space surrounding it tranquil. The 822 foot peak can be reached via a variety of paths so you can literally reach the top from any direction. We visited on a cool and cloudy day yet were joined by people of all ages and physical abilities winding their ways to the summit. Because there are so many paths to choose from, we took the one that looked the most traveled on the way up. It was impressive to look up and see the peak soaring above the city and the views of the land below grew more awe inspiring with each stop. Although we didn't spot any, evidence of sheep was everywhere (this is Scotland after all). We could see trail runners transversing the ridge above us and passed families with small children scrambling up the rocks.
There is always something a tad bit disappointing about reaching a peak and encountering other people. There weren't a lot as the high winds made lingering too long rather unpleasant. But the view from the top was amazing to take in. With a three hundred and sixty degree view you could look down into the center of Edinburgh and out past the shore were ships bobbed in the bay. Looking in the other direction you could see the suburban sprawl and farther away the rolling green hills that I had come to associate with Scottish countryside. Even with the low hanging clouds it was amazing. And from here we spotted the ruins of St Anthony's Chapel and made the decision make our return route pass through them. This route took us along the ridge and gave us an unparalleled view of the Edinburgh Castle anchoring the far end of the city. Just when I thought the view couldn't get any better, it did. The slippery slide down to the chapel (wet grass does not make for easy maneuvering) had us walking through fields filled with wildflowers and blueberry bushes. The ruins were small but once again reminded me just how old this area is and how much history has taken place here. Again, its is awe inspiring.
Our trek up to Arthur's Seat was definitely my favorite part of our time in Edinburgh. Regardless of the weather, or your level of physical fitness (because as the number of prams we saw at the summit attests to, there is a trail for everyone), a visit to Arthur's Seat is a must for every Edinburgh agenda. It will provide you with a perspective of the city that you simply can't find any where else.
|At the very windy summit|
If you go:
Arthur's Seat at Holyrood Park
Edinburgh, United Kingdom