Arthur’s Seat. It’s a weird name for a hill and no one can really agree on where it came from or what it means but all the same, it’s a hill, I was there and it needed climbing.
You know me by now, put a hill or a mountain in my way and I have to go up it.
Edinburgh was the starting point of my trip earlier this year that saw me do all sorts of adventurous (walking Hadrian’s Wall and climbing Scafell Pike) and not so adventurous (weekend retreat, sipping cocktails in Paris) types of things.
Edinburgh was one of the non-adventurous destinations, acclimatising after the long-haul flight, sampling the Scottish coffee (not raving over it), and the beer (cheaper than Australia and not bad to boot) and checking out the ghosts and ghoulies (a blog post for another time). We were staying in an apartment only a few minutes from the Royal Mile and, through no forward planning, it just happened to look out onto the slopes of Arthur’s Seat, so I had no excuse really. There it was in front of me.
Arthur’s Seat is the highest point in Holyrood Park and is a dormant volcano which gives incredible views over the city. The last time it erupted was somewhere around 340 million years ago so I don’t think there’s much chance of any danger but …
I was travelling with a trekking friend Kim and had also arranged to meet up with Gail, an online friend for several years. Gail and I had connected when I was planning my first trek to Everest Base Camp, she and her husband were trekking the same route in the Himalayas a few months before me and, although she lived in Scotland and I was in Australia, we struck up a connection and have been chatting online ever since. My visit to Edinburgh was the perfect opportunity for us to meet in person.
So there we were, three adventurous women and a big hill.
And some not very nice weather.
And lots of wind.
It would have been easy to stay put in one of those cosy pubs and linger over lunch and a couple of beers but no, this needed to be done.
Undaunted, we crossed the road from the apartment and easily found the track running up Arthur’s Seat.
This particular track isn’t a difficult climb, I can’t pretend otherwise, with a reasonable level of fitness anyone can do it. There are several trails to the top so you can choose which level you prefer, the easy or the more difficult.
The headwind on the way up did mean that a little more effort had to be extended but it was a pleasant stroll
with just a little steepness thrown in towards the top.
The view over the city was definitely worth the climb but I would have preferred to have been able to linger a little longer.
It was a case of clinging to the large compass to prevent getting blown off the top (seriously), a quick couple of photos and back to the safety of the slopes.
If you’re in Edinburgh this is something you should take the time to do. A couple of hours and you’ll get a unique 360 degree view of Edinburgh and it’s surrounds.
Till next time