There are many wonderful places to go walking in Edinburgh, but I must admit my favourite is the ‘Holyrood Park’ area, with the beautiful Arthurs Seat & Salisbury Crags to choose from.
Holyrood Park is situated just south of the Royal Palace of Holyroodhouse; the Queens official place of residence when she is in Scotland.
During the Queens Holyrood week in the summer, the Queen will carry out several official engagements in Scotland.
This palace has been to home to many of Scotland’s kings and queens including Mary, Queen of Scots, arguably one of Scotland’s most popular monarchs, who lived there between 1561 and 1567.
There is a structure situated just outside the gates of Holyrood Palace and legend has it that this is where Mary, Queen of Scots, used to bathe in sweet white wine to keep young!!
The ‘Holyrood’ area is a haven for joggers, dog-walkers, families as well as anyone wanting some peace and relaxation away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. This part of town is home to the Scottish parliament, tourist attraction ‘Dynamic Earth’ and some of the city’s most up and coming modern luxury apartments.
Who would imagine that there could be a volcano in the middle of a city in Scotland? Well Edinburgh is one of these cities, with the dormant volcano that is Arthurs Seat.
Arthurs Seat has always been a favourite for the people living in and visiting Edinburgh with its stunning 360 degree panoramic angles of the entire city and beyond.
With several routes to get to the top, this volcanic walk does not get boring. It is a steep walk with a rocky terrain and strong winds especially towards the top. At 251m above sea level, some would probably think that it is quite modest in terms of Scottish standards, but the views which can be seen at the top make up for what it lacks in height.
It has been described by Robert Louis Stevenson (Scottish novelist, poet and travel writer) as "a hill for magnitude, a mountain in virtue of its bold design". It was originally formed by an extinct volcano system of Carboniferous age (350 years old) which eroded by a glacier moving from west to east during Quaternary, exposing the rocky crags.
A recent lazy Sunday afternoon led me to venture 'The Salisbury Crags'. Having lived in Edinburgh for nearly 5 years, I have climbed Arthur’s seat many a time, but never the Salisbury Crags. It was worth the huffing and puffing through the vigorous wind to make it to the top!
Whilst not as popular as Arthurs Seat, the Crags offer some of the best views I have ever seen of Edinburgh, the Firth of Forth, and the Pentland Hills. It was quite a dull day, so I can only imagine how magnificent it would be a sunny day. Look at the pictures below for an insight into some of the views I witnessed!
Remarkably, some of the views from the peak of the Salisbury Crags are arguably better than Arthurs seat itself. Although it is lower in altitude, the closeness to the city is astounding. It was almost dizzying how close I felt to the buildings below. The cliffs are incredibly steep, almost vertical, and it can be exceptionally windy, so do be careful when walking close to the edges. The picture to the left and below are examples of how steep it can be!
Whether you are a resident in Edinburgh or just visiting, this is a must-do activity. It can be a strenuous walk/hike but it is entirely worth it when you witness the breathtaking views. Make sure you don’t forget your camera!