On top of Edinburgh…
Okay, admitted – mountain climbing might be an exaggeration, since Arthur’s Seat only rises 250 meter up from the ground. But with a sometimes burning feeling in my thighs and a pulse on the other side of 100, the hike up Arthur’s Seat felt somehow like mounting climbing. Furthermore, “hill climbing” doesn’t sound as impressive, does it?
Walk on a volcano
Luckily, Arthur’s Seat is actually a extinct volcano, so instead of impressing your friends with the fact that you have been climbing a hill, you can impress them with the fact, that you have set foot on a volcano. Then it is up to you if you want to mention that it hasn’t been active for 350 million years, and that it most of all looks like a giant grassy hill. Despite this, it is a great experience to stand on top and enjoy the view of the surrounding landscape!
The walk to Arthur’s Seat
It was on a cloudy day we decided to go enjoy the view from the top. On the way it was actually nice that the sun didn’t beat down on us. It did not start to rain at any point, which I am thankful for! The last steep stretch is done on rocks which are slippery enough without them being wet. The main part of the walk is done on gravel paths.
A popular place for a walk
The fact that it is a walk that most people in a normal good shape can do, can be seen on the many different people you meet on your way. Since Arthur’s Seat is a green oasis in the city, it is also a very popular place to go – both for tourists and locals. So don’t expect to have it all to yourself. Here you will meet both families with children, elderly people taking their walking sticks for a walk, and a lot (!) of people walking their dogs. It is clear to see that the dog walkers has been taking the trip many times. Their dogs are unleashed and they know which way to go themselves, and both dogs and humans walk very fast, so it is difficult for us visitors to follow along. Still, they friendly greet us tourists, who have thrown ourselves into taking a walk that is very different from the one, we are used to take with our dogs at home.
View from the top
You will be short of breath on your way to the top, but when you finally stand there, it is the view that will take your breath away. Don’t rush down again immediately, but allow some time to enjoy the panoramic view which probably isn’t found better in Edinburgh.
When you are done admiring the view, and it is time to go back to enjoy the many sights in the city, the descent starts. Personally, I didn’t find it as hard as the way up, but I did take a lot of breaks to photograph. It is not just the view that is gorgeous – the entire green area is a wonderful place to be. In total, we spend a couple of hours on the trip up and down again. We walked in a leisurely pace and took our time to enjoy the view along the way.
Find your way
It is not difficult to find Arthur’s Seat itself, as the grassy hill can be seen from practically everywhere in the city center. Where to start your walk up, and which route to take might be more difficult to figure out. I used the map found on this blog. There is a good overview of the different routes – their degree of difficulty and how long time you should count on spending on them.
On the map below you can see where Arthur’s seat is placed in proportion to the city.
Even though my legs and feet were more than sore the next day, it was still totally worth it! If I come back another time, I hope to be lucky enough to also enjoy the incredible view in bright sunshine.
Visited in June 2016
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