Blue Skies, Yellow Flowers, and Beautiful Views from Arthur’s Seat

Two days in Edinburgh is not enough.  There is so much to see in this historic city, and it would seem that 48 hours is just enough time to scratch the surface.  But here it was, day three of our trip and already time to make tracks to our next stop.

In search of the best place for a proper farewell to Edinburgh, we headed to higher ground for some views over the city.  Since we had already visited the castle and Calton Hill, the only other option was Holyrood Park.  If you are unfamiliar, Holyrood Park is a 640-acre royal park that sits adjacent to the palace.  Within the park, there are several paths or trails that you can take if you are looking for a nice nature walk or hike.

To get there, we took what should have been our walking tour route on day one.  Around the back of the castle, through the Grassmarket, up West Bow, and then straight on to Holyrood Palace via the Royal Mile. Taking this walk at 7:00 in the morning was a completely different experience.  Without the traffic and crowds, the cobbled streets and historic buildings were all ours to admire.

West Bow
St. Giles
St. Giles
Royal Mile Market
John Knox House
Queen’s Gallery
poppies and wildflowers by the palace

Once we reached the palace, we headed down Horse Wynd to Queen’s Drive, which deposited us neatly in front of the trailheads.

Holyrood Abbey and Palace, as seen from the base of Holyrood Park

Although Arthur’s Seat tends to get the most attention as the way to go, we planned to take a less strenuous walk along the Salisbury Crags.  This would give us the beautiful views without the sore legs that come with a bigger hike.  But when we arrived at the trailhead, the path to the crags eluded us, and we wound up on the slow and steady trek up to Arthur’s Seat.  Am I sad we missed our original walk?  Not in the least!

How can you say no to a hike that starts out like this?
Hmmm, I wonder if that path veering to the right would be for the Salisbury Crags?
yellow gorse painting the hillside
Bloom, thistle, bloom!
Edinburgh shrinking behind us
the views east of the park
views over Edinburgh from the summit
proof: we made it!
super candid picture of the hubby
Arthur’s Seat compass provides orientation to points of interest
250 m high

After a sufficient break to catch our breath and soak up the views, it was time to begin our descent.  As always, the trek down was much faster than up.  And with the sun shining, we actually got to remove our jackets for a while!

beautiful blue skies for our descent
Holyrood Palace below

Tips and Lessons Learned:

  1. If you are not too keen on hiking, please don’t discount Arthur’s Seat.  If you give yourself enough time, the trek to Arthur’s Seat is a very manageable hill walk.
  2. Be sure to wear shoes with grip.  In the nice weather, our footing seemed sure, but I’m pretty sure a little rain and/or wind might have made it a wee bit slippery here and there.
  3. At the end of the trail, you will need to continue up a more rocky path to reach the summit.  Again, this is where shoes with good grip are a must.
  4. Bring your camera to capture the beauty along the way and the views from the top.

Next Up:

An Afternoon in Culross


3 thoughts on “Blue Skies, Yellow Flowers, and Beautiful Views from Arthur’s Seat

  1. It looks so beautiful! The landscape pictures remind me a bit of New Zealand. Lots of grass and hills everywhere haha! I’ve always wanted to visit Scotland. If I ever make it to Europe, I’m heading there first 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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