Arthur's Seat

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Red Mezz on October 29, 2006

This far too often over looked activity in Edinburgh is one of the most easily viewed, and often seen with out the visitor even knowing what it is that they are looking at.

There are very few specifics I tell friends and people coming across that they need to see in Edinburgh, outside of simply sight seeing the city itself, but in my top 3 (right along side the castle and going up in the Scott Monument) is always Arthur's Seat.

Located just out of the city centre over the Salisbury Crags, this isn't just a tourist attraction, or a 'thing to do because it's a thing to do' spot. This is one of the best places in Edinburgh to pass an afternoon (or night, or very early morning.) First of all is the extremely surprising change of scenery just mere moments outside of the city centre. Walking down hill from the Royal Mile, just past Holyrood Park you come to the edge of the crags. It's a very easy down hill walk to reach them, and right at the bottom of the mile, the scenery changes almost instantly. Within just a few minutes of leisurely walking you’re surrounded by steep, dramatic Scottish hills, and if you follow the side walk around them you come to some ancient ruins overlooking a large swan filled pond. (Talk about a photo opp.) And this is great for any one, and pretty much any level of active, activity you want to pursue. You can stroll around the sidewalks near the crags with no climbing at all and view the pond, ruins, and crags all extremely pleasant and photographable.

Or wander up in to the crags a ways; have your photo taken in front of Arthur's Seat at the ruins and get a bit of a look at the city and surrounding country side. But, far and away the best way to experience this area is to come up at either dawn or dusk (I recommend dusk as getting up top for dawn means climbing a rather steepish hill in near dark in the very, very cold morning at about 3am. But, if that is your thing you won't be alone. Students and travellers alike love to meet the morning in celebration at the top of Arthur's seat, and it is a magnificent way to start the day. But equally good (and not quite so cold or dangerous) is to climb along the crags at dusk, and allowing half an hour to get to the top before sunset. The climbing does get a little bit steep, but only right at the end and if you are even reasonably good shape it shouldn't prove too troublesome.

It is an awesome view of the city, the best one you could hope for, and the act of seeing it so close from such a remote-type place is a very unique experience. Catch a dry evening with a proper sunset and you can't ask for more.

Arthur's Seat
Salisbury Crags
Edinburgh, Scotland, EH16

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