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Arthur’s Seat – a worthwhile slog

One goal for my stay in Edinburgh was to make it up to the highly recommended lookout point, a hill called Arthur’s Seat. Located in Holyrood Park, Arthur’s Seat is accompanied by another striking natural feature which I was not familiar with before arriving, Salisbury Crags. They are easily seen in some parts of the city.

Arthur’s Seat in the centre, Salisbury Crags at far right

After the Forth bridges tour ended I had a couple of hours before a Skype appointment with home. This didn’t give me much time but it was my opportunity to do the walk so I strode off into and through the old town, slicing through the meandering herds of tourists.

I reached the bottom of the park and took the left trail, whereupon the uphill ascent began, gradually at first but steepening. It was a puffy old climb but the inevitable photo stops provided some relief.

After a final upward push I was there, a bit surprised that it had only taken half an hour. But once there it wasn’t somewhere to linger on account of the strong cold wind.

Made it

My scary windblown look

View across the Salisbury Crags ridge

Since I was OK for time I decided to take a different path back down to also give me a better look at the Salisbury Crags. This was steep so I was glad I went up the other side.

You can either walk the ridge above the cliffs or the trail below the cliffs and I chose the latter. The rockface (caused by a glacier) is striking and the views are excellent.

Path along the base of the Salisbury Crags

Back at my starting point I didn’t want to muck around getting back to my accommodation so I consulted the map and with my recently acquired local knowledge I took a ‘short cut’.

All was well, for a while. After a bit I began to suspect that I was in fact walking in the opposite direction, and then this was confirmed. Blonde! Eventually I got my bearings and saw with dismay where I was. There was nothing else for it but to continue on foot.

But when I remembered that I had the Skype app on my phone, and since I had a prepay data plan on my UK number, I was able to keep my Skype appointment. Technology is great.

By the time I had returned to base (and up all those stairs) I was truly knackered. It was a great walk and a great way to round out the day. My legs would remind me of my efforts for the next couple of days so I can only conclude I’m getting soft in my old age.

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