A Morning Stroll Up Arthur’s Seat

Arthur's Seat

“A hill for magnitude, a mountain in virtue of its bold design.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

When you’ve walked all the way down the Royal Mile you reach Holyrood Park, a 640 acre park adjacent to Holyrood Palace. That’s one of the things I love the most about Edinburgh: you can go from immersing yourself in centuries of history to enjoying nature in a matter of minutes. You could spend more than one afternoon exploring the beauty of the park; I’ve been there multiple times and still find something new each time I go. What make Holyrood Park so special is that a group of hills lies within its borders, the most famous being Arthur’s Seat.

There are plenty of cities that are known for a distinguishing landmark. New York and the Statue of Liberty. London has Big Ben. You can’t think of Paris without the Eiffel Tower. Sydney with their Opera House. I would argue that while Edinburgh clearly has a well-known landmark in the Edinburgh Castle, the first thing I think about when I think of the city is Arthur’s Seat. The hill that adds a new dimension to the city skyline and makes Edinburgh feel a little more wild.

But first, let me explain myself a little bit. Why do I wax poetic about this hill? When we first moved to Seattle, I became obsessed with nature. We went hiking and camping almost every weekend. It’s not that we didn’t have nature back in Pennsylvania, it was just so much more dramatic on the west coast. So when we decided to go to Hawai’i last year, one of the things I was most excited for was seeing an active volcano. We had been living in the shadow of Mt. Rainier for a year and although dormant, there’s still a chance for “The Big One”. I knew people who had emergency kits and a mapped escape route. But in my mind it was so far from happening that I refused to believe in the hype. So I was pumped to see some flowing lava from Kilauea. As you’ll learn later this week I never actually saw any lava, but it was still pretty awesome to be so close to an active volcano.

Salisbury Crags, 150 foot basalt cliffs.
One of many paths leading to Arthur’s Seat.



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  1. Beautiful pictures! I already wish I was back there. I think we went up the same route as you, up the stairs. We didn’t even realize there were other ways to go until we got to the top and saw people coming up an easier way! But I agree, it made the sights at the top more worth it.

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