Starting at Edinburgh Castle, walk down the Royal Mile for 15 minutes until you arrive at the Scottish Parliament and Holyrood Palace. Hang a right and bam! you’re in a park where you can walk to the top of an inactive volcano known as Arthur’s Seat.
Viewed from Edinburgh Castle, Arthur’s Seat is a hazy blue hill on the horizon.
Hiking/walking the entire park only takes a couple hours, and it’s totally worth it!
I was winded though, climbing a
vertical elevated path along the edge of the hill. On my way, I passed a dozen or so runners much tougher than I, booking it up the hill.
The view was spectacular every step of the way. I could see the sea, Holyrood Palace, the Italian folly on another hill, the Scott Monument, the cathedrals, the castle, and what felt like the entirety of Edinburgh.
I took the medium-difficulty path (because it was the first path I found). I reached the top feeling exhilarated. (Yes, because it was a solo trip I resorted to the Dreaded Selfie.)
Five minutes later, the sun came out (surely a rare occurrence in Edinburgh) and the view became even more amazing.
I meandered down the other direction, passing a ruined Italian chapel and crashing through long grass between paths like a really tame Indiana Jones. Arthur’s Seat is so close to the center of Old Town that I was able to grab a quick and well-deserved bite to eat on my way back. I hiked in the morning, checked out the National Art Gallery, and hopped on my train back to Bangor that afternoon.