Still cool outside and overcast with a chance of rain later today. Really enjoying these cool, and for the most part, dry days. Will head up to the gym later but thought I’d submit an update beforehand.
Arthur’s Seat (Continued from yesterday’s update)
The map below shows the size of Holyrood Park and the location of Arthur’s Seat.
Why the name: Arthur’s Seat? Below is from Wiki:
“Many claim that its name is derived from the myriad legends pertaining to King Arthur, such as the reference in Y Gododdin. Some support for this theory may be provided by several other hilltop and mountaintop features in Britain which bear the same or similar names, such as the peak of Ben Arthur (The Cobbler) in the western highlands, sometimes known as Arthur’s Seat, and Arthur’s Chair on the ridge calledStone Arthur in the Cumbrian lake district. There is no traditional Scottish Gaelic name for Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh, but William Maitland proposed that the name was a corruption of Àrd-na-Said, implying the “Height of Arrows”, which over the years became Arthur’s Seat (perhaps via “Archer’s Seat”). Alternatively, John Milne’s proposed etymology of Àrd-thir Suidhe meaning “place on high ground” uncomfortably requires the transposition of the name elements.“
To get there, I walked up to Princes Street and over to Holyrood Palace and the Parliament Building where I was last week. From there, it is a short walk to Holyrood Park, which is dominated by the hills that contain Arthur’s Seat. As I discovered from reading before the hike and when I arrived, there are many trails that lead up the hills – and few of them are marked.
The hills of Holyrood Park are shown in the picture below. Arthur’s Seat is the middle point in the upper center of the picture.
I headed up a trail that claimed to be the “Main Route” but it didn’t say to where. It looked like a good number of people where headed in the same direction so I just followed along. A little way up the trail, there was a fork in the trail. While I was consulting directions on my phone, a couple came along and also looked puzzled. After we talked for a bit, and asked some other hikers as well, we decided to take the lower trail.
I saw a ruin of a building off to the left and decided to head over to get a closer look. Had read that there was an old chapel, St. Anthony’s, located on the way up. And here it was. Seems to have been built as early as the 1300’s.
Took some pictures while up by the chapel. First, looking back at Edinburgh, then over to Firth of Forth and a view out to the North Sea.
From there I joined the trail again. From that point on it was a steep, uphill climb for the next 45 minutes until it leveled out.
From a plateau just below the top, I took a couple more pictures.
From there, the climb was even steeper. Some of the path had actual steps with a chain handrail, but most of the way up it was climbing on the volcanic rocks. There didn’t seem to be a defined way up the last 100 feet or so, but found a number of smaller trails. On the way up, I met up with the couple from earlier who were descending from the top, who said it was very windy up there. When I got to the top, they were right! Had to hold onto my hat otherwise it would have blown off and be halfway down the hill.
Very nice views from the top. Had to hold the phone steady while taking pictures. There were some young men up on the highest point (picture above) having a good time playing with the wind and almost falling off. Given that getting up to this point is difficult and the wind, there were no handrails or printed warnings. Think it is understood that you’re up there at your own risk.
I decided to head down a different way. There was a grassy path leading down to a paved road down below. This path, minus the rocks from the uphill climb, looked more inviting. What I didn’t take into account that it was much steeper, but in no time I was on the paved road.
This road followed the base of the hills and dropped off at the point where I started the hike. It was a long walk, though but very much enjoyed the solitude and the cool fall day. Took a picture of St. Anthony’s chapel from a different angle.
Really glad I decided on this hike today. It gave me another perspective of Edinburgh and Scotland and the opportunity to enjoy the cool and pleasant weather.
I treated myself to a coffee at the Waverley Station’s Starbucks. Then headed home from there.