Edinburgh Exploits

When I lived on the border for 10 years, I began visiting Edinburgh regularly for work, study and leisure, so moving here in 2018 felt like a natural transition to a place I had grown to love. All maps on my blog are courtesy of Viewranger & Ordnance Survey. Routes are usually be made available to download on Viewranger and some videos are available on YouTube when resources allow.

Because of the lockdown I began to explore some short local walks within and around Edinburgh. These walks can be found on my Lockdown Loping page and might suit people who are desperate to get out during this time. I really look forward to filling this Edinburgh section with longer walks when the restrictions are lifted.

Arthurs Seat via the Radical Road.

The Radical Road route is presently closed due to rock falls. I am leaving this walk here for nostalgic reasons really.

As a regular visitor to Edinburgh for a long time before moving here, I first climbed Arthur’s Seat on a visit to the city. I headed down the Royal Mile to the Radical Road route, passed the parliament building by Enric Miralles, and grabbed an over priced bottle of water from the canny ice cream van parked at the base of the crags.

I started up the crag at a fairly sedate pace in order to take in the views of the city from a new angle. This is a busy path where you are accompanied by a cosmopolitan mixture of people. I was asked several times to take photos of people against the panoramic views beneath.

The gradual climb affords some great views across the city, with Dynamic Earth in the foreground and Calton Hill in the background on the horizon. It is not long before the noise and bustle of the city is replaced by the sound of the wind and birdsong, which gives you a sense of escape.

At the end of the crag track the path dips down before climbing up stone steps towards Arthur’s Seat summit. From the path the first views across the Firth of Forth towards the Fife coastline start to appear.

Once I had scrambled up the final rocky pinnacle to the windy summit cairn, I stopped to admire the great views in every direction and pick out the city landmarks. Once I had taken in the view, I took the vertiginous clifftop path back to my starting point. Although this is not a wilderness walk, it is a unique feature which distinguishes Edinburgh from all other British cities.

Arthur’s Seat is one of the 1218 Marilyn hills in Scotland and is 251 metres high.

Postscript: In 2018 I moved to Edinburgh, so I am now lucky enough to be able to visit Holyrood Park and Arthur’s Seat more regularly.

6 thoughts on “Edinburgh Exploits

  1. Hello and thanks for posting. Edinburgh is such a great city. They are so lucky to have all that green space in the heart of the city. Calton Hill can get busy but weekdays or mornings it is be quieter and there are very good views of the city from up there.

    1. I liked Blackford Hill because you are looking back on the city, castle, Arthur’s Seat etc. with the Pentland Hills not far behind you. It’s only a couple of miles south of the centre and an easy hike. Yes I took a quick walk up Calton Hill on Monday evening but it was busy with tourists, some of them glaring at me for daring to stand in the way of their shot! But yes, next time I might try earlier in the morning. It really is a gorgeous city, architecturally and setting wise.

      1. It is a lovely city with so much going on. Sorry I was on the move so I hadn’t read your post carefully enough but I hope you have a great time there

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