Edinburgh Castle from the Scott Memorial
Our last day in this glorious cityâ€¦and we had ambitious plans. I had learned that there was a trailhead ascending one of Edinburghâ€™s peaks just behind Holyroodâ€¦and couldnâ€™t resist the temptation. Our goal was ascending Arthurâ€™s Seat, one of the extinct volcanic cones dominating the Edinburgh skylineâ€¦this one untouched by urban settlement. We exited our hotel with daypacks, water and packed lunchesâ€¦and had to tackle the Scott Memorial first!
The Scott Memorial is an exquisite structure, amazingly constructed in the 1840â€™s as a memorial to Sir Walter Scott. It is usually teeming with tourists, but since we passed by early in the morning on a weekday and noticed an absence of human activity, decided to embark.
Glad we did, because it is a fascinating structure which yields incredible views once you climb to the top. Funny thing is that I ignored warnings to discard backpacks and actually had to backtrack and take my day pack off to navigate the final few steps along an incredibly narrow, winding stone staircase!
Scott Memorial - a must if you visit Edinburgh...but lose your backpack for the final ascent!
Then on to Arthurâ€™s Seat. It is so very cool to begin a hike from the downtown of a major cityâ€¦and Arthurâ€™s Seat does not disappoint. Starts out along an actual road --- but itâ€™s Radical Road, constructed by imprisoned Scottish â€˜radicalsâ€™ (folks who supported the wrong political party) back in the 1820â€™s. Incredible to experience such a hike starting off from your hotel, lol.
When we acquired the top of Arthurâ€™s Seat, we were surprised to see a bunch of peopleâ€¦and quickly realized there was a roadway the entire way upâ€¦apparently a desired lunch spot for Edinburghers! Of course I canâ€™t go in a straight line and plotted our descent down to Duddingston (village south of Edinburgh) so we could celebrate with a final drink at the Sheep Heid Inn, which has purportedly been a bar since the 1100â€™s! On the rebound (merely along roadwaysâ€¦no trails back to Edinburgh), we also checked out a rather nice bird sanctuary.
View of Edinburgh from crest of Arthurâ€™s Seat - to convey the elevation, that shadow just left center is Edinburgh Castle!
To sum up, Scotland is a serious recommendation. It combines natural beauty with friendly inhabitants and invigorating city lifeâ€¦go there yesterday (and let me know what you thought!).
Edinburgh General Tips & Advice review
One of the many cool things we enjoyed in Edinburgh was scaling the Scott Memorial. The structure is an amazing black gothic spire rough… read entire review