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Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh

4.0 stars


The Best View in Edinburgh

Edinburgh’s skyline has two defining features: one is the castle, sternly overlooking the city and reminding the inhabitants of its militant past; the other is the rocky crags of Arthur’s Seat. One of four hill forts, this one dating back about 2,000 years, Arthur’s Seat is an imposing sight, but easily accessible to anyone that wants to reach the summit. A hike to the top will take around 30 minutes, depending on how much exploring and running around you want to do, and is well worth the effort. The views from the top are unmatched anywhere else in Edinburgh. With views over the entire city, as well as the Firth of Forth and the coast of Fife in the distance to the north, this is the place for both outdoor enthusiasts and photographers alike. [more ]

Arthur's Seat

Traveling to Scotland in the summer meant that I could hike all day and all night to my heart’s content. The sun would rise at seven am, and the sun would set at four am, giving me 21 hours a day to devote to exploration (who needs sleep, right?). The first city I visited in Scotland was Edinburgh, and thus it did not take long as I explored the area to come upon the foot of the nearby mountain, Arthur’s Seat. Arthur’s Seat is considered a legendary and mystical place in Scotland, but as I started to climb it, of course, it just seemed like a beautiful mountain in the middle of a National Park. Reaching the peak of the Seat did not take more than 4 hours, but it was still a strenuous climb. Local joggers could be seen doing a morning jog halfway up the mountain, with hikers heading for the top. The mountain itself is located about an hour of walking outside of Edinburgh itself, and is surrounded by grassy hills. Walking up Arthur’s Seat is very different than walking up mountains in the U.S. The turf as I climbed was green and lush, with few trees blocking the way as I looked up toward the top. There were some rocky, dirt paths, of course, and the further I came to the peak of the mountain, the more wind blew at my back, making me glad I had tied a wind-breaker around my waist. Upon reaching the peak, I was offered remarkable views of the city and castles on one side of the mountain, and the endless Scottish valleys off the other side. Though there was some cloud cover, it seemed to fade quickly on that day (which may have been a rare occurrence, who knows?) For a great day hike and a way to see Edinburgh from the top down, I highly suggest a climb on Arthur’s Seat. I climbed halfway up the mountain twice, and one of those climbs was at two in the morning, so it seems to be open all night (unless I accidentally snuck in), and while I’m not sure if it is climbable in winter, I feel it is a must for any backpacker looking to experience Scotland in all of its majesty. [more ]

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