When most people go on a city break they think of open topped bus tours, city skyscapes and boutique shops. Edinburgh is a city like no other. The streets twist and change elevation around the landscape. The castle looks over the city from its vantage point from Castle Rock. One of three volcanic natural structures that make the city the size and shape that it is. Calton Hill and Arthur's Seat are the others.
To the east of the city centre near the Scottish Houses of Parliament is Holyrood Park and its lochs and green grassy slopes. It is from Holyrood Park you can start your climb up to the summit of Arthur's Seat. At 250.5 metres high it is the highest of the three volcanic peaks around the capital.
The path is well trodden and can be done in normal trainers and clothing. When you begin you are pretty much at sea level and begin to climb quickly. You're soon above the treetops and looking over Edinburgh's rooftops. The Castle can be seen across the tiled peaks of the houses and shops and as the path twists around the sides of Arthur's Seat you get views across Mid Lothian and the southern Scottish rolling hills.
It isn't clear where the name "Arthur's Seat" came from. Some say it is from Arthurian legend or others say its from the Gaelic "Ard-na-Said" meaning Archer's Seat and over years its been corrupted and has become Arthur's. It certainly would of been a great vantage point for an archer!
The path after a while switches to the left and then doubles back on itself before the last climb to the summit. Here the wind can hit you hard and you'll see the North Sea before you as you look down towards the town of Leith and Portobello Beach. The 360° view of southern Scotland is amazing. You can take the path down the other side of the hill and make your way down to Holyrood Park and back into the city. You may have forgotten you were in a capital city!