Walking up Arthur’s Seat in the historical City of Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is something I’ve always wanted to experience. I just never thought I would accomplish this with lovely, friendly people I had never met before.
Arthur’s Seat is the largest of three parts of an extinct volcano and is often mentioned as one of the possible locations for Camelot, the legendary castle of King Arthur, according to Wikipedia.
My peak challenge
Watching the Outlander TV series and following the actor Sam Heughan on Twitter led me to joining My Peak Challenge (MPC). This is what brought me to Edinburgh to walk up Arthur’s Seat. If you would like to know more about MPC and raising money for Bloodwise have a quick look at my new page My Peak Challenge.
Lovely peakers and new friends
So through the love of Outlander and my home country Scotland, I also met a wonderful new friend at an Outlander filming location in December 2015. We both met up for the second time to take part in the walk and joined other lovely people from MPC. We are all known as peakers.
The train journey
It was a 5am wake up call and I was heading to Prestwick Station to catch the 6.55am train to Edinburgh.
My new friend and I jumped on the train to Glasgow, changed at Glasgow Central and travelled to the great City of Edinburgh. We chatted all the way, it was great getting know each other and I felt really relaxed and happy in her company.
When we arrived at Edinburgh Waverley Station my friend knew which way to go, so we headed out the Market Street entrance. Then we both got a bit confused as when we looked above the station we saw, or what we thought was Edinburgh Castle at the other side.
We knew we needed to be on the same side as the castle to get to the Royal Mile, so headed back into the station and we were a wee bit lost. It was fun and a giggle though.
I didn’t realise how big the station was, an area of over 25 acres! There were so many different exits and the architecture of the station was one to explore on its own. We also searched high and low for Platform 9 3/4, but no luck this time!
We followed the signposts for Princess Street and headed out into the city. We realised later that what we thought was Edinburgh Castle earlier was a castle like building near Calton Hill. I don’t know Edinburgh very well, so it’s easy to get confused. That’s my excuse anyway!
We made our way towards the Royal Mile as we were meeting the other peakers at the car park near Holyrood Palace.
Arthur’s high bumpy seat
As we got closer to the starting area for Arthur’s Seat I was a bit nervous. Meeting up with strangers was something I would never normally do and I was a feeling a little out of my comfort zone.
We could see a large group in the distance and knew these were our peakers. As we approached the group I said hello and introduced myself to the people who were standing beside me. Even though we didn’t know each other, we were all trying to achieve the same goal through MPC. That was our wonderful connection.
So off we went, onwards and upwards, chatting on the way about MPC and Outlander. As expected, the group separated a little. We all walked at different levels and, as usual, I was stopping to take photos. The main path was really easy to start with.
The ruin on the hill is known as St Anthony’s Chapel sitting above St Margaret’s Loch, with beautiful views over North Edinburgh, Leith and the River Forth. We didn’t explore the chapel that day, maybe the next time though.
The wild gorse was so pretty on the way up, a splash of spring yellow along the path.
When we reached about three-quarters of the way, we stopped at a dirty brown flat plateau to admire the views, take some photos and have a wee blether.
I started to feel cold standing around in my t-shirt so we made our way up the last part of the walk. Rocky and bumpy is the best way to describe it. I was so glad I had my walking boots on and the path was dry.
When we reached the top it was really busy with lots of people gathering around the trig point and the location and distance information point. What do you call this map point? Message me in the comments if you know the official name for this!
It was a fairly clear day and the panoramic views around Edinburgh were magnificent. We were on top of the seat! The wind was cold and strong which made it more difficult to stand on the rocky surface.
I was expecting a grassy top, it was so bare, yet mountains around us were lush green. Being a popular walk in Edinburgh, I would imagine that many feet have worn away the landscape. I was disappointed not to meet King Arthur and there was no comfortable seat to sit on either!
Since it was the Easter holidays I brought my decorated eggs with me. Meet Jamie and Claire from Outlander! This was just a bit of fun and it’s healthy to still be young at heart. I can’t take the credit though, my other half kindly made them for me.
The t-shirt I’m wearing is from the MPC supporter pack. In May, when I climb my first Munro, I will be wearing this along with peakers from all over the world who will also be achieving their very own goals. The guy under my arm looks like he’s about to take off!
On the way back down I noticed some tiny people hiking up the other greener hill. There are many nice walks in this area!
The walk there and back again is around 4.75km (3 miles) and very achievable for your first hike. I’d make sure you wear your walking shoes or boots though as it’s very bumpy at the top and if the ground was wet it could be slippery in places.
Before heading home, some of us went for lunch at a lovely little place called Henderson’s Cafe. I ordered spicy lentil soup, it was delicious!
The rain started as soon as we got inside so we were lucky with the weather.
I’ve realised that Edinburgh gives you such a variety of things to do. Visit a castle, a palace, museums, restaurants and cafes, shopping, historical tours, walking, hiking and so much more.
I will certainly come back again to this beautiful city.
Thanks for reading.
~ Dawn~Marie ~