Most capital cities have a special green space somewhere near its centre and Edinburgh is no different. Yet for many visitors, the delights of Holyrood Park remain unknown, they may be oblivious to the little piece of countryside hidden just around the corner.
Situated at the eastern end of the famous Royal Mile, the park is a wild and rugged landscape of hills and crags, with a fascinating history, that rewards further exploration.
Most will head towards Arthur’s Seat, a large volcanic plug, that dominates not just the park but the whole city skyline. It might be a diminutive 251 metres in height but the steep paths, leading to the sharp rocky summit, give it a real mountainous feeling. You are rewarded with a 360° view of Edinburgh and the surrounding countryside. No two days are the same on the summit. I’ve spent one in a howling gale as grey rain-leaden clouds skid across the sky, and the very next sat in basking sunshine and short sleeves. Go prepared for a sudden change in weather conditions. Archaeological finds suggest human activity here dating back to 5,000BC. The hill’s fiery volcanic past is remembered in the legend that it is the resting place of a fierce dragon that terrorized local villages ; snatching children and livestock as tasty morsels.
There’s so much to explore within the 650 acres of the park, which is just a stone’s throw from the city-centre - it’s worth a walk on the wild side.
Contributed by: Andrew Baxter
For even more about this beautiful city check out our Explore Edinburg post!