Monday, 8 February 2016

City Escape: Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh

I love cities. The hustle-and-bustle, the crowds, the street performers and ordering Chinese food to your house at 3am. But they can get quite overwhelming, especially for a country bumpkin like me. As I've mentioned multiple times, I grew up right on the water and love the fresh air and freedom of the quiet countryside. So for someone like me living in a city, it's important to know where my nearest city escape is. Most cities have one, whether it's hills, or the beach or just a really big quiet park, and I think everyone enjoys a little break from it all sometimes.

 

 Edinburgh has quite a few city escapes - with the most famous probably being Arthurs Seat. Situated right next to Holyrood, in student-central and not far from the High Street, it's literally a stones throw away from the busy, tourist-filled Old Town. I actually wish I spent more time up Arthurs Seat to be honest. I've spent two bonfire nights up there, where you can watch numerous firework displays around the city for free. You might not be particularly close to a display, but it's a perfect option. Saying that, if you get there early enough you can get a pretty good view of the Meadowbank display, but you've got to claim your spot!


*Bonfire Night/Guy Fawkes Night*

Guy Fawkes night aside, it's a great bit of exercise if you're into your walking. I used it as training for Everest Base Camp. It's not a particularly long walk, which makes it suitable for just about everyone. But it does get steep, and depending what route you take, you can end up on all fours practically bouldering (my friend and I did this once, it was an unexpected but equally hilarious day). The steepest yet quickest route is via side nearest the Commonwealth pool. The route from Holyrood is a little longer, and therefore has more flat areas than the pool side. Personally, I enjoy the Holyrood side, as it's longer and you have the opportunity to enjoy it a little more. If racing to the top is more your thing though, then I suggest the other side!

 *Windswept EBC training*



No matter what side you climb it, you'll arrive at the top and the walk up will be way in the back of your mind once you take in the views. You'll see right over the city, including the castle and right over to the Forth River and it's two famous bridges. The city is surrounded by a beautiful backdrop of the Pentland hills (another city escape I will right about one day!), and out to the Isle of May and over to Fife. If you manage to catch it on a sunny day, the sunshine lightens up the gothic architecture and casts a beautiful light over the capital city. You will need a jacket and scarf though, as it does get pretty windy at the top!



If you're visiting Edinburgh and enjoy city views, this is definitely a great, free day out for the family. If you're living there and haven't been yet, what are you doing reading this? Put your takeaway scran down, and go see it!


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