This past Saturday my friend Madison came to visit for the weekend which was so fantastic!! She had flown into Edinburgh so two of my friends from Glasgow and I decided to head up to Edinburgh for the day. I had been to Edinburgh a few times for school but I had not explored the city properly yet, nor had I visited Arthur’s seat, the hike in Edinburgh that looks over the city, so we decided that would be our plan for the day! Arthur’s seat, which is the largest section of the Arthur’s Seat Volcano, the extinct Volcano. As this pain’s me to say… due to my pet peeve of people saying King Arthur was real (My thesis advisor/ favourite undergrad professor drilled this into my head) the hill was named after the LEGEND of King Arthur, and the hill is sometimes mentioned as a possible location for Camelot. More importantly, the hill gives a lovely view of the city from the East side of Edinburgh.
The hike is not supposed to be extremely difficult, but it does have a little bit of an incline, so I was not expecting the hike to be a challenge like some of the other hikes I have done in Scotland so far… but it ended up being a stereotypical Scottish day… it was raining, grey and the path for the hike was SO muddy. At first, it was not an issue, but the higher and steeper we got it became harder to hold yourself in place without sliding or falling down. People were slipping and sliding all over the place, especially as they were coming down the hill. Consequently, the day before I had spent the entire day and evening doing school work so I was rather overtired which led to me being extremely giggly the entire day. I kept getting so out of breath as we were hiking up because I couldn’t stop laughing about how funny it was trying to walk up a steep hill in mud while watching other people around me (including my friends) struggle as well.
We finally made it to the top of the hill after climbing up 251m, all in tack, and surprisingly the four of us all made it up without falling down! It was a successful mission. Typically, the view from the top of Arthur’s seat you can see the entire city east of the hill, up to the castle on the west side of the Royal Mile. It was possible to see a bit of Edinburgh, but the grey weather prevented us from seeing the entire view. Usually, you can see the ocean as well!! It was still worth it though, I doubt we would have had as many laughs if it had been a lovely day out.
We decided to make protect our lives by taking an easier route down the hill, we walked down a field for part way, and then followed the road out down to the bottle of Arthur’s seat.
Well, our giggling did not stop once we had finished the hike. We decided we were going to had to the Royal Mile (the old road at the heart of old town that leads up to the Edinburgh Castle aka the very touristy part of the city) for a pub lunch. What was supposed to be a 28-minute walk turned into about an hour and a half walk as we accidentally walked in a circle in the completely wrong direction for about 40 minutes before coming back to our starting point, at the same mural we started at, and a lady telling us the Royal Mile was in the opposite direction we had been walking.. google maps is not always your friend I learned this day. I generally have a pretty good sense of direction and I have never gotten lost in a city before!! We ended up taking an extremely scenic route of Edinburgh before making it to the Royal Mile where we rewarded ourselves with Guinness like we always do after a hike.
We spent the rest of the day hitting a few touristy destinations before we returned to Glasgow for a night out! The rain really added to the visit in Edinburgh, I honestly think the city looks better in the rain. Edinburgh is truly one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been too, it feels like you stepped into a fairytale. One thing we did this day that I had never done before was going to the graveyard where J.K. Rowling found names for her Harry Potter characters!! Like Tom Riddle’s grave!!
I am sure I will be back to hike Arthur’s Seat another time in the future, and hopefully the next time it will be a nicer day so we can get a better view of the city! Nevertheless, it was still an incredible day, and the hike was still just as enjoyable.