In Part 5 of our tour of Edinburgh, this time we will take you on a Virtual Tour of Arthur’s Seat and Holyrood Park. This parkland area is popular with locals as well as visitors. It has a host of different trails throughout the park covering approximately 650 acres. For 360° views of the surrounding area, the summit of Arthur’s Seat cannot be beaten. Click on our virtual tour video below for some of the best views to be found in Edinburgh.
Traces of settlements dating back to the Bronze Age and beyond have been found in various parts of the park. Pieces of stone and flint tools confirm this. Many of the finds can be seen on display in the National Museum of Scotland.
The reason that the park itself is called Holyrood Park is because of its close association with the Palace of Holyrood House. The name of Holyrood Park is interchangeable with the Queen’s Park. If our monarch was a King then it would be called the King’s Park. The features within the park are reminiscent of those that you would find in the Scottish Highlands but just on a smaller scale. There are three lochs (lakes) within the park, as well as hills, cliffs and ridges. At one time it formed the main part of the royal hunting ground.
The closest of the three lochs is St Margaret’s Loch and is within easy walking distance of the Palace. It was originally part of Prince Albert’s plan to improve the area surrounding the Palace. It was originally used for boating but now is home to a large population of swans, ducks and seagulls.
The two most obvious features that you can see from most vantage points of Edinburgh are Salisbury Crags and Arthur’s Seat. Salisbury Crags are a series of cliffs and ridges that can be found on the west side of the park. The rocky features of Salisbury Crags clearly show its volcanic origins. By the end of the 19th century the Crags had become popular amongst the burgeoning rock-climbing community. It was not without its risks because of the hazard from loose rockfalls. Eventually, the park rangers were given the responsibility of monitoring the Crags as well as the rest of the park. Climbers are required to obtain a permit to climb the Crags.
However, the most popular climb for visitors coming to Edinburgh is to the top of Arthur’s Seat. This is the highest point in the park at 251 metres and can be approached from different routes. Most people park up at the car park adjacent to the Palace and walk from there. Depending on your level of fitness, it takes between 45 minutes to an hour to reach the summit. The views on a clear day are worth the effort. Check the video above for the route to the summit.
If you plan to visit Edinburgh in the future and want to build this into your tour with us, let us know and we can build it into your itinerary. Click here for further details of our tours.
Alternatively, visit Historic Environment Scotland for further information.