I was in Edinburgh just about a month back, and thought that I had seen most of the city. This was until a friend asked me if I had seen the panoramic view of Edinburgh from Arthur’s Seat. I told him that I had not, and he explained that Arthur’s Seat is the main peak in the hills that form Holyrood Park. My friend also mentioned that it was a gentle hill, rising to about 250 metres, so it was very easy to climb, or even walk!

Arthurs–Seat–EdinburghGeograph/Jim Barton

Legend of King Arthur inspires the hill ‘s name

The hill has taken its name from the mythical King Arthur. As the hill is shaped like a seat, hence the name, according to some experts. The name has been used since the 15th century. Some historians feel that the original name in Gaelic was Àrd-na-Said, which means “Height of Arrows.”

Later this may have been corrupted to “Archer’s Seat” and then “Arthur’s Seat.” This hill also is part of a tradition, where young girls in Edinburgh wipe their faces with the dew on the hill slopes, in order to be more beautiful. This is done on May Day.

Main attractions of Arthur’s Seat

The main attractions on Arthur’s Seat consist of walking up to the hill, soaking in the view of Edinburgh, looking at the hill fortification at the summit, having a picnic at the summit and even reading a book while relaxing at the summit! The hill walk is relatively simple, and this can be started from the east side.

Once you have reached the summit of the hill, you can soak in the best views of Edinburgh. You will definitely have fun with friends in trying to identify the famous buildings of the city from the hill summit. Do also have a close look at the hill fortifications at the summit. These are fairly ancient, but are almost completely in ruins.

Having a picnic with friends at the summit is a good idea. However, since the summit has a limited area, I would suggest that you not play sports like football during the picnic! If you are climbing up the hill alone, and want to relax a little while before descending, you can even carry a good book to read. It is a wonderful experience to read a good book, and when you pause, you can always look at the great view. To conclude, I would recommend that you climb Arthur’s Seat when in Edinburgh, as it is free and fun, too!

Ailean, London

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