Holyroodhouse Palace + Arthur's Seat | Edinburgh.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Holyrood Park and Arthur's Seat is impossible to miss from wherever you look in Edinburgh. Similar to the rock that hosts Edinburgh Castle, the peak is made up of an extinct volcano, about 350 million years old. A round trip hike up the mountain will be about 4 hours, depending which route you take and how long you spend at the top taking in the insane views. 

Still laughing at Scottish weather. If you aren't enjoying it, just wait a few minutes and it'll change ^ v

Although you can get access to Holyrood Park from just about any side - from Edinburgh Castle, stroll eastbound down the Royal Mile. Before heading up the mountain, stop by Holyroodhouse Palace, sitting at the opposite side of the castle. Home to the Queen during the first week of summer, the palace you see dates back to the 1600s although it used to be the spot of Holyrood Abbey established in 1128. Some of the ruins of the abbey remain alongside the palace. Although it's usually open for visitors, it was closed when I was there because the Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland was staying there. I'm not sure if he could have a longer title.

Caddy corner to the palace and alongside a road leading you towards Holyrood Park is the Scottish Parliament Building...which did not look like I expected it to. So funky and modern, like a spaceship.

Arthur's Seat is named so because it's one of the possible locations of Camelot, King Arthur's legendary and mysterious castle. The park is 650 acres, and hosts lochs, ruins, glens, crags, trails, and plenty of wildlife.

I didn't make the trek up Arthur's Seat for the sake of time, and my legs were still wobbling from exploring the Highlands for 12 hours the day before. I walked around part of the perimeter of the park and climbed up a few less intimidating hills that gave me some nice views and played "spot the tiny human".

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