Thursday 10 May 2007

Holyrood Park, Edinburgh

A huge expanse of open space near the centre of Edinburgh, Hollyrood Park is dominated by the remains of a long extinct, but still dramatic, volcano criss-crossed by crags and dotted with gorse bushes. More than 800 feet above sea-level, the slippery, rocky summit of Arthur's Seat offers far-reaching 360 degree views across the city, the port of Leith and the Firth of Forth. But you will probably have to share the view with dozens of other climbers while being buffeted by a strong wind. The climb up the misshapen steps on the north face makes for an engaging ascent and is a good challenge for young children tackling their first summit. On the way down, head for the ice-cream van near Hollyrood Palace to reward your efforts. 9/10