High Points On My Horizon: Hiking Arthur’s Seat


Hiking along the Salisbury Crags up to Arthur’s Seat, just visible through the mist.

Edinburgh has quickly become one of my all-time favorite cities on Earth, in large part because of its prominent volcano. Arthur’s Seat – named for the legend of King Arthur and thought to be one of the potential locations for Camelot – last erupted 325 million years ago and is now considered extinct. What remains today is impressive, but the 823-foot high summit is only a fraction of the original mount, which was carved down to size by retreating glaciers at the end of the last Ice Age.

My family and I set out to climb Arthur’s Seat via the Salisbury Crags on a rainy, misty, but still pleasantly warm morning. I would never trade these dark, moody pictures for sunny blue skies. These shots feel like Scotland!

My Sister & Edinburgh

Atop the Crags

My Sister & Edinburgh

My Sister & Edinburgh

Old Town Edinburgh

Old Town Edinburgh. The Castle is in the middle on another vent of the volcano.

Backside of the Crags

Backside of the Crags

The Summit!

To The Summit!

Summit Observatory

Summit Observatory


We were heading to Stirling the next day.

Dad & Nik, Plotting

Dad & Nik, Plotting Our Course

Sarah & Dad on the summit

Sarah & Dad on the summit

Arthur's Crow

Arthur’s Crow, Overlooking Edinburgh

To the Highlands!

About theblondecoyote

Mary Caperton Morton is a freelance science and travel writer with degrees in biology and geology and a master’s in science writing. A regular contributor to EARTH magazine, where her favorite beat is the Travels in Geology column, she has also written for the anthologies Best Women's Travel Writing 2010 and Best Travel Writing 2011. Mary is currently based in western Colorado. When she’s not at the computer she can usually be found outside -- hiking, skiing, climbing mountains and taking photographs. Visit her website at www.marycapertonmorton.com.
This entry was posted in Beyond the USA, Hiking!, Photography, Science Writing, Uncategorized, Vagabonding 101 and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to High Points On My Horizon: Hiking Arthur’s Seat

  1. outdoorcanvas says:

    So very cool. Thanks for sharing from across the pond!

  2. walktx says:

    Thanks for your wonderful posts!

  3. beeseeker says:

    Arthur’s Crow ?
    has me smiling: looks like you were also accompanied by fine Scots weather.

  4. beachman says:

    just loved this post.

  5. Tiffani says:

    what lovely family memories you are all making Thanks for sharing

  6. Anne says:

    Really enjoyed your last two posts from Edinburgh. It’s one of my favourite cities also; I’m lucky enough to visit quite frequently to visit my daughter who is at University there at the moment. Thanks for sharing your photos 🙂

  7. Maureen says:

    Edinburgh looks like a fabulous place. I especially love the pictures on the cliffs overlooking the city.

  8. furrygnome says:

    Glad you got a chance to climb Arthur’s Seat. We only got as far as the Crags, but they were spectacular. Did you get a chance to see the famous Hutton’s Section below the crags, or ‘Samson’s Ribs’ a little to the south. As a geologist you’d enjoy them.

  9. openspaceman says:

    Good day. I found your journal through HitchItch. A welcome addition to the hand full of blogs I limit myself to with my morning tea ritual.

    Thank you for your efforts. Your photos are great!

    -A fellow micro mobile minimalist fulltimer

  10. Great post! Love the crow looking out over the city. Next time you’re there, check out the super-amazing geology at the Crags: http://davidhaskell.wordpress.com/2013/01/07/the-newtownian-apple-the-darwinian-galapagos-and-the-archimedes-bath-of-geology/ …some mighty interesting rocks. I hope you continue to enjoy Scotland’s wonders.

    • Thanks David! I didn’t miss the Crags. I’m going to be writing about them for EARTH magazine. Trying to find a balance between giving things away for free on this blog and making a living as a writer… I read your post ages ago, back when I was planning this trip. Fantastic! Cheers, M

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