Arthur’s Seat, an ancient volcano, is the main peak of the group of hills in Edinburgh which form most of Holyrood Park. It is situated just to the east of the city centre, about 1 mile (1.6 km) to the east of Edinburgh Castle. The hill rises above the city to a height of 250.5 m (822 ft), provides excellent panoramic views of the city and beyond, is relatively easy to climb, and is popular for hillwalking.
Though it can be climbed from almost any direction, the easiest and simplest ascent is from the east, where a grassy slope rises above Dunsapie Loch. At a spur of the hill, Salisbury Crags has historically been a rock climbing venue with routes of various degrees of difficulty; however due to hazards rock climbing is now restricted to the South Quarry and a free permit is required.
It is also the site of a large and well preserved fort. This is one of four hill forts dating from around 2000 years ago. With its diverse range of flora and geology it is also site of Special Scientific Interest.
Experience a proper hill walk in the heart of the city. Arthur’s Seat’s rocky summit towers over Edinburgh, with fabulous views in all directions, and the extensive parkland surrounding it is an oasis of calm as a retreat from the busy city.
Within the park you can also visit St Anthony’s Chapel – a 15th century medieval chapel, Salisbury Crags – a series of 150 foot cliff faces dominating Edinburgh’s skyline as well as Duddingston Loch – a fresh water loch rich in birdlife.
Arthur’s Seat is often mentioned as one of the possible locations for Camelot, the legendary castle and court of the Romano-British warrior-chief, King Arthur.
Tradition has it that it was at the foot of Arthur’s Seat, covered by the forest of Drumselch, that Scotland’s 12th-century king David I encountered a stag while out hunting. Having fallen from his horse and about to be gored, he had a vision of a cross appearing between the animal’s antlers, before it inexplicably turned away, leaving him unharmed. David, believing his life had been spared through divine intervention, founded Holyrood Abbey on the spot. The burgh arms of the Canongate display the head of the stag with the cross framed by its antlers.
The slopes of the hill facing Holyrood are where young girls in Edinburgh traditionally bathe their faces in the dew on May Day to make themselves more beautiful. The poem ‘Auld Reekie’, written by Robert Fergusson in 1773, contains the lines:
On May-day, in a fairy ring,
We’ve seen them round St Anthon’s spring,
Frae grass the cauler dew draps wring
To weet their een,
And water clear as crystal spring
To synd them clean
Scotland’s capital city will be filled with colour this weekend as Pride returns to Edinburgh for its 23rd year. At inlingua we embrace cultures, diversity and love. We are proud to support Pride Edinburgh.
Save the date, Pride Edinburgh will be on Saturday 16th June 2018. Events kick off with the annual Pride Scotia march, this year starting at The Scottish Parliament at midday, before heading up the Royal Mile, along George IV Bridge and into Bristo Square. There will be a brief pause outside Edinburgh City Chambers for speeches.
Pride Edinburgh exists to promote equality and diversity and protect the future of the LGBTQI community in Scotland. The traditional Pride March provides a platform for politicians, community activists, and most importantly individuals turn out to march through the streets of Edinburgh to celebrate Pride. The Festival has LIVE Music, Health and Community Fair and lots more. Pride Edinburgh takes place in Edinburgh every year.
11:30 Pride Marchers to assembly at Scottish Parliament on Parliament Green by Horse Wynd.
12:00 March moves off, heading North and turning left into the Canongate, proceeding ahead into the Canongate, then the High Street.
12:30 The March will halt outside the City Chambers for speeches from invite guests. Speakers will talk to the March from the Mercat Cross.
13:10 March departs the City Chambers heading west up the High Street, turning left at Lawnmarket Junction into George IV Bridge, continuing along George IV Bridge, a slight left into Bristo Place, turning left into Potterrow, ahead into Potterrow. Turning left in Crichton Street.
13:30: Turning left into Charles Street, The Pride Scotia March arrives at the EUSA Campus the site of the Pride Edinburgh 2018: True Colours Festival.
All timings following departure are approximate, should The EUSA Campus reach capacity, The remainder of the Pride Scotia March will continue ahead from Crichton Street into George Square, turning left into Middle Meadow Walk, dispersing on the Meadows.
Every year, The Beltane Festival gathers hundreds of people to celebrate the coming of Summer on Calton Hill, in Edinburgh. This modern reimagining takes its roots in an ancient Celtic festival marking the changing seasons. Everyone comes together to celebrate the end of Winter and the beginning of Spring in a mix of music, fire and physical performances.
The festival draws all kind of street performers, split into different groups, each having its own theme for the costumes the put on according to the characters they represent. You will encounter the Blues, keepers of the ritual, the Whites, companions of the May Queen and the Reds, those who embody chaos.
Body painting, loose leaves, and long feathers are all common parts of their costumes. The performers are also not afraid to show a little (or even a lot of) skin! The many entertainers demonstrate their skills in acting, dancing and acrobatics often mixed with impressive pyrotechnics. Fire has a significant place and meaning throughout the festival, as it symbolises warmth during the cold night. Beltane’s many fires literally burn the last traces of Winter away, enabling Spring to come out of their ashes.
Enter a journey from sunset through the middle of the night, and watch all the rituals that make this event so special come to life in this video.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for quite some time, you must have heard of Harry Potter and the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. After 7 novels and 8 movies the worldwide phenomenon has attracted countless tourists and fans in London and Oxford, but did you know that Scotland is closely related to this magical world?
Here are some famous sites every Potterhead should visit on their next trip to Scotland!
The Elephant House, Edinburgh
The Harry Potter author, J.K. Rowling, moved to Edinburgh in 1993 and The Elephant House is one of the cafés she used to go to in order to write her first novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher Stone. The coffee house is constantly flooded by fans trying to retrace the steps of their favourite author, and maybe, who knows … get inspired themselves!
Victoria Street, Edinburgh
As Rowling lived in Edinburgh for several years, it’s only natural that she looked around her for inspiration when writing her novels. For example, Victoria Street was her main inspiration for the mysterious and magical Diagon Alley, where the young Harry Potter bought his first year’s school supplies. If you dare venture into this wizarding street, don’t hesitate to stop by Diagon House or The Boy Wizard, two Harry Potter Shops where you will find all the magical supplies you need.
Tom Riddle’s Grave, Greyfriars Kirkyard
Victoria Street is not the only part of Edinburgh that inspired the author. With a 7-novel series, you can imagine the number of characters evolving in Rowling’s work and all the names the author has had to make up for them. Hidden away in Greyfriars Kirkyard, some very interesting tombstones can be found, which most likely helped Rowling in the naming process of some of her characters: Tom Riddle, McGonagall, Moodies, etc. Walk down the graveyard’s alleys for more spooky discoveries!
The Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh
This beautiful Victorian luxury hotel was once Rowling’s safe haven. She frequently visited the hotel while she was finishing Harry Potter and theDeathly Hallows. Room 552, now renamed the J.K. Rowling Suite in her honour still holds the desk and chair where the author sat to write.
Rowling’s handprint, the Edinburgh City Chambers
The Edinburgh City Chambers is another stop HP fans will not want to miss when visiting Edinburgh. Rowling’s handprints can be found on a flagstone in the quadrangle in front of the City Chambers. The prints were set in 2008 when Rowling received the Edinburgh Award.
George Heriot’s School: Edinburgh’s very own Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Although nobody except Rowling really knows where Hogwarts really is located, many believe that the castle was inspired by George Heriot’s School in Edinburgh. The gothic architecture of the breath-taking school situated in the city centre will undoubtedly remind fans of Harry’s beloved school. Even the four houses of Hogwarts may have been inspired by the George Heriots School’s four towers!
Glennfinan Viaduct – All aboard the Hogwarts Express
Hidden in the depth of the Scottish Highlands, this railway is famous for being featured in the Harry Potter movies. Harry Potter enthusiasts will be happy to know that the Hogwarts Express is no longer only reserved for Wizards: Muggles can now journey across Western Scotland on board the famous steam train just as Harry and his friends did!
Finally, Scotland’s countryside is packed with breath-taking landscapes which are heavily featured in the Harry Potter movies.
The exquisite Rosslyn Chapel is a masterpiece in stone. It used to be one of Scotland’s best kept secrets, but it became world-famous when it was featured in Dan Brown’s the Da Vinci Code. Rosslyn Chapel is part of our social programme every 3 weeks.
Here some pictures from last week:
Art historian Helen Rosslyn, whose husband’s ancestor built the chapel over 500 years ago, is the guide on a journey of discovery around this perfect gem of a building. Extraordinary carvings of green men, inverted angels and mysterious masonic marks beg the questions of where these images come from and who were the stonemasons that created them? Helen’s search leads her across Scotland and to Normandy in search of the creators of this medieval masterpiece.
Founded in 1446, as the Collegiate Church of St Matthew, Rosslyn Chapel today attracts visitors from far and wide, drawn by its unique and mysterious carvings and the beauty of its setting.
The chapel took some 40 years to complete and its ornate stonework and mysterious symbolism have inspired – and intrigued – artists and visitors ever since. Today, there are countless theories, myths and legends associated with the Chapel, many of which are impossible to prove or disprove conclusively.The Chapel’s tour guides will be able to tell you more about these, and about the history of the Chapel, during your visit.
Children free as part of a family group
Rosslyn Chapel is open throughout the year.
Monday-Saturday: 09.30 – 17.00
Sunday: 12 noon – 16.45
Last admission is 30 minutes before closing but we recommend at least one hour for your visit.
We love Edinburgh all year round but spring can be a fantastic time to see the city at its best. Here are some reasons why we think spring is the perfect time to visit Edinburgh…
It’s actually quite sunny
March, April and May are some of the sunniest months in Edinburgh with the least rainfall. There may be a winter chill in the air but spring is definitely one of the best seasons to get out and explore the cities streets and parks.
The city is in full bloom
Spring is one of the rare occasions to see Edinburgh’s beautiful cherry blossom trees in full bloom. Take a walk through the Meadows and enjoy a flurry of pink petals in the sunshine.
It’s not too busy
Spring is still well before the mega tourist influx August so you can enjoy the city’s best attractions without having to queue (as much).
There is plenty to do
The International Science Festival, the Hidden Door Festival and World Whisky Day all take place before the summer months arrive.
And lastly… you can see the spectacular Beltane Fire Festival
The Beltane Fire Festival event takes place every year on the 30th April and celebrates the beginning of the summer season. This ancient Gaelic pagan tradition involves dazzling fire displays and (probably quite cold) painted performers. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime spectacle!