To the east of the Edinburgh Castle and the city center is a group of hills, the peak of which is Arthur’s seat. The hills are part of the Holyrood Park. The hill rises to a height of 250.5 meters. Climbing to the top provides a magnificent panoramic view of the city. There have been several theories explaining how the hill acquired the name Arthur’s Seat.
Some suggest that it might have acquired the name from legends associated with King Arthur. On the other hand, others suggest that the name is a corruption of the name Ard-na-sad, meaning height of arrows. The groups of hills have three peaks but Arthur’s seat is the biggest of the three.
The hill was formed by volcanic action just like the castle rock where the Edinburgh castle stands. Formation of the hill dates back 350 million years back to when the volcano was active.
Formation of the hill helped James Hutton to get the ideas that sedimentary and igneous rocks happened during different ages. This has helped to shape the way modern geology is understood today. The other parts of the hill are calton hill and castle rock.
One of the reasons the Arthur’s Seat is popular to people is because of the miniature coffins. The coffins were found by five boys who were out hunting for rabbits in 1836. The coffins remain a mystery until now since it was not identified what they were for.
Some people thought they were for witch craft. Later it was thought that the coffins might have been made to commemorate the 16 people murdered by the serial killers Burke and Hare in 1828. However eight of the miniature coffins had male bodies. The remaining miniature coffins are displayed at Edinburgh National Museum.
Many prominent people and groups have climbed the Arthur’s Seat. The proximity of the hill to the city center has also attracted many people to want to climb the hill. One of the prominent people have climbed the hill is Apostle Orson Pratt who climbed the hill in 1850 to pray. Alpine mountain guide Emile Rey also climbed Arthur’s seat in 1884.
Climbing Arthur’s Seat
Climbing the hill is a must when you are looking for a trekking adventure. The trek is moderate and does not take long. The trek provides a great opportunity for site seeing and to learn more about the history of Edinburgh. When you reach the top you will get a panoramic view of the town.
It is the perfect spot for selfies too. On your way depending on the route you decide to take you can pass by St. Anthony’s chapel. This chapel was is believed to date back to the 1300s. Climbing Arthur’s seat is a great way also to keep fit and enjoy the outdoors.
You will also get to enjoy a lot of flora as you climb the hill and learn a thing or two about the geology of the entire area. There isn’t a lot of tourism hype associated with climbing the hill. Therefore, you can enjoy doing it just on your own in any way you see fit.