Holyrood Park is a 650-acre park approximately 1 mile east of Edinburgh Castle with a dramatic landscape including several hills, cliffs, ridges, lochs and glens. Entering from the Newington district, one is dramatically confronted by the great rock masses of the Salisbury Crags and Arthur's Seat, the main peak of the group of hills towering over 800 ft above the city. These have something in them elemental and awe inspiring and afford outstanding panoramic views of the city.
Arthur's Seat's bold outline marks the site of the city from afar and illustrates one of Edinburgh's unique characteristics. In a single step, as it were, one may pass from city life to wild nature.
The perpendicular cliffs of the crags face the west, unchanged from those prehistoric times when they were thrown up in a cataclysm of fire. The broad masses and contours, on the approach, break into fantastic and more individualised shapes.
Taking the long path which slopes gradually up to the Queen's Drive, one passes along by this magnificent road to the east, under the precipitous slopes of the hill. After the first bend, there opens the rich and fertile country to the south-east, with Duddingston Loch lying far below.
Circling round, on the right lies the lonely hill loch of Dunsappie. Striking off by a path to the left begins the long ascent to the summit, amongst the wilds. Great hollows in the brown hills open below the path and nothing that meets the eye suggests that we are in a city.
The last steep climb at the edge of the ancient volcanic crater, leads to the summit, where a sign points to the far Ben Lawers and the other points of interest in the distant vista.
This viewpoint is a place of pilgrimage for many of the citizens of Edinburgh. Young and old make regular ascents, and refresh themselves physically and spiritually, Sunday morning being a favourite occasion.
The ruins of St. Anthony's Chapel and Hermitage stand out on the northern slopes of the hill, and carry the mind back to the days of hermits and mythical Holyrood stags, and to the tradition of the visit of King Arthur himself.
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