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The Arthur's Seat Failure

Not Making It To The Top Of An Extinct Volcano

By Mike Singleton - MikeydredPublished about a year ago Updated about a year ago 3 min read
Top Story - February 2023
Wlking Up To Arthur's Seat


I had intended to try to climb Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh on my current visit to actually do the climb and get some photographs from the summit. I do like being up a height (even though I have a fear of heights) just to prove to myself that I can do it. At the end of this story are two other stories documenting my climbing exploits (successes and failures) in Edinburgh which you may find interesting if you enjoy my ramblings in this particular piece.

Arthur’s Seat

There are a lot of sites with information, but I have taken this from Wikipedia:

Arthur's Seat (Scottish Gaelic: Suidhe Artair, pronounced [ˈs̪ɯi.əˈaɾt̪ʰəɾʲ]) is an ancient volcano which is the main peak of the group of hills in Edinburgh, Scotland, which form most of Holyrood Park, described by Robert Louis Stevenson as "a hill for magnitude, a mountain in virtue of its bold design".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.

My Failed Attempt

I will include a video later, documenting my attempted ascent of Arthur’s Seat with some impressive views of Edinburgh when I finally got to a place where I could take some video interspersed with some photographs too. This is stuff from my phone and my camera basically stitched together for you to get an indication of what it is like to go up there.

Football, Boats From Arthur's Seat

I walked along looking up at where I was going, but the weather was windy and grey and I soon left the road footpaths to take the muddy rock trail paths that mark the way up to Arthur’s Seat. Even at the lower levels there are plenty of rocks, stones and muddy slippy areas where you could easily end up on the ground with maybe even a bruised or broken bones, so while you are ascending with the effort that that takes you have to be very careful to keep yourself safe.

As I continued my path Arthur’s Seat looked closer that I thought it would be, but I had only given myself about two hours to get to the top and back to my hotel room, and ascents like this should not be done in a rush as that makes an accident more likely.

I continued and saw that there was a long drop from the path as I ascended. And the wind and misty rain started to hit me even more. I did have to sit and rest a few times feeling extremely unfit and out of shape although over the day I did walk over ten miles.

From The Road

As I got close to the final ascent to the summit the wind was getting stronger and the path much steeper and muddier. In the interest of my safety, and to make sure I got back to my hotel to check out in time I found an area maybe a hundred feet below the summit to take some good pictures and video before turning round and making my way back down.

Lessons Learned

This ascent needs to be done in good weather with plenty of time to get up and get back down. When I tried it was not good weather and I was on a time limit, so next time I will make it to the top

I have included "Move Any Mountain" by Scottish band The Shamen from their groundbreaking album "En-Tact" which sort of fits with what I was trying to do

Other Climbs In Edinburgh

These are the two

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About the Creator

Mike Singleton - Mikeydred

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Comments (24)

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  • Gina C.9 months ago

    Oh, I can't believe I missed this! What a stunning place! I really enjoyed reading about your adventures! Thank you so much for sharing! ❤️

  • L.C. Schäferabout a year ago

    I really want to go there 😁

  • Dana Crandellabout a year ago

    A well-told tale, as always, Mike. This is one of the places I hope to visit one day. (Assuming I survive that long and am still up to the challenge. The latter of those two becomes less likely with each birthday.)

  • Linda Rivenbarkabout a year ago

    Once again, I am amazed at your stamina and tenacity in climbing mountains and taking pictures for all of your readers to enjoy. These are fantastic photos and I appreciate your sharing them. Congratulations on the Top Story!

  • Heather Hublerabout a year ago

    I love reading about your adventures and am so glad that you document them and share them!! It's like getting to see places I'd love to visit without being there, next best thing! Congratulations on Top Story!!

  • Lauraabout a year ago

    Thank you for sharing your experience attempting to climb Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh. It's admirable that you faced your fear of heights and attempted the climb, even though the weather conditions and time constraints made it challenging. Your description of the path and the caution you took to keep yourself safe gives a good indication of what the ascent entails. It's also great to hear that you plan to try again in better weather and with more time, as it shows your determination and perseverance. The addition of the video and song adds an extra dimension to your story and helps the reader feel more immersed in the experience. Thank you again for sharing your adventure with us.

  • aly suhailabout a year ago

    great read sir!

  • C. H. Richardabout a year ago

    Congratulations on your top story. I'm glad you waited for better weather to attempt the ascent. The pictures and video are lovely.

  • Donna Fox (HKB)about a year ago

    I like your use of videos, its enticing and gives your work a very original feeling. I love the note you added about how you are afraid of heights but you endure it just to prove to yourself that you can do it! What a beautiful and inspiring mindset to have! I like the information you encapsulated in your personal story, I had no idea about this place and it was really cool to see it through your eyes.

  • Caroline Janeabout a year ago

    Congratulations on another top.story! The hills around Edinburgh are certainly stunning!!

  • I enjoyed reading this! Congratulations on your Top Story!

  • Natalie Wilkinsonabout a year ago

    I love Arthur’s Seat. One of my children spent 4 years in school in Scotland. I had trouble walking when we climbed it and learned there is a much easier long way around that enabled me to get to the top. 360 view. Freezing cold in September. A fan of the place.

  • Stephanie J. Bradberryabout a year ago

    Cool behind the scenes look at your climb. Congratulations on Top Story!

  • Lori Meltonabout a year ago

    Woohoo!!!! Congrats on your Top Story!!!! 😁😁

  • Emily Marie Concannonabout a year ago

    Gosh Mike this is amazing! I loved the descriptions of your ascent and meandering through the mountains! I've never heard of this spot until you told me about it! I am very excited to watch the clip you sent me on Facebook! I'm sorry I didn't get to watch it last night, I had a little emergency.... all better now and will watch it soon! Congratulations!! :)

  • Melissa Ingoldsbyabout a year ago

    I enjoyed your personal narrative this was great! Congratulations brother on top story!

  • Dana Stewartabout a year ago

    Top Story stratosphere! Congratulations!

  • Cathy holmesabout a year ago

    Congrats on the Top Story

  • Call Me Lesabout a year ago

    Congrats on the top story! ✨️

  • Loryne Andaweyabout a year ago

    Yay Mike! You climbed straight into the Top Story page! 👊

  • Loryne Andaweyabout a year ago

    Thank you for taking us with you despite the weather. You've given yourself an excuse to return to Arthur's Seat in the future and you will definately make it to the top then! 😄

  • Lori Meltonabout a year ago

    Proud of you for how far you did get! So pretty! Thanks for sharing your adventure 😊

  • Babs Iversonabout a year ago

    Was right there with you!!! Loved this!!! Left some love!!!

  • Mariann Carrollabout a year ago

    The song pick is nice exercise music. I am glad you did not climb the mountain on such a dreary day. You kept yourself safe. Summer time must be the best time to go climb. I did not know there are Volcanos in UK. Welcome back , thanks for sharing .

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