Awesome day in Holyrood Park above Edinburgh. First of all, let's start with pronouncing Edinburgh ... it's definitely not a BURG! More like a borough/boro, but add a scottish accent and it's more like Edin-burrah, where the burrah is a single syllable sound that almost comes out simply as "bruh". Try not to sound
like a tourist, ok?
I had done some research and found lots of incomplete or contradictory information on this hike which is part of why I decided to put a detailed description here on HAZ. I hope people find it and it helps them enjoy their trip more.
I was lucky to begin with in that the day was sunny and dry, but there are myriad options of trails to choose from, and it was a bit confusing to decide. In the end, I'm very happy with the route I chose, and I'd recommend it to any visitor. Check my GPS route to help see where I went. The only poor decision I made was that at the very end I descended straight down to the trailhead on a very steep drainage that was not really a trail and was a little bit hairy. It would have been easier to stick to the ridge and head back toward the lower section of paved trail that the hike began on.
Typical of Scotland, as I approached the peak, a rain shower moved in along with some impressively strong and cold wind. Actually, it was quite miserable for about 15 minutes. I had my backpack and a rain jacket with me, so I just clothed up and layed down on a hillside to protect me from the wind. When the rain cleared, I could see another shower coming in from the south, and figured I only had an hour or so to get to the bar, uh, I mean hostel
. Despite the intermittent weather, the trail never got too wet, but I can easily see it being a muddy mess up here, which would make footing crazy.
There's a lot of cliffs and steep drops, which is part of the beauty of the place, but it does require a bit of respect and thought as you go along. Especially if you are enjoying the vistas, it's easy to forget to watch where you are stepping.
My only regret was that I didn't bring a snack and a beverage in my pack as it would have been nice to spend a half hour up there enjoying the view.
Great City. Great Hike. Great day. Will definitely spend an afternoon here next time I visit.