Salisbury Crags, Edinburgh

Salisbury Crags from car park

One day last week we decided it was time that we hiked up the Salisbury Crags which are a part of the rocky area to the left of Edinburgh Castle, close to Holyrood Palace. It was a lovely blue sky day by the time we got there and loads of people had had the same idea, it was a busy place. In fact I have to admit that it was only after we got home that we realised it was the Salisbury Crags we had gone up, when we were there we were under the impression we had hiked up to Arthur’s Seat – we’ll do that one next time. Sir Walter Scott calls Salisbury Crags Salusbury Crags in Heart of Midlothian, it’s thought that Salisbury is a corruption of a Gaelic word meaning Willow Brae, but it was anglicised to Salisbury at some point.

Salisbury  Crags rocks

I’m well used to hill walking and this walk looks very easy but you can’t see most of the climb from the bottom and it wasn’t long before I was beginning to think I had bitten off more than I could chew because the beginning of this hike is very steep and I was huffing and puffing up it like an old steam engine. I looked up and saw a wee girl aged about four or five twinkling down the hill on her toes, and I thought if she can do it surely I can.

View from Salisbury Crags 13

The path soon levels out quite a bit and it’s only when you are almost at the top that it begins to get really steep again and now and again I found myself clutching at tufts of grass, but by then the top was in sight.

View from Salisbury  Crags 10

It’s definitely worth the trek as you get great views of Edinburgh from there as you can see. Unfortunately it started to rain when we got to the top, it was so windy that the rain was actually being pushed up again, curving away from the rock as it got about a metre away from it. Golden beads swooping up before getting over the edge and landing on us. Luckily it didn’t last too long as there’s no cover up there!

You can see Edinburgh Castle in the photo below.

View from Salisbury  Crags 2 castle

And Holyrood Palace which is just at the bottom of the Crags. There is a Royal Standard flying but I don’t think the Queen was in residence then. The Firth of Forth is in the distance, you can see one of the islands.

View from Salisbury  Crags 16 Holyrood Pal

We knew that we were going to be the worse for wear the next day, I really expected my thighs to be giving me gyp but it turned out it was our calf muscles that had taken the brunt of the strain. It was two whole days before my legs felt normal!

You can see great images of Salisbury Crags here.

8 thoughts on “Salisbury Crags, Edinburgh

  1. Katrina,
    Your pictures bring back some really fun memories for me and our trek up Arthur’s Seat. It was much steeper than I realized, and I was definitely winded by the time we got to the top, but it was totally worth it for the magnificent views! We could see Arthur’s Seat from the bed and breakfast where we were staying, so we decided we had to see what it like to make the climb,

    • Paula,
      Wow, you got there before we did, but that is often the way of it, people tend to put off doing the things that are on their own doorstep. We plan to do the Arthur’s Seat part of it later this summer though.

  2. When we were there for V’s wedding, Bud’s ex-sister-in-law and her daughter decided that would be a grand thing to do. I said “Cheers! Have a lovely day!” and had a manicure. Lovely view, though. Glad you took photos for me!

  3. Fantastic to have that climb so close to the city. What views! Your description of the rain is astonishing; I’ve never seen rain being blown upwards!

    • Sandra,
      Yes I think a lot of people are amazed by the geological aspect of Edinburgh, it’s just the perfect location for a defensive settlement though. No I don’t remember seeing rain being blown upwards before either but I’ll be looking out for it next time I’m up a hill, it’ll surely be raining again!

  4. I’m so sorry we didn’t hike up there when we were in Edinburgh. I’m not sure I could have made it to the top, although I was much younger then. What views!

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