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.

Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh, Scotland

Peggy, Jack and I walked down to Holyrood Palace at the bottom of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, just so that Peggy could see what it looked like, if you want to see more photos of it have a look here.

Holyrood 2

Somehow when you’re on the other side of a big fancy set of gates and railings peering inside you just can’t help but feel like one of the underlings, the suppressed masses! Anyway, I admit it, I was a wee bit excited when I saw that the palace was flying the Royal Standard from its flagpole. That usually means that the Queen is in residence, I did think it a bit early in the year for her to be visiting mind you, but there was a posh black car parked just out of the photo and it had NO number plate.

Then when a whole load of kilted soldiers came out of an adjacent building and marched towards us and the gate I felt sure they must be some sort of escort but after a lot of shouting, stamping and bugling, they turned around and marched off in the direction they had come from. I think they must put on a performance like that every night at 6 o’clock, how disappointing. I thought that Peggy would be getting a glimpse of royalty but the standard was apparently flying because the Church of Scotland were having their annual General Assembly in Edinburgh that week and the Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland was there representing the Queen.

Holyrood guard 2

Anyway, it turns out that Peggy was more thrilled with the Scottish soldiers than she would have been of royalty. I think she managed to get a video of them performing but you’ll have to wait until she gets back to the US before she can blog about that.