Hills: North Berwick Law and Arthur's Seat
Date: Friday 22nd January 2010

An ascent of Arthur's Seat has been on my wishlist for a number of years.
We set off from home at 05:00 en-route for North Berwick. Almost 4.5 hours later we finally arrived there.

North Berwick Law:

We parked in the car park at the base of "the Law" and after reading the information board, I set off up the hill.

Info about North Berwick Law:

The ascent of North Berwick Law took just under fifteen minutes. Well worth the minimal effort though for nice views of North Berwick and various islands including Fidra, Craigleith and Bass Rock.

Looking across North Berwick to Craigleith:

As the summit is approached there are some ruins and a bunker. Just below the summit, in a fenced-off area, are fibreglass replica whale jaw bones. These were erected in 2008 after the previous set collapsed in 2005. A jawbone has stood there since 1709.


Fibreglass replica whale jaw bones:

There is a toposcope situated at the summit which highlights various surrounding features. The seabird sanctuary 'Bass Rock' is a Hump (Hundred Metre Prominence hill). Arthur's Seat was only just visible from the summit as it was a bit misty over Edinburgh.

View towards Bass Rock from summit:

North Berwick:

I stopped at the ruins during the descent to take some more photos and see what the views would have looked like from within.

Bass Rock through the door of the ruins:

Bass Rock (zoomed):

If you are ever passing North Berwick, this hill is well worth a visit. Less than 30 minutes up and down with some great views.

After a quick look round North Berwick we set off for Edinburgh to ascend Arthur's Seat.

There is plenty of parking within Holyrood Park. We parked at the car park beside the Palace of Holyrood House. Parking here is £1 per hour during the week and free on Saturday/Sunday. I took the next picture the following day from Waverley. It shows the fantastic Salisbury Crags below Arthur's Seat.

Salisbury Crags and Arthur's Seat from Waverley:

We set off from the car park following the track round and below Salisbury crags. The initial ascent is quite steep but views of the city soon make the effort worthwhile.

View towards Edinburgh Castle from track below Salisbury Crags:

Have to say I was seriously impressed with Salisbury crags. Climbing is apparently not permitted on most of the crag, except at the quarry area. It is still necessary to ask permission from the rangers to climb at the quarry area.

Salisbury Crags:

Climbing area of Salisbury Crags (Arthur's Seat in background):

On reaching the end of the crags we made a zig-zag ascent up a very well made path.

Zig-zag ascent of Arthur's seat:

Carole ascending Arthur's Seat:

The great path allowed us to ascend quite quickly.

Looking back to Salisbury Crags:

After the zig-zags a nice flat grassy section takes you to the final ascent to the summit.

Looking towards Arthur's Seat summit:

I am not sure if we took the easiest way up the final section as there was a bit hands-on up a section of wet basalt - not difficult though. At the summit we stopped to admire the views and take some photos. What a great place for views of Edinburgh. [Knock down that eyesore of a Parliament and it would look even better!]

My seat on Arthur's Seat:

Summit toposcope:

We descended making towards St. Anthony's Chapel.

Info about St. Anthony's Chapel:

St. Anthony's Chapel:

After dropping down from St. Anthony's Chapel we reached St. Margaret's Loch where we spent some time watching the birds - few photos below.

Mute Swans:


Greylag Goose:


From St. Margaret's Loch we walked a short distance back along the road to the car.

Looking back to Arthur's Seat from road:

After parking the car near our hotel we set off for Calton Hill. This is a very quick up and down with a variety of monuments situated near the summit. From the summit we could also see back to North Berwick Law.

Selection of photos from Calton Hill>

Scottish National Monument:


Nelson's Monument:

Dugald Stewart's Monument:

As it was starting to get dark, we headed for Princes Street and then for the Royal Mile up to Edinburgh Castle. It turned out to be a lovely evening which was great for views of the tourist attractions. I was however kicking myself that I wasn't still on top of Arthur's Seat to see the sunset skies.

Scott Monument, Princes Street:

St. Giles Cathedral, Royal Mile:

The Hub, Royal Mile:

Edinburgh Castle:

If visiting Edinburgh Arthur's Seat is not to be missed. Arthur's Seat is a hill I will definitely be repeating.

We visited Cairnpapple on the way home. Another nice Marilyn with interesting history.