Edinburgh is home to its very own royal park. 650-acre Holyrood Park
is located around a mile from Edinburgh Castle, perfect for exploring rugged crags and getting lost amongst prehistoric hill forts.
Once a royal hunting estate for the nearby Holyroodhouse, the park as it is today was first created by James V in 1541, when he had the area around Arthur’s Seat, which is at the epicentre of the park, enclosed by a dry stone wall.
The geography of the park, with menacing hills and sheer cliff faces, is straight from the pages of a fantasy novel, and more than enough to excite the imaginations of kids young and old.
There are challenging paths running around Salisbury Crags and up to Arthur’s Seat which are worth the effort if you are fit enough and have strong footwear. Once you reach the summit take in views of Edinburgh and the castle, before dropping back down along the well-marked footpath.
Thought to be built in the 1300s as an outpost for the nearby Holyrood Abbey, the dramatic ruins of St Anthony’s Chapel are the only building standing within Holyrood Park. Climb up for a view of the man-made St Margaret’s Loch below and to take in some truly ancient history just minutes’ walk away from the busy streets of the Scottish capital.