Holyrood Park II : The Radical Road

The Radical RoadThe sun made another appearance here this morning, and with the strong possibility of a somewhat less-than-dry afternoon I decided to take advantage of the opportunity; heading directly to Holyrood Park.

A few minutes' walk from my flat, opposite the parking area for Holyrood Palace, is a new set of steps (there were only added a few weeks ago) leading to the base of the Radical Path - the steep, gravel-coated path that winds around the western hills of the park. The path was built in 1820, and at the suggestion of Walter Scott it was constructed using the labour of western weavers who held radical political views (hence the name) at that time. (For more information on the 1820 Rising, aka The Radical War, see Electric Scotland).

The path affords some incredible views of the city, though the steep gradient ensures they are more 'breath-recovering' than 'breath-taking'. This is one of the best ways to get an overall view of the area; particularly the new parliament construction site.

The other side of the path provides an equally interesting look at the geology of the area, with some striking rock formations leading up to and including the Salisbury Crags. In fact it is believed by many that the notion of Geology occurred to James Hutton whilst climbing in this area.

Shortly past the summit (where there is a sign some 15 metres away from the path, with small writing essentially advising people to stick to the path) the path meets up with the Queen's Drive, near the intersection with the path (known as 'The Hawse') from Hunters' Bog. Hunters' Bog makes up a large part of the valley below the peak of Arthur's Seat, and has been favoured by runners for some time (most notably the Hunters Bog Trotters). Here I continued clockwise around the park - parallel to the road - enjoying the switch from gravel road to lush grass.

The longer grass quickly changes to a well-worn path, and the proliferation of Sunday joggers clearly shows why. This path led almost to the the beginning of the Radical Road, completing the experience. Time to return to the shelter of the flat and watch the rapid transformation of sun and blue skies into dark skies and drizzling rain.

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