I have Scotland in my blood, quite literally. Half of my family hail from Greenock and so any mention of Scotland has me sitting and dreaming of historic cities, wide open landscapes and beautiful scenery.
Therefore I was filled with glee when a job came up at work which required a visit to Edinburgh, which is always a real treat. A quick look at some dates meant with some careful booking of annual leave my 1hr job in Scotland could be turned into a three day stay. Then my mind turned to one thing, geocaching and in particular, the Earth Cache at Arthurs Seat.
For those not familiar with Edinburgh, Arthurs Seat is an extinct volcano that sits, pride of place, above the city centre. If you are staying in the city you do not need to travel to it, its right there, on your doorstep and provides wonderful views across the city and by spinning 180 degrees, the North Sea in the other direction.
I choose to drive up as its fairly easy jaunt up from Cambridge on the A1 and meant I could stop where and when the feeling took me, a decision which saw my first stop to be the Angel of the North, just south of Newcastle where I picked up a virtual and a traditional.
From there its a quick trip up to Berwick Upon Tweed which is essentially where England meets Scotland if you are driving up the east coast of the country and where you will find the famous ‘Welcome to Scotland’ Sign and of course, a cache. If you take the first turning past the layby, you will be able to grab Scotlands Last Cache and drive down to the coastline which is 200m further down the road. Some amazing scenery here and worthy of a stop.
Continuing on my journey north, I soon arrived at my destination, Edinburgh.
The history in Edinburgh is mindboggling. Each street in the city tells a different story, each building has its own tales to tell and the time you could spend here just taking in all this rich information would keep you busy for weeks. Alas, I only had three days and I *had* to grab the Earth Cache first, work could wait. Arthurs Seat Earthcache
A useful site for preparing to walk up the volcano can be found here – https://www.earthtrekkers.com/arthurs-seat-volcano-edinburgh/ and its fair to say there are different options depending on how mobile you are. I choose the hardest ascent as I was pushed for time and I wanted to cram as much in my day as possible so I set out on a reasonably mild sunny morning and and worked my way to the top.
There are no handrails, or safety barriers or signposts, this is pure, natural experience so care should be taken at all times but once at the top you will not be disappointed, the views are incredible.
Its very difficult of course to do it justice armed with only a iPhone for company so the best way to experience this is to get up there yourself! It took approx. 20 mins to reach the top.
Of course, Earthcaches are not for everyone, trust me, I hear you, but another which must be sought is Greyfriars Bobby which tells the tale of ‘Bobby’ a Skye Terrier known in 19th-century Edinburgh for his loyalty, I wont spoil it for you! – The graveyard (or in Scotland a ‘Kirkyard’) is particularly creepy with lots of skull and crossbones on the headstones.
Of course, we have not covered Edinburgh Castle, The Royal Mile, Waverly Station or my particular favourite the Grassmarket, where at each point you will find caches of all varieties ready to entertain.