It was our first trip to Scotland, and it was coming to an end. After two blissful weeks of sightseeing and near-perfect May weather, our last day greeted us with a chill. Rain and fog rolled in – a perfect metaphor for our mood. We were sad. More than that, we were depressed. You see, at that time, Mr. C and I had no idea if and when we would someday return to Scotland. Did we just spend two weeks falling in love with a county we might not ever see again? Only time would tell.
Feeling glum, we decided to get out for a while rather than sulk about our long morning flight home. So, we did a little shopping and attended an afternoon church service at Grace Church Leith. Finally, as the weather began to clear, we made our way over to Holyrood Park.
It was breathtaking.
It was magical.
It was bittersweet.
Holyrood Park is a royal park located in the heart of the city of Edinburgh. Covering an expanse of 640 acres, this gorgeous piece of earth sits adjacent to Edinburgh’s royal residence – the Palace of Holyroodhouse – and is just a short walk from the Royal Mile. The park is popular with both tourists and residents, providing the perfect spot for photographers, nature watchers, or those who just want to get away from the hustle-bustle of the city. Various paths lead you through the park, as does Queen’s Drive, a paved road that loops up and around the perimeter.
(You might notice that some of the photos that follow were taken on a sunny day as opposed to the overcast day I wrote about at the beginning. Which means we did, in fact, return!)
You’ll want your camera. The views are splendid!
The highest point in Holyrood Park is Arthur’s Seat, the remnant of a 350 million-year-old volcano. It is the main peak of a group of hills which form most of the park. According to legend, Arthur’s Seat is one of the possible locations of Camelot, and that is how it came to be named.
On the west side of the park, the Salisbury Crags – a series of cliffs – rise to a height of 150 feet. They represent the true essence of rugged and wild Scotland.
My favorite site in the park is the ruin of St. Anthony’s Chapel, which dates back to at least the 1400s. Only the north wall and a remnant of the west wall remain, but the secrets of a time long past remain within its stones.
Holyrood Park is such a lovely gem in a busy city. Are you beginning to see why I have formed an attachment to Scotland? I have never met another place that fills my heart with so much joy. And thank goodness our first trip was not to be our last!
I genuinely hope one day you can experience Scotland too.
Until next time, friends.