Dunsapie Loch

Holyrood Park

Holyrood Park (also called Queen's Park, and formerly King's Park) is a royal park in central Edinburgh, Scotland. It is regarded as a microcosm of Scottish scenery, with a stunning array of hills, lochs, glens, ridges, basalt cliffs, and patches of whin packed into its landscape. The park is associated with the royal palace of Holyroodhouse, although it is now publicly accessible. Arthur's Seat, the highest point in Edinburgh, is at the centre of the park, with the cliffs of Salisbury Crags to the west. There are three lochs; St Margaret's Loch, Dunsapie Loch, and Duddingston Loch. The ruined St Anthony's Chapel stands above St Margaret's Loch. Queen's Drive is the main route through the Park, and is closed on Sundays to motor vehicles. St Margaret's Well and St Anthony's Well are both natural springs within the park. Holyrood Park is located to the south-east of the Old Town, at the edge of the city centre. Abbeyhill is to the north, and Duddingston village to the east. The University of Edinburgh's Pollock Halls of Residence are to the south-west, and Dumbiedykes is to the west.

Arthur's Seat

Arthur's Seat is the main peak of the group of hills which form most of Holyrood Park, a remarkably wild piece of highland landscape in the centre of the city of Edinburgh, about a mile to the east of the castle. The hill rises above the city to a height of , provides excellent views, is quite easy to climb, and is a popular walk. Though it can be climbed from almost any direction, the easiest and simplest ascent is from the East, where a grassy slope rises above Dunsapie Loch, a small artificial loch located between Dunsapie Hill and Arthur's Seat. The loch is fed with water from Alnwickhill in the south of the city, and is a popular location within the park, supporting plentiful numbers of bird species.

Salisbury Crags

The Salisbury Crags are a series of cliffs at the top of a subsidiary spur of Arthurs Seat which rise in the middle of Holyrood Park. Below the foot of the cliffs is a large and steep talus slope falling to the floor of Holyrood Park with a track known as the Radical Road running in the space between the two. This track was given its name after it was paved in the aftermath of the Radical War of 1820, using the labour of unemployed weavers from the west of Scotland at the suggestion of Walter Scott.

The cliffs are formed from steep dolerite and columnar basalt and have a long history of rock climbing on their faces starting from the earliest days of the sport and leading to a number of traditional climbing and sport climbing routes being recorded. In recent years the Park Police (previously under the auspices of the Royal Estate and now Historic Scotland, who have taken over management of the park) have attempted to regulate access to the cliffs for climbing. One now needs to apply for a permit, free of charge, at the education centre to the east of the park in order to be allowed to climb. There is still some activity, though most of it is bouldering rather than free climbing. The finest areas are in the two quarries, although it is only in the south quarry that climbing is still permitted at this time. The south quarry contains the Black Wall, a well-known bouldering testpiece in the Edinburgh climbing scene. On a somewhat less cheerful note, the Crags are a popular suicide spot.

Samson's Ribs

Samson's Ribs are a formation of columnar basalt.

St Margaret's Loch

St Margaret's Loch is a shallow man-made loch to the south of Queen's Drive. It is around 500m east of Holyrood Palace, and about 100m north of the ruin of St Anthony's Chapel. Once a boggy, marshland, the loch was formed in 1856 as part of Prince Albert's improvement plans for the area surrounding the palace. The loch was once a boating pond, but is now home to a strong population of ducks, geese, and swans.

St Anthony's Chapel

St Anthony's Chapel is was probably built around the early half of the 15th Century. It was originally rectangular shaped (43ft x 18ft), and was built with local stone with 3ft thick walls. Now the chapel is a ruin, only the north wall remains.

Other geographical features

Other geographical features include the Haggis Knowe, Whinny Hill and Hunter's Bog, which drains into St Margaret's Loch.

See also


External links

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