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Height of Arrows

Photos and text by Lily LaRegina

Rising against the Edinburgh skyline behind the palace of Holyroodhouse and the Scottish Parliament Building stands Arthur’s Seat, the rocky remains of an ancient volcano.

A preserved wall of St. Anthony’s Chapel stands above a view of the Sunnybank neighborhood of Edinburgh, Scotland on one of the ridges leading to the summit of Arthur’s Seat.
Harry Briggs, of Edinburgh, left, and JJ Duffy, of Seattle, Wa., watch the sunrise from just below the summit of Arthur’s Seat on Tuesday, March 8, 2022, in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The Old Town neighborhood and Calton Hill in Edinburgh, Scotland are viewed from a ridge leading to the summit.

The highest peak within the ridges and hills of Holyrood Park, it stands at just over 820 feet and is a popular destination in Scotland’s capital city. The origin of the peak’s name is unclear.

Kate Kasko, a student traveling with the University of Virginia’s rugby team, poses as her teammates Lucie Rutherford and Lydia Smith take photos of her against the morning sky on the path to the summit of Arthur’s Seat.
Tash Meizli, of Johannesburg, South Africa, right, and her partner sit and watch the sunrise from just below the summit of Arthur’s Seat. The two are visiting their daughter, who studies at the University of Edinburgh, for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic began in 2020.

Locks left by couples who have hiked to Arthur’s Seat hang from a chain rail along the path near the summit.

Some historians speculate the name references the Camelot home of King Arthur of legend. Others suggest it comes from the Scottish Gaelic phrase Àrd-na-Said, meaning “height of arrows.”The summit of Arthur’s Peak offers 360-degree views of Edinburgh and the surrounding areas.

The summit marker at the top of Arthur’s Seat in Holyrood Park just past sunrise on Tuesday, March 9, 2022 in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Hagen, a Siberian Husky, stands at the summit of Arthur’s Seat just past sunrise after hiking up with owners Marcus Campbell, of Glasgow, and Martin Johnstone, of Edinburgh.

Hikers look out over the view of the west side of Edinburgh from the summit of Arthur’s Seat just past sunrise.

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