Edinburgh: The Most Brilliant Urban Park in the World
Cities and their parks have an important symbiotic relationship that benefits the people who call any metropolis home. But are all urban parks created equal? While all green urban oases offer a bit of zen on your lunch break or morning jog, not all can truly transport you to another world whilst keeping you within the central taxi zone. For instance, Manhattan has Central Park—fine if you like being penned into a rectangle with high-rise buildings staring down at you. London has Hyde Park—all right too if you’re fine with never losing earshot of the roar of traffic. Berlin’s Tiergarten is also an excellent spot, but who always wants to get lost just trying to find the loo?
Holyrood Park, which is in the centre of Edinburgh, is in a class of its own. Compared to other parks, it is an oasis not just of calm, but of invigorating, life-affirming vistas stretching to the ocean and poetic and melancholic visions of Gothic urban decay. The peak of Holyrood Park, Arthur’s Seat, is the pinnacle of urban park peak-ness. At 251 meters above sea level, scaling the well-worn pathways to rocky top is a pleasantly challenging hike and can be approached from anywhere at the base of the hill. The wind is usually brisk, but the fleeting clouds and bright Scottish sunshine often warm the backs of those who tread its grassy sides.
While visiting Holyrood Park and scaling Arthur’s Seat can be done in a couple of hours, an extended stay in Edinburgh can allow you to experience even more of the city’s grassy escarpments where one can find ancient churches and decaying abodes to intrigue the imagination. Hotels near Edinburgh Castle would afford you the luxury of being in the atmospheric Old Town, while having the entrance to Holyrood Park a mere mile away. Any luxury Edinburgh hotel has to offer would certainly advise you well on your adventures in the best inner city park in the world. Fresh air and city life have never been so well connected.