Watching the sunrise, picnic all laid out, from Arthurâ€™s Seat on an August Sunday morning: how good does that sound?
And good it was. Even the rain held off until we were back down and half way home – full of complacent virtue at having been so energetic so early.
There is something quite magical about setting off on a hike in the mild, summer darkness (5am on this occasion) and then being part of the gradual emergence of day light. Whilst the twinkling lights of the city flicked off one by one, and strips of red sky appeared to the East, we strolled (or staggered) up the final trail to the top of the â€˜mountainâ€™ – as the eight year olds present grandly called it. Â And it really did feel like appearing at the top of the world.
Itâ€™s years since Iâ€™d been up Arthurâ€™s Seat; like the Castle and the Botanics, itâ€™s one of those things on my maybe-if-itâ€™s-not raining list of things to do with visitors (and too often the visitors and the rain coincide.) This time, it seemed like a charming way to round off the school holidays – and it was. Once my eight year old had forgiven me for making him get up â€˜in the middle of the nightâ€™ he, too, enjoyed the walk, and in fact ran most of the way, and did a happy bit of rolling down, too.
It was fun to be part of a small and random group â€“ three Festival-goers, a local family, me and my son â€“ arranged by Nicole Wright of Edinburgh Run Tours. She also provided (and carried) a lovely breakfast of Scotch pancakes, haggis sausage rolls, strawberry and banana cake, and yoghurt.
The sunrise walks are naturally coming to an end for this year â€“ obviously it gets very cold and windy up there in the winter â€“ but there will be a head-torch alternative (with a quick breakfast) for those interested. You donâ€™t have to be that fit, but you do have to be able to manage 2 miles or so up (and down) hill and itâ€™s definitely suitable for children!
Otherwise, Nicole, a personal trainer and nutritionist offers tours combining running and sightseeing around the city. She says, â€˜We offer something completely different to other toursâ€¦the chance to enjoy your regular run, or push yourself a bit further, while taking in the beautiful sights of the city. Thereâ€™s no better way to see the city at its best than by donning your trainers and heading off with friends old and new.â€™
For more information, go to: www.edinburghruntours.com
Follow at @edinruntours