Mountaineering with a five year old

 The clifftops of Salisbury Crags

The clifftops of Salisbury Crags

Good morning, I hope your Monday is off to a flying start. So, we had plans this weekend to visit all sorts of new places and be generally cultured. But in the end what we needed to to was to take a family cycle ride and spend some time doing not very much.

In Edinburgh we are lucky to have so much green space in the city. This dramatic scenery is only 10 minutes walk from the centre of town. Arthur's Seat is an extinct volcano,  part of Holyrood Park, a 640 acre park surrounding Holyrood Place. The peak is only 250m, so its an easy climb but you are rewarded with panoramic views across the city and out to sea. I've run up it in ballet flats with my camera when it has looked like there might be a good sunset!

Next to Arthur's Seat are the Salisbury Crags, which, if you are interested in rocks are quite fascinating. Some of the rock comes from volcanic eruptions 350 million years ago, which I just can't imagine. During the Enlightenment, it was here that James Hutton, the father of modern geology, developed the theory of uniformitarianism—a fundamental principle of geology—which explains the features of the Earth's crust by means of natural processes over geologic time. Essentially, the formation of these cliffs helped him work out that the earth is much much older than people had previously thought.

 From the cliff top you can see across the city to the Firth of Forth and Fife

From the cliff top you can see across the city to the Firth of Forth and Fife

Anyway, the kid was up for an adventure, so we left our bikes in Holyrood park and scrambled up the cliffs (there is an easy section at one end) and then walked along the cliff tops enjoying the view and playing in the long grass. Unusually, he even let me take some pictures of him. OK, he was bribed with chocolate rice cakes. I'm always inspired by Hannah Argyle's dreamy photos of her boys, so was very excited that he would let me snap a few frames while there was dreamy golden Autumn light and he wasn't dressed as a Storm Trooper. Let me know in the comments below what you think.

You'll probably have guessed by now that this was not quite the epic tale of adventure promised, but, for a five year old, it was certainly exciting, all with the added bonus of being able to get home in time for tea.