Tourist slam Arthur’s Seat over lack of gift shop

'Spoon-fed' tourists have been slammed for their critique of the city's landmarks. Picture: contributed
'Spoon-fed' tourists have been slammed for their critique of the city's landmarks. Picture: contributed
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It is the extinct volcano that looms majestically over the ancient sprawl of the Old Town.

But disgruntled tourists have taken to the internet to slam Arthur’s Seat for its lack of gift shops and places to sit – and the fact there is no free wi-fi on its windswept peak.

Spoilt globe-trotters left one-star reviews of the world-famous hill on popular travel website TripAdvisor, lashing out at the absence of any seat at the top “for photographs”.

The ancient 822ft slope is not the only landmark to face tourists’ wrath – with the Scott Monument on Princes Street condemned for being “too high” and “a dizzying, harrowing experience”.

Elsewhere, a visitor to ­Edinburgh Castle dismissed its 500-year-old crown jewels as comprising “a paltry crown and the Stone of Destiny”.

They added: “I have seen more impressive stuff at Disneyland”.

A visitor to Arthur’s Seat in May last year took to the site to write: “Despite the great views after a strenuous walk, what really lets this place down is the lack of amenities. No gift shop, no free wi-fi, nowhere to sit ­unless you want to sit on the floor.”

Another, who travelled to the city in August, added: “It was too high and at the top no seat. With the name Arthur’s Seat we had expected a chair for photographs.”

But despite the negative reviews, Arthur’s Seat tops TripAdvisor’s list of must-see Edinburgh attractions – with the website awarding it a 2104 certificate of excellence.

Angus Miller of Geowalks, which leads tours around Arthur’s Seat, said he was “not surprised” the attraction was top rated – and accused those laying into it of being “spoon fed”. He said: “I suppose if you have that kind of mentality you do expect just to be able to pick up a coffee and go to the toilet. But it’s actually a wild area within the city. A lot of people go up there in city shoes as well, and the paths are quite rough. People expect a city walk, but it’s wild land.

“Obviously people are used to being spoon fed.”

He added: “I sometimes get people getting confused on tours. I had some guys from Newcastle, and one pointed to Fife and asked if it was Wales.

“But I’m not surprised that it’s top rated – it does seem to be the one thing that people coming to Edinburgh feel the need to do. People seem to be really enthusiastic about it.

“It’s such a contrast from the busy streets. It’s amazing – the views and the scenery.”

Martin Gray, ranger and visitor services manager for Historic Scotland – which looks after Arthur’s Seat – said he was “delighted” visitors had rated the attraction so highly.

He added: “In regards to some of the more ‘unusual’ comments – whilst we are keen to receive feedback, it is after all a mountain – and we would ask any potential visitors to prepare for it as such so that they can safely enjoy the wildness of this most special of Edinburgh landmarks.”

alistair.grant@edinburghnews.com