The hills are alive with the sound of heavy breathing! - Karen Koren

On my birthday this year I made a commitment to climb all the seven hills of Edinburgh - I felt I needed to give myself a bit of challenge during this hard time.

Thursday, 15th April 2021, 7:00 am
Scotsman Readers Gallery USED As most people were falling over just trying to get to the top of Arthur's Seat, I was amazed at their person brave enough to balance on top of the trig point!! Thanks, Eddie Bowe.

Katy, my daughter thought it was a great idea to get me out and about and to get the old heart rate going. She climbed with me enthusiastically stopping each time I needed a breather which was quite a lot.

The first hill we climbed was Blackford Hill. I was amazed by the view from the top over Edinburgh and down the coast, breathtaking. Looking back now it was not difficult, I just had to take my time. The steps were the worst and I preferred to walk alongside the muddy, wooden treads as they were pretty steep. The next hill we climbed was Calton Hill, which was lovely, it was still covered in snow when we did it, beautiful view of the city.

My next hill I conquered was Corstorphine Hill, with lovely woodland up to the Scott Tower. Lots of dog walkers and a great Sunday afternoon walk. I was getting used to walking upwards now and the Braid Hills was my definite favourite hill, by a golf course and having equally as spectacular views as Blackford Hill, but it was more peaceful and an easier climb. Craiglockhart Hill was next which I had never been to, a lovely walk to the top, not difficult. The next week we walked Castle Hill which was walking the Royal Mile up to the Castle Eplanade, very easy and pleasant. The final climb was looming.

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I had never climbed Arthur Seat in my life, which is pretty embarrassing as I have lived in Edinburgh for most of my life which is decades. During the Fringe many of the performers and staff would climb Arthur Seat to watch the sunrise after a night of hard work and a few drinks. I never did, which I regret now.

What a climb, we did it in 3 stages and I made it. Very proud of myself. Very windy at the top – but the views are the absolute best, I recommend it.