Craigmillar Castle, a true testament to Scottish masonry, is most famously remembered for harbouring the fugitive Mary Queen of Scots. While standing for many years and closely tying in with the growth of Scotland’s Capital, many still see Craigmillar as an impressive feat of engineering. At first glance you would easily miss the geological interest here, but a look at the south wall of the castle and admire how the structure simply grows from the rocks below. Now as you walk through the woods, notice the rocky outcrops and their distinct layering. This ‘cross-bedded’ pattern and the red colouring are tell-tale signs that theses rocks were formed in a temperate climate at the bottom of a river over 350 million years ago, in the earliest Carboniferous period. This beautiful colouring and compact nature has led the red sandstone to be incorporated into many different buildings in Edinburgh.
Situated above Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary Hospital, Craigmillar Park is a stone’s throw from the city centre and easily accessible via public transport. Though the hill top is framed by trees, you get a unique view of Arthur’s Seat, Salisbury Crags and on a clear day a beautiful panorama of the Firth of Forth.