The Radical Road

In the wake of Labour’s historic, game-changing victory and the so-called ‘rebirth of socialism’, it seemed appropriate to head out on this morning’s up the Radical Road that leads from the Palace of Holyrood along the base of Salisbury Crags. Intrigued by the name, I Googled it as I dried out, steaming gently alongisde my tea, on my return to the flat we’re calling home for the weekend. It was built by unemployed weavers from the dissatisfied, rebellious West of Scotland in the 1820s following an armed uprising and near-national strike on 3 April 1820. 

Apparently it was Sir Walter’s Scott’s idea: once the workers had been crushed, he suggested they could be distracted from further plotting and dissuaded from insurrectionif they were put to work creating a road around the crags. 

The view along the way is stunning, even on a grey, soggy morning like this one. Even in the process of being crushed and exploited, the workers created something extraordinary. 

Edinburgh from the Radical Road