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Guide to Arthurs Seat Walk: Exploring Edinburgh

Check out our guide to Arthurs Seat walk in the beautiful city of Edinburgh.

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Outdoor Activities in Edinburgh, Arthurs Seat walk in Holyrood Park

The best thing about living in Edinburgh, okay second best after Edinburgh Castle, is that you can be outside the city within a matter of minutes if you are willing to hop in your car. However, like most backpackers and travellers, having a car on hand is not always an option.

You are in luck as exploring Edinburgh on foot is just as good, if not better, due to the excess of parks within just a few short steps. And the Arthurs Seat walk is one of the best in Edinburgh.

Arthurs Seat from Salisbury Crags

 

Guide to Arthurs Seat Walk

Our favourite place to get away from the hustle and bustle within the city limits is walking up Arthurs Seat in Holyrood Park. Visible from nearly every corner of Edinburgh it is quite easy to be daunted by the Arthurs Seat walk which provides a spectacular backdrop to an already beautiful city.

The fact is that it is actually only 251m to the summit which makes it a perfect vantage point for views. And these views, and its close proximity to Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, make it extremely popular with walkers, joggers, locals and tourists alike.

There are a variety of pathways up the hill for all ages and abilities. You can tackle it by going straight up the guts from for a lung busting, calf burning steep climb (my favourite) which takes about 20 – 30 mins. Or take one of the many meandering paths that wind their way leisurely to the top.

The map below shows some of the many easier routes available…

Arthurs Seat Walking Route Map by Geowalks

And for those extremely lazy folks, you can even drive most of the way up and park near the top for an even shorter stroll.

The views at the top of Arthurs Seat walk are truly spectacular. On a clear day you can see across the Pentland Hills, the Firth of Forth, not to mention that Edinburgh lies at your feet.

View of Edinburgh Castle from Arthurs Seat

If you have a few hours to spare then don’t stop at the top.

The rest of Holyrood Park has a variety of different places to explore. Following the Salisbury Crags will lead you back towards Holyrood Palace. Or wander around the park trying to locate the three lakes, Duddingston Loch, Dunsapie Loch and St Margaret Loch, which all provide an opportunity for the kids to get rid of that stale loaf of bread in your backpack to feed the swans.

There are also the ruins of Anthony’s Chapel which provides a great opportunity for photo taking. Or the secret Underground Railway which I don’t think many people know about as I only found it by accident one day as I was exploring the small pathways. Will let you find that one for yourself.

I am also convinced there must be secret tunnels from Holyrood Palace in case old Queenie ever needed to escape from a marauding horde! Let me know if you find them 🙂

Edinburgh’s largest hill is definitely a quiet place of sanctuary away from the crowded streets and a small slice of Scotland’s ruggest countryside within the city limits. An Arthurs Seat walk is the perfect way to spend your sunny summer’s afternoon.

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31 Comments

31 Comments

  1. Laurence

    January 27, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    Have to agree – it’s a beautiful walk with great views. Lovely photography guys 🙂

    • Cole

      January 27, 2012 at 3:21 PM

      Thanks Laurence 🙂

  2. Pete

    January 27, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    So that’s what blue skies look like in Edinburgh 😉 We only had 2 days in the city and didn’t get the chance to climb Arthur’s Seat. Your first photo just reminds me why we need to go back. Very nice.

    • Cole

      January 27, 2012 at 3:21 PM

      Can you say photoshop… Hahaha just kidding! We do get some beautiful days here in Edinburgh, unfortunately it is a rare thing indeed 🙂 If you come back let us know and we will show you the best spots to go.

  3. Sam

    January 27, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    That Salisbury Crags walk looks pretty wild; love the photo in black & white.

    • Cole

      January 30, 2012 at 9:29 AM

      Cheers Sam. It is a great spot for photos with the sharp outline of the rocks and steep drop off the edge. Scary for me who hates heights!

  4. Rachel

    January 27, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    I haven’t been up Arthur’s Seat since I was little, hoping to take my boyfriend to Scotland soon to show him what it’s all about – this will be on the tour for sure! Definitely one of my favourite cities.

    • Cole

      January 30, 2012 at 9:28 AM

      Glad to hear we have inspired you to go up there Rachel. Let us know when you are coming and we can give you some extra tips if you need them 🙂

  5. dtravelsround

    January 28, 2012 at 6:28 AM

    I love how the bird photo-bombed the shot! When I was in Edinburgh, I stayed at the university dorms which backed up to this. A bunch of people went hiking up, but me, who doesn’t like hills, stayed back. Kinda wish I had made the trek for that view of the lovely city!

    • Cole

      January 30, 2012 at 9:26 AM

      The walk up looks a lot easier than it actually is so if you come back then definitely get out there. I am just glad the birds were not dive bombing me!

  6. Andrew

    January 28, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    So is the first photo actually black and white, or is it just like that? I’m with Pete about not seeing the sky in Edinburgh. It was a great few days there, but not one for stargazing.

    • Cole

      January 30, 2012 at 9:24 AM

      Haha no it was a beautiful clear day luckily. There are some amazing star gazing areas south of Edinburgh actually (if the sky is clear :))

  7. Stephanie - The Travel Chica

    January 30, 2012 at 2:34 AM

    I love places that have “getaway” spots so close.

    • Cole

      January 30, 2012 at 9:21 AM

      Have you ever been to Edinburgh before Stephanie? Where else can you recommend for “getaway” spots in other cities? We love exploring new areas of places we have been before.

  8. Christy @ Technosyncratic

    January 30, 2012 at 7:46 AM

    This view looks awesome. We STILL haven’t made it to Scotland, but that’s going to be rectified this summer! Hopefully. 😛

    • Cole

      January 30, 2012 at 9:20 AM

      Cheers Christy. Make sure you let us know when you come up 🙂

    • Cole

      February 1, 2012 at 9:32 AM

      Glad to hear it Toni. If you want any other tips then let us know. More than happy to help out 🙂

  9. Cheryl

    February 2, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    Your first photo took my breath away. How amazing and beautiful!

    • Cole

      February 3, 2012 at 8:52 AM

      Thanks Cheryl! It is a beautiful spot.

  10. Shanna Schultz

    February 6, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    Great post! We have been to Edinburgh twice now and have not made it up here yet…definitely on the list for next time, though! The views look spectacular (and Edinburgh is one of the most beautiful cities that I have even been in.)

    • Cole

      February 6, 2012 at 8:16 PM

      Awesome Shanna! Let us know when you come back. Happy to show you some other cool walks 🙂

  11. Mary @ Green Global Travel

    April 14, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    Arthurs Seat looks like a great place for a picnic 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      April 15, 2012 at 9:55 AM

      Its beautiful up there as long as there is not the usual wind blowing in from the north!

  12. Amy

    August 29, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    I’m thinking of walking up with my 4yr old on an adventure day. Is it manageable for a little one? 🙂

  13. Evan McDonald

    September 4, 2012 at 12:56 AM

    The scenic view is spectacular! The green route is great for those who are not feeling that well. We would not have been able to hike it without that path, as we weren’t feeling that well.

  14. Pingback: Top 10 Things to Do in Edinburgh

  15. JenEmCee

    February 28, 2016 at 7:37 AM

    Super helpful, love the graphic definitely will use on my trip next month. Thanks!

  16. Sophie

    March 29, 2016 at 7:31 AM

    I suffer from a lung condition and struggle on hills, I really want to do this walk away though! Why ch route would you suggest for the most gentle ascent?

  17. Amy

    June 6, 2016 at 3:00 PM

    Cole – I am super excited to tackle this now that I’ve read your advice! My daughters are currently bumming around Europe for a month, and I’ll be meeting up with them in Edinburgh 20-6-16. Arthur’s Seat was on my oldest’s list. We’ll also be checking out the University as my oldest will be attending in the fall to begin her Masters degree program. Any other advice before we meet up in Edinburgh?

    • Cole Burmester

      June 10, 2016 at 8:01 AM

      The City is just an amazing place to wander around to be honest. There’s all the usual spots to go like the Castle and underneath in the old city ‘tunnels’. Just embrace it and beat the crowds by going early to the attractions 🙂 Enjoy!

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Adventure Travel

Popular vs. Underrated Destinations:How To Avoid The Crowd?

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The biggest dilemma you have to face as an enthusiastic holidaymaker is whether to embrace popular destinations or to find lesser known regions for your vacations. Popular destinations have the advantage that they are experienced with tourists. You can be sure that you will find someone speaking your language and that hotel receptions will be open 24/7. But they are likely to be crowded to the point where it can be impossible to find a free spot on the beach or to walk down that famous avenue you’ve read about in your guidebook. Underrated destinations, in comparison, offer freedom of movement and peacefulness that you associate with a quiet pace of life. But they may not have all the necessary facilities to welcome tourists. You may struggle to find someone who speaks your language or even to get a decent hotel room, let alone direct flights to get there. In short, what’s the best answer to this dilemma?

Popular destinations with a twist

When you pick a destination that is familiar to the tourist industry, it’s both a blessing and a curse, as the available facilities and attractions are likely to attract hundreds if not thousands of same-minded tourists. However, these destinations are popular for a reason, so it would be a pity to avoid visiting marvels of the world just because you want to stay away from the crowd. Dubai, for example, receives every year a growing number of tourists, with estimations for 2020 to top 20 million. Needless to say, you’ll need to find things to do in Dubai that avoid the main entrance to their attraction area. But, looking for concierge services in famous cities like Dubai, Paris or Hong Kong can get you access to a privileged network to avoid tourists.

Visiting Dubai without the tourists

The perfect mix: Destinations that are about to get trendy

There are some destinations that are getting the necessary infrastructure to welcome tourists without having yet become popular. They are destinations in the making, areas that are about to go big and that you can visit while they’re not yet famous. The rising stars of the holiday industry are places such as José Ignacio in Uruguay – where you can meet the likes of Shakira among other celebrities – and Sofia in Bulgaria, which is Europe’s cheapest city destination. In those places, you can enjoy quality visits, beautiful landscapes, and architectures, without forgetting the exquisite hotel services too.

Beautiful and underrated destinations offer peace

Finally, there are places that simply don’t attract tourists for a reason or another. They are not specifically growing in popularity, but they remain hidden gems across the world. You will need to plan your holiday in advance, as some of these areas provide minimal comfort, such as the Basque Country which is a humble and quirky location. The Canary Islands, while being a highly popular spot in summer, is almost deserted in spring. There, you don’t need to worry about holiday attractions.

The charm of the forgotten destinations

In short, picking the best destinations for you demands a little bit of logistics juggle at first. Nobody likes a crowded place, so you can avoid other tourists either by choosing a different tile in a popular area or by working directly with a privileged service. If you are not keen on a famous destination, visit rising holiday stars or forgotten jewels. You’ll have fewer tourists but still a lot of fun!

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Adventure Travel

Five Of The Best Ways To Soak Up Scotland

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Rugged scenery, historic landmarks and a rich heritage – Scotland is a fantastic place to explore. With walking routes dotted between quaint cosy pubs, cities full with culture, and miles of beaches and scenic drives, there’s really no excuse not to embrace the tartan. Here are some of the best ways you can explore and soak up Scotland’s rich heritage.

Tour famous film locations

Scotland’s landscape is stunning, so no wonder its dramatic scenery has been captured on the big screen. Explore the picturesque film locations, such as Glen Coe for James Bond’s Skyfall moments. Visit Gairloch for the Billy Connolly classic, What We Did On Our Holiday where you can see views of the Isle of Skye from the expansive Red Point beach. Explore the Glenfinnan Viaduct in Lochaber for the iconic arched bridge that the Hogwarts Express chugs down in Harry potter.

By rail

Take the leisurely route around Scotland and travel by train. It’s a much needed break from walking routes, with stunning views from the window that look out across the ever-changing landscape. Scotland’s rail routes connect its seven cities with stops in many towns and villages across country, so you’ll find it easy to delve into the West Highlands from Glasgow, traveling through the scenic Fort William, or roll past the battlefields of Robert the Bruce through Dumfries.

Walk, trek, stroll

Discover all the wonderful wildlife and nature on foot. Trek through the rugged countryside for unbelievable sights of the towering mountains, shimmering lochs, golden beaches and lush farmland. Find Lochan Urr in Glen Etive for a spot of paradise, stroll along Applecross Bay, or scale new heights for stunning views of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. For longer routes head to Fort William and Glen Coe for miles of green countryside.

Castle to castle

You’ll find castles on top of, near enough, every rolling hill in Scotland. From pretty fairy tale castles to robust medieval fortresses, you can visit the most spectacular buildings all around Scotland. Enjoy strolling around the floral gardens looking up at the enchanting French design of Dunrobin Castle, on the northern coast near Dornoch. Explore Culzean Castle for dramatic scenes, or, Kilchurn near Dalmally in Argyll to gaze over the Loch Awe. Visit the royal stronghold, Fyvie Castle near Turriff for rich decor and 13th century furnishings. For something completely different, head to Kelburn Castle in Ayrshire for a colourful mural of unusual cartoons.

Cruise the Scottish waters

Take a look at Scotland from a different point of view by travelling Scotland’s shores on a boat cruise around the islands. Visit the Isle of Skye, Stornoway, Port Ellen, Montrose and the picturesque Holy Loch Port. For something even more adventurous, canoe in the lochs and rivers around Fort William.

Sound good? There’s so much to see in Scotland that you’re bound to be mesmerised!

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Adventure Travel

Top things to do in Cleveland

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Cleveland, Ohio may not be a well-known city like the Big Apple or the sunny beach cities of California, yet there is still much to do in this small but very vibrant city. If you have been planning on heading out to this wonderful city, then you’re in luck as there are numerous activities, attraction, and reservations that will be sure to educate as well as entertain the family.

Here is a small list of places and activities for the family and visitors to enjoy.

Why We Rock: Top Things to do in Cleveland

 

# 1 Hard Rock Rocksino

The Hard Rock Rocksino offers people a Las Vegas-esque kind of vibe and feel for the citizens and tourist of Ohio. If you love games, racing, elegant cuisine and just an overall fantastic night out on the town, the Hard Rock Rocksino is the place for you.

 

# 2 Outdoor Activities

If you are someone who isn’t too much into the nightlife and the whole city feel then Ohio still has you covered. Ohio indeed is one of the most aesthetically pleasing states to see and visit. Boasting and offering its residents and visitors sights and environments such as the Cuyahoga River in Lake Erie where people can go kayaking to The Townpath Trail where people can go jogging, hiking or horseback riding.

If you are an outdoor’ kind of person than this is the place for you. Beautiful atmosphere, surrounded by nature and overall a sight that is awe-inspiring to look at – what more could an outdoors person as for?

 

# 3 Education – Family friendly Orientated Places

Now, ask yourself what type of family trip it would be if you just visit and didn’t walk away learning something new and different? Well, in Ohio there are a plethora of places where you can take the family for an educational trip for the day.

There is the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo which boasts a wide array of animals from all around the world. There really is nothing more splendid for kids to see the animals that they love to imitate in person.

If the Zoo were fascinating and intriguing then the next destination, Greater Cleveland Aquarium would be sure to be as equally entertaining as the Zoo. When Visiting the Greater Cleveland Aquarium enter into an under that is akin to the Atlantis. Experience the aquatic lifeforms in such proximity.

Lastly, Ohio offers its residents and visitors many museums. There is the International Women’s Air and Space Museum which educates the populace about the story of aviation and how much women had their part in history. And let’s not forget the famous Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Final Thoughts

If you are deciding to visit this fantastic state, then be prepared for a wonderful visit and many cultural aspects that will be learned and offered. Make this trip a trip to remember with these places in mind.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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