Guide to Arthurs Seat Walk: Exploring Edinburgh

| January 27, 2012 | 27 Comments

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.

About the Author ()

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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  1. Top 10 Things to Do in Edinburgh | September 17, 2012
  1. Laurence says:

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

  2. Pete says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

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

  4. Rachel says:

    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 says:

      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. 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 says:

      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 says:

    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.

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

    • Cole says:

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

  9. Toni White says:

    Perfect timing – I'm heading that way in April =).

  10. Cheryl says:

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

  11. 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.)

  12. Arthurs Seat looks like a great place for a picnic :)

  13. Amy says:

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

  14. 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.
    Evan McDonald recently posted..Six Rides in Orlando for the Adrenaline JunkieMy Profile

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