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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.

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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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. JenEmCee

    February 28, 2016 at 7:37 AM

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

  15. 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?

  16. 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

Most Underrated Travel Destinations

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Everyone knows about Paris and Rome and London but there are so many other beautiful travel destinations that are amazingly underrated and they are cities on our list to visit again once the Coronavirus allows. The fact that so many beautiful countries go unexplored by travelers is a tragedy and we want to change that after Coronavirus. Not only because so many people are missing out on rich cultures and picturesque views, but also because a lot of these destinations tend to be a lot cheaper to travel to than popular cities. 

But what a lot of people don’t know is that there are gorgeous, underrated foreign cities one can visit for a fraction of the price of touristy European cities. Forbes recently published a collection of the ten most underrated destinations you should consider visiting. 

Here are a few of them to learn about while stuck at home due to Coronavirus:

Yerevan, Armenia

Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, is known for its magnificent sights of Mount Ararat, historical monasteries, and its many striking temple ruins. Armenian cuisine is other worldly with classic dishes like rabbit stew, sautéed eggplant rolls, and lamb tartare. 

Telč, Czechia

Telč is a colorful town with Italian influences in Czechia. It boasts of Baroque-Renaissance architecture and has a castle of its own with exciting tunnels and passageways that you can explore underneath the town.

Santiago, Chile

Santiago is the capital of Chile and features gorgeous architecture from the neoclassical era. There are towering cathedrals and, of course, plenty of quality Chilean wine. Plus, the city of Santiago is a great place to kick off your exploration of Chile’s wine country. 

Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Rotterdam is often ignored due to the popular neighboring city of Amsterdam, but it is a bastion of underground music and street art. The architecture is strikingly modern since the city was heavily bombed during World War II and thus had to be rebuilt from the ground up. The city is filled to the brim with amazing cuisine and museums.

Lagos, Nigeria

If you are looking for a big city destination, Lagos is a metropolis that has plenty to see and do so that you’ll never be bored. And whenever you need a break from the urban marketplaces, private beaches are just a short drive away.

Con Dao, Vietnam

Con Dao is a Southeast Asian island that makes an excellent beach destination with two resorts and tons of fascinating history. Once host to a brutal French prison, the island is also home to the tomb of the Vietnamese martyr Vo Thi Sau. 

Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

This is one of the oldest cities in Uruguay dating back to the 17th century. The city has a vibrantly decorated historic quarter and a three-century-old convent. It’s also only a short trip away from the bigger city of Montevideo.

A majority of Americans, when asked about traveling abroad, will likely shake their head and say they can’t afford such trips. Many people deal with multiple monthly bills, such as mortgage or rent, student loans, and title loans, which are all stress inducing. 

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Adventure Travel

3 Tips For A Luxury Camping Experience

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If you are used to travelling in style and staying in high end hotels, camping is probably your idea of hell. Why would you spend a week sitting in a freezing cold tent, hiding from the rain when you could be relaxing around the pool in a nice hotel? But camping gives you a completely different travel experience and if you do it right, it can be very rewarding. If you invest in the right equipment, you can enjoy all of the good things about camping without any of the downsides. If you follow these simple tips, you will have a comfortable experience and fall in love with camping.

Image From Pixabay CCO License

Buy The Right Tent

The tent is the most important thing if you want a comfortable camping experience. All of those horror stories you hear about leaking tents only happen because people buy cheap tents. If you invest in a good quality tent, it should hold up to the weather and keep you dry and warm.

When you are buying a tent, you need to check the hydrostatic head rating. This gives you an indication of how much rain the tent can stand up to before leaking. The higher the rating, the less likely your tent is to leak. It is also important to consider the size of the tent and how easy it is to put up, especially if you are planning a road trip. You need to make sure that it fits into the car easily, and you also want to avoid anything that is too complicated to put up. However, be careful with pop-up tents because most of them will not stand up to the rain.

If you want the ultimate comfortable camping experience, you should consider a camper trailer instead. There are some great camper trailers that come with all of the same facilities that you would find in a basic hotel, so you can camp in comfort. If you really hate the idea of camping, this is the best option.

Get A Good Quality Sleeping Bag

If you are worried about being freezing cold at night while you are camping, you need to get a good quality sleeping bag. A cheap one will not be comfortable and it won’t keep you warm, so you need to make sure that you buy a good thermal one. Sleeping directly on the floor will be uncomfortable as well, so you should invest in a sleeping mat as well. If you are willing to spend a little more on good sleeping equipment, you will be nice and comfortable while camping.

Pack Good Food

The food is another big issue for people when they go camping, but there is no need to live on beans all week. You can get some great dehydrated camping food packs so, as long as you take a small camping stove, you can still eat proper meals. If you pack a coolbox and freeze some food before you go, it should last a while so you can have barbecues as well. As long as you plan ahead, there’s no reason why you can’t eat well while you are camping.

Camping doesn’t have to be the nightmare experience that you think it does. If you follow these simple tips, you can have a luxury camping experience and enjoy all of the benefits of the great outdoors.

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Adventure Travel

Tips for Planning Your Uluru Tour

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Located in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, the magnificent sandstone of Ayers Rock or Uluru stands tall at 1,142 feet above ground. The natural formation is widely known for being one of the most sacred places to the indigineous peoples in Australia. At the same time, it is also popular for attracting tourists from all over the world to the land down under.

If you want to visit Uluru in order to pay tribute to this wonder of nature, then doing so through the right tour is in your best interest. It’s not only because Uluru is located at least a few hours from civilization, but it also because such a tour allows you to enjoy the picturesque sights that come along the way within the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

So what sights are there to see along the way and what other general tours suggestions you should keep in mind while visiting Uluru? To help you answer these and some other important questions, here are 5 top tips to keep in mind while visiting Uluru.

Don’t Climb the Monolith

First things first, while it is legal to climb atop Uluru, it is recommended that you do not attempt such an action in order to show your respect to the indigenous peoples.

It is a pretty easy rule to follow when you pay attention to the emotions of the indigenous tribes who have recommended time and again for people to not climb Uluru.

But that doesn’t mean that you cannot enjoy the natural beauty that Uluru has to offer. In fact, you are encouraged to visit the sandstone and take in its natural glory by standing right beside the formation. That’s why 4WD tour is highly recommended. The tour guides would be able to tell you what you can and can not do.

Visit During Sunset

Ask anyone who has visited Uluru about the best time to see the formation, and you will instantly get the answer as “sunset.”

It’s because Uluru is not an ordinary monolith, but one that is formed through arkosic sandstone. This allows the rock to actually change its color according to the position of the sun. As a result, you can expect the formation to sport a different color depending upon what time of day you reach it.

At sunset, Uluru projects an amber glow that is surreal to take in, especially when you are seeing the formation in person for the very first time. That’s why, it is recommended that you time your trip in a way that allows you to experience this magnificent sight.

3. Take Your Time to Plan the Trip

Perhaps the best way to visit Uluru is through the nearby town of Alice Springs, which has various amenities and accommodation options for tourists who are making their way to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

The drive from Alice Springs to Uluru can take around 5 hours, which is why it is recommended that you arrive at least a day before you are planning to tour Uluru.

This way, you can reach the national park while feeling fresh and rested. This also gives you time to plan longer trips to the park in order to enjoy all that it has to offer.

4. Take in the Sight of the Rock Art

Uluru is not just a wonder to look at by itself, but it also holds several little pieces of wonderful art within it.

The caves at the bottom of the formation hold several pieces of rock art that can only be found at Uluru. If you love learning about other cultures through their art, then this will be a must visit.

Just make sure that you take the time to learn about this art through a local tour guide or via the information provided within these exhibits. This ensures that you have an immersive and informative experience which you can remember for a long time.

5. Don’t Forget the Natural Attractions Around the Rock

Enjoying the breathtaking sight of Uluru sounds rewarding enough for a trip to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. But it’s not all that you can do during a tour of Uluru.

From seeing the red kangaroos and other marsupials to spending some time with the camels, and from seeing the one of a kind formations of Kata Tjuta to taking a walk by the Valley of the Winds, there’s so much to see and do around Uluru.

That is why, it is recommended that you take your time at the park and put aside at least two days to enjoy all of the unique activities that the area has to offer. It would give you a well-deserved break from the hustle and bustle of daily life while also allowing you to make the most out of your long journey to the sandstone.

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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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