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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. 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

A Beginners Guide To Camping

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There are lots of different options when it comes to time away –  city breaks; adventure holidays or a leisurely escape by the pool. Another popular choice is camping. Whether it’s getting away from it all for a long weekend with friends or having a week’s holiday, camping is a great choice. There are some things you need to know and essentials you should take so we’ve put together a few tips to help you along the way.

Booking a pitch

One of the first things you should do when considering camping is to book a pitch within your chosen campsite. There are thousands to choose from. Some campsites have more amenities than others. You may want a club for the kids or evening entertainment. Some campsites even have indoor pools and gyms. Once you have narrowed down what you want you can make your booking. Be aware that not all pitches come with electricity available so check that out too. Once you have booked, you can start getting all the essentials you need for your forthcoming adventure!

Choosing the right tent

There are loads of different tents on the market these days.  Comfort is important as is space so finding something within your budget that ticks all the boxes can take time. If you are fairly tall you might want to look for a tent that accommodates extra head height. If you have children there are options to have separate bedrooms as well as living areas. Air tents are becoming increasingly popular these days so if you don’t want to spend hours pitching a traditional tent with poles, that might be the right option for you. They come with inflatable air tubes that are pumped up. A few ropes to hold it down and that’s it. Some can be erected in minutes leaving you more time to go and explore your surroundings and start your holiday.

Eating and drinking

One of the great things about camping is cooking and eating outdoors. There are lots of different camping stove options available depending on the size and type you want. There is no point in making lots of delicious food and having nothing to eat it with, or on. Melamine or enamel plates and cups are a good idea as they won’t break and a good set of cutlery is a must. There are lots of different camping utensils available which are compact and thus easily stored. Assuming you have an electricity source on your pitch, an electric coolbox is also a great idea for camping. You can keep foods fresh and drinks cold.

Relax

Whether it be taking the kids to the on-site park, having a few drinks with friends, or going for a long walk, there is always plenty to do when camping. Check out the local area online in advance so you have a rough idea of where you want to go once you arrive. The most important thing is to relax and enjoy the fresh air and beautiful surroundings.

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Adventure Travel

What to Expect from your First Safari Holiday

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When it comes to overseas experiences, it’s difficult to beat the appeal of safari holidays. Done right, they offer up a chance to look at wildlife as it was meant to be: roaming free! While we might instinctively associate the term with the Serengeti, you can actually find safaris in every region on the planet, meaning that there’s something available whatever your budget, and however fit or unfit you are.

Before you head off on a safari adventure, however, it’s worth doing a little bit of preparation to ensure that you’re ready for the trip. Your tour operator should keep you informed of some of the more crucial preparatory steps, but there are other little surprises that you’ll want to make yourself aware of before setting out.

Insurance

When you’re travelling, you’ll need to be appropriately insured. And nowhere is this more so than on an African safari. Many lodges will not allow you to take part in any safari activities if you aren’t insured – they simply can’t afford to take the financial risk. Play it safe, and print out a copy of your details so that you can prove that your insurance is valid.

Water

At many lodges, it’s actually safe to drink the tap water. But sometimes, this isn’t the case. Make sure you ask in advance. If you aren’t so lucky, you’ll get bottled water instead. You’ll need to use this when brushing your teeth. Don’t be tempted to open your mouth when you’re in the shower, either!

Food

On most safari trips, food is rarely a problem; you’ll get three meals a day, in a variety of evocative locations. Most lodges are all-inclusive, meaning that you won’t need to pay extra for your food and drink – but again, it’s worth checking in advance if you don’t want to get burned.

Clothing

There’s an element of truth to the image of the western tourist dressed entirely in khaki. The colour does help you to blend in, and thereby get a bit closer to the animals. If you’re travelling in winter, you’ll need a few jumpers to cope with night-time, while in summer you’ll need to be protected against the occasional shower.

Vaccinations & Tablets

If you’re heading to an unfamiliar part of the world, you’ll need to ensure that you don’t contract an exotic disease. This means getting vaccinated ahead of time. Your doctor might need several weeks’ notice in order to arrange the vaccinations, so make speaking to them a priority.

In Africa in particular , the most pressing danger is malaria. If you’re travelling with very young children, then you might prefer to head to a non-malarial part of the continent. Malaria tablets must be taken regularly, and come with side-effects that must be managed. Read the instructions carefully, and get into the routine of taking them at the allotted times. You don’t want to miss a single dose!

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Adventure Travel

Take A Moment and Go Visit Iceland Today

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We have all been quite busy this year, but have we stopped and taken a breather? We made new year’s resolutions, stuck to a couple of them, made some progress, and stayed relatively healthy.

But the fact is that we like, the fictional character Walter Mitty might be bogged down by our many day to day cares. Tunnel vision, myopic attitudes, and more significant concerns take us away from our dream of exploring fascinating places and countries such as Iceland or other Nordic countries.

We might indeed hesitate and put these trips off to another day. Yet, we know that the things that we keep out of our sight, stay out of our mind. When we push something to tomorrow, it rarely happens.

We continue to look forward to the endless tomorrows that will bring more joy than today.

Wise people reminded us of the importance of carpe diem, that notion of seizing the moment and grabbing life by the horns, thus, basking at the moment.

Don’t delay travel in style with a service such as Voyage Privé, and you will be delighted by your decision.

Remember that we only have concrete evidence of having one life, we must live it in the best manner possible.

Have Fun and Add A Little Flair To Your Year

The year is coming to a close. When was the last time that you did something fun and worthwhile? When was the last time you did something that you can be proud of and can remember for decades to come? For most of us, the answer might surprise us. The memories are distant and might be a bit far off.

Take the Nike mentality, and do it, book a flight to an exotic and delightful place like Iceland.

Iceland offers plenty of activities, scenery, and opportunities for the wandering spirit. We’llWe’ll talk about just a few of these fantastic places that you must visit in the beautiful Nordic nation of Iceland.

Must-See Destinations in Iceland

The Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon is a natural spa. The locals dubbed it the “spa of the volcanic earth.” The natural landscape allows weary travelers to rest, disconnect from their devices, and connect with the beauty of nature.

Travelers may indulge in luxurious experiences and enjoy great dining, events that are undoubtedly much needed in our always-on, digitally connected lives.

Remember to dine at the Lava Restaurant and lounge at the Silica Hotel or the Retreat Hotel.

The Gullfoss

Bask in the breathtaking beauty of the Gullfoss. Remember that the Gullfoss Waterfall is one of the most beloved waterfalls all over the world. Additionally, the Gullfoss is open to the public and is free for all to see and immerse themselves from a safe distance. Millions of people have gone to this waterfall to have a glimpse of this wondrous beauty, and you deserve to go as well.

Asbyrgi (Shelter of the Gods)

Do not forget to visit and hike in Asbyrgi. Many tourists come here and set up camp to have a little peace of mind in the general turbulence of the world. Asbyrgi is surely idyllic and is one place you must have on your to-do list.

We have only scratched the surface on the beautiful experiences in Iceland, book your trip today, stay for a while.

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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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