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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

Skin-Care Rules to Always Follow When You Travel

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With the holiday season nearly upon us, most of us are hit with a bout of wanderlust. Traveling will take us to different places, and these places likely have completely different climates from what we are used to. Nobody wants to have a skin breakout or any other type of skin problem during vacation. To prevent this problem, this article will give you Skin-care rules to always follow when you travel.

Every time you step on a plane, your skin is exposed to a whole different condition. You are plagued by stale, dry, circulated air that can do wonders to your skin (in a bad way, of course). And that is just your flight. Your actual vacation can be a nightmare for your skin. From weird hotel products to bad sunscreen, to stress from forgetting stuff at home or from family members and a host of other problems.

Thankfully, there are things you can do to keep your skin looking great despite the challenges of travel.

  1. Drink Water…a lot of water

Staying hydrated is extremely important. Being hydrated inside and outside is one of the most important skin routine tips at all times, even when you are not on vacation.

The switch from a hot to a cold climate or from a hot to cold climate can cause skin dryness and irritation among other things. Even the air on the plane is dry and can sap all the moisture from your skin. Therefore, make sure your drink a lot of water. That would keep you hydrated inside.

For your skin, you should liberally apply moisturizers to keep your skin looking radiant and beautiful.

  1. Use Sunscreen

Next to staying hydrated, sun protection is one of the most important routine for your skin type.  While travelling, you should be extra diligent about your sunscreen.

It might sound strange, but you should apply sunscreen even while on the plane. Why? Because you are in a metal container 10,000 feet close to the sun. In fact, you are likely to get a sunburn while in a plane than on the ground. You might want to close the shades, but others might want of view. Hence take precautions and apply the sunscreen.

When you are travelling, it can be easy to forget to use sunscreen, or you might run out of sunscreen. You can go the extra mile by setting a reminder on your phone either to use sunscreen or buying a new one before the current one runs out.

  1. Use Minimal Makeup

During your vacation, leave out heavy foundations and other heavy makeup products. If you are traveling to a location with extreme weather, your makeup will wear off fairly easily. This not only leaves you looking silly, but the heavy makeup can clog the pores of your skin and result in breakouts.

If you choose to use makeup at all, use breathable makeup. Preferably it should be water-resistant and offer protection from hot climates.

  1. Take your facial cleanser and moisturizer along with you

To keep your face looking great even in extreme climates, your facial cleanser and moisturizer are very important. The daily cleanser helps to clean impurities on your face, while the moisturizer will feed your skin with the important nutrients required to keep it healthy during the duration of your trip.

  1. Use trusted products

Trying out new products is fun, but you should be very careful doing this while on vacation. The change in climate is enough stress on your skin. If you add new products to your skin, you might be increasing the stress on it. Invariably, this might lead to skin breakout and other issues.

Therefore, stick to what your skin is familiar with. When you go back home, you can try out new products. To make it easier to keep using your familiar products, you can buy travel-sized versions of your moisturizer, lotion, cleanser and other stuff.

  1. Have a medical emergency kit

This should contain smoothening calamine, aloe vera potion and other things that can be used in case of skin emergencies.

To enjoy your trip, no matter where that might be, follow these skin-care rules. Your skin will thank you for it!

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Adventure Travel

Scottsdale – Come for the Sights, Stay for the Experience

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Scottsdale, Arizona is one of the most popular destinations in the Grand Canyon State. Known for its resorts, natural trails, and association with nightlife, the city has become a must visit for anyone who wants to experience contemporary life in a former desert.

Scottsdale is very famous for its modern hospitality and geographical sights. Keeping this in mind, it wouldn’t be surprising to know that finding a Scottsdale nightclub is on the minds of many tourists who pay the city a visit – even those who do so to explore one of its mountainous ranges.

If you are planning to head down to the Copper State anytime soon and enjoy life, then Scottsdale may prove to be a great summer destination.

To help you understand what the city would have to offer in terms of recreation, here are some of the top Scottsdale vacation and dining options that make the West’s Most Western Town, a must visit.

Old Town Scottsdale

Old Town Scottsdale is perhaps the most popular destination in the city. With its unique lineup of culturally rich events, this colorful area has a vibe that defines old West meeting its modern counterpart to a T.

While Scottsdale remains famous for its modern nightlife, club scene, and luxurious resorts, Old Town Scottsdale brings about the old Western charm for tourists to experience firsthand. Old architecture, preserving museums, and cultural activities are just a few of the many things that you could experience at this destination.

With an array of fine dining restaurants that prove to be the best in the state, you could grab a bite in luxury after roaming around in the sun.

And if you feel a bit more adventurous, then you could do that exploration while riding on a Segway instead of using your good old feet. With plenty of Segway tours being conducted each day, you will easily be able to find something that suits your schedule.

Taliesin West

As the winter home to famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Taliesin West boasts of an unmatched architectural design.

Now a museum, the destination doesn’t only showcase the building in all of its glory, but also offers insights into Wright’s work and his mind through detailed tours of the facility.

It is due to these reasons that Taliesin West ranks as one of the topmost destinations to visit in Scottsdale among many professional guides.

Since the building or its experience cannot be replicated elsewhere, it remains a must visit for whenever you are in Scottsdale.

Scottsdale Fashion Square

Want to visit the biggest shopping mall in Arizona? You would find it to be located in the heart of Scottsdale.

With around 2 million square feet of shopping space, the Scottsdale Fashion Square is one of the biggest malls in the whole country. Made up of high end, luxury retail locations, it is literally the one stop shop for upscale items that you may not find elsewhere in the city. With that, the mall holds plenty of fine dining locations as well. What more could you want from a shopping destination, really?

Due to its modern inventory and access to high fashion, the Scottsdale Fashion Square could be a must visit before you hit the popular nightclub scene of the city. Whether you are finding some club wear or just want to spruce up your existing outfit with some Loboutins, this mall would provide you with plenty of choices and fun to boot.

Scottsdale Has Something for Everyone

Depending upon your personal preference, Scottsdale has plenty to offer.  Whether you want to indulge in the city’s party scene or just explore its natural history, you would find that the destination has something for everyone.

So the next time that you are about to visit the Wild West, don’t forget to put Scottsdale at the top of your list. You won’t be disappointed with what you get to work with.

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Adventure Travel

5 Fun Adventure Activities in Vietnam

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A stunning country with glorious scenery and an amazing culture, Vietnam offers many attractions for the modern tourist. It would be easy to spend a holiday in Vietnam just sightseeing and immersing yourself in the culture – which thanks to a heavy French influence, is different to its South Eastern Asian neighbours – but why pass up on some of the fun adventure activities in Vietnam?

Sandboarding

Also called sand surfing, sandboarding is an extreme sport, exactly like snowboarding, but on sand dunes instead of snow. Regularly named among the best sandboarding destinations in the world, are the Mue Ne Dunes. A series of red dunes around the resort town of the same name, sandboarding has not yet hit the professional heights here but is more of a fun cultural experience. Women in cone hats rent out boards to everyone from kids to saffron-robed Buddhist monks.

Mue Nie is also home to the magical Fairy Stream. This small shallow river winds through moon-like rock formations and is fun to walk through. You can watch the fish as you walk up to two kms in the water or you might try your hand at fishing. You’ll need some basic tackle including rod and reels. Check out these great options for beginners.

Take on Mount Fansipan

Nicknamed “the Roof of Indochina”, Fanispan at 3,143 metres is the highest mountain in the region. Located in Sapa, a town in the Lao Cai province in Northern Vietnam, the mountain can be conquered via two main climbing routes, one categorised as 2D1N, the other a longer 3D2N route. Both climbs require a guide. For those who prefer an easier way to the summit, the Fanispan cable car takes just 15 minutes to achieve what climbers do in 2-3 days, travelling on cables high above primitive forests.

Ride a Motorbike from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi

One of the enduring images of Vietnam is the streets of Ho Chi Minh crowded with motorbikes, but motorbikes are also popular outside the cities and Vietnam has become known for some amazing motorbike routes. One of the favourite journeys is from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi. There are various routes to cover the distance of more than 2,000 kms, all taking you through gorgeous scenery and fascinating towns and villages.

Marble Mountain Rappelling Tour with Temple and Cave Exploration

You might think that abseiling down a vertical rock face is for experienced adrenalin junkies but not so on a rappelling tour in the Marble Mountains in Vietnam. Located just north of the popular resort city of Hoi An, the Marble Mountains are known locally as the “Five Elements Mountains”. Tours start in the city and once in the mountains, all equipment and instruction is provided to complete at least two rappels (depending on the tour company you choose). Besides the rappelling, the tours have spectacular views of the coast and include trekking through the mountains, visiting caves and temples

Canyoning

Canyoning is a thrilling adrenaline rush of an adventure sport wherein you jump into a fast-flowing mountain stream and allow yourself to be carried at high speed downstream. The most popular place for canyoning in Vietnam is Dalat. Dalat is in the Central Highlands and is a lovely resort town near a lake becoming renown as a destination for honeymoons as well as the adventure sports of cliff jumping, waterfall rappelling, natural water slides, and hiking, as well as canyoning. Various companies offer canyoning tours in Dalat all at similar prices for similar itineraries, so just choose which appeals most.

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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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