Arthur's Seat

Address: Holyrood Park, Edinburgh, Scotland

- Free


An extinct volcano with amazing views of the city below.

Arthur's Seat is the name of that 350 million-year-old hill you can see looming over the city. It's an extinct volcano that is well worth climbing to get the most stupendous views of the city below. There are a few different routes to ascend, one from the car park at Dunsapie Loch, which means it is only about 15 minutes to the summit, long enough for some, but if you want a longer stomp then start from Holyrood Park beside Holyrood Palace and allow about two hours.

The large rocky incline you will see near the top is called Salisbury Crags;a lethal drop, so hang onto your toddlers and less sure-footed friends. The view from the summit is worth it, you get a panoramic view of the city and if it's a very clear day, you can see over the Firth of Forth to the Ochil hills to the north and beyond.

You can also often see the bass rock, the landmark of a town called North Berwick in East Lothian - over 45 minutes away by car.

There are no facilities at the top, no loos, no shelter, no shop to buy a warming mug of hot chocolate or a bottle of water - so take our own supplies. It's a splendid place for a picnic in the summer.

You will need sturdy shoes or boots, flip-flops won't cut it. This is a popular place to come but there are no real directions or signs when you begin your ascent so I'd advise you to get a map, not just to get there, but to identify what you are looking at from the top.

Avoid doing this walk if it's cold, wet, foggy and rainy though, as it will bring you little joy.

Value for money

Expert tips

The top is quite rocky and undulating so hang onto kids, dogs and anyone less confident on their feet than you.

Sturdy shoes are a must.

Don't bother if it's windy, wet or foggy.

No facilities - loos, cafe etc. You're on your own.

Recommended for

  • Backpackers / Students
  • Culture vultures
  • First-time travellers
  • Sporty types
  • Travellers with pets
  • Great views / scenery
  • Sightseeing
  • History
  • Design and architecture
  • Nature / wildlife