Edinburgh, Scotland

A Quick Guide to Hiking Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh

hiking arthur's seat edinburgh

Whilst we were in Edinburgh there was one thing on my ‘must do’ list. I wanted to hike to the top of Arthur’s Seat so we could enjoy the panoramic views over the city.

Arthur’s Seat sits just to the east of the city centre in Holyrood Park. It is the highest point at a height of 822 feet.

This group of hills were actually formed from an extinct volcano which was eroded away by a glacier.

hiking arthur's seat Edinburgh hiking arthur's seat Edinburgh

It can be climbed from any direction but the easiest and most straightforward is from the east. We started from Holyrood Palace, crossed Queens Drive into the park and headed on the path towards the left.

hiking arthur's seat edinburgh

You want to follow the gravel path. The paved path is just an easy walk through the park.

hiking arthur's seat Edinburgh hiking arthur's seat Edinburgh

If you want to see the ruins of St Anthony’s Chapel take the left fork before starting the climb. We were too eager to reach the top so continued onwards.

The climb is a steady gravel slope gradually steepening towards the top. Taking this path gives you views on the way up back to the city and also over Dunsapie Loch behind Arthur’s Seat.

hiking arthur's seat Edinburgh hiking arthur's seat Edinburgh

I’ll be honest with you I’m not the fittest so the way up was broken up with many rest stops and water breaks. Remember to take water with you as it takes at least 30 minutes to reach the top.

hiking arthur's seat Edinburgh hiking arthur's seat Edinburgh

Once you get nearer the top the ground becomes more rocky and uneven. Although hiking boots are not necessary I was glad I had them as they provide more support on the uneven ground. You will also want to bring a jacket even if the weather is nice as its very windy at the top.

hiking arthur's seat Edinburghhiking arthur's seat Edinburgh

The day we visited was a gorgeous sunny day which meant there was also lots of other people hiking Arthur’s seat too.

It was crowded at the top and a little chaotic where everyone wanted to get up close for a photo with the summit marker.

In the chaos, I ended up dropping my lens cover which bounced down a way. I did manage to get it back thankfully although with a couple of dents.

hiking arthur's seat Edinburgh hiking arthur's seat Edinburgh

Part of me wishes the day wasn’t as nice so we had the place more to ourselves! But then the views wouldn’t have been as good I suppose.

We spent some time at the top just soaking in the views and then of course taking lots of photos!

hiking arthur's seat Edinburgh hiking arthur's seat Edinburgh

When you decide to head back down you can either go back the way you came or take the path down the front which is steeper and more strenuous.

As we had timed our hike in early evening the sun was just beginning to go down so we went back down the way we came up. Walking down hill is so much easier!

hiking arthur's seat Edinburgh hiking arthur's seat Edinburgh

Hiking not your thing?

If you want to miss out most of the hike entirely but you still want the views you can also park at Dunsapie Loch and come up the path from the back.

Hiking really is your thing!

If you want to continue your hike when you reach the summit just carry on following the path round to the Salisbury Crags.

hiking arthur's seat Edinburgh

Overall the hike (or hill walk as it should probably be described) is moderately difficult depending which path you chose. The views however are definitely worth the effort!

A hike to the top of Arthur’s Seat should definitely be on your Edinburgh itinerary!

Have you done this climb? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below!

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