Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh

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  • Arthur's Seat
    by kehale
  • Sitting on top of the world
    Sitting on top of the world
    by kehale
  • Arthur's Seat
    by kehale
  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    Arthur's Seat

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Feb 8, 2014

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    Arthur's Seat
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    Arthur's Seat is the main peak of the group of hills which form most of Holyrood Park. The hill itself rises above the city to a height of 250m. It provides excellent panoramic views of the city.
    Many claim that its name is derived from the myriad legends pertaining to King Arthur,

    You can watch my 3 min 01 sec Video Edinburgh Arthur's Seat Hill out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.

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  • kehale's Profile Photo

    Best to Do on a Sunny Day!

    by kehale Written Jan 26, 2014

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    We lucked out when we made our day trip to Edinburgh from Scotland. The day started off cloudy and cool, but the clouds cleared in the afternoon and it got really warm out. Once we saw how beautiful the weather was, we decided we needed to make the trip to the top of Arthur's Seat, and we were so glad that we did! The views were breathtaking, and the walk itself wasn't actually that bad, even though I wasn't really wearing the best shoes for it. We spent some time up there taking in the views and just being thankful that we could enjoy this type of scenery while in a city!

    If you make the trip to Edinburgh, make sure you make time for Arthur's Seat and if you can help it - save it for a sunny day! It's definitely worth it! The best part is, it costs you nothing except time! :)

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    Arthur's Seat

    by iaint Written Jan 6, 2014

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    peak
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    If you want fresh air & exercise with wonderful views, hike up Arthur's Seat via Salisbury Crags.

    We did it the first Sunday in January, and it took us 2 hours all in. Well worth it.

    Make sure you dress for the weather (and check the weather forecast) and wear the right footwear. Hiking boots or shoes - not high heels, pumps or trainers.

    Don't go up if it's icy or snow is predicted.

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    Arthur's Seat

    by Nemorino Updated Apr 8, 2013

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    If it's a nice day you might want to walk up to the top of Arthur's Seat (which I did on a previous visit two and a half years ago) to get some nice views of the city and the surrounding countryside.

    Arthur's Seat is an extinct volcano which looks like a mountain, even though it is only 250 meters (823 feet) above sea level. It is located in Holyrood Park, a 650 acre open area which is also sometimes known as Queen's Park because it is owned by the queen.

    I took this photo from the St Leonards entrance to Holyrood Park, near the Royal Commonwealth Pool.


    For some more photos, please see my Views of Edinburgh travelogue.

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  • mickeyboy07's Profile Photo

    Arthur's Seat

    by mickeyboy07 Written Feb 4, 2013

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    Arthur's Seat is the main peak of the group of hills that form most of Holyrood Park,described by 'Robert Louis Stevenson' as 'a hill for magnitude,a mountain in virtue for its bold design'.It is situated in the centre of Edinburgh about a mile to the east of the Castle.the hill rises above the city to a height of 250.5 m(822 ft),and provides escellent panoramic views of the City and surrounding districts.It is relatively easy to climb and popular with hillwalkers and hikers.
    There is no traditional Scottish Gaelic name for Arthur's Seat but 'William Maitland' proposed that the name was a corruption of 'Ard-Na-Said',implying the 'Height of Arrows',which over the years became Arthur's Seat.it is part of a much bigger site of an extinct Volcano and is a Natural Heritage Site.The site is approximately 350 million years old dating back to the 'Carboniferous Age.

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  • JessH's Profile Photo

    Go for a walk... on an extinct Volcano (part 2)

    by JessH Updated May 30, 2011

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    Walking up to Arthur's Seat (Aug. 2008)
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    Edinburgh's beauty is rough, dark and gritty. Unlike many other old European cities with their dainty architecture, pretty iron gates, charming facades and adorable bell towers, Edinburgh is a diamond in the rough... more like a sweaty sexy warrior instead of a baby-faced skinny male model... (ok, I'm getting carried away here)...

    One of the many things I love about Edinburgh is the fact that - if need be - you can escape the crowds and noise of the city and just a short walk will take you into Holyrood Park (the word Holyrood comes from the term "Haly Ruid" meaning Holy Cross.) This is where you'll find the famous Arthur's Seat and the Salisbury Crags (see my separate "Things to Do" tip).

    Testament to this unique beauty is Arthur's Seat - a large hill east of the castle which resembles a crouching lion, situated within Holyrood Park. The park (about 650 acres big) must be the largest area of captivating unmanicured mountain wildscape at the centre of any European city.
    Even more amazing is that Arthur's Seat is an extinct volcano - the largest of a number which gave this region its shape. This 350 million-year-old volcanic rump demands the attention of any visitor to Edinburgh. Nobody is quite sure how the rock got its name: King Arthur is one of the few people not to have visited his "seat". The name is thought to be a corruption of Ard-na-Said, a Gaelic phrase meaning "Height of the Arrows". This may, or may not, be connected to the Iron Age fort that once straddled the summit.

    To walk up to the summit, you don't need any special equipment apart from a good pair of walking shoes. Arthur's Seat is visible from just about anywhere in Edinburgh so just follow the signs to Holyrood Park.

    The easiest and most direct route is to park at Dunsapie Loch and approach the summit from the east along either of the two obvious paths starting at the car park. This is an easy stroll that takes only 15 minutes.

    Alternatively you can park near the Palace of Holyrood and follow the footpath to near St. Anthony's Chapel ruins (see my separate "Off the Beaten Path" tip) before heading up the well-marked path to link with the paths coming from the east side of the hill (Dunsapie Loch). At this point several paths come together where a new path has been constructed. From there continue over the volcanic rock to the summit of Arthur's Seat.

    --> Useful website: http://walking.visitscotland.com/walks/centralscotland/holyrood_park_arthurs_seat

    Once you've reached the top, you'll be able to enjoy unprecedented views over the gorgeous Edinburgh city panorama... don't forget to bring your camera!

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  • AlbuqRay's Profile Photo

    Trek Up to Arthur's Seat

    by AlbuqRay Updated Oct 30, 2010

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    Trail to Arthur's Seat
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    Arthur's Seat is part of an extinct volcano. The top is at 251 m and overlooks Edinburgh. It is an one-hour trek to get there from the Scottish Parliament building, taking the trail past Hunters Bog. However, if you are driving, you may park in a lot on the south side of Holyrood Park off Queen's Drive, and only have to do the steep climb toward the end of the trail.

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    Climbing the highest peak around!

    by Durfun Updated Mar 3, 2010

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    Climbing the highest peak in Edinburgh? For those who can physically handle it, I say why not?

    Take in the most gorgeous views of the city, from beside the sea. This is the perfect vantage point.

    The tour buses take you here, but you go up on your own!

    There are several lochs (lakes) of varying sizes on your way up - all adds to the majesty of the site :)

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  • Peterodl's Profile Photo

    Arthur's Seat

    by Peterodl Written Aug 8, 2009
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    I did Arthur's Seat after arriving in town on May 29th, 2009. It took me about an hour to walk up to the top with a lot of stops to catch my breath and rest my legs along the way. I bought a bottle of water before starting at a mobile cart in the parking lot of the park below the hill and was glad I did so.
    The view at the top was great but the rocks at the top are so worn down from the foot traffic that my shoes were slipping. I didn't get to walk up when I was last in Edinburgh in 2005 since a local advised me to not do it since it was raining and the rocks would be wet. I was glad I took the advice.
    I would walk up Arthur's Seat again I'm sure.....maybe on a cooler day though.

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  • uglyscot's Profile Photo

    Salisbury Crags and Arthur's Seat

    by uglyscot Updated Jun 6, 2009

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    the crags again
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    The crags that make a backdrop to Edinburgh are the remains of a volcanic eruption that took place 350 million years ago.
    They make a pleasant place to walk, or drive, up as there is a wonderful view over the Pentland Firth, with Portobello tucked in down below.
    Unfortunately it is a favourite place for suicides.

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  • abi_maha's Profile Photo

    On top of the world (in scotland!!)

    by abi_maha Written Mar 7, 2009

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    On top of Scotland
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    Arthur's Seat is the main peak of the group of hills which form most of Holyrood Park, a remarkably wild piece of highland landscape in the centre of the city of Edinburgh, about a mile to the east of Edinburgh Castle. The hill rises above the city to a height of 251 m (823.5 feet), provides excellent panoramic views of the city, is quite easy to climb, and is a popular walk. Though it can be climbed from almost any direction, the easiest and simplest ascent is from the East, where a grassy slope rises above from the scottish parliment. We tried climbing in this route and made it to the top in less than 30mins! :)

    The view from the top was spectacular to say the least...it was very windy but the view made it worth it! :)

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  • leffe3's Profile Photo

    Holyrood Park

    by leffe3 Updated Mar 28, 2008

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    An extraordinary natural wilderness in the middle of the city, with Arthur's Seat (the highest point) and another extinct volcano) a dominant landmark from many parts of the city. You can drive through parts of the park, but the real pleasure is to walk (although it can be tough going in parts). Walk up Salisbury Crags (the nearest point to the city) for sunset (or any other time of day!) over Edinburgh, the Firth of Forth and the distant Ochie Hills. If you have the energy (and time) continue on to ascend Arthur's Seat itself, But its not all arduous up-hill walking - some of the gentler paths are also worth while, including St Margaret's Loch and the ruins of St Anthony's Chapel (walk past Holyrood Palace and keep walking along the road for 20 minutes or so).

    But once you have made the decision to ascend Arthur's Seat, remember this is no Sunday afternoon stroll in the park! The early part can be pretty tough!

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  • clivedinburgh's Profile Photo

    Best view in town

    by clivedinburgh Updated Mar 22, 2008
    No quite dressed for hill walking but there ye go
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    I've been up Arthurs Seat a few times with the last being the most memorable. There are numerous routes to the summit but these are not that well signposted so don't be afraid to stop a passer by and ask. From the top you can see all of Edinburgh laid out below you and on a clear day you can pick out hills such as Lammer Law in the distance.

    The last 2 times I have been up has been with adventurous/foolhardy friends and we have taken the lesser trodden path down from the summit which involves a very steep gully. Quite exhilarating but not so good when an unsuspecting tourist decides to follow you (we'd to shout directions up the hill on where best to go after she got stuck on the edge of a cliff).

    The hill is part of Holyrood Park which is a Royal Park and one of the places that James Hutton used to formulate his ideas that went on to pave the way to modern geology.

    Other than that, Duddingston Loch is the venue for the much celebrated painting by Sir Henry Raeburn of Skating on Duddingston Loch that can been seen hanging in the National Portrait Gallery on Queen Street.

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  • Truth or myth: secret tunnels on Arthur's Seat

    by ScottInman Written Feb 1, 2008

    According to my father who passed away in 1996, there is at least one secret tunnel leading back to the castle. He discovered it as a boy in the early 1930's while climbing around that area. He told me about this tunnel some years ago and expects it would be very difficult to find now, with much vegetation covering it up....but it IS there.

    His name is also Arthur, and viewed that as his special place.

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  • evaanna's Profile Photo

    The sleeping lion guarding Edinburgh

    by evaanna Updated Jun 7, 2007

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    Arthur's Seat
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    Arthur's Seat, which unfortunately does not seem to have any connection with King Arthur, is one part of a long extinct volcano, the other parts being the Castle Rock and Calton Hill. The authors of my guidebook to this place call it 'the sleeping lion that has guarded the city from time immemorial'.
    A wonderful area for walks, the mountain, which reaches the height of 251 m, is criss-crossed with paths of varying degrees of difficulty, so before you embark on a hike, it might be worth buying 'A Guide to Holyrood Park and Arthur's Seat' (2.95 GBP in 1999) by G.Wright, I.Adams and M.Scot. I got mine from the souvenir shop by the Palace of Holyroodhouse. But again I did not have the time to make full use of it. It did point out to me St. Margaret's Loch though, just past the palace, on the banks of which I took a rest after the lengthy walk along the Royal Mile and the visit to the palace. There were swans and ducks being fed on the lake and I could see the occasional hikers climb up Arthur's Seat, at the foot of which I was sitting. On the way, I saw St. Margaret's Well, dating from the late 15th century and up on the hill St. Anthony's Chapel with a walker or two going in that direction. If you have no time for a hike or just prefer a ride, you can drive around the rock along the Queen's Drive to get some great views.
    Photographs by Izabela Szymanska

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