Links with King Arthur, Merlin and the Knights of the round table......well here is a more technical statement:
It is the remains of a volcano which erupted under water during the carboniferous period. The remains are a basalt lava plug which choked the neck when active, some 335 million years ago. It is now only 250 metres high.
In 1836, slightly below the summit; 17 miniature woooden coffins were found in a small cave. There is no real explaination for what these are for - links to witchcarft possibly or to Burke and Hare, the body snatchers?
Actually, I don't think it is possible to miss these when you are in Edinburgh. These are the crags to the north of Arthurs Seat and if you are energetic you can climb them for views back over the city. Please be careful, its not that hard to fall off.
The first picture is taken from just behind Dynamic Earth and the Parliament.
The second picture is a view over Dynamic Earth, taken from inside the Parliament.
I'd urge anybody visiting Edinburgh to take the time to walk up to Arthur's Seat. If you are lucky enough to come to Edinburgh on April 30th (Beltane Fire Festival) you can join your fellow pagans as they drink the dew as the sun's first rays spell the end of Winter and the coming of Summer.
A walk to Arthur's Seat can be coupled with a tour to the lovely lake-side stone village of Duddingston. It can also follow a trip to view the interesting architecture of the new Scottish Parliament (like it or loathe it you can't ignore it) or Dynamic Earth or Hollyrood Palace.
A walk within Hollyrood Park, which contains Arthur's Seat, is one of the finest walks that can be done in city in the world.
Arthur's Seat is a 250m height remains of a volcano right in the middle of Edinburgh and very close to the holyrood palace.
You can walk in the area and also you can see Arthur's Seat from many places in the town.
A visit to Edinburgh is never complete without scaling the summit of Arthur's Seat, for a magnificent view, and the camaradery of fellow tourists, similarly breathless.
You will see Edinburgh laid out before you, be able to spot most of the main attractions, (as well as the Forth Rail Bridge & Estuary) and get some welcome exercise.
Allow a good hour, or two, and take water, food and warm clothing. Where else can you walk up a hill like this in the centre of such a beautiful city? It's like being God up there! But do take care as it has steep parts best avoided.
This picture was taken in Spring, and is of the southern approach, near the Commonwealth Swimming Pool. It is less busy than the way up from Holyrood. The summit can just be seen, through the trees.
Also see Salisbury Crags Tip. An enjoyable, shorter walk lower down the hill but with enough height for views of Edinburgh.
Dont leave Edinburgh without climbing Arthurs Seat! There is nothing more satisfying than reaching the peak after hiking for about an hour. It is a steep climb in some areas, but rather flat in others. We took the long route up, but there are shortcuts. At one point a man hobbling along on a cane passed us!! Just go at your own pace. When we finally reached the peak, we felt that we could conquer the world!!! The view from the top is breathtaking. I couldnt stop taking pictures.
Carry a jacket.
One of the most enjoyable times we had in Edinburgh was an afternoon hike up Arthur's Seat. This 823 Ft. extinct volcano is the centerpiece of the 650 acre Holyrood Park, and an easy walk from downtown Edinburgh. Several trails crisscross the park. A particularly pleasing section of trail was the "Radical Road," directly below the rock face. On the beautiful spring afternoon of our hike, a group of young rock climbers were practicing their skills there. The views from Arthurs's Seat are spectacular in every direction.
Arthur's Seat is an extinct volcano (350 million years extinct). Plan for half a day trip for this hike. You will end up stopping along the way to see some neat sites. There is an area where I saw people trying to rock climb the area. You could tell by the chalk marks on the sides of the volcano as well. When you start getting to the top, the trail gets increasingly more difficult, tight and windy. At the top was very neat. I enjoyed it thoroughly however it was extremely windy. I was wearing glasses and was worried that they might blow off! Along the way as well, you will see stunning views of the valleys nearby the volcano.
I definitely recommend visiting this volcano. You can't miss it.
Arthurs Seat is another extinct volcano which from a distance looks like an armchair a bit so hence the name. Its well worth the climb although if you have got access to a car you can drive half way up so its not so strenuous! I would NOT recommend climbing the way I did! Take the time to walk around to the car park on the other side as the path to the summit from there is much easier. The way I went was very steep and tiring, especially in hot weather.
Fantastic views all around the city and over towards the Forth road and rail bridges and Fife. The views really are stunning if you go on a day like today when it is really beautiful and clear.
Arthur's Seat is a hill (they call it a mountain- coming from Colorado I can't allow myself to do that) but it's a pretty decent hill that is right in the city rising out of Holyrood Park- another great spot- a climb to the top takes only about 30 minutes and awards spectacular views of Edinburgh, the Firth of Forth and surrounding area- on clear days you can even see across the water to the kingdom of Fife.
How many of the world's capital cities have an extinct volcano in the middle of them?
Well, we've got TWO and if you've been to the castle, Arthur's seat is the second one to bag.
Besides, the views are incredible and most of the climb is pretty simple. The last two minutes are a bit scrambly but nothing to worry about - they've even added hand rails now.
Walk up Arthur´s Seat at dawn and be impressed!
Hillwalking in the city center! You see the whole of Edinburgh and surroundings, spot the places where you have been or want to go, and enjoy a nose of fresh air.
But once you reach the top, (or at least as far as you are prepared to go!), the views across the city and distant Ochie Hills make it all worthwhile.
It's worth the longish very windy walk up to the top of Arthur's Seat for the fantastic views over the city ... and the wild mint and thyme growing there (yes Scotland does see sun sometimes!)
Stunning views of the city await you once you reach the top of this old volcano. An exhilarating walk!