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Arthur's Seat

Hike up a former active volcano that’s only a few minutes from the city center and enjoy impressive views of Edinburgh.

Enjoy a hill walk up a reminder of Edinburgh’s volcanic roots. Arthur’s Seat is part of a large extinct volcano that last erupted more than 350 million years ago. Visible from most parts of Edinburgh, the rocky peak rises to a height of 823 feet (251 meters). From a distance, the landmark resembles a crouching lion.  

The true origin of its name is unknown though there are two principal competing theories. One is that the hill is named after King Arthur. The other is that the name is a distortion of “Ard-na-Said,” a Gaelic phrase meaning “Height of the Arrows.”

The ascent is considered to be fairly straightforward no matter which route is taken, although the summit is rocky and exposed to the wind. The walk to the top is just under 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) and can take between 30 minutes and a couple of hours, depending on how fast you walk and the path you take. Visitors not used to hill walking may find the ascent difficult.

As you make your way up, watch for the evidence of lava flows, the mounds of dark gray basalt rock. Once you reach the top, stay a while and enjoy elevated views of the city. Many people consider the best views are to the west, looking out over the castle and the city’s Old Town and New Town. You can also see across the Firth of Forth to Fife. On clear days it’s possible to make out the Highlands. On the eastern side of the summit you’ll see two stony banks, remnants of an Iron Age hill fort.

Arthur’s Seat is situated in Holyrood Park in the center of the city, a short walk from
The Royal Mile. The walk starts near the visitor car park of Palace of Holyroodhouse, which is serviced by buses from central Edinburgh.


Guide to Exploring around Arthur's Seat


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Arthur's Seat

See all 3,328 Properties near Arthur's Seat
Hilton Edinburgh Carlton ¥10,226
Hilton Edinburgh Carlton

Hilton Edinburgh Carlton

19 North Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Old Town, this eco-friendly hotel is steps from City Art Centre, Princes Street, and Royal Mile. Real Mary King's Close and St. Giles' Cathedral are also within 5 minutes. Edinburgh Waverley Station is only a 2-minute walk and Edinburgh Haymarket Station is 27 minutes.

    Apex City of Edinburgh Hotel ¥9,266
    Apex City of Edinburgh Hotel

    Apex City of Edinburgh Hotel

    61 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, Scotland
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Old Town, this hotel is steps from Grassmarket, Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, and Scotch Whisky Experience. Greyfriars Kirk and Royal Mile are also within 5 minutes. Edinburgh Waverley Station is 10 minutes by foot and Edinburgh Haymarket Station is 18 minutes.

      ibis Edinburgh Centre South Bridge - Royal Mile ¥7,136
      ibis Edinburgh Centre South Bridge - Royal Mile

      ibis Edinburgh Centre South Bridge - Royal Mile

      77 South Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Old Town, this hotel is steps from Edinburgh Vaults and Princes Street. Royal Mile and Festival Theatre are also within 5 minutes. Edinburgh Waverley Station is only a 4-minute walk and Edinburgh Haymarket Station is 25 minutes.

        Apex Waterloo Place Hotel ¥10,424
        Apex Waterloo Place Hotel

        Apex Waterloo Place Hotel

        23-27 Waterloo Place, Edinburgh, Scotland
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Old Town, this spa hotel is steps from Waterloo Place and Princes Street. Calton Hill and George Street are also within 10 minutes. Edinburgh Waverley Station is 5 minutes by foot and Edinburgh Haymarket Station is 27 minutes.

          Jurys Inn Edinburgh ¥7,809
          Jurys Inn Edinburgh

          Jurys Inn Edinburgh

          43 Jeffrey Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Old Town, this eco-friendly hotel is steps from Museum of Childhood, Princes Street, and Royal Mile. Real Mary King's Close and St. Giles' Cathedral are also within 10 minutes. Edinburgh Waverley Station is only a 2-minute walk and Edinburgh Haymarket Station is 29 minutes.

            Apex Grassmarket Hotel ¥10,003
            Apex Grassmarket Hotel

            Apex Grassmarket Hotel

            31-35 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, Scotland
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Old Town, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Grassmarket, Royal Mile, and Greyfriars Kirk. Scotch Whisky Experience and The Hub are also within 5 minutes. Edinburgh Waverley Station is 11 minutes by foot and Edinburgh Haymarket Station is 17 minutes.

              Novotel Edinburgh Centre ¥8,891
              Novotel Edinburgh Centre

              Novotel Edinburgh Centre

              80 Lauriston Place, Edinburgh, Scotland
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Old Town, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of The Meadows, Grassmarket, and Royal Lyceum Theatre. Usher Hall and Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) are also within 10 minutes. Edinburgh Haymarket Station is 15 minutes by foot and Edinburgh Waverley Station is 17 minutes.

                Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh City Centre ¥12,214
                Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh City Centre

                Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh City Centre

                80 High Street The Royal Mile, Edinburgh, Scotland
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Old Town, this spa hotel is steps from Museum of Childhood, Princes Street, and Royal Mile. Real Mary King's Close and St. Giles' Cathedral are also within 5 minutes. Edinburgh Waverley Station is only a 2-minute walk and Edinburgh Haymarket Station is 28 minutes.