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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 Arthur's Seat


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Top Hotel Deals

See all 637 Hotels near Arthur's Seat

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£82
Apex Waterloo Place Hotel

Apex Waterloo Place Hotel

23-27 Waterloo Place, Edinburgh
4.5
of 5, from 883 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

This handsomely updated landmark building stands at the east end of Edinburgh's famous Princes Street. The Waverley train station is a two-minute walk. Edinburgh Castle is just 0.9 km (0.6 mi) away.

Royal Mile Residence

Royal Mile Residence

217 Royal Mile, Edinburgh
4.7
of 5, from 3 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

These apartments are located throughout the area in Edinburgh.

£82
Apex Grassmarket Hotel

Apex Grassmarket Hotel

31-35 Grassmarket, Edinburgh
4.2
of 5, from 930 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Set on the cobbled Grassmarket, this contemporary hotel is overlooked by Edinburgh Castle, and is within 500 metres of The Royal Mile and Princes Street gardens.

£84
Macdonald Holyrood Hotel

Macdonald Holyrood Hotel

81 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh
4.3
of 5, from 448 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Old Town, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Our Dynamic Earth, Arthur's Seat, and Palace of Holyroodhouse. St. Giles' Cathedral and Scottish Parliament are also within 15 minutes.

Pollock Halls

Pollock Halls

18 Holyrood Park Road, Edinburgh
4.0
of 5, from 630 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in Newington, this hostel is within 1 mi (2 km) of National Library of Scotland, University of Edinburgh, and Arthur's Seat. Palace of Holyroodhouse and Greyfriars Kirk are also within 1 mi (2 km).

£70
Motel One Edinburgh-Royal

Motel One Edinburgh-Royal

18-21 Market Street, Edinburgh
4.2
of 5, from 484 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in Old Town, this hotel is steps from Edinburgh Dungeon, St. Giles' Cathedral, and Real Mary King's Close. National Gallery of Scotland and Scott Monument are also within 5 minutes.

£75
Holyrood Aparthotel

Holyrood Aparthotel

1 Nether Bakehouse Holyrood, Edinburgh
4.5
of 5, from 561 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

These modern serviced apartments are set adjacent to Edinburgh's Royal Mile, within 500 meters of Holyrood Palace, the Our Dynamic Earth center and the new Scottish Parliament building, as well as many shops, bars, and restaurants.

£138
Radisson Blu Edinburgh

Radisson Blu Edinburgh

80 High Street The Royal Mile, Edinburgh
4.4
of 5, from 665 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

In the heart of the Royal Mile, between Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace, this turreted hotel is close to the Princes Street shopping district and the Museum of Scotland. The area offers a wide selection of cafes, bars and restaurants.