| | |

Walking Arthur’s Seat (Maps, Tips & Best Parking Spots)

DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links. We only recommend products that we truly feel will bring value to our audience. If you click on a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions go towards improving our blog and creating a better experience for you. We really appreciate your support!

Walking Arthur’s Seat is one of the most common things to do when visiting Edinburgh, there is no doubt about it!

Tourists from all over the world visit Edinburgh every single day and hiking up Arthur’s Seat is a very popular activity. Not only do you get some incredible views at the top of Arthur’s Seat but it is also steeped in history.

Amy has walked up Arthur’s Seat three now and has been taken away by the views each time. Let’s face it, every time you search for ‘Things to do in Edinburgh’, Arthur’s Seat is usually one of the top results.

One of the best parts about it is that it is also one of the free things to do in Edinburgh too. Once you’ve finished hiking up Arthur’s Seat, you will then be able to relax in Holyrood Park afterwards.

You will have the most amazing time seeing the sights and immersing yourself in nature. It’s a great place to get some amazing pictures of Edinburgh from above and the hillside, not to mention overlooking the beautiful loch. 

We think the photos speak for themselves when it comes to this place, with so many great Instagrammable spots in Edinburgh just waiting to be captured.

View after walking Arthur's Seat that show Edinburgh city.

Walking Arthur’s Seat Quick Facts

  • Arthur’s Seat Height: 251 metres / 823 feet
  • Time to walk: Depending on your pace, approximately 2 hours.
  • Difficulty: Easy. This is a great hill to walk for anyone that is new to hiking and wants to have a small introduction to this. There is a good amount of incline but it is not unbearable. As you get closer to the top, it is a bit more steep and you will need to use your hands and feet to get a good grip.
  • Dogs allowed? Yes, you can bring your dogs on the walk with you and you will see many locals doing the same thing.

Is Arthurs Seat in Edinburgh Worth Visiting

In short, yes, Arthur’s Seat is absolutely worth visiting and something that we think all visitors in Edinburgh need to do before they leave.

As Edinburgh is quite a large city, you will be surprised how much nature there really is around the city. Arthur’s Seat is just a glimpse of this and is a great way to spend your time in Edinburgh.

Recently, Arthur’s Seat has been featured in the new Netflix programme ‘One Day’ and has become increasingly popular. If you’ve not seen it yet then don’t worry, we won’t share any spoilers. It is about 2 young people that meet in Edinburgh and the programme documents their diverse lives over the following years.

Unsurprisingly, whilst they’re at University in Edinburgh, the pair climb Arthur’s Seat together and it really shows how beautiful the views from the top can be. If you’ve not seen ‘One Day’ yet then this is a great reason to watch it and gain some inspiration on what to expect at the top of Arthur’s Seat.

If you’re travelling to Edinburgh as a couple then the top of Arthur’s Seat is the perfect backdrop for anyone that may be planning to propose in Edinburgh too.

We recommend heading to the top of Arthur’s Seat with a picnic and some champagne whether you’re proposing or not. There really is no better place to enjoy lunch, views and spending time with your partner.

View of the loch as you walk down Arthur's Seat

Alternatively, this is a great activity for solo travellers in Edinburgh as you will really get to enjoy the nature and enjoy some time to yourself. If you’re wanting to get some photos whilst you’re travelling solo then there will also be plenty of people around to ask to snap your picture too!

Whether you’re looking to go to Arthur’s Seat to capture some great snaps for Instagram, enjoy an excellent small hike or you just want to do some sightseeing then this is absolutely something you need to do in Edinburgh.

Facts About Arthur’s Seat

  • We don’t know where the name Arthur’s Seat came from. It is suspected to be the site of Camelot but there isn’t any actual proof of that.
  • Arthur’s Seat is actually part of an ancient volcano system and not just a hill. Calton Hill and Castle Rock are also parts of the volcano system too.
  • After being featured in the new Netflix programme ‘One Day’, Arthur’s Seat has increased in popularity once again and is attracting even more visitors.
  • It has been described by many classic writers including Robert Louis Stevenson, Mary Shelley, Ian Rankin and David Nicholls.

Best Time to Walk Up Arthur’s Seat

Anyone who likes a pleasant walk with great spots for pictures, in other words our perfect day out, then this really is the place for you.

Make sure if you are visiting Edinburgh that you take some time to wander around Holyrood Park as well as Arthur’s Seat. You’ll have a good day out then you can end the day in the city having fun (or recovering from the amount of steps you’ve done!)

Holyrood Park on a grey cloudy day

The best time to visit Arthur’s Seat are actually on greyer, cloudy days. It sounds silly but you will find that there won’t be many people around so you can enjoy nature in peace.

It is really good to visit Arthur’s Seat during the summer as the views are even more beautiful from the top. However, it will be extremely busy and you’ll almost be fighting to get to the actual top of Arthur’s Seat.

If you do decide to visit during the Summer then you’ll be pleased to know that there is an ice-cream van at the bottom near Holyrood Park to cool you off.

To have a higher chance of visiting when the weather is warm and sunny but also less tourists, you will want to try and climb Arthur’s Seat in either April, May or September & October.

During these months, it is much quieter for tourists but the chance of rain is higher than during June, July and August. The best thing to do is to check the weather for the week you’re visiting closer to the time and monitor the best day during that period for the weather.

Arthurs Seat Walk Map

Climbing to the top of Arthur’s Seat is really easy especially if you’re new to hiking as well. We’ve included a map below to show you the two different routes that you can take to get to the top of Arthur’s Seat.

Arthurs Seat Parking

There are quite a few different options for parking when you’re visiting Arthur’s Seat. If you’ve rented a car in Edinburgh or you’re from the UK and driving around Edinburgh then you may want to drive to Arthur’s Seat.

There are around 4 car parks near to Arthur’s Seat which all vary in price. You can choose from St. Margaret’s Loch, Broad Pavement, Dunsapie Loch and Duddingston Loch.

On weekends you can enjoy free parking at all of these car parks (except Dunsapie Loch which we explain below) but bear in mind that it can get very busy so it is best to arrive early.

For Dunsapie Loch car park, it is only open between Tuesday – Thursday between 09;00 – 15:00.

During the week, the car parks near Arthur’s Seat and Holyrood Park all cost £1 an hour so it is not too expensive especially if you look at the cost of parking around the rest of Edinburgh.

We’ve included a small map below pinpointing the different car parks near Arthur’s Seat to make it easy for you to find.

Arthurs Seat View

The view from Arthur’s Seat is one of the best views in Edinburgh and something that you absolutely cannot miss especially if you’re a sucker for panoramic viewpoints like us.

Amy & Liam at the top of Arthur's Seat

From the top of Arthur’s Seat, you will be able to enjoy sweeping views across the city. On a clear day, you will be able to pinpoint the Scott Monument as well which is always a great sight.

We’ve climbed the 7 hills of Edinburgh and in our opinion, Arthur’s Seat definitely has the best views from the top so it is definitely one to add to your bucket list.

Places to Stay Close to Arthur’s Seat

There are a lot of different hotels around Arthur’s Seat that offer an incredibly luxurious experience. If you’re looking to walk out of your hotel and be directly next to Arthur’s Seat then you will want to book one of these hotels.

As Arthur’s Seat is located quite close to the city, you will be able to walk, catch a bus or even drive to Arthur’s Seat. However, sometimes you just want to wake up and be close to the main attraction you’re visiting.

Besides, this is one of the most beautiful places to visit within Edinburgh and especially great for a date idea for couples in Edinburgh too.

If you’re planning to hike Arthur’s Seat as a couple then we recommend taking a picnic to the top to enjoy with a stunning view.

Liam walking down Arthur's Seat, as t is quite steep it can be tricky to walk down.

We have also included a small map below so that you can search around the area to find hotels that suit your budget and expectations.

Get Walking Arthur’s Seat Now!

Arthur’s Seat is one of the best hikes near Edinburgh and offers an incredible reward when you arrive at the top of it. Whether you’ve decided to walk up Arthur’s Seat because you saw it on ‘One Day’, you enjoy walking or you just saw that it’s a great thing to do in Edinburgh, you will have an amazing time.

Liam walking towards the start of the Arthur's Seat route.

When you’ve finished hiking Arthur’s Seat, head to Holyrood Park to enjoy the stunning nature around this area, relax and rest your legs.

If it’s a warm summer’s day then you may also want to stop in a beer garden and enjoy the weather. Close to Holyrood Park and Arthur’s Seat you will find a pub called The Sheep Heid Inn.

Here, you can rest up in this gorgeous old fashioned inn for some drinks or hearty food. If you fancy it, you can even book a room for private skittle games which is not something you will stumble upon that often. 

The Sheep Heid Inn is one of the oldest Inns within Edinburgh and is so aesthetic it’s unbelievable. The Inn no longer rents out rooms but they serve gorgeous food. It’s the best place to stop with a beer garden that gives you serious summer vibes.

Whatever you decide to do, when you’re hiking Arthur’s Seat, make sure you wear comfy shoes as you’ll do a lot of walking.

Overall, both Arthur’s Seat is a great day out for families, couples, solo travellers, nature lovers or even if you have a dog and want to let them loose for a little while.

Edinburgh Travel Resources

Save This For Later

Edinburgh Bucket List

Similar Posts