Located at the highest point in the 640 acre Royal Park next to Holyrood Palace, head to Arthur’s Seat for panoramic views of the city and beyond. The main mountain in Edinburgh, Arthur’s Seat is an ancient volcano and the site of a large and well preserved 2,000 year old fort. It’s sometimes said that its name is derived from the legend of King Arthur, but there’s more support for it coming from the Gaelic name, Àrd-na-Said (height of arrows) or Àrd-thir Suidhe (place on high ground).
There's plenty to see and do on the way up to Arthur's Seat and the view from the top is worth the walk.
What to see
If you head out on a walk to Arthur’s Seat you’ll discover much more than just great views. Within Holyrood Park you’ll also find St Anthony’s Chapel – a 15th century medieval chapel, a series of 150 foot cliff faces called Salisbury Crags, and Duddingston Loch – a freshwater loch which is full of birdlife.
As you’d expect with a large green area, there aren’t a lot of facilities near Arthur’s Seat but you will find toilets within the Holyrood Park. There’s a route towards Arthur’s Seat which is tarmac all the way so perfect for any visitors in wheelchairs.
Eating and drinking
After a long walk up to Arthur’s Seat you’ll want to reward yourself with some food and drink.
For hearty pub grub, the Salisbury Arms is a Georgian Inn offering excellent ales and modern British food. For a fine dining option, head to the west of the park and you’ll find Aizle taking the best Scottish produce to create a delicious 5-course tasting menu.
Quench your post hike thirst with a trip to a traditional pub. Close to the south east edge of Holyrood Park, the Sheep Heid Inn is a 14th century pub offering beer and games of skittles.
Getting to Arthur’s Seat
Situated to the east of the city centre, about a mile from Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Park is a short walk from Edinburgh’s Royal Mile.
There are a number of car parks near Holyrood Park. If you want to get close to Arthur’s Seat, head to Dunsapie Loch (Holyrood Park) for free parking and a short walk.
Plenty of buses will take you into Edinburgh city centre, but hop on the 6 or 36 to stop near to the Royal Park and Holyrood Palace.
If you’re arriving in Edinburgh by train, take a short 15 minute walk through the city centre to start your hike through Holyrood Park.