Beginning of main content

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


Trip Type
Flight 1
Flight 2
Flight 3
Flight 4
Flight 5

Search over 1,000,000 properties worldwide and 550 airlines worldwide.

Search over a million flights, hotels, packages, and more

No Expedia cancellation fee to change or cancel almost any hotel reservation.

Map

Lodging Near Arthur's Seat

See all 2,645 Properties near Arthur's Seat
Apex Grassmarket Hotel $115
Reviewed on Jun 22, 2019
See details
 
Apex Grassmarket Hotel

Apex Grassmarket Hotel

31-35 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, Scotland
     
    4.3 of 5
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    The location was close to everything in old town including the castle.

    Jurys Inn Edinburgh $114
    Reviewed on Jun 21, 2019
    See details
     
    Jurys Inn Edinburgh

    Jurys Inn Edinburgh

    43 Jeffrey Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
       
      3.9 of 5
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Good location just a block off the Royal Mile. Expect to traverse a steep close or go around the block to walk there. Rooms is okay - no A/C but had a portable fan. No computer/printer in lobby. Breakfast is an extra 11 pounds. Good value.

      Principal Edinburgh George Street $163
      Reviewed on Jun 23, 2019
      See details
       
      Principal Edinburgh George Street

      Principal Edinburgh George Street

      19-21 George Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
         
        4.5 of 5
        5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Excellent location. Easy access to everything - shopping, dining, parks, public transportation. Would definitely return to this hotel in beautiful Edinburgh.

        Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh City Centre $170
        Reviewed on Jun 8, 2019
        See details
         
        Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh City Centre

        Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh City Centre

        80 High Street The Royal Mile, Edinburgh, Scotland
           
          4.5 of 5
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Location, room with a fabulous view, very spacious and a comfy bed.

          Apex City of Edinburgh Hotel $100
          Reviewed on Jun 23, 2019
          See details
           
          Apex City of Edinburgh Hotel

          Apex City of Edinburgh Hotel

          61 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, Scotland
             
            4.4 of 5
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            I thought the location was excellent and they had off street parking the girl in check on was extremely pleasant and because our room wasn’t ready on time she gave us 2 beverages for the inconvenience which was only a few moments but the women in the bar was very unfriendly all in all rooms were ...

            Macdonald Holyrood Hotel $97
            Reviewed on Jun 23, 2019
            See details
             
            Macdonald Holyrood Hotel

            Macdonald Holyrood Hotel

            81 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, Scotland
               
              4.4 of 5
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Very helpful staff & great location we would definitely stay here again

              Hilton Edinburgh Carlton $144
              Reviewed on Jun 19, 2019
              See details
               
              Hilton Edinburgh Carlton

              Hilton Edinburgh Carlton

              19 North Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland
                 
                4.2 of 5
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                very nice hotel, near everything, it is in the middle of Old town a New Town. Many restauarants and shops.

                Motel One Edinburgh-Royal $132
                Reviewed on Jun 20, 2019
                See details
                 
                Motel One Edinburgh-Royal

                Motel One Edinburgh-Royal

                18-21 Market Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
                   
                  4.4 of 5
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  I felt motel one was excellent value for money and had no complaints