Edinburgh, Scotland Arthur’s Seat (Scottish Gaelic: Suidhe Artair, pronounced ) is an ancient volcano which is the main peak of the group of hills in Edinburgh, Scotland, which form most of Holyrood Park, described by Robert Louis Stevenson as ‘a hill for magnitude, a mountain in virtue of its bold design’.
How do you get to Arthur’s Seat?
Best Route to Arthur’s Seat – Follow this route to experience the best of the park, hike to the summit, and then return via the Salisbury Crags. Start near Holyrood Palace. If you have a car, park in the car park next to Queen’s Drive, just next to Holyrood Palace. Take the trail on the left to get to Arthur’s Seat. It descends a bit before climbing up to the highest point. The paved trail to the right is an easy walk through the park (the pink route on our map). The path becomes a dirt, singletrack trail to the peak of Arthur’s Seat. Tyler and Kara on the trail.
Why do they call it Arthurs Seat?
Indigenous Australians have been a part of Australia’s culture for over 40,000 years. In the Mornington Peninsula the indigenous tribe is known as the Boonwurrung people. Boonwurrung people traveled in groups of as many as 30 men, women and children in search of food and their territory extended along the northern, eastern and southern shorelines of Port Phillip, the Mornington Peninsula, Western Port and land to the south-east down to Wilsons Promontory.
- The Boonwurrung (also spelt Bunwurrung, Bunurong, Boonwerung, Bunurowrung, Boonoorong and Bururong ) are indigenous Australians of the Kulin nation.
- Prior to European settlement, they lived as all people of the Kulin nation lived, sustainably on the land, predominantly as hunters and gatherers.
- You can learn more about the culture of the Boonwurrung people at their website – www.boonwurrung.org,
The first British explorers entered Port Phillip Bay in 1802 and subsequently named the hill Arthurs Seat due to its resemblance to Arthurs Seat hill in Edinburgh, Scotland. Captain Matthew Flinders was the first European to scale Arthurs Seat. He was an English navigator and cartographer, who was the leader of the first circumnavigation of Australia and identified it as a continent.
He climbed the highest point near the shores of the southernmost parts of the bay, where the ship had entered through The Heads, Flinders reported back to Governor King that the land had “a pleasing and, in many parts, a fertile appearance”. He stated on 1 May, “I left the ship’s name on a scroll of paper, deposited in a small pile of stones upon the top of the peak”.
Here, Flinders was drawing upon a British tradition of constructing a stone cairn to mark a historical location. The Matthew Flinders’ Cairn, which was later enlarged, is located on the upper slopes of Arthurs Seat a short distance below Chapman’s Point and an easy walk from the Eagle.
The history associated with the immediate area provides an insight to the earliest European visitors to Victoria, as it is possible to view the location of the first settlement at Sullivans Bay, near Sorrento which was abandoned by Acting Lieutenant John Murray of the Lady Nelson in 1803 due to lack of fresh water.
He consequently continued to Hobart, Tasmania. A variety of important members of the early settlements of the Mornington Peninsula have a strong connection to Arthurs Seat. Access to the summit of Arthurs Seat was through Red Hill until the dirt track ascending the summit from Dromana was graded and opened to the public in 1929.
In 1931 Howard Lawson started the development of the Garden of the Moon, originally the Hollywood Inn, bringing tourism to Arthurs Seat. The Garden offered attractions such as a dance hall, camera obscura, giant telescopes, a swimming pool, donkey rides and a wishing well. A lookout tower opened in 1934 (this tower was removed in 2012 due to health and safety concerns).
A chairlift ascending the hill of Arthurs Seat was opened in 1960 by Dr Vladimir Hayek and the State Park’s popularity grew.
How long does it take to climb Arthurs Seat?
Guided Tours – Guided tours for small groups are available all year with geologist Angus Miller. Climbing to the top of Arthur’s Seat and back takes about two hours, or you can choose a low-level, easier option. Get in touch to find out more, or visit the Guided Tours on Arthur’s Seat page. Email: [email protected] Mobile/WhatsApp: 0797 997 1310 Landline: 0131 555 5488
Is Arthur’s Seat a difficult walk?
Picture: Wikimedia The spectacular landscape of Arthur’s Seat and Holyrood Park is the backdrop to the capital and best enjoyed in summer when there’s good visibility and the landscape is dotted with heather and wild flowers. Volcanic outcrop Arthur’s Seat is an extinct volcano.
You can find evidence of this in the remains of a crater area. James Hutton, the father modern geology, first made his discovery at Salisbury Crags that igneous and sedimentary rocks were made at different times and the earth was much older than previously thought. His ideas influenced Darwin. Hutton’s Section is a geological feature that shows igneous rock overlaying and intertwining with sedimentary rock.
Routes One of the most popular routes is a circular route via Salisbury Crags with fantastic views. The summit reaches a height of 251 metres with some unpaved paths and some steep and rocky sections. You begin at the carpark by Holyrood. As you climb the first section you can see Edinburgh’s Old Town, the Pentland Hills and East Lothian and North Berwick.
- Avoid the diagonal path and take the main walkway that’s slightly left for the route up and over the Salisbury Crags, with a fantastic view out towards the castle.
- This route passes the Radical Road and zigzags up the steps of Guttit Haddie.
- The ascent of Arthur’s Seat is very steep and rocky.
- Alternatively, there’s also a lazy man’s route is up from Queen’s Drive to Dunaspie Loch and then straight up.
Heading up to the summit from Dunaspie Loch you’ll find the paths cross ancient agricultural terraces carved out by early farmers. Further up there’s a rocky knoll which is a favourite resting spot and viewpoint for locals. From the summit you can either continue round in a circular route or veer off to the east down the hill to the Dunaspie Loch where you turn right to head to Duddingston for a visit to The Sheep Heid Inn.
- You can also drive the Queen’s Drive in a one-way circular tour but part of the route is closed on Sundays.
- Historical monuments and landmarks From a distance St Anthony’s Chapel looks like more of a ruined castle.
- It stands high on a rocky outcrop above St Margaret’s Loch with stunning views over north Edinburgh, Leith and the Forth.
Resembling a prehistoric rock toilet is St Anthony’s Well, a spring and carved stone bowl. It can be found on the well worn track between St Anthony’s Chapel and Holyrood Abbey.
Can you walk Arthurs Seat in trainers?
As long as your trainers have a decent tread you will be fine.
How many people have died on Arthurs Seat?
Human history – Panorama of Salisbury Crags and Arthur’s Seat A hill fort occupies the summit of Arthur’s Seat and the subsidiary hill, Crow Hill. Hill fort defences are visible round the main massif of Arthur’s Seat at Dunsapie Hill and above Samson’s Ribs, in the latter cases certainly of prehistoric date. On 1 May 1590, to celebrate the safe return of James VI of Scotland and Anna of Denmark, a bonfire was lit that night on the Salisbury Crags fuelled with ten loads of coal and six barrels of tar. A track rising along the top of the slope immediately under Salisbury Crags has long been a popular walk, giving a view over the city.
It became known as the Radical Road after it was paved in the aftermath of the Radical War of 1820, using the labour of unemployed weavers from the west of Scotland at the suggestion of Walter Scott as a form of work relief. This route has been closed since 2018 after 50 tons of rock fell from the cliffs above.
In 1836 five boys hunting for rabbits found a set of 17 miniature coffins containing small wooden figures in a cave on the crags of Arthur’s Seat. The purpose has remained a mystery ever since the discovery. A strong contemporary belief was that they were made for witchcraft, though more recently it has been suggested that they might be connected with the murders committed by Burke and Hare in 1828.
Can you walk to Arthurs Seat from Edinburgh?
An Alternative Route for Climbing Arthur’s Seat – If you fancy ending your walk with a stop off in one of Edinburgh’s most atmospheric pubs, it’s possible to take a straight walk across the park from the Palace of Holyroodhouse, following the route past St Anthony’s chapel and climbing to Arthur’s Seat before dropping down the other side of the hill towards Dunsapie Loch and the village of Duddingston.
Is Edinburgh Castle on Arthurs Seat?
Stretch your legs and escape to country hills without ever leaving Edinburgh with a day spent walking to Arthur’s Seat – About a mile to the east of Edinburgh Castle, Arthur’s Seat rises up above the city. The main peak of Holyrood Park is a lofty 251 metres above sea level. Like Castle Rock, the geological formation that Edinburgh Castle sits upon, Arthur’s Seat is an extinct volcano.
The origins of the name are uncertain and various theories exist. A popular one is that this was the site of Camelot, the castle that was home to the court of King Arthur in the old British legends. Though rock climbing has been limited in recent years, for safety reasons, Arthur’s Seat remains a popular spot for walkers.
It offers stunning views of Holyrood Park and numerous photo opportunities of the spectacular views out over the city. It’s also a great place to head to if you need an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. If you fancy a quick trip to the top and don’t mind a steep slope, start from Dunsapie Loch (you can walk or drive to the loch) and you can walk to the summit from there in about half-an-hour.
Is Edinburgh easy to walk around?
Edinburgh is a compact city, so it’s easy to get around on foot. Remember that the city is built on several hills, so expect a few gradients – don’t worry though as most of them are easily tackled by anyone of average fitness, and the views on offer are worth the effort! If you fancy a quiet stroll away from the traffic, the city has a number of peaceful parks you may like to explore.
In the city centre itself, you’ll find Princes Street Gardens where you can relax with an ice cream or cup of coffee as you take in one of the best views of the Castle there is. Outside the city centre there’s The Meadows, Inverleith Park, the Hermitage and the Pentland Hills. And, not far from the Royal Mile, there’s Holyrood Park, where you’ll find the imposing sight of Arthur’s Seat, this extinct volcano is a well-known Edinburgh landmark and is worth climbing if you’re feeling energetic (we advise that you wear sensible walking shoes if you decide to do this!).
For a relaxing walk and the chance to glimpse some local wildlife, take a stroll along the Union Canal or Water of Leith walk ways. Beyond the city you’ll find some great countryside and Country Parks which are great places to take a walk. To the west of the city you’ll find Almondell Country Park, Beecraigs Country Park and Polkemmet Country Park. Gentle Walk This is a gentle walk from Edinburgh City Centre, taking in the New Town with its splendid architecture, the historic Dean Village, the Gallery of Modern Art (which is well worth a visit), the Water of Leith walkway, bustling Stockbridge, eventually leading to the Botanic Garden and is an ideal way to fill a free afternoon.
A short-cut is available reducing the distance to 5 km/3 miles. From the Royal Academy walk up Hanover Street to the new town area which boasts street after street of fine Georgian architecture. Continue by the sculpted grounds of the gallery of modern art to follow the surprisingly peaceful and leafy water of Leith Walkway.
Further on you reach Dean Village where time appears to stand still; mills operate here from as far back as the 12th century. Continue past St Bernard’s Well with its marble statue of Hygeia. Walk by Stockbridge to finish at the city’s impressive Botanic Gardens where you can catch a bus back to town.
Is Arthur’s Seat an active volcano?
Edinburgh, Scotland – Arthur’s Seat is Edinburgh’s highest hill, visible for miles around. The rocky slopes and cliffs of Arthur’s Seat and Salisbury Crags are part of Holyrood Park and provide a spectacular natural backdrop to the city. The park, Edinburgh’s wildest and biggest open space, is a place of sanctuary from the crowded streets and a piece of countryside within the city limits. Arthur’s Seat is an extinct volcano, which erupted around 340 million years ago. At that time, Scotland was a very different place, located close to the equator. The rocks of Holyrood Park give us some clues about what it was like in the past – there are sandstones formed in shallow seas and laid down by rivers, layers of volcanic ash created by many explosive eruptions of the ancient volcano, and lava flows representing quieter times. Holyrood Park holds a special place in the history of science, for it was here in the late 18th century that James Hutton found evidence to support his theories about the workings of the Earth. At Salisbury Crags, he observed igneous and sedimentary rocks and understood that they had been formed at different times by different processes.
Is Arthur’s Seat a hill or a mountain?
Arthur’s Seat is Edinburgh’s highest hill, visible for miles around. The rocky slopes and cliffs of Arthur’s Seat and Salisbury Crags are part of Holyrood Park and provide a spectacular natural backdrop to the city.