“An oasis to escape the crowded streets of Edinburgh with spectacular views in all directions.
— Hiking Project Staff
Family Friendly: There are hikes for all abilities, as well as providing an unique historic landscape with geological and archaeological significance.
There are actually 5 suggested routes in the park one can take suitable for all abilities, as well as how strenuous a hike you want or time you have. The best trails start from Holyrood Palace, but the most direct route to the top of Arthur's Seat starts from the Holyrood Park Road entrance. The trail map above is the best all around trail, reasonably strenuous but the more gentle approach to the summit and takes about 2 hours. To take this trail, take the paved path which climbs gently away from the road (and not the steep path to Salisbury Crag). At the first corner, take a left at the fork and head towards St Anthony's chapel. Follow the line of cliffs (Lang Rig) and take a steady climb up to a rocky knoll and continue to up a rocky path. Keep along the top of the crags until the end can be seen ahead. Do not continue right to the end as the descent is rocky and difficult, instead take a path slightly to the left to descend to the path below where you bear right to join the path coming up in the middle of the two sets of crags. Cross to the main path of steps zig zagging up the steep slope of Arthur's Seat. The climb is steep but relatively short and rewarded with great views in all directions. At the very top is a trig point and panoramic views of the city and along the coast to the east to the Bass Rock. Then return to the rocky knoll, and back down the path you came on, then take the first left fork and the path which gradually descends (with steep steps) round the west face of Arthur's Seat. Continue on the path, which opens out into a grassy area at the end of Salisbury Crags. Continue straight on, with the suburbs of Edinburgh suddenly coming into view, then swing right onto the broad path along the base of the Crags - the Radical Road. The Radical Road takes you in a gentle climb along the base of the Crags, with great views of the Castle rock and the centre of Edinburgh. You then descend more steeply towards the Palace and your starting point.
Arthur's Seat is an extinct volcano, which erupted around 340 million years ago, and is a part of Holyrood Park, which is described as being an example of unimproved grasslands. Flora and fauna found in the park include plants like orchids and rock rose, birds like fulmars and stonechats, mammals like squirrels and brown hare, and stunning butterflies during the summer.