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Arthur's Seat (251m / 823ft), Holyrood Park and the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, Scotland


Right in the heart of Edinburgh are two prominent volcanic hills.  One is surmounted by Edinburgh Castle, at the top of the Royal Mile.  The other is Arthur's Seat, in Holyrood Park, overlooking the new Scottish Parliament building and the Dynamic Earth tourist attraction.

You can easily spend a couple of hours exploring the hiking routes around Arthur's Seat, have a tour of the Scottish Parliament or Dynamic Earth, and still have time for some shopping on Princes Street!  The Commonwealth Games Swimming Pool is also close by.


  • I will remember most the great view from the top of Arthur's Seat on a sunny spring day
  • The best bit is seeing the Scottish Parliament in operation after all the difficulties
  • The worst bit was when the Edinburgh 10km road race used to follow a route around the back of Arthur's Seat - quite a climb!
  • The surprising bit was being able to park the car easily at the car park below Arthur's Seat
  • Words of warning - you have to keep a sharp eye on young children on the crags of Arthur's Seat


Read the full Arthur's Seat walking story with photos >

Read the Scottish Parliament story with photos >


Other Edinburgh walking stories:

Rosslyn Chapel and Roslin Glen >

Make Poverty History March >


Related websites:

About the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood with lots of good photos and information on public access.

Historic Scotland Ranger Service covering Holyrood Park

Dynamic Earth

Palace of Holyrood House


< Return to Scotland page with links to other walks


Contributed by:  Andrew Llanwarne

On top of Arthur's Seat, with Edinburgh laid out below

On top of Arthur's Seat, with Edinburgh laid out below

Key Facts

Location Centre of Edinburgh
When it was walked March 2003 (Arthur's Seat) & April 2006 (Scottish Parliament)
Walk type Countryside and easy hills - although Arthur's Seat is quite a steep climb
Difficulty Requires some stamina and suitable sturdy footwear
Distance approx Arthur's Seat about 1km climb from parking for Holyrood Park - a circuit including the Parliament would be about 4 km or 2.5 miles
Height climbed approx 220m / 721ft
Time taken approx

2 hours to walk up the hill and round the environs of the Parliament

Map used if any Holyrood Park map available online
Source of info on walk IHolyrood Park map
Getting there

If you're staying in Edinburgh, it's easy to get there by bus or car.  Waverley train station is about 15 minutes' walk away.

Places to stay Take your pick in Edinburgh
Places to eat/ buy food There's a restaurant at The Tun near the Parliament, and lots more places further up into the city centre
Any other local attractions or facilities Pentland Hills Regional Park about 3 miles / 5km to the west.  Centre of Edinburgh about 8 miles / 13 km to the north.