Hike Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh, Scotland

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"a hill for magnitude, a mountain in virtue of its bold design” - Robert Louis Stevenson

Hiking to the top of Arthur’s Seat is a must do activity in Edinburgh. Many associate it’s name with stories of King Arthur but there have been many variations over time.

It is sometimes said that its name is derived from legends pertaining to King Arthur, such as the reference in Y Gododdin. Some support for this may be provided by several other hilltop and mountaintop features in Britain which bear the same or similar names, such as the peak of Ben Arthur in the western highlands, sometimes known as Arthur's Seat, and Arthur's Chair on the ridge called Stone Arthur in the Cumbrian lake district. There is no traditional Scottish Gaelic name for Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh, but William Maitland proposed that the name was a corruption of Àrd-na-Said, implying the "Height of Arrows", which over the years became Arthur's Seat (perhaps via "Archer's Seat"). Alternatively, John Milne's proposed etymology of Àrd-thir Suidhe meaning "place on high ground" . . . [ Source ]

This is ended up being one of my favorite activities in Edinburgh. At the end of the Royal Mile just past the Holyrood Castle you can see the access point for Arthur’s Seat. Look for the triangle water feature. People of all ages were enjoying this mild hike. The weather was amazing on that July afternoon. The who excursion took about 3 hours at slow pace to the top and back including breaks.


FUN FACT: Arthur’s Seat was originally the core of a volcano. Now very dormant, of course.

We took our time going up and stopped often for photos. At one point I even took a nap on the soft ground and bathed in the sunlight.

Also, I hiked in tennis shoes with no problems so no hiking “gear” needed for this easy climb. Maybe bring some water. However, I wouldn’t suggest doing this hike if there is heavy rain. It could get very slippery since it is not a paved path.

Make sure you go all the way to the top to touch the marker! The view is stunning as well as very windy and it can get crowded up there so be mindful.


Be sure to watch my video to get a better look at Arthur’s Seat and how truly wonderful of place it really is.


Lauren Athalia

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