Arthur's Seat

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Rising sharply above the sprawling city of Edinburgh, Scotland, is Arthur's seat. It is a grassy prominence with a rocky peak formed from volcanic eruptions 2000 years ago. It now stands as the highest point in Edinburgh's cluster of hills. It is nestled in the lap of Holyrood Park, which is also a wonderful place to go for a stroll, relax, see some wildlife, and learn about the city's volcanic past.

Some have compared it to a mountain because of its daring structure, while others have compared it to a hill for its magnitude. It is often believed to be the court of King Arthur, the Romano-British warrior-chief.

There are three sections of this Volcano site, but the largest is Arthur's Seat (the other parts being Calton Hill and Castle Rock). Important grassland habitats and rare plant and animal species are among the reasons why this area has been preserved as a natural reserve.

Samples of the volcanic lava that created this hill have been dated to between 341 and 335 million years old. During the Quaternary, some two million years ago, a glacier moved from west to east, eroding this area and exposing rocky crags to the west while leaving a tail of material blown east. That is how the basalt cliffs known as the Salisbury Crags rose between Arthur's Seat and the downtown area.

How to explore Arthur's Seat?

  • The hill is at a prime location for taking in the city's stunning surroundings.
  • The hill is well-known among hikers because of the simplicity of the trail that leads up and over it.
  • Grassy slopes rising over Dunsapie Loch in the east provide the most direct and least challenging route up the mountain.
  • Salisbury Crags is a rocky outcrop on the side of a hill, and it has been used as a rock climbing destination for decades.
  • At the top of Arthur's Seat (251m), you can see all of Edinburgh and the Lothians.
  • The shape of Arthur's Seat resembles a couchant lion from afar. The 'Lion's Head' and 'Lion's Haunch' are two of the many extinct vents. Lions in unusual poses can be seen if you hike to the right spots.
  • Visit the Holyrood Lodge Information Center for a free exhibition about the park's history, geology, and archaeology.
  • Explore ancient settlements dating back to the Iron Age and the Bronze Age, including a network of agricultural terraces at the foot of the hill.
  • Stop by the beautiful remains of St. Anthony's Chapel, a nearby medieval chapel.
  • Duddingston Loch is a sanctuary for ducks, so keep an eye out for geese while visiting it.
  • imageDuration Required
    2 hours

Address of Arthur's Seat

Edinburgh, United Kingdom