Watch the Sunrise from Arthur's Seat
United Kingdom › Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh
Added by Luan Baruti
- Distance: 2.4 miles (4 km) roundtrip
- Elevation gain: 650 ft (200 m)
- Duration: 45 minutes one-way
- Watch the sunrise from Arthur's Seat – the ancient volcano in the middle of Edinburgh!
- Easy ascent to the top
Catch a beautiful sunrise (or sunset) from the top of Arthur's Seat. Although you are in the middle of Scotland's capital, you will feel as if you've reached the Highlands. The surrounding, panoramic views, the awesome silence, and the absence of urbanity, from certain viewpoints, makes this a very special spot.
Start 1.5 hours before sunrise from the Scottish Parliament, located next to Holyrood Park (also called the Queen's Park). If you drove, park in the lot at the corner of Queen's Drive and Horse Wynd. Enter the park and head southwest towards Arthur's Seat, the taller of two peaks in the park. There are many routes leading to the peak so don't worry about taking an exact route - just explore and keep heading towards the peak. Look out for rabbits, along the way!
Once you've reached the top, you will be glad to have brought a windproof jacket. Lean against a rock, enjoy the quiet of dawn, and wait for the warming sun to rise.
You can find a map of the route here.
- Sturdy footwear
- Windproof jacket
- Snacks and water
In Scotland, there's no such thing as bad weather - only the wrong clothes
- Billy Connelly
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
Chillin, Hiking, Photography, Running
Are we missing something?Suggest an edit
ReviewsLeave a Review
What A View Och Aye
When strolling the city streets of Edinburgh you'd never quite appreciate that you're actually by the sea. The curving streets of Old Town as they hug the contours of the castle hill obscure the fact until you reach the wide avenues of the new town looking down to Leith and out to the sea. Get yourself to the top of Arthur's Seat and it all becomes perfectly clear. Track the shoreline to the disused power station and beyond, especially if you're running the marathon - you might just be able to see the 20-mile turnaround point before it heads back to the finish at Musselborough. Pick out the hive-like modern architecture of the Scottish Parliament building, the University, Blackdown Hills, the beach at Portobello, the columns atop Carlton and if you're lucky you might hear a full brass band practising their repertoire from the parklands below. It's an easy climb. The rocks at the top are smooth from treading. Find a niche away from the wind and enjoy. There's very few cities in the UK that offer such an obtainable, outdoors, majestic view.
Will be back!
If you're in Scotland and craving adventure but don't have much time for long journeys, going up Arthur's Seat is a great place to start. I didn't take the exact route described here, but it's pretty easy to figure out where to go (hint: up). If you start at the base of the hill/mountain, if you take a short route, it can take only 30 minutes. Warning, albeit an obvious reminder: I went today, and it's cold. It snows/ices in the winter (possibly up through March), so be prepared. Warm clothing, good shoes, and gloves, if you want to take pictures (I forgot; regrets).
More Adventures Nearby
Hike to the William Wallace Statue
United Kingdom / William Wallace Statue Trail
Finding the statue of William Wallace is a fun and worthwhile adventure suitable for the whole family.
Climb Scafell Pike
United Kingdom / Wasdale Trailhead
There are 3 main routes up to the summit of Scafell Pike; one from Borrowdale, one from Great Langdale, and the one we chose from Wasdale and the shores of Wast Water, England’s deepest Lake.