Watch the Sunrise from Arthur's Seat

Edinburgh, United Kingdom

4.7/5
based on 7 reviews

Details

Distance

2.4 miles

Elevation Gain

650 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

Added by Luan Baruti

Arthur's Seat (an ancient volcano in the middle of Edinburg), is a 45-minute one-way hike to watch an incredible sunrise over an ancient volcano in the middle of Edinburgh! It's an 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.

Read More

Download the Outbound mobile app

Find adventures and camping on the go, share photos, use GPX tracks, and download maps for offline use.

Get the app

Features

Chillin
Photography
Running
Hiking
Lake
Romantic
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

It's an uphill battle getting to Arthur's Seat, but the view is incredible. I would also recommend checking out the surrounding hiking paths that lead around the mountain!

Beautiful (and popular) hike. A must do if in Edinburgh. It was sooo windy the day I did it! Had a great time though. Wonderful view. Easy to follow trail.

Arthur's Seat and the surrounding hills of Holyrood Park are comfortable and peaceful to walk around, with endless places to sit and enjoy the unobstructed (given no clouds) sunrise! After the sunrise, I spent the rest of the morning exploring the park.

The convince of getting to walk from town directly to the start of the trail made it very accessible without a lot of logistics to get there! Would highly recommend this to anyone wanting to step out of the city for a second!

Robert Louis Stevenson said it right! This is an awesome easy hike. We did it at sunset and it was incredible. If you're in Edinburgh, you have to hike to Arthurs Seat.

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.

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).

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Nearby

Hike Up Calton Hill

Stroll Victoria Street

Explore Edinburgh Castle

Explore the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh

Run on Portobello Beach

Hike Cockleroy Hill