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.

Pack List

  • Sturdy footwear
  • Windproof jacket
  • Flashlight
  • Snacks and water
In Scotland, there's no such thing as bad weather - only the wrong clothes

- Billy Connelly

Read More

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

Share

Activities:

Chillin, Hiking, Photography, Running

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Year Round

Rating:

Features:

Lake
Romantic
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

7 months ago

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.

7 months ago

11 months ago

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).

11 months ago

Added by Luan Baruti

I'm a Swiss guy enjoying the mountainscapes I live in.

More Adventures Nearby

Walk along Portree's Lump Trail

United Kingdom / Lump Trail

The trail has two heads, both of which start just off of Bank street (atop the harbor).

Erik Holmes
3 Saves

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.

Jack Henstridge
15 Saves