Anna’s guide to Edinburgh, Pt. 2: Arthur’s seat climb

FIRST OF ALL: If you click the images, they will enlarge. Totally worth it!

So, here we go again. Another blog about the beauty of Holyrood Park. And I do feel that this is perfectly legitimate, based on a simple observation: to me, the place is Heaven on Earth. So, I have been up Arthur’s seat twice until now.
The first time was on a uni-guided tour with Vivian, Raffaella and Jia. We approached Arthur’s seat from Holyrood Park Road, i.e. from behind.


So, it kind of looked like a lion that had laid down to rest.


From that side, you end up with a relatively steep climb which will take you 30-45min from the foot of the volcano to the top. Because it’s so steep, it will be quite exhausting. If you have asthma, like me, take an inhaler. Just in case. This side will give you a very nice view of the city whilst climbing up:



Also, you will get to climb up to the top via the back hill. That’s the part that looks like the lion’s butt. Once you get up to Arthur’s seat, the view is stunning all around. This trip is also briefly described in German here. We climbed down pretty much the same way as we came.

On Sunday, Evie, Kathrin and I decided to climb Arthur’s seat from the other side. We left our home and entered the park from Holyrood Road/Queen’s Drive. We went the left way around The Crags, past St Anthony’s Chapel. That’s the lovely little ruin, right above St Margaret’s Loch.


St Margaret’s is usually full of swans, a very beautiful sight.


An issue that can easily be spotted is that it’s usually full of tourists, so a photo shoot the way Jenai did with Ami and me would hardly be possible. It’s still a great spot for shots.

We continued uphill, which was very nice because it was a lot less steep than the first route. It also took us longer. If you look at it, with stops for photos etc., it took us an hour or an hour and a half to get up there! However, the beauty of the Queen’s Park is …breathtaking, at its worst. Seriously. This route gives you a better view of the sea on two sides of the city, it gives you a view of two different lochs and it’s totally worth the long climb. Here, see some of the shots we took on our way up.

P1080436 You can’t tell me that this is NOT Heaven on Earth, seriously.

P1080442 On this one, you can even spot the North Sea in the background.

P1080443 This one’s a shot “upward” towards the seat.

P1080445 And the North Sea on the other side of the park.

The last bit of the climb was quite adventurous because it became steeper and you climbed up some rocks. But as soon as we were up there, we did really feel like Queens of the World. We decided to have a picnic just below the clifftop, where it was reclusive and sunny and not at all windy. See Evie and me snooze:


We then decided to climb down that way and this is very, very recommendable. It’s adventurous and great fun. But also, you have to be prepared to be climbing up and down walls of rock with the risk of falling, slipping and sliding. Here you see me, heroine that I am, climbing down…it was scary!


But awesome.

I’m Queen of the Rock! Felsenbezwingerin!


If you take this route down, you pass this rock formation and seriously, look at the awesome fun we had.


My personal preference is the second route.

So, genuine tips on how to get up Arthur’s seat:

1. Wear good, rain-proof shoes. Ideally, hiking boots.
2. Wear layers of clothing – jackets, jumpers, t-shirts, tank-tops. You will want to take them off.
3. Bring water to drink.
4. Crucial, yet last but not least: do bring a decent, wide-angled camera.

PS: I know the past two posts make me look like I have 0 survival instincts. However, the Mackenzie poltergeist did follow me home one night. The night where we snuck into the graveyard tour. So: live life full, as Justin Bieber said. Or, as someone infinitely more clever put it: boobs, baboon, mayonnaise. Or was it soccer? Anyway, a post on ghost tours in Edinburgh is in the making.