Destination UK

Climbing Arthur's Seat with the Kids – Edinburgh

Posted on
March 6, 2017

During our visit to Edinburgh castle, you cannot help but admire the surrounding countryside and I was particularly struck by the beauty of Arthur’s Seat.
Arthur’s Seat is the main mountain in Edinburgh at 251 metres high and forms most of Holyrood Park. It is actually an ancient volcano and it was the striking Salisbury Cliffs that really stood out for me from our view-point.
Arthur's Seat
On our last full day in Scotland we gave the kids the choice of where they wanted to do and they decided upon Dynamic Earth, a visitor attraction that tells the story of the planet Earth. Luckily for me it also sits at the bottom of Arthur’s seat so we took advantage of the beautiful weather and decided to go for a walk first.
Arthur's Seat
We parked at Holyrood House and set off. There are two paths you can take; the dirt path to the right goes around Salisbury Crags and is a challenging walk, or you can take the red path which is a gradual ascent to Arthur’s Seat and the best one for kids.
Arthur's Seat
As you climb up the trail, we spotted the crumbly ruins of St. Anthony’s Well & Chapel which was built in the 1400’s.
St. Anthony's Well & Chapel
By this point Sebby was already on top of Daddy’s shoulders and Eliza had to be persuaded to keep going, but we were soon up by the Salisbury Crags and people who were at the top of Arthur’s Seat already were coming into view.
Arthur's Seat
Everything I read before our visit said this was an easy climb……… it isn’t!! The last section of the trail up to the top of Arthur’s Seat is red volcanic, and rocky. Being February, the rocks, which form an uneven staircase, are very slippery underfoot and we saw several people slip and fall.
Salisbury Crags
We got as far as a rocky ledge that gave us spectacular views over the city of Edinburgh and made the decision to stop for a brief rest and then head back down.
Arthur's Seat
If you do decide to climb Arthur’s Seat I have the following tips for you:
Don’t wear a heavy coat – we ended up taking ours off minutes into the climb and they became cumbersome to carry.
Arthur's Seat
Wear walking boots / shoes. Everyone we saw fall over had trainers on!
Arthur's Seat
Don’t forget your camera……….the views are spectacular and as far-reaching as the Firth of Forth and the Forth Bridge.
Arthur's Seat
If you are taking a toddler with you, take a back carrier. Far safer than sitting on Daddy’s shoulders!!
Arthur's Seat
Take plenty of water and snacks. All that climbing is thirsty work!!
Arthur's Seat
I have to say the way down was a lot trickier as we found it more slippery, however all managed to stay on our feet.
Arthur's Seat
I took Eliza and Sebastian back down the path we came up, but Hubby and Isaac decided to head back across the top of Salisbury Crag which gave them amazing views down over Holyrood House and the Scottish Parliament.
Arthur's Seat
If you are in Edinburgh I strongly recommend giving it a try. I would imagine in the summer it would be the ideal place for a picnic!
Arthurs Seat

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34 Comments
  1. Reply

    Sonia

    March 6, 2017

    It looks amazing up there, that path down looks a little tricky! I always get a bit queasy when going down from somewhere high like that. Thanks for linking up to #ThePlaceWeWillGoLinky xx

  2. Reply

    Sarah | Boo Roo and Tigger Too

    March 6, 2017

    Such beautiful views, I do love looking out over the Scottish countryside

  3. Reply

    Emma The Style Box

    March 6, 2017

    Was thinking of doing this tomorrow morning with a 3-year old & a 4-month old. We were already thinking we wouldn’t make it to the top but now I’ve read this I’m sure we won’t! We’ll give it our best shot anyway!
    Love the photos! Looks like all the hard work was worth it. I’m a sucker for a good view!
    X

  4. Reply

    Wilbur

    March 7, 2017

    Looks wonderful, stunning views! I am off to Edinburgh this weekend so may have to persuade Mrs Wilbur! Thanks for sharing. Wilbur #citytripping

  5. Reply

    Tanja (the Red phone box travels)

    March 7, 2017

    you had such nice weather! I really wanted to climb it but it was so wet and dreary when we visited Edinburgh that we couldn’t do it unfortunately #citytripping

  6. Reply

    Anne

    March 7, 2017

    It sounds like a tough hike, but those views are stunning. Well done to you all for making it up there.

  7. Reply

    Sonia Cave

    March 7, 2017

    Those views are stunning and well worth the effort of the climb #countrykidsfun

  8. Reply

    Joanne Addison

    March 7, 2017

    Cute photos and fantastic views! #citytripping

  9. Reply

    Erica Price

    March 7, 2017

    It’s one of the things that often gets mentioned by my 9 year old about our trip to Edinburgh.

  10. Reply

    Jenni

    March 7, 2017

    Wow that’s a proper walk, looks lovely x

  11. Reply

    tots2travel

    March 7, 2017

    Having a hill like this, pretty much in the city, is such a blessing. I’ve climbed it a few times and it naturally gives great views of the skyline.

  12. Reply

    five little doves

    March 7, 2017

    Gaz and I climbed this a few years ago and the view is spectacular! It was torrential with rain when we reached the top, that part wasn’t so nice, but once it cleared it was certainly worth the climb!

  13. Reply

    Elizabeth (Wander Mum)

    March 7, 2017

    What gorgeous pictures of your family and WOW those views. Incredible. Well worth the climb. I have to do this one day! #citytrippkng

  14. Reply

    Emma Raphael

    March 7, 2017

    But that climb is so worth it for that view… Your pictures are great, AND you got Edinburgh in the sun too! 🙂

  15. Reply

    Hilary

    March 7, 2017

    We climbed Arthur’s Seat this summer and it was beautiful! Everything was so green, and we lucked out and made it down to the bottom just as the rains started! #citytripping

  16. Reply

    Bumble Bee Mum

    March 8, 2017

    Sounds like a really challenging climb but kudos for completing it! The view from the top is sooo rewarding!! #CityTripping

  17. Reply

    Sophie

    March 8, 2017

    Wow what a view! It looks beautiful there!

  18. Reply

    clairejustine

    March 8, 2017

    Oh wow, this looks amazing. What breath taking views. We love walking days out, this looks perfect 🙂 Beautiful pictures Kara 🙂

  19. Reply

    The Princess and The Pickle

    March 8, 2017

    I don’t think my youngest would make the top but it looks like there are some really amazing views from up there!

  20. Reply

    Clari

    March 8, 2017

    It really is the perfect place for a picnic! I love a climb up Arthur’s Seat.

  21. Reply

    Cathy (Mummytravels)

    March 8, 2017

    What great views – it’s such a long time since I climbed, that path definitely looks tricky especially with kids. Dynamic Earth always sounds amazing so that is definitely on my list for next time. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

  22. Reply

    Elinor Hill aka Beachhutcook

    March 8, 2017

    I had no idea it was so close to the city. I’ve seen it from the city but never from the other way. Your photos really make it a place I would want to visit, you know as an alternative to shopping and cafe stuff. Elinor x

  23. Reply

    Trish @ Mum's Gone To

    March 8, 2017

    It’s ages since I’ve climbed up Arthur’s Seat although whenever we go to Edinburgh (my husband is from the city) we always drive around the bottom of it!
    We loved Dynamic Earth – we took our son a few years ago. Very exciting going down in the lift.
    Looks like you had fabulous weather.
    #citytripping

  24. Reply

    Coombe Mill - Fiona Cambouropoulos

    March 8, 2017

    Oh my that is quite a climb! It actually reminds me of climbing up the Fort at Nafplion last summer. Like this we found the steps slippy, particularly coming down. Full marks for going so far and I bet you were left carrying coats too! The views are indeed amazing and I’d definitely give it a go when we finally get to visit Edinburgh.
    Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids

  25. Reply

    Moderate Mum

    March 8, 2017

    Do you think it’s a local in joke to say this walk is easy? 🙂 I went to Edinburgh with a girlfriend a few years ago and we decided this would be a nice way to end our trip. We ended up crawling up with stonking hangovers, so bravo to the little ones, it’s hard work.

  26. Reply

    Karen (Stopping At Two)

    March 8, 2017

    Those are some pretty spectacular views. I always love being able to look over a city and pick out buildings and features that you can see.
    #countrykids

  27. Reply

    chocolateandwineandillbefine

    March 8, 2017

    Wow the views really are spectacular. This is a walk I have never done on the few times I have visited Edinburgh, and to be honest I didn’t realise how difficult it was. The views alone make me want to drag my family up it though! #countrykids

  28. Reply

    Kate Williams

    March 9, 2017

    I did that walk once in office boots and a short skirt pre-kids – obviously wasn’t really prepared! Great view from the top though.

  29. Reply

    Vlad

    March 9, 2017

    The view from Arthur’s Seat is breathtaking! I took the more difficult path, which was literally breath taking, but the scenery was very beautiful. Would love to be there at sunrise next time I’m in Edinburgh #citytripping

  30. Reply

    Kerry norris

    March 9, 2017

    Well done all of you. It looks lovely. I can’t believe people had previously said it was an easy climb

  31. Reply

    Elisabeth

    March 10, 2017

    It looks beautiful!

  32. Reply

    Kel

    March 10, 2017

    I wanted to do this when we were in Edinburgh but we just didnt have time – another time defintiely! The views you got look well worth the climb! x

  33. Reply

    Ahila

    March 11, 2017

    Awesome photos of your hike! I had been walking around the city for a while, during my morning in Edinburgh, so by the time I made it to the base of Holyrood park, I was quite tired so didn’t walk up to Arthur’s seat. Perhaps next time. #CityTripping

  34. Reply

    The Family Voyage

    March 28, 2017

    That looks like an awesome hike with beautiful views! I’d love to do it with my kids, though I think you’re right about bringing a carrier for the younger one 😉

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KARA GUPPY
Bournemouth

Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog chelseamamma.co.uk