Scotland // Edinburgh and the Lothians //

Ascending Arthur’s Seat

The usual starting point for the ascent of Arthur’s Seat, which at 823ft above sea level towers over Edinburgh’s numerous high points, is Dunsapie Loch, reached by following the tarred Queen’s Drive in a clockwise direction from the information centre in Holyrood Park (30–40min walk). Part of a volcano which last saw action 350 million years ago, its connections to the legendary king are fairly sketchy: the name is likely to be a corruption of the Gaelic Ard-na-said, or “height of arrows”. From Dunsapie Loch it’s a twenty-minute climb up grassy slopes to the rocky summit. On a clear day, the views might just stretch to the English border and the Atlantic Ocean; more realistically, the landmarks which dominate are Fife, a few Highland peaks and, of course, Edinburgh laid out on all sides.

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