How to climb up:
Guidebooks recommend taking the path that goes up to the summit from Dunsapie Loch (see map in gallery), but we began near St. Margaret's Well and the Scottish Parliament building, because that's where the map sat. The whole area is Holyrood Park, and any local walking nearby will be happy to answer your questions.
From Parliament, we had a pleasant walk uptake the Volunteer's Walk past Hunter's Bog and eventually you'll hit the end go the Salisbury Crags, which makes for excellent pictures. Make a sharp left onto the Piper's Walk path, and you'll soon hit a decidedly upward path, that is a short and not-too-scary hike up to the summit.
At the summit:
At 251 meters high, the summitwhich is the thing actually named Arthur's Seatis rocky and uneven, and probably foggy with cloud cover. Nonetheless, the views to the ocean and all over the city are breathtaking, and you won't believe that it only took an hour's (two hours if you're moving really slowly) hike to walk up there. Take lots of serious landscape pictures, some funny ones of yourself, inhale deeply as the clouds roll around you, and prepare for a slippery walk down.
How to climb down:
If you've had an uneventful walk up, then we recommend taking that route down. Because we didn't, and instead we opted for an adventurous trip that has navigating 5' dropoffs and muddy inclines mostly on our butts. Once down to the ruins of St. Anthony's Chapel (pictured above), the ground evened out and we ended up watching the swans in St. Margaret's Loch. So don't follow our example without hiking boots on; take the way down that you took up, or follow the guidebooks and choose the route from Dunsapie Loch.
Along the paths, you'll encounter locals properly dressed for the climb, who might do it every other day for exercise. It's extremely accessible and a tempting adventure, and our entire mission up and down Arthur's Seat took only about 2-and-a-half hours in entirely inappropriate footwear.
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