Holyrood Park Walking Map

Time

About an hour, depending on fitness level. Bear in mind that you will likely stop several times to take in the views, so plan for at least two hours.

 

Difficulty

Easy, moderate and difficult. Many sections of this walk are well-laid out on gravel paths that are either flat or have a gentle incline. However, the walk up to Arthurs seat is very steep and is challenging to anyone, even those with moderate fitness levels. In winter the walk is particularly difficult as you may have to scramble over wet, slippery rocks during your ascent and descent. You would be advised to wear hiking boots for the walk up to Arthurs Seat, while the rest of the route can be done in trainers or an equivalent.

 

About Holyrood Park

Arthurs Seat and Holyrood Park shouldn’t need too much of an explanation as they are two of the highlights for any visit to Scotlands capital city. The top of Arthurs seat presents some fantastic views across Edinburgh and the Firth of Forth, while the walk around the park is like being transported a hundred miles north into the Highlands. It’s incredible to think that the park is situated on a plug of extinct volcanic rock, and you’ll soon forget that you are in the middle of a busy city, at least until you make the climb to the top of Arthurs Seat and gaze out at the city stretching out in all directions beneath you. In summer the park is awash with wild flowers and gorse, and many insects can be seen buzzing about. There are also a couple of small lochs that are home to a variety of wildfowl, and you will frequently see rabbits running into the thickets of bushes.

 

Route

Holyrood park can be walked around in any direction and the paths are well laid out, although they’re not clearly signposted. A good starting point is to head onto Queen Drive away from Holyrood Palace, where the roadside path branches off into the park. Turning right there is a fairly steep incline up a rocky path that runs around Salisbury Crags, and this section of the walk will take you past the area where the worlds very first geological studies were carried out. Eventually, you will come to a section that heads back towards a road, but turn the opposite way into the park and you will begin your ascent to Arthurs Seat. There are various routes to get to the top, but the most popular is easily seen from the well-worn tracks and rope handrails that are installed.
As you traverse back down onto the main pathway you will follow the tracks that lead into the very heart of Holyrood Park, where steep slopes surround you on either side. As you head back towards the direction of Queens Drive be sure to stop and take a look at St. Anthony’s Chapel, where the remains of one of the oldest buildings in Edinburgh can be clearly seen. Following this, you will be able to follow the many paths which lead back to your initial starting point at Queens Drive.

Note: This map is interactive, so scroll around and zoom in and out as much as you like.

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