Duddingston, Arthur's Seat and Holyrood Park Walks
view of Edinburgh Castle from Holyrood Park
a view of the city from Holyrood Park
the Salisbury Crags of Holyrood Park
view of Arthur's Seat © Kenny Lam
Holyrood Park is an oasis of green space encircled by the city of Edinburgh. Comprising the 823-ft extinct volcano Arthur’s Seat, striking volcanic feature Salisbury Crags and picturesque Duddingston Loch, the park offers a choice of walks amongst a diverse landscape just a short distance from the city centre.
No visit to Scotland’s capital is complete without an attempt at scaling the imposing, iconic Arthur’s Seat. It may look like a challenge from the bottom, but the climb is straightforward, depending on what route you take. However, the summit is rocky, requiring the odd scramble, and particularly exposed to the wind.
In winter the last stretch to the top can be a serious proposition in snow and ice, so content yourself with a stroll around the lower levels of the park.
The views from the top stretch from Bass Rock to the east, the Moorfoot Hills to the south, Ben Lomond to the west and the peak of Schiehallion to the north.
An alternative is to make the traverse of Salisbury Crags, with rock formations that exude a real sense of the prehistoric.
On the southeast side of the park, Duddingston Loch is home to wildfowl and a colony of grey herons that nest on specially-constructed platforms in the trees.
Take a circular route around the water via the tranquil Innocent Railway Path and the particularly picturesque village of Duddingston. Established in 1360, the village hostelry, The Sheep’s Heid Inn, is Scotland’s oldest surviving public house. This provides the ideal opportunity to stop for refreshment on your walk.
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Edinburgh and the Lothians sits on the eastern side of Scotland's central belt, in the heart of the country.