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Arthur's Seat and St Anthony's Chapel

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Arthur's Seat and St Anthony's Chapel
Author: Mattreed, Published: 19 Aug 2016 Walk rating : Rating:star0 Arthur's Seat and St Anthony's Chapel Walking Guidestar0 Arthur's Seat and St Anthony's Chapel Walking Guidestar0 Arthur's Seat and St Anthony's Chapel Walking Guidestar0 Arthur's Seat and St Anthony's Chapel Walking Guidestar0 Arthur's Seat and St Anthony's Chapel Walking Guide
Midlothian, Edinburgh City
Walk Type: Garden or park
Arthur's Seat and St Anthony's Chapel
Length: 2 miles,  Difficulty: boot Arthur's Seat and St Anthony's Chapel Walking Guide boot Arthur's Seat and St Anthony's Chapel Walking Guide
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A proper hill walk in the heart of the Edinburgh, with fabulous views in all directions. Arthur's Seat is the highest of a group of hills, formed from the remains of a volcano, that make up Holyrood Park. The summit is 251 metres high and surprisingly rocky and wild for a hill in the centre of a major city.

This walk description allows you to drive (or get a taxi from the city) along The Queen's Drive allowing a less steep approach up the hill from Dunsapie Loch, ideal for those walking with children and dogs. There are some steps to climb, but there are no stiles on route. For those who are more adventurous you can start from the car park just south of the Scottish Parliament on Queen's Drive.

This walk description starts the walk on The Queen's Drive, allowing a less steep approach up the hill. You can enter The Queen's Drive either from the Commonwealth Swimming Pool on Holyrood Park Road or from the Scottish Parliament. If entering from the Commonwealth Swimming Pool on Holyrood Park take the first exit at the first two roundabouts and proceed clockwise around the Drive. Pass the Scottish Parliament where you can also access the Drive. Just after the Parliament, and St Margaret's Loch, there is a one way road on the right. Head up this one way street clockwise around the park for about half a mile and park in one of the many lay-bys on the left-hand side of the road in the region of Dunsapie Loch.

For those who are more adventurous you can start walking from the car park just south of the Scottish Parliament on Queen's Drive and either walk up to where this walk starts or just take the main walkway straight onto the path running between Salisbury Crags, the long escarpment facing the city and Arthur's Seat, aiming slightly left and heading for the back of the Crags. This eventually leads to the summit of Arthur's Seat.

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Walk Sections

Start to Hill
Start to Hill

Start point: 55.9483 lat, -3.1504 long
End point: 55.9454 lat, -3.1538 long

After parking in a lay-by on the left side of The Queen's Drive just before or adjacent to Dunsapie Loch, head along the walkway at the side of the Loch until you get to the end of the loch. There are 3 main paths that head up to the summit of Arthur's Seat. Take the widest one (furthest to the left as you look at them) and continue up towards the top.

Hill to Steps
Hill to Steps

Start point: 55.9454 lat, -3.1538 long
End point: 55.9446 lat, -3.1592 long

Halfway up, on your right, you will get your first sight of Edinburgh appearing from being obscured previously by Whinny Hill. Stop to look at the views over Leith, Holyrood Park and Palace and the Firth of Forth coast down towards North Berwick. Continue up heading for the bottom of a path with a metal chain railing which will lead to a final easy rocky scramble to the summit.

Steps to Top
Steps to Top

Start point: 55.9446 lat, -3.1592 long
End point: 55.9441 lat, -3.162 long

From the bottom of the metal chain railing path just head up the steps (which become quite steep) until you get to the summit.

Top to St Anthony's Chapel
Top to St Anthony's Chapel

Start point: 55.9441 lat, -3.162 long
End point: 55.9507 lat, -3.1614 long

Complete the final rocky ascent to the summit. At the very top is a trig point and panoramic views of the city. On a clear day you will also be able to see quite a distance along the coast to the east to the Bass Rock at North Berwick. Follow your steps back down the rocky ascent and chain steps. At the bottom of the chain steps, instead of heading straight back down the hill, bear left and follow a fairly steep path down (keeping Arthur's Seat on your left and Whinny Hill on your right). Head along this towards a stone structure which can be seen in the distance in the direction of Holyrood Palace. This is St Anthony's Chapel.

St Anthony's Chapel to End
St Anthony's Chapel to End

Start point: 55.9507 lat, -3.1614 long
End point: 55.9483 lat, -3.1502 long

St Anthony's Chapel, looking like the ruin of an ancient castle, stands on a rocky outcrop high above St Margaret's Loch. Today, all that remains of the chapel are parts of the north wall plus remnants of another building a little to the south west, which has sometimes been called a hermitage (but was probably just a store room). The origin and the history of the chapel are obscure, but it was certainly built no later than the early 15th century, as in 1426 it is recorded that the Pope gave money for its repair. After spending a short time looking around the ruin, retrace your steps back towards Arthur's Seat, but this time bear left around the base of Whinny Hill and back down towards The Queen's Drive to your car.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2016 by the author Mattreed and may not be reproduced without permission.


The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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