7 Hills of Edinburgh AdventureFull day private vehicle tour
This may be the finest combination of exercise and interest that Edinburgh can offer!
Hike the roof of Edinburgh with us! In this, our unique signature tour, you’ll be walking all of Edinburgh’s famous Seven Hills, and learning about the city and its many facets.
We’ll start, naturally, at our iconic Edinburgh Castle, taking in the view from its famous Esplanade, and introducing you to Edinburgh. Below the Castle, we’ll see the rock itself, and learn about how our hills were formed. Then, we’ll begin our trip round Edinburgh’s ring of 7 Hills – Corstorphine, Craiglockhart, Braid, Blackford, Arthur’s Seat and finally Calton Hill, our finish point.
On each hill, you’ll have the chance to hike to the summit, from the easiest 5-minute stroll on Blackford Hill, to full-scale hiking on our famous Arthur’s Seat. All the way round, you’ll be learning about Edinburgh’s unique history, landscapes and culture.
With all that hiking you’ll need breaks, and so we’ll be taking luxurious coffee and lunch stops as we go!
From the summits, the views are breathtaking! In the distance you’ll be seeing the hills of Fife, the Borders and the far Trossachs, as well as the nearer Pentland Hills, which guard Edinburgh’s southern edge. You’ll also see the beautiful Firth of Forth with its uninhabited islands, and right down to the volcanic cone of North Berwick Law. Closer in you’ll see the landmarks of the city, both famous and lesser known, including the former hospital where the war poets Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon jointly edited the house magazine!
Finally, at our destination point, Calton Hill, you’ll be among the great monuments of the ‘Scottish Enlightenment’. By the end of this uniquely energetic and informative tour you’ll have the satisfaction of having accomplished something that even few residents have done, and you’ll know Edinburgh in a far deeper way than ever before – becoming an honorary local, you might say!
INTRODUCING EDINBURGH’S 7 HILLS!
CASTLE ROCK – Edinburgh’s famous icon, setting for the legendary Edinburgh Castle but of great interest in its own right, as the classic volcanic ‘crag and tail’ formation that forms the Old Town.
CORSTORPHINE HILL – to the west of the city, home to our zoo and peaceful woodlands, topped by a historic tower.
CRAIGLOCKHART HILL – site of the former Hydropathic hotel and Craig House former psychiatric clinic.
BRAID HILLS – the ‘broad’ hills near the city’s southern edge, now a renowned golfing centre.
BLACKFORD HILL – home to Edinburgh University’s astronomy department and observatory.
ARTHUR’S SEAT – the king of Edinburgh’s hills, an extinct volcano with the spectacular rock sill of Salisbury Crags. (Please note that the Arthur’s Seat summit walk may be unavailable through bad weather at the guide’s discretion)
CALTON HILL – the end of our tour, and site of several key Edinburgh monuments.
The tour will finish with drop-off at your accommodation or a city location of your choice.
- Credit/debit cards, cash, Apple/Samsung pay accepted.
- Full day tour (approx eight hours)
- Touring and hiking the 7 Hills of Edinburgh
- Pickup and dropoff at accommodation or cruise vessel included; dropoff can be at any location in Edinburgh area
- Refreshment stops for coffee (inclusive) and lunch (not inclusive)
- Warm clothing required
- Weather dependent tour – 7 Hills Tours may cancel and refund in case of severe weather
- Free cancellation up to 24hrs before tour time
- Commentary from local guide
- Children welcome but any child safety seat(s) must be provided by guests
Safety and health
A reasonable standard of fitness is required to manage the hills, though there is no vertical climbing or scrambling involved. Our walk on Arthur’s Seat has 220m of ascent and is rough and stony near the top, taking about 50-60 minutes to the top from the vehicle. Guests should have hillwalking experience. Guests are welcome to stay in the vehicle if they prefer to miss out Arthur’s Seat, or any other hill.
On the other, smaller hills, there are grassy or woodland paths to the top, and they are less high and steep than Arthur’s Seat.
Generally the tour is not suitable for those with symptomatic chronic respiratory, cardiac or musculoskeletal conditions. If you would like to discuss suitability, please contact Moray at firstname.lastname@example.org.
weather & clothing
Edinburgh gets its share of grey and rainy days! The tour can run in the wet, but you may cancel without charge up to 24 hours before the tour, so no-one should be forced to participate in poor weather!
In difficult weather the tour may sometimes not be able to offer the Arthur’s Seat walk, and in particularly bad/hazardous weather the tour may be cancelled completely by 7 Hills Tours, in which case a full refund will be given in every case, with no 24-hour rule.
We would recommend suitable footwear for hills, especially if you will be coming up Arthur’s Seat. Soles giving grip are essential for stony or grassy slopes, and surfaces can also be muddy at times. Please avoid shoes with high heels! If you like to use walking poles, please bring them along. Please wear long trousers to prevent stings from our local nettle plants!
Please dress appropriately for the weather – plus the hilltops can be surprisingly cold and windy even when the town is mild, so be ready with an extra layer and a waterproof if there is a chance of rain!