The Edinburgh Royal Mile is one of the most famous streets in Scotland and the world. It is a one-mile stretch of road between Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace, and is a major tourist attraction in the city. The Royal Mile is a hub of activity, with a variety of attractions, restaurants, shops, pubs, and museums. Here is a guide to some of the best things to see and do along the Royal Mile.
The Royal Mile is lined with some of Edinburgh’s most historic sites, including St. Giles’ Cathedral, the Scottish Parliament, and the Old Town. St. Giles’ Cathedral is a stunning Gothic building and the High Kirk of Edinburgh. It was founded in the 12th century and is still an active church today. The Scottish Parliament is the world’s newest national legislature and is located at the foot of the Royal Mile. The Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a maze of winding streets and alleyways. It is the birthplace of the Scottish Enlightenment and is home to some of the oldest buildings in the city.
Shops & Markets
The Royal Mile is home to a variety of shops and markets. The Royal Mile Market is held every Saturday and Sunday in St. Giles’ Square and is a great place to find souvenirs, art, and crafts. The Scottish Design Exchange is a boutique shop that sells Scottish-made clothing, jewelry, and homeware. The Mercat Cross is a traditional Scottish market where you can find fresh produce, artisanal cheeses, and other local delicacies. The Royal Mile also has a variety of independent shops, art galleries, and bookstores.
Restaurants & Pubs
The Royal Mile is home to some of the best restaurants and pubs in Edinburgh. The World’s End pub is a traditional Scottish pub with a cozy atmosphere. The Royal Oak is a gastro-pub that serves traditional Scottish fare. The Witchery by the Castle is a romantic restaurant with a French-Scottish menu. The Royal Mile is also home to some of the city’s best Indian and Italian restaurants.
Museums & Attractions
The Royal Mile is home to some of the city’s best museums and attractions. The National Museum of Scotland is a must-visit for any history buff. It houses artifacts from all over the world, including dinosaur bones and ancient Egyptian mummies. The Real Mary King’s Close is an underground network of streets and alleyways that have been preserved since the 17th century. The Camera Obscura is a Victorian-era optical device that offers panoramic views of the city. The Scotch Whisky Experience is a museum dedicated to the history and production of Scotland’s national drink.
The Royal Mile is also the site of many festivals and events throughout the year. The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the world’s largest arts festival and is held in August. The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is an annual event held at Edinburgh Castle that features performances by military bands from around the world. The Hogmanay celebrations are a spectacular New Year’s Eve celebration with live music, fireworks, and street performances.
The Edinburgh Royal Mile is a bustling hub of activity and a must-see for any visitor to the city. From historic sites to shops and restaurants, there is something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a fun day out or a romantic night on the town, the Royal Mile has something for you.