The Royal Mile is the main street of Edinburgh’s historic Old Town. It runs between the two famous landmarks of Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and is a must-see attraction for any visitor to the city. Along the way, there are a number of other attractions, shops, restaurants and pubs that make the Royal Mile a great place to explore. Here are some of the highlights of what you can find on the Royal Mile.
The iconic Edinburgh Castle is situated at the top of the Royal Mile and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Scotland. It has been a royal residence since the 11th century and is home to the Scottish Crown Jewels. It also houses the famous Stone of Destiny, which was used for the coronation of Scottish kings and queens for centuries. Visitors can explore the castle’s various buildings and take in the stunning views of the city.
St. Giles’ Cathedral
Situated halfway down the Royal Mile, St. Giles’ Cathedral is one of the most important buildings in Edinburgh. It was founded in the 12th century and is the mother church of the Church of Scotland. The cathedral is known for its distinctive crown spire, which can be seen from many parts of the city. Inside, visitors can admire the beautiful stained glass windows and the ornate Thistle Chapel, which was added in 1911.
The Royal Mile is home to a number of museums that are worth visiting. The Museum of Edinburgh, located at the top of the street, offers an insight into the history of the city, while the People’s Story Museum focuses on the lives of ordinary Edinburgh citizens over the centuries. The Writers’ Museum, located in Lady Stair’s Close, is dedicated to Scotland’s literary heritage and celebrates the lives and works of Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson.
Shops and Restaurants
The Royal Mile is a great place to shop for souvenirs and gifts. There are a number of independent shops selling everything from tartan clothing to whisky, as well as some of the more traditional souvenir shops. There are also plenty of restaurants and pubs offering traditional Scottish fare, as well as more modern European and international dishes.
Festivals and Events
The Royal Mile is also home to a number of festivals and events throughout the year. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is one of the biggest arts festivals in the world, and takes place in August each year. The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is another popular event, taking place in July and August. The Beltane Fire Festival is a celebration of the beginning of summer, while the Hogmanay Street Party is a great way to celebrate the New Year.
The Royal Mile is one of the most popular attractions in Edinburgh, and is a must-see for any visitor to the city. From the iconic Edinburgh Castle to the many shops, restaurants and pubs, there is something for everyone to enjoy on the Royal Mile. With its rich history, festivals and events, the Royal Mile is a great place to explore and experience the best of what Edinburgh has to offer.