Edinburgh’s Royal Mile: What To Watch Out For

The Royal Mile is Edinburgh’s most famous street, which stretches from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood House. Walking along this mile-long road is a great experience in itself, with plenty of eye candy in the form of amazing architecture.

But if you want to know what to watch out for, here is a little guide…

Let us begin at Edinburgh Castle. If you enjoy discovering history, or just like looking around cool castles, this is an unmissable attraction. I would set aside a minimum of three hours for this, ensuring you are there for the 1pm shooting of the cannon.

Next to the castle is the Tartan Weaving Mill and Exhibition. Roll after roll of colourful tartan can be seen here and there are free exhibitions where you can learn about this ancient craft.

Also near the castle is Camera Obscura – one of my Edinburgh highlights – which features floor after floor of fascinating and fun optical illusions. We were torn at first about whether or not to go in here, but I am so glad we did. An abundance of laughter is guaranteed.

Imagine a cobbled, medieval street, that was once bustling with thousands of residents and traders. Imagine this street became deserted once planning went ahead for it to be built over.

This is what happened to Mary King’s Close and the surrounding closes and there is a great attraction along the Royal Mile that takes you down into the dark depths of these haunting streets below the Royal Exchange.

A guide in period dress takes you around and talks about the history, including the fact that many plague victims were quarantened down here. Tales of murder and ghost stories are also included.

A stand-out feature along the Royal Mile is St Giles Cathedral, which dates back to the 14th century.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the world’s largest arts festival and attracts many visitors to the city during August. The Fringe headquarters can be found along the Royal Mile and is suitably colourful and creative in its appearance.

If you are looking for a dark, atmospheric ‘old man’s’ pub to have a few drinks, then you might enjoy the scene at The Royal Mile. We stopped off for a quick beverage here and I really liked the wine bottle candle holders and the photographs and pictures on the walls.

This 15th century house was reputedly lived in by protestant reformer John Knox during the 16th century. Today it forms part of the Scottish Storytelling Centre.

A modern piece of architecture near the end of the Royal Mile is the Scottish Parliament Building, which has the Canongate Wall on its facade featuring plaques with quotes from famous Scots.

The end of the Royal Mile is marked by Holyrood House, the official home of the Queen in Scotland. You can take a tour around here or continue on for a climb up Arthur’s Seat – Edinburgh’s highest hill.

Have you ever walked along the Royal Mile in Edinburgh? What were your favourite sights?

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