The Royal Mile Edinburgh

The Royal Mile Edinburgh

Sightseeing in Edinburgh, Scotland

The famous “Royal Mile” is at the heart of Edinburgh's Old Town, with Edinburgh Castle at its head and the Palace of Holyrood House at its foot. The name comes from its traditional links as a processional route for the Kings and Queens over the last 500 odd years.

The Royal Mile has retained many historic buildings including Gladstone's Land, the Writers' Museum, Mary King's Close, the John Knox House and the Museum of Edinburgh. To get a real taste of the past, explore the many narrow passageways that line the street. Here in places like Riddle's Court, Tweedale Court, Bakehouse Close and Dunbar's Close you will step back in history to the old city.

Further down lies the High Street with the stunning St Giles Cathedral, founded during the reign of King David I in the 1120s. Outside the cathedral is a heart shape in the pavement where the old Tolbooth stood, which was also used as prison.

The crossing of St Mary’s Street and the Royal Mile determines the location of the Flodden Wall raised after the defeat of the Scots in the Battle of Flodden Field in 1513. East of the wall lays another burgh, the Canongate, which refers to the canons of the Holyrood Abbey.

Today, at the bottom of the Royal Mile is the new Scottish Parliament which was designed by Enric Miralles.

Abbey Strand ends the mile with the Palace of Holyrood House initiated by James IV in the 16th century and re modelled by Charles II in 1670. Close by is Holyrood Abbey, founded in 1128 by King David I. Enjoy your trip up or down the Royal Mile.