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The Royal Mile

Image title Royal Mile by Ronnie Macdonald is licensed under CC BY 2.0/ Cropped from original

Edinburgh Royal Mile

The Royal Mile is Edinburgh’s original High Street, located right at the heart of the Old Town. It is roughly one mile in length and runs from Edinburgh Castle at the top of the hill, down to Holyrood Palace at the bottom.

Like many Edinburgh streets, the Royal Mile has many different names along its length, starting with Castle Esplanade, Castlehill, Lawnmarket, High Street, Canongate and finally Abbey Strand. Don’t miss the little side streets that feature strongly in the ghost tours.

The top end of the Royal Mile includes The Witchery by the Castle, the Camera Obscura. Towards the High Street, there are a large number of ‘tartan’ shops, which give way to a series of pubs and restaurants, including the famous Deacon Brodie’s Tavern (at the junction with Bank Street). Looking down Bank Street you can also see the distinctive headquarters of the Bank of Scotland.

The High Street itself is partially pedestrianised. It is also the focal point of the Edinburgh Festival, and during August throngs with street performers and tourists. It is also the home of the Heart of Midlothian, a distinctive heart shape of patterned cobbles, often spat on. There then follows the junction with North and South Bridge, before further down the hill there is John Knox’s house.

At the bottom of Canongate, there is now the Scottish Parliament building and Holyrood Palace itself, next to Holyrood Park and Arthur’s Seat, which is as much a part of the Edinburgh skyline as the Castle itself.

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