The Old town of Edinburgh is centred around the famous Royal Mile, a chaotic architectural overload, spawning closes, wynds, alleyways and courtyards at almost every opportunity. In the 16th century the mile-long cobbled street was used by the king to travel between The Palace of Holyroodhouse and Edinburgh Castle, hence the regal title.
The Mile is split into four descending sections – Castlehill, The Lawnmarket, The High Street, and the Canongate at the very bottom. Each section has its own unique and ancient history.
In the 18th century, and when overcrowding became unbearable in the Old Town, the city commissioned a New Town, which you’ll find over Princes Street Gardens to the north. You can reach the New Town from the Old, and vice versa, by crossing North Bridge (which passes over Waverley Train Station) or by taking the meandering Mound down to Hanover Street from the High Street and George the IV Bridge intersection.
The Royal Mile features many popular attractions including Canongate Kirk, The Museum of Edinburgh, The People’s Story, St Giles’ Cathedral, The Hub, The Scotch Whisky Experience, Gladstone’s Land, and many more. There is also an incredible selection of hotels, restaurants, cafes, bars, shops and tour companies almost everywhere you look.
The Royal Mile on Wikipedia:
Many of Edinburgh’s most popular attractions are located on or very near to the Royal Mile. Check out some of them on the Edinburgh Video Guide:
St Giles’ Cathedral:
The Museum of Edinburgh:
The People’s Story:
The Scottish Parliament, at the very foot of the Royal Mile: