Royal Mile, Edinburgh

Royal Mile, Edinburgh (must see)

The Royal Mile is a chain of streets which form the main access through the Old Town from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Abbey. It is longer than an ordinary mile because at the time it was used by royalty going from the castle to the abbey, the Scottish mile was longer than the English one.

The Mile is full of shops, restaurants, pubs, monuments, museums and other buildings of interest, so it’s not surprising that it is the busiest tourist street in the Old Town. In the order that the streets run from the castle to the abbey, they are: Castle Esplanade, initially a parade ground and where the annual Military Tattoo takes place. Note the cannonball, fired by mistake from the castle, lodged in the wall of Cannonball House.

Castlehill is the home of The Hub building, which was once the Tolbooth Highland St John’s Church. Along this street, you will also find Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, the oldest tourist attraction in the city. Castlehill is followed by Lawnmarket which was once a linen market. You will see a new hotel here whose controversial design was won it the “Carbuncle Award” since 2009.

The next section of the Mile, the High Street is the main focal point for the Edinburgh Festival and is full of street entertainers and musicians. It is in this part of the Mile where the Heart of Midlothian is to be found. After the High Street comes Canongate, with the beautiful Moray House and the former Canongate Tolbooth, now the People’s Story Museum.

Finally, you will reach Abbey Strand approaching the ruins of Holyrood Abbey. Next to the Queen’s Gallery, the remains of the Holyrood Palace gatehouse can be seen and the coat of arms of King James IV of Scotland are set into the wall.

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Edinburgh, Scotland within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Royal Mile on Map

Sight Name: Royal Mile
Sight Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) containing this sight: Royal Mile Walking Tour  

Walking Tours in Edinburgh, Scotland

Create Your Own Walk in Edinburgh

Create Your Own Walk in Edinburgh

Creating your own self-guided walk in Edinburgh is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Religious Sites Walking Tour

Religious Sites Walking Tour

Edinburgh is an enchanting city and home to numerous places of worship. The city is open to all religions and features magnificent Presbyterian and Catholic churches, the main two religions in Scotland; as well as Jewish synagogues and Islamic mosques, and even Buddhist centers. Check out this tour and visit some of Edinburgh’s beautiful religious sites.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.3 km
Old and New Town Best Pubs

Old and New Town Best Pubs

Edinburgh is known for its sheer number of pubs, old and new, that offer various events, and provide the best drinks and food to their visitors. Many of them have live music performances that attract both locals and tourists, and although most traditional pubs are laid back and offer a quiet and relaxing atmosphere, some do have dance floors and double as nightclubs. Take this self-guided tour to...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 km
New Town Walking Tour

New Town Walking Tour

The New Town is a central area of Edinburgh, considered to be a masterpiece of historic city planing, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is home to the National Gallery of Scotland and the Royal Scottish Academy, but also to an upmarket range of independent eateries and restaurants, as well as some of the best pubs and bars you will find in Edinburgh. Take the following tour to discover the...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.0 km
Royal Mile Walking Tour

Royal Mile Walking Tour

The Royal Mile is not in fact a street, but the name given to a succession of streets forming a thoroughfare at the heart of Edinburgh's Old Town. The thoroughfare is about a mile long and runs between the famed Edinburgh Castle and the Holyrood Palace. The Mile is home to the Courts, St. Giles Cathedral, the City Chambers, John Knox's house, and also numerous shops and restaurants. Take...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.9 km
Souvenir Shopping

Souvenir Shopping

It would be a pity to leave Edinburgh without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Edinburgh, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 km
Kids Entertainment Tour

Kids Entertainment Tour

Edinburgh is a city with a thousand and one things for children to enjoy. There are many sources of amusement for children of all ages, from tots to teens, such as playgrounds, toy stores, children's museums, sweet-shops, and wonderful ice cream stores to keep them happy. Take this tour and discover the best kids entertainment venues in Edinburgh!

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


19 Best Pubs in New Town, Edinburgh

19 Best Pubs in New Town, Edinburgh

A guide to the pubs that make up the area that is called Edinburgh's New Town. A description about what you can expect from each of the locations in the directory. A fantastic directory if you are a tourist or even a...
Top 12 Pubs On and Around Royal Mile in Edinburgh

Top 12 Pubs On and Around Royal Mile in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a vibrant city with abundant nightlife and no shortage of places to go after dusk. The Royal Mile alone, in the very heart of Edinburgh, is laden with character spots craving to be discovered by the first time visitors to the city. This is the highlight of some of the most notable bars...
Scottish Souvenirs: 15 Authentic Scottish Things to Buy in Edinburgh

Scottish Souvenirs: 15 Authentic Scottish Things to Buy in Edinburgh

The popularity of Scotland stretches far beyond its geographical borders, fueled, in large part, by Hollywood's interest in the Scottish theme - Sean Connery (as James Bond), "Braveheart", etc. Indeed, the cultural spectrum of this part of Britain is enormous and comprises great...