Royal Mile Walking Tour, Edinburgh

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 the following tour and explore the famed Mile at your own pace!
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Royal Mile Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Royal Mile Walking Tour
Guide Location: Scotland » Edinburgh (See other walking tours in Edinburgh)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 14
Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.9 km
Author: Helen
Royal Mile

1) Royal Mile (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...   view more
St. Giles' Cathedral

2) St. Giles' Cathedral (must see)

You will find St Giles’ Cathedral, or the High Kirk of Edinburgh as it is also known, on the Royal Mile and you shouldn’t miss a visit to this beautiful church.

The first church to be built on the site was put up in the 12th century but was destroyed by fire and only the central pillars remain. The second church was built in 1385 and over a period of time, many chapels were added, giving the church a rather haphazard appearance. At one time the church boasted over 50 side altars, called...   view more
Royal Mile Whiskies

3) Royal Mile Whiskies

What to buy here: Malt Scotch whisky.

Looking for a bottle of whisky as a gift for your friends or family? The malt Scotch whisky is exactly what you need. The finest whisky selection from Scotland's best distilleries with a quality that speaks for itself. Capturing rarity and exclusiveness in a glass, this Scottish alcoholic drink captivates curious and discerning whisky lovers from all corners of the globe.

The Single Malt Scotch Whisky is made exclusively from malted barley and it...   view more
Heart of Midlothian

4) Heart of Midlothian

While you are exploring the Royal Mile in Edinburgh you might see some of the locals taking part in a rather disgusting ritual as they pass one spot near the west door of St Giles Cathedral. Drawing closer, but being careful to keep out of range, you will see that they are spitting on the Heart of Midlothian.

This is a heart-shaped mosaic set in the cobbled-stone pavement, marking the entrance of a building that was demolished 195 years ago, but which still remains in the memories of the...   view more
Royal Mile Curios

5) Royal Mile Curios

Established in 1875, Royal Mile Curios is situated right on the famous Royal Mile, Edinburgh Old Town. This small and gorgeous antique shop deals silver, gold and other decorative items, as well as unique and elegant Scottish jewellery that is often more than a hundred years...   view more
Real Mary King's Close

6) Real Mary King's Close (must see)

If you are a fan of ghost stories and haunted houses, you’ll love Real Mary King’s Close, which is reputed to be one of the most haunted places in Edinburgh and which can be visited deep under the Royal Exchange building.

The close is a series of winding streets and tenement houses that were used as the foundations of the Royal Exchange, many years after they had been closed off during the Great Plague that struck the city in 1645.

The plague, which came from Europe, was carried here...   view more
Crest Of Edinburgh

7) Crest Of Edinburgh

What to buy here: Scottish crest badge.

This heraldic badge showing honor and loyalty towards an individual or membership in a specific Scottish clan constitutes a great gift for your family or friends. It represents a crest embodied with a motto and is most often worn by representatives of Scottish clans.

Crest badges are made of silver or white metal and constitute an important accessory of the Scottish traditional dress. Women tend to wear it as a brooch, usually on the left side. Even...   view more
Tron Kirk Church

8) Tron Kirk Church

While you are in Edinburgh, you will surely take a walk along the Royal Mile between Edinburgh Castle and the Holyrood Abbey. On one side of this famous street you will find the Tron Kirk Church.

This once beautiful church was built in the 17th century on the orders of King Charles I. It’s Palladian and Gothic design had a Dutch influence, inspired by its architect, John Mylne who had been impressed by the “Architectura moderna” churches designed by Hendrick de Keyser.

The original...   view more
Carrubbers Christian Centre

9) Carrubbers Christian Centre

You will find Carrubbers Christian Centre in Edinburgh’s High Street. It is not really a church in the strict sense of the word, but rather an Evangelical Mission and is a friendly, lively place to visit.

The Carrubbers Close Mission was founded in 1858 but members had no hall of their own, so they met in a meeting house that once was used by a group of Atheists. In 1883 the American Evangelist Dwight Lyman Moody and the Gospel singer Ira David Sankey visited the town and through...   view more
Geoffrey Taylor Kiltmaker

10) Geoffrey Taylor Kiltmaker

What to buy here: Kilt | Tartan Scarf.

- People adore the comfort and practicality of kilts as well as the style, heritage, and courtesy that comes with wearing them. This knee-length item with pleats at the rear has originated in the Scottish Highlands during the 16th century, it being often labeled as “the national dress of Scotland”.

The originality of design, construction, and convention of the Scottish kilt make it different from other garments fitting the overall description.

...   view more
Museum of Childhood

11) Museum of Childhood (must see)

If your kids are a bit fed up with visiting ancient monuments and galleries, it’s time to take them to the Museum of Childhood on the Royal Mile.

In the early 1950s, Patrick Murray, a member of the Edinburgh Council, realized that a lot of children weren’t very interested in the museums their parents took them to on cold, wet days. He began to think about a museum dedicated to children and everything that centers around kids – their education, their health and, of course, their toys and...   view more
John Knox House

12) John Knox House

House museums are always interesting to visit, not only because you get a fascinating insight into the lives of the building’s former owners, but also because you can see what fashions were like in the owner’s day. John Knox House is no exception.

The house was built in around 1490 and is the oldest house on the Royal Mile. It has wonderful hand-painted ceilings, oak beams and wooden galleries. Today it is owned and managed by the Church of Scotland, but once it belonged to James Mossman,...   view more
Heritage of Scotland

13) Heritage of Scotland

What to buy here: Sgian-dubh.

Whether buy it as a gift for a special person or for yourself, sgian-dubh represents an exclusive work of art, something to wear with pride and pass as a legacy to future generations.

It represents a small, single-edged knife worn as a piece of the popular Scottish Highland dress together with the kilt. The knife is usually worn so as only the upper segment of the hilt is noticeable, the rest being tucked into the top of the kilt hose. It is used as a...   view more
The Royal Mile Gallery

14) The Royal Mile Gallery

Dealing in antique maps, books, and old and new prints, the Royal Mile Gallery is located in Edinburgh's historic Old Town, on Canongate. Offering a variety of old prints for sale, including representations of the Edinburgh's streets, churches, universities, hospitals and other buildings in times past, as well as modern pictorials, you can also find an array of dog breed lithographs here. An extensive selection of its inventory can be viewed online on its official website. Victorian...   view more

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.
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
Cannongate Walking Tour

Cannongate Walking Tour

The Canongate district takes its name from the main street called the "Canongate" and forms the lower, eastern half of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh's historic Old Town. It contains some other notable public buildings, including Huntly House (now the Museum of Edinburgh) and the historic Canongate Tolbooth (now housing the People's Story Museum), as well as the Canongate Kirk and the new Scottish Parliament building.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 km
Famous Squares and Streets Walking Tour

Famous Squares and Streets Walking Tour

While in Edinburgh, discover the popular avenues, boulevards and streets that lead to its most famous squares. While exploring these streets, you can find a copious amount of historic and religious edifices, fashion boutiques, classy restaurants, famous market areas, and other sites. Check out the most popular Edinburgh squares and streets in the following self-guided tour.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 km
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
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 most popular sights the New Town has to offer.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.0 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

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