The Royal Mile

The backbone of Edinburgh's Old Town

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Four streets – Castlehill, Lawnmarket, High St and Canongate – joined end-to-end connect Edinburgh Castle with the Palace of Holyroodhouse in about a mile, explaining the name Royal Mile.

It might only be a mile but you can easily spend half a day wondering the strip, particularly if you explore some of the tight alleys and passageways that branch out along the way.

The mile’s also dotted a few too many tacky tourist shops and numerous attractions and museums, big and small. Best among them are:

The Scotch Whisky Experience – an essential stop for whisky fans not bound for the Highlands (where better visitor centres exist).

St Giles – Edinburgh’s finest church.

The Scottish Storytelling Centre – which has an exhibition on Scottish stories from ancient folk tales to Harry Potter, but is more interesting for the 15th-century stone-and-timber building it’s in. It was the house of 16th-century firebrand protestant preacher John Knox and has a good exhibition on him.

The Scottish Parliament – an imaginative modern and controversial building, mainly for its cost and finicky design. Architecture fans should take an interior tour for a better look.

Categories: See & Do: Historical |
Tags: Must-see |

At A Glance

High Street

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