View down the Royal Mile cobbled street in Edinburgh

Royal Mile

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Royal Mile, Edinburgh, EH1 1RE

The Royal Mile is one of Edinburgh’s most popular streets, connecting two of the city’s iconic Royal landmarks – Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyrood House. As the name suggests it is one mile long. Although this is one Scots mile, which is just over a mile using today’s measurements. This famous cobbled street is made up of five sections; Castlehill, Lawnmarket, High Street, Canongate and Abbey Strand. Each has its own highlights, so it can take many days to fully explore.

Things to do on the Royal Mile

The Royal Mile has many tourist shops selling tartan, whisky, shortbread and all things Scottish, perfect for all your souvenirs. There are also a great number of traditional Scottish pubs, hundreds of years old, where you’ll pick up a pint or a dram and something to eat – perhaps the popular local dish haggis, neeps and tatties.

In addition to Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace at either end of the mile, there are lots more landmarks and attractions to visit. Highlights include historic churches St. Giles Cathedral, Canongate Church, and Tolbooth Kirk (The Hub) and attractions John Knox’s House, Scotch Whisky Experience, Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, and Mary King’s Close.

Where to Stay

There are many hotels on the Royal Mile, from the luxury 5 star G&V Royal Mile Hotel to the good value Holiday Inn Express. This is a very central location for a stay in Edinburgh with many bars and restaurants, attractions and transport links all within walking distance.

Festival Fun

Every August, the High Street part of the Royal Mile is transformed as the Edinburgh Fringe Festival gets underway. It becomes the central hub for the festival, where acts come to promote their shows and perform in the street. You can also purchase tickets for the many hundreds of shows available at the Festival Fringe Box Office. The festival is the busiest time of the year in Edinburgh and is a must-see for tourists and locals alike.