Street Entertainer, Royal Mile

Street Entertainer, Royal Mile, Edinburgh

This evening, I am focusing on Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile. This post is not meant to provide exhaustive coverage but a summary of the key highlights. The Royal Mile forms the heart of the old medieval city running from the castle at the top down to the Parliament and Holyroodhouse at foot.

Royal Mile, Edinburgh

Royal Mile, Edinburgh, Scotland

Here is the Esplanade and main entrance to Edinburgh Castle, one of Scotland’s top visitor attractions.This dates from the 11th century but there is likely to have been fortifications on the site in previous centuries. Some of the key sites here include Mons Meg Cannon, St Margaret’s Chapel, the Scottish National War Memorial, the Stone of Scone and the Scottish Crown Jewels.

Entrance to Edinburgh Castle

Entrance to Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

Moving on down you encounter St Giles Cathedral or the High Kirk of Edinburgh. This mainly comprises a 14th century rebuild of an earlier 12th century building. Inside, the Thistle Chapel should not be missed.

St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh

St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, Scotland


Inside St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh

Inside St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, Scotland

Hidden behind the Cathedral, and missed by the majority of tourists, is Parliament Square. Tucked away is Parliament Hall which dates from 1639 and which was occupied by the Scottish Parliament until union with England in 1707.

Parliament Square, Edinburgh

Parliament Square, Edinburgh, Scotland

Here is the World’s End pub, so named because here ran the old city wall and to the residents of medieval Edinburgh this was the end of their world.

World's End Pub

World's End Pub, Edinburgh

Further down the Royal Mile  on the left can be found Canongate Kirk which dates from 1688.  In the Kirkyard is buried the early economist, Adam Smith.

Canongate Kirk, Royal Mile

Canongate Kirk, Royal Mile, Edinburgh

At foot of the Royal Mile can be found the new Scottish Parliament, a controversial design, which dates from 2004. The interior is open to the public, even when debates are in process.

Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh

Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, Scotland

Finally, opposite the Parliament can be found the Palace of Holyroodhouse. This is the Queen’s official residence in Scotland. Dates from the period 1501-1676.

Palace of Holyroodhouse

Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh

Overall, the Royal Mile covers a wide spectrum of history, heritage, architecture and culture. Best seen on foot.

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