Edinburgh’s Majestic Royal Mile | Discovering Scotland

The city of Edinburgh was everything that I was hoping it would be and more. I enjoyed my first visit so much that I came back again a couple years later for round two. Much of my fondness for Old Town Edinburgh was the Royal Mile, with all its majestic and historic energy that it emanated.

The Royal Mile in Edinburgh is exactly just that; a succession of streets gradually climbing Castle Hill, in between Holyrood Palace and Edinburgh Castle. The streets from west to east are: Castlehill, the Lawnmarket, the High Street, the Canongate and Abbey Strand.

As the name implies, the Royal Mile, is nearly a ‘Scots Mile” (1.81 km). It is the busiest street in Old Town for visitors, and is lined with many tourist shops mixed in with historical landmarks.

In 1995 both Old Town and New Town Edinburgh were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which includes the Royal Mile.

The most interesting element of the Royal Mile are the current buildings, which are built upon the first incarnation of Edinburgh. The old city underneath fortified the current Royal Mile to make it level.

Mary King’s Close

There is a partial underground neighborhood below the Royal Mile, Mary King’s Close, with buildings, rooms, and narrow streets. If you are interested in visiting the close, there is a tour that will take you underground from their shop location along the Royal Mile.

I had taken the tour and although the jokes were a bit corny, I found it very educational and fascinating to explore the original city. To see the poor conditions that people once lived in, was an eye opener. For tour information – The Real Mary King’s Close

For my YELP Review – Read Trixie N.‘s review of Real Mary Kings Close on Yelp

Side entrance to the Royal Mile

Along the Royal Mile there are small passage ways called ‘closes’, which is the Scots term for alleyway. The closes are entrances that lead away from the main thoroughfare to smaller courtyards with homes and businesses, as well as connecting to other streets.

While visiting Edinburgh I became fascinated with these closes, and wandered through the ones that were not locked. There were whole other little neighborhoods through the closes, and if you are exploratory it is an exciting way to delve behind the main buildings of the Royal Mile.

Greetings from the Royal Mile!

The first time that I visited the Royal Mile I decided on taking a two hour guided tour. I wanted to understand the history of what I was looking at. There are several interesting historical marks, and structures along the Royal Mile that you may miss if you are not aware. I suggest taking a couple of hours on a Royal Mile walking tour, even if it is the free walking tour that you tip at the end.

For my complete YELP Review – Read Trixie N.‘s review of Royal Mile on Yelp


The Heart of Midlothian is a brick mosaic outside of St. Giles’s Cathedral. The heart marks the entrance to the city’s Old Tolbooth that was demolished in 1817. Many locals will often spit on the heart for good luck, but was originally done as a sign for disdain against the executions done within the Old Tolbooth.

Heart of Midlothian


John Knox burial site – In front of St. Giles Cathedral at parking space 23 is the burial site of John Knox, who lead the Protestant Reformation to transform Scotland by breaking away from the Papacy (Catholics) during the 16th Century. The Plaque reads: “The above stone marks the approximate site of the burial in St Giles graveyard of John Knox, the great Scottish divine who died 24 Nov 1572.”


Edinburgh Castle – At the end of the Royal Mile is Edinburgh Castle that is built strategically upon a non-active volcano plug. It is a 1,000 year old fortress brimming with history and worth the entrance; the castle is the reward after the Royal Mile climb.

Edinburgh Castle

🏰 For more Edinburgh Castle information – The Extraordinary Edinburgh Castle | Discovering Scotland

-Photo Gallery-

Royal Mile at Sunset

The castle at Sunset


It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey…

Yours Truly on the Royal Mile

🌎 Thank you for visiting my website and NEVER STOP EXPLORING!

📸 All photos are taken by me and are my intellectual property – Trixie Navarre

One response to “Edinburgh’s Majestic Royal Mile | Discovering Scotland”

  1. […] Edinburgh Royal Mile information – Edinburgh’s Majestic Royal Mile | Discovering Scotland […]


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