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The Royal Mile

There's more than meets the eye on this historic, mile-long road called "The Royal Mile" in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Very few places can boast as many things to do and see along one mile of street as the historic Royal Mile in the Old Town district of Edinburgh, Scotland. Stretching one “Scots’ Mile” (about 1.8km or 1.1 miles) from Edinburgh Castle down to the palace of Holyroodhouse and the Scottish Parliament, this area is overflowing with historical sites, museums, restaurants, shops, hotels, and tours.

There are four connecting streets that make up the Royal Mile: Castlehill, Lawnmarket, High Street, and Canongate. In the Castlehill section, you’ll find Edinburgh Castle as well as Camera Obscura & World of Illusions where you can experience over 100 different optical illusions. In Lawnmarket, you’ll find an abundance of shops and cafés as well as The Writers’ Museum, and Gladstone’s Land, where they offer tours of one of the Royal Mile’s oldest buildings. High Street includes more shopping and dining opportunities, St. Giles’ Cathedral, and Parliament Square. Canongate is home to the Museum of Edinburgh at Huntly House and The People’s Story Museum as well as the Scottish Parliament Building, and finally the Palace of Holyroodhouse, where you can visit The Queen’s Gallery featuring exhibitions from the Royal Art Collection.

If you time your trip right, there are also several special events that take place here, including the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and the Edinburgh International Festival in August, the Riding of the Marches in September, the Samhuinn Fire Festival in October, and the Old Town Ceilidh on New Year’s Eve (known as “Hogmanay” in Scotland).

Royal Mile