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Blog - Ten things to do on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh

Posted on 10/06/2013

Edinburgh or ‘Auld Reekie’ as it is often referred to is a magnet for tourists from all over the world. If you visit anytime soon you’ll not be alone. Edinburgh is one of the most visited cities in the UK. To get the best of your stay in the capital, a serviced or self catering apartment is an ideal base. Come and go as you please with a ‘home from home’ located in the ancient heart of this fine city.

Image of Edinburgh Castle taken from Princes Street
Image of Edinburgh Castle taken from Princes Street

 

What is the Royal Mile?
 
The Royal Mile is the collective name of a series of streets which connect Edinburgh Castle on the hill with Holyrood Palace. It forms the main thoroughfare of the old town. Whether you stay for a weekend, a week or longer, there are some unmissable sights and attractions which are a ‘must see’. In no particular order, my favourites are listed below:
 
  • The Scotch Whisky Experience is well worth a visit. Located on Castle Hill and close to ‘The Hub’ which is the Edinburgh Festival visitor centre, you can partake in a whisky course. Treat yourself to a bottle or two from the world famous shop.
  • More than a million people visit The Castle every year. More than the Tower of London in fact. A visit for the view alone is highly recommended. Take a guided tour, you'll learn a lot.
  • The ‘one o’clock gun’ at the castle is a favourite with visitors both old and young. Time your visit to coincide with this old timekeeping tradition.
  • St Giles Cathedral in the high street in the heart of the old town is an architectural gem. Free to enter, its magnificence is awe inspiring.
  • You may not have an interest in politics but at the ‘foot of the mile’ close to Holyrood Palace stands the Scottish Parliament Building. It is completely out of place with the fine old architecture surrounding it.
  • The Museum of Edinburgh located in the high street tells the story of the city from prehistoric times right through to the present day. If you want a flavour of Scottish history, set aside a good couple of hours to take it in.
  • Established in 1865, the Camera Obscura/Outlook Tower offers 360 degree panoramic views of the city and surrounding areas. Allow 2-3 hours for a truly wondrous visit.
  • The Hub on Castle Hill is all things festival. If you want tickets, information or anything to do with the yearly arts festival, Castle Hill is the place to go for The Hub.
  • Talking of the festival, it is a yearly extravaganza of artistic and performing delights. The place where many an established artist has cut their performing teeth. Go there at least once in your lifetime.
  • Spend a day shopping in and around the old town and Princes Street. You may need more than a day and certainly a well filled wallet or purse, or have the plastic on standby. Visit one of the tartan shops; apparently there is a tartan for just about every family name, even if it isn't of Scottish origin.
Edinburgh is a place where you'll have the time of your life, and I haven’t even begun to mention the nightlife.

Take my word for it. Go there, enjoy, and I guarantee it won’t be your only visit.