Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Royal Mile of Edinburgh


Torn Kirk Clock Tower

If you are a tourist visiting Edinburgh, the first place you should  head towards is the Royal Mile. This slightly over a mile long road starts from the entrance of the Edinburgh Castle and ends at the gates of Holyrood Palacehouse.
View of the pedestrian only area of the Royal Mile


Scotsman playing his bagpipes

The Royal mile is an eclectic mix of tourists, shops, restaurants, pubs and historic monuments and is probably one of the most famous streets in the world. This historic heart of the city is full of fascinating links to the history of Scotland which is very visible as one  walks down this beautiful cobbled street. 

This most famous thoroughfare which goes through the old city is made up of the streets of  Castle Esplanade, Castlehill, Lawnmarket, High Street, Canongate and Abbey Strand.

 A series of narrow alleys connect to the  street from the north and south. Castle hill from where the Royal Mile originates was once an active volcano which subsequently  solidified into a volcanic plug that is now the castle rock on which sits the Edinburgh castle. It is believed that people have lived on castle rock for over 7000 years and the castle area has been a hill fort for over 2000 years.

The Royal Mile is bustling with life and it can easily take you more than a few days to really enjoy all that it offers. Sights like this Scotsman in his kilts playing his bagpipes can be seen on the streets. Be sure to explore the side streets and alleys - you will be pleasantly surprised by interesting small shops, cafes and tea rooms.

A walk down the royal mile will take you past some of the most popular tourist venues in this region. Some of these are 

1. Edinburgh Castle
2. Scotch Whiskey Heritage Centre
3. St Giles Cathedral
4. Mary King's Close
5. Scottish Parliament 
6. Palace of Holyrood                                
                                      
St Giles Cathedral

Anita enjoying a bite and chilled beer at one of the many eating places on the mile
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