The Royal Mile and Old Town are a recommended ‘must see’ for any visitor to Edinburgh.
From Edinburgh castle, perched on its imposing crag, the Royal Mile extends along the narrow ridge through the Old Town and Canongate down to the Palace of Holyrood House. The Old Town and Royal Mile are packed with fascinating history. You’ll find out about the local people who lived and died here, as we take a walk through time. Discover what life was like in the past as well as some of the ancient traditions which are still carried on to this day. There are the old, historic high lands (tenements) which were the skyscrapers of their day, magnificent St Giles Cathedral at the heart of the Lawnmarket, historic houses and the Canongate with its Tolbooth and Kirk. As we walk there will be the atmospheric narrow closes (alleyways) to explore, peaceful courtyards, hidden gardens and unexpected grand interiors to discover, all only a few feet from the bustling main thoroughfare. Every inch of the ancient cobbled street has something of interest, easily unnoticed if you don’t know where to look. There were once over 300 closes in the Old Town, many of them have been built over or demolished as the historic town made ‘improvements’, but today there are still around 83. I’ll show you some of my own particular favourites and you’ll soon see why a walk in the Old Town is not to be missed.