Royal Mile and Grassmarket - Edinburgh
St Giles' Cathedral
Grassmarket Fair during the festival
the Real Mary King’s Close
Victoria Street leading to the Grassmarket © Kenny Lam
Royal Mile, Edinburgh
The Royal Mile sits at the heart of Edinburgh and connects the magnificent Edinburgh Castle perched high on volcanic rock with the splendorous Palace of Holyroodhouse resting in the shadow of Arthur's Seat. The Mile is overlooked by impressive, towering tenements between which closes and stairways help to create a secret underground world.
Peppered with superb attractions such as The Real Mary King’s Close, historical sites such as St Giles' Cathedral, wonderful shops and some of the best eating and drinking spots in the city - don’t miss the luxurious Witchery Restaurant - there is so much to see and do on the Royal Mile. For recent history, be sure to visit the impressive and ultra-modern Scottish Parliament building with its cutting-edge design.
Once a medieval market place and site for public executions, the Grassmarket area is now a vibrant meeting place bursting with lively drinking spots and eclectic shops, loved by students, tourists and professionals alike. As with all of Edinburgh, be sure to look up to appreciate the medieval architecture and stunning views of the castle.
Though executions ceased here in 1784, some of the traditional Grassmarket pubs, such as The Last Drop and Maggie Dickson's, keep alive the bloody tale of a chequered past. The White Hart Inn boasts some historical famous patron including Robert Burns. The pub, along with many others along the Grassmarket, hosts live music and acoustic performances most nights.
Eclectic shoppers will be in heaven at Armstrongs Vintage Emporium, a paradise of vintage clothes and quirky accessories, while a trip to Fabhatrix will reward you with a beautiful hand-made hat perfect in a Scottish summer shower or winter frost.
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Edinburgh and the Lothians sits on the eastern side of Scotland's central belt, in the heart of the country.