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Royal Mile
Royal Mile

Royal Mile

Royal Mile, Edinburgh

The Basics

Because it penetrates the very heart of Edinburgh’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Town and is home to so many of the city’s star attractions, including St Giles’ Cathedral, the Scotch Whisky Experience, and Camera Obscura, the Royal Mile is a staple on Edinburgh sightseeing tours. Classic walking tours, Harry Potter–themed tours, and tours of the underground Real Mary King’s Close all cover portions of the Royal Mile, as do hop-on hop-off and ghost bus tours. Visitors based in Glasgow can take day tours to the city to see Edinburgh’s biggest attractions, among them, of course, the Royal Mile.

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Small Group Royal Mile Walking Tour with Optional Entry to Edinburgh Castle
Small Group Royal Mile Walking Tour with Optional Entry to Edinburgh Castle
star-4.5
$27.22 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Historic Edinburgh
I really enjoyed learning about the history of Edinburgh. Once Charles pointed out the winds and closes they were easy to spot and were fun to explore. We chose the tour option to see the castle, and enjoyed seeing how the the castle was set up.
Anne_S, Oct 2021

Recent reviews from experiences in Edinburgh

star-5
Helped understand the history
Shaqeel_H, Aug 2021
Small Group Royal Mile Walking Tour with Optional Entry to Edinburgh Castle
Really informative guide took us around bits of the Royal Mile and pointed out obscure parts of the town. He had to leave us at the entrance of the castle due to Covid rules which is a shame. Enjoyable experience though!
star-5
Walking the royal mile.
Max_H, Oct 2021
Small Group Royal Mile Walking Tour with Optional Entry to Edinburgh Castle
We enjoyed our small group royal mile tour. Our guide was knowledge and made sure everyone could see all the information, that he talked about.
star-5
Excellent tour of the city
Dana_S, Sep 2021
Royal Mile Guided Walking Tour in Edinburgh
Our guide was wonderful. He knew such detail into the history of the city and its characters-good and not so good. He spoke clearly and allowed for questions at all times. We did a lot of walking. He found clean restrooms and made sure our group was always safe and comfortable. He is an expert on Usher history and wrote a wonderful book he shared with us. Highly recommend this tour!
star-5
HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS TOUR
Jayne_H, Oct 2021
Royal Mile Guided Walking Tour in Edinburgh
I would highly recommend this tour with Stuart Usher. We booked it for our first morning in Edinburgh and learnt so much about this wonderful historical city in 3 hours. Stuart made the tour interesting but amusing too with his little anecdotes. We covered a lot of ground at a nice pace and stopped off for a lovely coffee break at Deacon Brodie’s Cafe too. This is a great walking tour. Thankyou Stuart it was lovely to meet you too.
star-5
Cold, but worth it!
Sharon_M, Oct 2021
Small Group Royal Mile Walking Tour with Optional Entry to Edinburgh Castle
Simon was very knowledgeable and presented the information with great charisma! This tour provides highlights of the Royal Mile ending at the castle, so it is a great introduction to the city a d it’s history!
star-5
Great tour with Ailson, highly recommended.
Robert_R, Oct 2021
Royal Mile Guided Walking Tour in Edinburgh
Alison took our tour and we had a great time. Really enjoyed her story telling and in particular the story of Deacon Broadie. We would highly recommend the tour!
star-5
Excellent
Dominic_M, Oct 2021
Small Group Royal Mile Walking Tour with Optional Entry to Edinburgh Castle
Simon was excellent. Flowed very easily, very informative. Can't blame him for the weather but coming from Manchester we are used to it!!
star-5
So much to learn in so little time!
Monique_N, Oct 2021
Royal Mile Guided Walking Tour in Edinburgh
Allison, a historian, was knowledgeable and energetic. She brought the history of Scotland to life during the tour. I highly recommend her and the tour!!
star-5
Straight from Central Casting
Matthew_B, Oct 2021
Royal Mile Guided Walking Tour in Edinburgh
If you're looking for the quintessential Scottish tour guide, Stuart Usher is the perfect choice. He is knowledgable, engaging and has just the right balance of fun trivia with historical detail. It seems he is part of the fabric of the town. He also gave us a great list of what to do on our own as we continued to explore Edinburgh. We give Stuart our unqualified endorsement.
star-4
The small group tour was...
Helen_H, Sep 2021
Small Group Royal Mile Walking Tour with Optional Entry to Edinburgh Castle
The small group tour was very interesting and informative we really enjoyed it and ended up at the castle which is a must to visit definitely recommend
star-5
Great insight
Andrew_R, Sep 2021
Small Group Royal Mile Walking Tour with Optional Entry to Edinburgh Castle
Great to hear things that you wouldn’t know from just wandering around. Brought the medieval town to life. Thank you 😊
star-5
Walking Tour
GillianJohn, Sep 2021
Royal Mile Guided Walking Tour in Edinburgh
Excellent guide. Very knowledgeable about the history of Scotland. I found this tour very interesting.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Wear sturdy walking shoes as some surfaces are uneven and sloping.

  • To avoid an uphill slog, start at Edinburgh Castle and walk downhill to Holyrood Palace, then use public transport or a taxi to get back up.

  • The cobblestoned sections of the street can cause difficulty for some wheelchairs, strollers, and mobility devices.

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How to Get There

The Royal Mile comprises a succession of streets, namely Castlehill, Lawnmarket, High Street, Canongate, and Abbey Strand. It’s about a 5-minute walk from Princes Street tram station and even quicker from Edinburgh Waverley train station.

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Trip ideas


When to Get There

The Royal Mile is a much-frequented thoroughfare, and during the annual Edinburgh Festival in August, it is packed with visitors. If you can stomach the crowds, the atmosphere is truly something special with curbside entertainment courtesy of buskers and street performers.

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Things to See on the Royal Mile

Many of Edinburgh’s most famous landmarks are situated on the Royal Mile. In addition to the palace and castle at either end, you’ll find other centuries-old landmarks such as St Giles' Cathedral, the Mercat Cross, and Canongate Kirk. It’s not all dusty old attractions, though—the Royal Mile is also the setting for the contemporary Scottish Parliament Building, a striking 2004-built concrete structure whose abstract shapes and forms take inspiration from such diverse references as Scottish landscapes and Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s paintings.

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