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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
$26.23 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Great tour
Excellent tour. Charles the guide was very informative and friendly. Trip was not too long and had plenty of time to explore the castle. Would definitely recommend!
Michael_G, Nov 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
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
A fabulous experience
Adrian_A, Dec 2021
Royal Mile Guided Walking Tour in Edinburgh
The guide was remarkable, very knowledgeable, very expresive, areal figure to remember! Edinburgh is real beautiful and seeing it through someone living 80 years in the city is very informative. A trip to remember!
star-5
Brilliant tour. Knowledgeable Guide.
Andrea_M, Nov 2021
Small Group Royal Mile Walking Tour with Optional Entry to Edinburgh Castle
This was a small group tour of the of the hidden history of the Golden Mile. Our tour guide Nicky was excellent. She brought the history to life. Her knowledge was phenomenal and she was happy to answer any questions about Edinburgh. She the did a guided tour around the castle. I would highly recommend this tour.
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
A Guide Who Knows His Way Around
George_R, Nov 2021
Royal Mile Guided Walking Tour in Edinburgh
Our guide, Stuart Usher, met us at Usher Hall that had been gifted by his grandfather. So, his relationship with Edinburgh is a storied one. The pace was pleasant with frequent stops to point out things of interest. Stuart has a good sense of humor and it was fun to spend time with him.
star-5
Excellent Value
Alison_B, Oct 2021
Small Group Royal Mile Walking Tour with Optional Entry to Edinburgh Castle
I tour guide was fantastic - it was pouring, but she kept the stories history lively and interesting - thank you
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
Must do thing in Edinburgh!
Ali_A, Nov 2021
Royal Mile Guided Walking Tour in Edinburgh
Stuart is an amazing story teller with excellent knowledge and interesting facts about the Old City of Edinburgh. This walking tour was the highlight of my tour.
star-5
Fantastic!
Gemma_S, Oct 2021
Small Group Royal Mile Walking Tour with Optional Entry to Edinburgh Castle
Charles was wonderful and really brought the history of the area to life. The pace was good and there were plenty of interesting stories and characters to keep the children interested.
star-5
Our guide Charles had...
Diana_H, Oct 2021
Small Group Royal Mile Walking Tour with Optional Entry to Edinburgh Castle
Our guide Charles had best knowledge, he was very clear and specific in everything he said. I would highly recommend mercat tours
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.

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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