independentguide

for the independent traveler by independent travelers

Edinburgh – the Royal Mile

Posted by dan on November 20, 2010

 

Edinburgh Castle from New Town

Edinburgh Castle from New Town

One of the great European cities, the capital of Scotland, Edinburgh, is definitely worth a visit. It is a human-scale, livable city which you can easily discover on foot. Its most striking feature, the Castle, stands above the city on a shier rock – from the Castle a mile long street, known as the Royal Mile, runs to the royal residence, the Palace of Holyrood. Opposite the Palace is the modern building of the Scottish Parliament, with the rugged Salisbury Crags towering above both. Along the Mile there are many historic buildings and important sights such as the St. Giles Cathedral. From the upper part of the mile very narrow lanes disappear in small gates under old houses – each called a Close – leading down to streets and living quarters below. Bigger streets cross above the low-lying streets on arched bridges between tall buildings. During the plague the closes were closed off to prevent the common people to go up the the higher town. One important place in the lower town is the Grass Market, a beautiful little square with medival buildings, where the executions used to take place. Today nice restaurants, cafes, pubs and hotels can be found here.

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