The Royal Mile is the medieval artery of Edinburgh’s Old Town and connects Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. The Royal Mile is in fact the collective term for four distinct parts of the same street: running west to east, these are Castle Hill (from the Castle Esplanade to Upper Bow), the Lawnmarket (from Upper Bow to the Mercat Cross), the High Street (from the Mercat Cross to Jeffrey Street), the Canongate (Jeffrey Street to the Scottish Parliament) and Holyrood at the street’s far eastern end.
On the surface, the Royal Mile is peppered with a colourful array of cafés, shops and street entertainment, all sitting upon the enduring history that lives within the wynds, hidden courtyards and subterranean grounds beneath the pavement.
The Royal Mile is also home to Edinburgh’s ‘literary quarter’, compromised of the Scottish Storytelling Centre, Canongate Books, the Scottish Book Trust, and the Saltire Society. Closer to the castle, the Writers’ Museum stands in Makars’ Court and is home to Scottish PEN.