Results 1-10of 10 Reviews
November 15, 2012
From journal Cultured out
Scotland, Scotland, United Kingdom
July 25, 2012
From journal Edinburgh and the Lothians
CA1 1LA, England, United Kingdom
December 24, 2010
From journal Weekend trip to the Scottish capital pt2
Ayr, Scotland, United Kingdom
November 16, 2007
From journal Exploring Edinburgh’s Royal Mile
March 6, 2006
From journal Weekend in Edinburgh
November 28, 2005
The Royal Mile (High Street) is the street that was used by Scottish royalty to travel between their residences at Edinburgh Castle and Holyroodhouse Palace centuries ago. It is now a hub of tourism. Along with the centuries-old buildings that line this street are souvenir shops, old pubs, tour agencies, and restaurants. This area is alive with sightseeing buses, a bagpiper dressed in traditional Scottish garb, and crowds of tourists.
We went in and out of the numerous souvenir shops. Some of the common items being sold were wool clothing, plaid scarves, Loch Ness Monster dolls, whisky (Scottish national drink), haggis (Scottish delicacy of lamb or pork organs wrapped in its stomach tissue and cooked), toffee, bagpipe and drum music, and kilts. With the exception of the pubs and restaurants, the businesses close at 6pm.
We visited the Royal Mile during the last weekend in October so by 6pm, not only were the souvenir shops and stores closed, but it was also dark. With all the old medieval buildings that line the Royal Mile, the street seems to transform itself into a scene out of a witch tale in the evening. Naturally, this is the time that various tour companies get dressed up in ghoulish costumes and conduct ghost tours. My wife and I did not do any of these tours but we saw groups of people following their guides up and down the street.
Unfortunately, groups of tourists walking the dark streets and listening to ghost stories become tempting prey for pickpockets. I saw a group of four giggling teenagers pretending to inadvertently bump into people and then attempt to take their wallet. I even saw one of the guys stick his hand into an unsuspecting lady's pocketbook, but he came up empty-handed. My reason for mentioning this is not to discourage people from visiting this wonderful city. We always felt safe walking in Edinburgh. However, since I did see this one incident, I would like to remind you to use your street-smarts and secure your valuables, regardless of where you are traveling. Even in a place as friendly as Scotland, there are still a few people who wouldn't mind ruining your vacation.
From journal Sightseeing Weekend in Scotland
September 23, 2004
From journal Whisky, Wars, and Highlanders
cork city, Ireland
April 23, 2003
The Castle itself is absolutely magical, and one would imagine it best suited in a childrens fantasy book rather then perched on a cliff overlooking a major modernized city. It's also very possibly the inspiration for the castle in Harry Potter as J.K Rowling actually wrote the first book in a little cafe called The Elephant Room only two minutes from the Royale Mile.
If you think the castle looks impressive from the outside then you should definitely take a look at the inside. There are some lovely gift shops just inside the main gate and is a good choice for picking up little mementos. The view of Edinburgh from the castle walls is not to be missed, and the view carries on as far as the eye can see.
My favorite room at the castle is in the center of the courtyard and is tecnically a large, beautifully decorated hall dedicated to every soldier that has died fighting for Scotland over the last 200 years.
On your way out don't forget to get a free sample of some of Scotland's finest whiskey. You'll need it to protect you from the harsh Scottish elements.
The Royale Mile itself is as you would imagine a dedicated tourist area with a variety of gift shops, bars, and restaurants. Don't miss it though as the buildings on this road are hundreds of years old and the architecture is world class. The world famous ghost tours also start on this street and don't leave Edinburgh without trying one as they are full of historical and cultural information, as well as being scary as hell.
From journal magical Edinburgh
July 5, 2001
If you have plans to visit other historic spots in and around Edinburgh (or throughout Scotland if you're traveling further), it makes sense to check out the Historic Scotland ticket trailer parked below the Castle-only ticket trailers in the plaza. Historic Scotland sells 3, 7 and 14 day tickets that allow you free admission to many historic properties; as the cost of individual tickets can really add up, a lot of money can be saved.
Once inside the castle walls, check out the view from the ramparts: you have an amazing panorama of the city and beyond. St. Margaret's Chapel (built in 1100) is tiny and tends to be bypassed by the crowds but is worth stopping in; the whitewashed walls are off-set by little jewels of windows. The officer's pet cemetary is also worth a look: it's tucked away below the walls of the castle and is poignant. We found the rest of the castle area to be very, very crowded and made our way out to explore the Royal Mile.
Keep in mind that while this is a "tourist city", there are people who live and work here; not every store is a tourist trap and there are plenty of coffee shops and cafes that "regular people" stop in. It is possible to look beyond the tourism and see the everyday city that co-exists with the history.
From journal Ten Days in Scotland
June 28, 2000
From journal My view of beautiful, historic Edinburgh