Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile: Your Scottish Bucket List

A look at the Royal Mile in Edinburgh
Edinburgh at dusk, with the castle illuminated.
The Palace of Holyroodhouse – occasional hangout spot for QEII and her nonagenarian consort, Prince Philip

The area around Edinburgh Castle is positively medieval – stone buildings, winding streets and narrow passageways abound in the Old Town.  More than anywhere else in Europe, Edinburgh’s Old Town is one place where you can feel like you are experiencing a destination straight out of the Middle Ages (minus the short lifespan, disease and filth, of course).

Check out these crown jewels

At the highest point of city, is Edinburgh Castle, one of Europe’s most picturesque. The castle is a must-see destination for those interested in seeing the Scottish Crown Jewels.  On display for the public, include the crown, sceptre and sword of state.

Over the years the Castle has served numerous functions, including time as a fortress, garrison and state prison. The castle fell out of royal use in 1603, when James VI became king and moved his court to London.  For more on the history city, check out this post we previously published.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Crib:  Holyroodhouse

For visitors arriving in Edinburgh today, the Castle is at one end of the famed Royal Mile.  At the other end, is the Palace of Holyroodhouse.  Once a year this palace hosts the Queen and her consort Prince Philip.  As any true Royal watcher can tell you that Philip, the spry 94 year old husband of the Queen is also known as the Duke of Edinburgh.  You may also know him as the father of heir apparent, Prince Charles.  

Haggis: The irony of eating another animal’s stomach

All this strolling on the Royal Mile is bound to stir up your appetite. When in Edinburgh’s Old Town, why not feast on one of the most quintessentially Scottish dishes around? To put it bluntly, Haggis is a meat pudding  spritzed with sheep organs, minced onions, other veggies and spices all wrapped up in the sheep’s stomach lining. This hearty dish is served over mashed potatoes and vegetables so if you’re daring enough to try it, you’ll be comforted by these familiar fixings.

Yes, we know we aren’t really doing it justice, but it actually tastes very similar to our traditional Thanksgiving stuffing. Super flavorful and just about as Scottish as you can get on a plate, this national dish is a must-try when traipsing around Edinburgh.

The Royal Mile is one of Europe’s most picturesque walks and the route is packed full of national landmarks, statues, and museums of great importance to the Scottish people.

So, if old buildings, stunning views and all-things-Scottish sound right for you,  Edinburgh belongs on your bucket list. But hopefully, it won’t be on your list for long.

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London and Scotland Escape