Saturday, September 26, 2020

Royall Mile Walk Part #1 - Edinburgh - Amazing Scotland

Royall Mile Walk Part #1 - Edinburgh - Amazing Scotland 

Ok, so before anything, let me lay down the cards - this is a travelogue based on our trip to Scotland. We are making a vlog series of it. So, if you would rather watch it than read it here, click here to watch on our YouTube channel, Wanderscapes (and while you are there, consider subscribing to the channel too) 

Royal Mile

Now, this is the second episode of our Amazing Scotland Series. We have just reached Edinburgh. In this blog, I tell you about some of the must see sights of Edinburgh. In the video, you'll get a glimpse of Holyrood Palace and Scottish Parliament before we go on one of the amazing walks through the city. Since this blog is about Royal Mile, I don't intend to go into the details of the palace and parliament. 

Holyrood Palace - Front View

Royal Mile is a one mile stretch of road extending from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace.
It is a collection of five streets - Castlehill, Lawnmarket, High Street, Canongate and Abbey Stand. Royal mile is the busiest and most favoured destination of the tourists. Royal Mile walk is a favorite activity of tourists visiting Edinburgh.

This walk is like no other. Here we can see an amazing blend of the old with the new. As we walk along the clobbered street after a quick look at the symbols of both monarchy and democracy, we are ushered into a magical world - truly one of its kind.

Inside the Scottish Parliament 
First, we see the 'close's and 'wynd's and learn the reason behind the strange names. Close was closed to the public - as it led to private, gated properties which could not be accessed without permission. Wynd was a thoroughfare used freely by the public. As we descend thorough the closes and wynds we will be astonished to find unexpected sights - it is like discovering a world within a world. For, beyond the steep descend, sometimes through steps, we will find homes, streets, offices, garden, park and what not. Climb down the unsuspecting flight of stairs to land in a completely different set up. You'll feel you left Royal Mile and entered another world altogether.

'Wynd'ing down 
Once you have explored enough closes and wynds that they cease to be a novelty (although the temptation to walk down a close is too strong to ignore), proceed along the royal mile to enjoy some window shopping. There are dozens of shops selling curios, mementos, gifts and other little (and big) things you would love to take home as a reminder of your visit to this amazing city.

 What a view!
A road to somewhere
If you feel you need something to energise you, pop in to one of the numerous eateries along the way. Better still, pop in to one of the pub or tavern to enjoy a drink or two along with some fascinating stories of its origin. Some, like Old Tolbooth Tavern are rumoured to be haunted - look up the stories and enjoy some good old tales.

Not into myths and tales? No worries - there are numerous museums to quench your thirst of knowledge and facts. Visit Museum of Edinburgh to know more about this fascinating city or pop in to Museum of Childhood - first of its kind in the whole world- to satisfy your urge to know more. Writers museum, People's museum and if you don't mind wandering off a bit from Royal Mile, The Dynamic Earth and the National Museum of Scotland is worth a visit - say hi to Dolly the sheep from us if you happen to visit the national museum :)

Nether bow Wellhead with a view of Royal Mile at the backdrop

Are you looking for some traditional clothing? well, there are so many shops specialising in kilts and tartans that you will have trouble choosing. You can buy some tweeds, cashmere and more from some of these iconic and long standing establishments. If you are low on energy, head to fudge house and enjoy some of their delicious fudges - they have a wide range of flavours from traditional to some innovative. If you are a chocolate lover, the milk chocolate one is a must - our chocolate loving son couldn't have enough of it!

Hey, don't rush off - that's not just a random collection of stone in front of you - it is the oldest surviving well head. People used to line up here to collect water for their daily needs. If you were rich enough, you could pay the urchins to collect water on your behalf - that way you don't have to wake up in the middle of the night to collect precious water.

The mouth that quenched the thirst?
Moubray house is the oldest residential building and John Knox house is not so new either. Both have stood the test of time. So make sure your pause and take a good look at them.

John Knox House
It is never too early to do Christmas shopping when you are at the Nutcracker Christmas shop. Tardis, you said? Nah, that old police box is the ticket counter of Edinburgh City Tours. Not a cheap box though - someone paid more than 100000 pounds for that! Can you believe that?

St Giles Cathedral
Stop at the St Giles Cathedral to admire the building - the inside is even more pretty. Don't forget to see Adam Smith's statue near by. Explore the premise and you'll find more interesting stuff here.
Camera Obscura

Adam Smith

Ok Ok, time to walk ahead - no that's not a church. It is the Hub. Yes, it is the highest point in central Edinburgh. Yes, Camera Obscura is a must visit. At least have fun looking at those installations outside... And finally, go on and enjoy the awesome sight of Edinburgh castle perched upon the hill. Worthy of royalty, isn't it? #wanderscapes #royalmilewalk #edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle

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