Edinburgh’s iconic Royal Mile is stuffed with attractions ranging from the delightfully quirky to the downright spooky. With so many sights jam-packed into a Scots mile, the famous street makes for a perfect game of ‘I Spy’.
So during your visit, hark back to those long car trips of your childhood and see who among your fellow travellers can spot these iconic Royal Mile sights first:
At the corner of the Royal Mile and George IV Bridge sits a statue of Scottish Enlightenment philosopher David Hume. Rumour has it that rubbing his toe is good luck. As a result, it’s the most pristine, polished toe in town!
Just across the street from David Hume’s lucky toe lies the Heart of Midlothian, a heart-shaped mosaic of coloured bricks embedded among the Mile’s famous cobblestones. It resides in the spot where the Old Tolbooth, a 15th Century prison, once stood. Locals and visitors often spit on the middle of the heart for good luck, though originally this was done out of anger toward the public executions and torture that once went on in the medieval prison.
During the spring and summer, Edinburgh’s Royal Mile is a hub of seasoned street performers, most notably Elaine Davidson. With around 7,000 body piercings, the World-Record-holder is one of Edinburgh’s most eye-catching locals.
Rumored to be one of Edinburgh’s most haunted places, Mary King’s Close is a 17th Century close located on the Royal Mile near the City Chambers. The close once contained several different closes and tenements, some of which were owned by Mary King’s father, advocate Alexander King. Now, visitors can experience the spooky space with an underground tour known to frighten even the biggest skeptics.
Edinburgh’s 17th Century version of the office water cooler, the Netherbow Wellhead was where Old Town residents would source their water and gossip about whatever was circling the rumour mill.
Here at VieAmhor, we love to share stories about Edinburgh’s fascinating history with our guests. If you’re interested in any particular era in Edinburgh’s past or any specific part of the city’s unique culture, let us know and we’ll recommend the attractions that will interest you the most.
Image Collage: David Hume image by TwoWings via Wikimedia Commons | Heart of Midlothian image by Kim Traynor via Wikimedia Commons | Elaine Davidson image by Janek Mann via Wikimedia Commons | Mary King’s Close image by The Real Mary King’s Close via Wikimedia Commons | Netherbow Wellhead image by WordRidden via Flickr