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UK for everyone: Edinburgh's Royal Mile

17:00 AEST Thu Jul 26 2007

Edinburgh is a medieval city and in its heart is the Royal Mile, a stretch of road which begins with a castle and ends with a palace. It's a good idea to have a guide, or at the very least a guidebook. It's a good city to admire by foot, starting at the top of the hill with Edinburgh Castle. It has a wealth of history on display, such as the tiny 12th-century St Margaret's Chapel, the huge 15th-century cannon, Mons Meg, and the Great Hall, erected by James IV in 1510. It is home to the Scottish crown jewels, last used ceremonially to crown Charles II.

Perched high above their basalt crags, the castle's ramparts provide panoramic views of the city.

After visiting the castle, head down from the Esplanade where the Military Tattoo takes place each summer. As you make your way along the Royal Mile, turn into some of the adjoining streets — Lawnmarket, High Street, Netherbow, Canongate and Abbey Strand. Each has something to offer.

At the end is the Palace of Holyroodhouse, which reaches back almost nine centuries. Legend says David I founded the palace as an Augustinian monastery in 1128. He had a vision in which a cross, or rood, belonging to his mother St Margaret, appeared between the antlers of an attacking stag, hence the Abbey's symbol.

The Abbey prospered and with Edinburgh recognised as Scotland's capital, her kings chose to live in Holyroodhouse, surrounded by parkland, rather than in the bleak Castle, high on a rock overlooking the town and exposed to the elements.


Mercat Tours 1.5 hour Secrets of the Royal Mile Walking Tour costs around $20 for adults, $12 for children and $50 for a family of four

Edinburgh Castle entry is around $25 for adults and $15 for children. It is open every day except December 25 and 26 each year.

The Palace of Holyroodhouse entry and audio tour is around $22 for adults, $15 for children and $60 for a family of five. It is open every day except December 25 and 26 each year and during Royal visits.

Prices correct at 26.07.2007


Scotland's capital city.

For further information

Mercat Tours
28 Blair Street
Edinburgh EH1 1QR
Ph: 44 (0)131 225 5445
Fax: 44 (0) 131 225 5443

Edinburgh Castle
Castle Hill
Edinburgh EH1 2NG
Ph: 44 (0) 131 225 9846

The Palace of Holyroodhouse
The Official Residences of The Queen
London SW1A 1AA
Ph: 44 (0)131 556 5100
Fax: 44 (0)20 7930 9625

Visit Scotland
Ocean Point One
94 Ocean Drive
Edinburgh EH6 7JH
Ph: 44(0)131 472 2222

Ph: 1300 303 777

Visit Britain
Ph: 1300 858 589

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